How to Become an NDIS Recovery Coach

People with psychosocial disabilities face a lot of barriers. The term “psychosocial disability” refers to a disability that arises as the result of a mental health issue, and it can create friction when people interact with environments that don’t take this into account.

It can make it hard, if not impossible, to concentrate, handle stress, deal with things like time limits or criticism, or even just exist in certain environments. Nobody chooses to experience a psychosocial disability, but few places take their needs into account.

With the introduction of recovery coaches in 2020, people with psychosocial disabilities are able to get the extra help they need.

Recovery-oriented practices can help these people have a more equitable experience in society and achieve a greater level of independence and overall life satisfaction.

Unfortunately, the supply of recovery coaches is still well below the demand for them. If you’re a patient, caring, sympathetic person who wants to make a difference in the world, NDIS recovery coaching may be the career path for you.

What is NDIS Recovery Coaching?

Recovery coaching straddles some of the lines between support coordination and daily support, while still having its own unique responsibilities and challenges.

Recovery coaches focus on coaching people to take a larger role in managing their lives, which often involves working closely with families, carers, and other services to help improve client outcomes.

Recovery coaches will:

  • Develop relationships with clients that further enable their recovery.
  • Develop recovery plans for clients.
  • Coach clients to improve their personal capacities and recovery skills.
  • Assist with implementing recovery plans.
  • Ensure that other supports are recovery-oriented.

Recovery plans break down long-term goals into short-term steps. These plans also help clients identify their own particular strengths and weaknesses and distinguish areas of life where they have choices from those where they do not.

A recovery plan should also help a client connect to supports and services that align with their long-term goals. Recovery coaches also need to be prepared to notice when a plan needs adjusting and make changes accordingly.

See also: For more information on NDIS Recovery Coaching and how it works, check out our full guide on NDIS Recovery Coaching here.

Qualifications & Requirements for Becoming an NDIS Recovery Coach

There are two kinds of recovery coach. One is a lived experience recovery coach, and the other is a learned experience recovery coach.

The only difference is in how they obtain their experience — lived experience recovery coaches have personal, first-hand experience with psychosocial disabilities as a sufferer, close family member, or carer.

Other recovery coaches have extensive education but might not have experienced psychosocial disabilities themselves.

All recovery coaches must have a minimum of Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work or Certificate IV in Mental Health, or equivalent training. It’s also important to have a minimum of two years of experience working in a mental health related field.

Benefits of Becoming a Registered NDIS Recovery Coaching Provider

A lot of people want to get to work right away, without getting bogged down in the process of registering with the NDIS. While there are unregistered recovery coaches out there, registration has several important advantages.

Becoming a registered NDIS recovery coach opens up a large pool of potential clients and greater opportunities to help people. That’s because registered NDIS providers are able to work with NDIS participants that have NDIA managed plans.

Unregistered providers are only able to work with self-managed participants or those with a registered NDIS plan management provider, which limits their reach.

Registered NDIS recovery coaches also get access to the NDIS myplace provider portal. This lets you access online business systems, booking services, and updates to the NDIS, as well as process payments.

See also: For more information on how to become a registered NDIS Provider, check out our guide on How to Become an NDIS Provider here.

See also: For more information on NDIS Plan Management and the options that NDIS participants have when it comes to hiring registered and unregistered providers, check out NDIS Plan Management Options Explained here.

How to Invoice Clients as an NDIS Recovery Coach

The NDIS has pretty strict requirements when it comes to invoicing. This can be a bit daunting to providers who are just starting out.

The biggest thing to remember is that the NDIS won’t accept invoices for flat fees. That means that they won’t pay out a flat rate for the tasks you’ve completed. They also won’t pay for itemized costs.

The NDIS pays using an hourly rate, so you need to keep accurate, thorough records of your rate and the number of hours that you’ve worked. If you do incur any costs, you need to build these into your hourly rate.

Each invoice has to contain all of the pertinent information. This means:

  • Your business name.
  • Your Australian Business Number.
  • A unique invoice number that you create.
  • The date the invoice was issued.
  • The client’s full legal name.
  • The date or dates on which the billable duties were performed.
  • Your hours worked.
  • Your hourly rate for.
  • The invoice total, including goods and services tax.

Each invoice should bill your hours at the rate that was active at the time you were working. That means that, if you submit an invoice for September after you increased your hourly rate in October, that invoice should be calculated using your rate in September.

According to the NDIS, recovery coaches can charge $80.90 an hour in the day time during weekdays.

Finding Clients as an Independent NDIS Recovery Coach

No matter whether you choose to be a registered or unregistered recovery coach, you’ll need to build a client roster. You’ll probably want to start with an online NDIS job platform where you’ll be able to view job postings from NDIS support coordinators looking for recovery coaching services.

It can help to have a web presence. This doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate site, just one that’s easy to read, modern looking, well branded, and full of relevant information about who you are and what you do.

Having a good, SEO optimised website means that people searching online for a recovery coach are more likely to have your name pop up in their results. Your website may be the first experience any potential clients have with you, so use it to make a good impression.

You’ll also want to do some networking. Even if you don’t find openings for recovery coaches on job platforms, getting your name out to local area coordinators (LACs) and NDIS support coordinators is important.

If they know you, they’re more likely to reach out to you when they have a job available — even before they post it to a job platform.

Connect with LACs and support coordinators on social media or via email. There are a variety of groups for NDIS providers and participants alike where you can find potential clients, job openings, and other NDIS providers to work with.

See also: For more information on how to get NDIS clients, check out our guide on How to Find NDIS Clients as an NDIS Provider here.

Helping people have equitable access to society, learning opportunities, and employment is one of the most meaningful and fulfilling jobs there is.

If you feel called to assist people with psychosocial disabilities, becoming an NDIS recovery coach may be the ideal career path for you.

Whether you’ve experienced such a disability yourself or have dedicated years to learning about them, your experience can make a world of difference in the life of someone else.

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

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

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

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