Become an NDIS Plan Manager (2024)

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provides funding to help people with permanent and significant disabilities access the essential support and services needed to live their lives.

This support comes from NDIS-approved providers. The beauty of the system is that each NDIS participant is provided with resources to create an individualized, adaptable plan tailored to meet their desired outcomes.

One of the pivotal providers in any NDIS plan is a plan manager. In fact an NDIS plan manager is considered to be a key contact point for helping participants to utilize their benefits to the fullest extent.

What is an NDIS Plan?

The way that every NDIS enrollee utilizes their benefits is what’s known as an NDIS plan. The purpose of a plan is to create an organized structure for working with providers to get the support necessary based on the individualized needs of a participant.

An NDIS plan outlines a person’s short-term goals, long-term aspirations, and present-day needs.

Once a person gets funding approval, they’re an “NDIS participant.” Next, NDIA, the overseeing agency, helps them identify personal goals and the services required to meet them.

This agenda becomes part of their NDIS Plan. Additionally, the plan specifies the amount of money budgeted for disability care. Typically, the NDIA assesses plans every 12 months. This way, recipients can get their funding adjusted as the need arises.

See also: For more information on NDIS plans and how they work, check out NDIS Plans Explained here.

What Is NDIS Plan Management?

NDIS plan management helps NDIS participants to access benefits in the fullest, most efficient way possible. Participants are able to create a blueprint for how available funding can be used for predictable, accountable support based on their specific needs and goals.

The NDIS is an incredibly flexible program. Participants can choose self-managed plans, NDIA-managed plans, or plan-managed plans.

Many NDIS members choose the third option because they enjoy the flexibility, choice, and personalized attention that all go along with this option.

Choosing an NDIS plan manager comes at no cost to the NDIS member. Fees for plan managers are fully funded by the NDIA as long as a member is registered for plan management.

See also: For more information on NDIS Plan Management and how it works, check out NDIS Plan Management Explained here.

NDIS Plan Management Options

1. Self-Managed

Participants pay the invoices received from service providers. Additionally, they’re responsible for tracking expenses against their budget. Participants can choose from two methods of online bill payment.

  • Pay a bill first, then file for reimbursement.
  • Request the invoiced amount, wait to receive the money, and then pay the bill.

In both cases, participants must pay invoices at the NDIS portal.

2. Agency-Managed

NDIA holds the allocated money and pays bills through the NDIS portal. The agency also maintains the participant’s financial records.

3. Plan-Managed

The participant entrusts their fund administration to a registered Plan Manager. This professional handles all bill payments and bookkeeping.

4. Mixed Management

Participants pay bills by combining all three options of NDIS Plan Management. For instance, they can choose a Plan Manager for invoice payment alone. Meanwhile, the participant tracks their expenses and remaining funds.

See also: For more information on Self Management and Plan Management, check out NDIS Plans: Self Managed vs Plan Managed here.

What do NDIS Plan Managers Do?

To say that NDIS plan managers wear many hats is an understatement. This is a job role that combines advocacy, organization, and “people” skills.

One of the most important tasks of any plan manager is the management and handling of invoices.

When an NDIS plan manager signs on to be a part of a participant’s support roster, they take on the important duty of validating all invoices incurred by utilizing support from providers.

However, a plan manager is not a “gatekeeper” when it comes to support. The purpose of a plan manager is never to assess the need or validity of a support service.

They instead process invoices during a five-day window to ensure that money is transferred by a participants account to the appropriate provider. Plan managers also alert participants to any errors that prevent them from properly validating and processing invoices.

The other big task of a plan manager is to disperse NDIS funds. In addition to paying providers on behalf of the participant they represent, a plan manager also processes any reimbursements that a participant might be owed.

NDIS plan managers also manage all records to ensure that compliance requirements are being met. Plan managers generate regular reports that allow plan participants to keep track of expenditures balances, and other pertinent information tied to their funding.

A plan manager also plays a key role in helping with both documentation and change management during a participant’s annual plan review.

As a Plan Manager, you’d eliminate the documentation burden for NDIS participants. At a minimum, you would:

  • Receive and pay invoices from service providers
  • File claims through the NDIS portal
  • Send monthly financial statements to participants

With advanced training, you could expand your valuable role. For instance, you could teach participants how to:

  • Budget their funds
  • Pay providers
  • File claims
  • Keep financial records
  • Make service agreements with vendors

With your expertise in NDIS Plan Management, participants can become more independent, bolstering their self-esteem.

What Skills Are Needed to Become an NDIS Plan Manager?

NDIS plan managers come from all backgrounds. The main requirement of this job role is a willingness to be committed to accountability and organization.

Plan managers need to be organized enough to track invoices, maintain accurate records of expenditures versus balances, and create monthly reports.

Great communication is also a plus because being consistent with making contact with a plan participant is one of the best ways to create satisfied long-term clients.

To succeed as a Plan Manager, you need familiarity with basic budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting. Additionally, you must be comfortable with using finance-related software.

You’ll want to build a rapport with vendors, NDIA staff, and NDIS participants. Toward this end, you should have strong skills in listening, communication, and negotiation.

Your work will also involve multitasking. To stay productive, it helps to be adept at prioritizing, organizing, and managing time well.

What Qualifications Are Needed to Become an NDIS Plan Manager?

The most important qualification needed is an understanding of NDIS procedures. This is something that aspiring NDIS plan managers can acquire with the proper training and courses.

Plan managers should also have good project-management skills that are accompanied by a basic proficiency in accounting skills.

NDIS Plan Management Training and Courses

While specialty training and certifications aren’t required in order to become an NDIS plan manager, they can certainly be helpful for equipping a person to be successful in this role.

For instance, you can take classes in NDIS Planning, NDIS System Navigation, and NDIS Plan Management.

With additional coursework, you’ll be more employable. For example, you could obtain a Certificate in Disability Support or NDIS Certification. Plus, you’ll better serve participants with training in Home and Living and Allied Health.

You can take training at the Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced level. Meanwhile, with each course completed, you’ll build an impressive resume!

Most aspiring plan managers focus on courses covering these five core components of being a successful NDIS plan management provider:

  • Accounting skills.
  • Effective project management.
  • How to navigate NDIS software and Provider Digital Access (PRODA) .
  • How to follow NDIS procedures.
  • Communication and customer service.

A good NDIS plan manager training program should leave a future plan manager confident about their skills for overseeing a participant’s funding budget in alignment with their individualized NDIS plan.

They should also feel confident about their ability to manage NDIS claims, pay invoices on time, keep accurate financial records, and clearly communicate funding information to participants.

Something that all aspiring NDIS plan managers should keep in mind is that the goal of providing invoice-related support to plan participants is ultimately to help their clients gradually obtain the financial literacy needed to learn how to manage their own funding.

See also: Check out Best Online NDIS Training Courses here.

How to Become a Registered NDIS Plan Management Provider

Anyone seeking to become a registered NDIS provider must complete and submit a free application directly with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.

Next, a provider seeking registration must take part in an official NDIS verification audit.

NDIS plan managers fall under the category of professionals required to undergo something called a “desk audit” that is less intensive than the certification audit required for more complex NDIS support and services.

Once a provider passes an audit, they can register as an NDIS provider through the NDIS Commission website.

Next, registered providers will need to sign into the NDIS myplace portal using something called PRODA (Provider Digital Access) account to connect to participants with NDIS-managed plan funds.

A Career That Changes So Much for So Many: Working as an NDIS Plan Manager

Many people are drawn to careers as NDIS providers because this program offers a way to make a true difference in the lives of so many.

A career as a plan manager for NDIS participants is ideal for someone interested in juggling a roster of clients.

While this job role requires a great deal of organization, it also offers the advantage of being specifically tied only to the management of funding without any duties to oversee any other aspects of care or decision making.

Related article: Interested in starting a career in NDIS Support Coordination? Check out Become an NDIS Support Coordinator here.

Related article: Interested in doing some NDIS training courses to boost your skills and resume? Check out Best Online NDIS Training Courses here.

Related article: Wondering how to find NDIS clients as a Provider? Check out our guide on How to Find NDIS Clients here.

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