How to Become an NDIS Provider

If you’re looking for a way to start a business that helps people while ensuring a steady need, becoming an NDIS provider can be a very attractive option.

The obvious benefit of becoming an NDIS provider is that you’re doing meaningful work that positively impacts the clients you serve!

The second is that your business will be insulated by factors like economic trends and supply and demand because all NDIS support services are funded by the NDIA instead of individual payers.

Let’s explore what entering into this field might look like for you!

What Is an NDIS Provider?

An NDIS provider is really a facilitator that makes the services and support that a plan participant is entitled to accessible.

As a provider, you are the “point person” for access to services and support. Providers work with support coordinators, plan managers, community partners and others to provide a well-managed, well-rounded plan that meets a client’s needs.

Unregistered vs Registered NDIS Providers: What Is the Difference?

First, it’s important to know that there’s no requirement to become an unregistered NDIS provider before you begin offering services.

However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to tap into the benefits of becoming a registered provider. Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options.

Only registered NDIS providers are able to submit their invoices directly to the NDIS. If you’re an unregistered provider, your only option is to send your invoice to the participant or their plan manager.

This does add an extra step for your clients because they will need to use the NDIS portal to then manually claim your fee.

Most clients don’t have a problem with this. In fact, clients who are utilizing “plan-managed” plans will actually have this done on their behalf by their plan managers.

See article: NDIS Plan Management Options Explained.

The other difference has to do with who can access your services. Only NDIS participants who utilize “plan-managed” or “self-managed” plans are permitted to use unregistered NDIS providers.

Anyone with an NDIA-managed plan will not be able to utilize your services if you are not a registered provider. Aside from these two factors, there are essentially no differences between registered and unregistered providers.

Why wouldn’t someone choose to become a registered provider? Some people entering the field don’t want to pay the upfront costs associated with becoming registered.

The cost and time associated can create a barrier to entry if you’re starting your own small business. Registered providers must also conduct audits to prove compliance with certain NDIS requirements.

However, it’s important to add that both registered and unregistered providers must adhere to the the NDIS Code of Conduct. Fortunately, choosing not to become a registered provider will in no way hinder you from getting started!

Aside from the claims angle, people searching for providers in their areas really don’t experience much of a difference when going with registered versus unregistered.

A Look at the Benefits of Becoming a Registered NDIS Provider

If you’re still uncertain about whether you’d like to register as a provider, it can be helpful to dig into the benefits of registering.

Ultimately, you stand to benefit by registering if the cost and time won’t prove to be prohibitive in terms of being able to start your business.

Here’s a look at the benefits tied to being a registered provider:

  • Your business will be easier for participants to find.
  • You will be available to a wider range of participants.
  • Payment is more streamlined.
  • You can market yourself as a registered provider.
  • Some additional resources are provided to you by the NDIS.

Again, not being registered doesn’t prevent you from providing any of the services that a registered provider provides. However, you may have a smaller client pool to work with.

Most participants understand that the designation between registered and unregistered is mostly clerical. It is widely known that many unregistered providers are highly skilled and capable professionals who are able to meet the needs of clients.

How to Become a Registered NDIS Provider

What is the first step to becoming a registered provider with the NDIS? If you’d like to register, you can initiate the process online by completing the application form on the NDIS website.

As part of the application process, you will need to provide details regarding your organization’s contact information, structure and key employees. You’ll also be asked to complete a self-assessment form based on NDIS Practice Standards.

The second step is to select an approved auditor. The auditor you select will be using an “initial scope of audit” document that will be mailed to you by the NDIS Commission.

Depending on your specific business, you will either need to submit to a “verification” audit or “certification” audit.

As your audit is being conducted, your auditor will be weighing your assessment against factors like the size of your business and the specific services you’ll be providing.

In the next phase toward certification, the NDIS Commission will make a determination of your eligibility to become a registered NDIS provider. You will be alerted of their decision!

Finally, you will receive an NDIS certificate of registration that outlines the specific services you are registered to provide to NDIS participants. If your application is rejected, it may be possible to request a review.

Final Thoughts on Becoming an NDIS Provider

NDIS providers enjoy all of the benefits of running their own businesses while working in a field that is rewarding and needed!

While you’ll have your hands more than full, you’ll also benefit from working in collaboration with other support professionals to use a “team effort” to ensure that clients are getting exactly what they need to reach their goals!

This is simply an option worth exploring for anyone looking to make a career pivot that offers both personal freedom and a sense of satisfaction!

Related article: For more information on how to find NDIS clients as a service provider, check out How to Find NDIS Clients here.

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

Related article: Interested in starting a career in NDIS Plan Management? Check out Become an NDIS Plan Manager here.

Similar Articles