A Guide to NDIS Recovery Coaching

One of the many great resources currently provided by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a recovery coach. A recovery coach can play a very important role in an NDIS participant’s path to following a plan for leading a fulfilling, independent life.

Due to the fact that NDIS recovery coaching is one of the newer additions to the NDIS support roster, there are many questions surrounding how coaches serve participants.

Take a look at the basics of NDIS recovery coaching for both NDIS participants and coaches.

What Is an NDIS Recovery Coach?

An NDIS recover coach is a support provider for NDIS participants with psychosocial disabilities in need of extra support while managing daily challenges.

This role was introduced by the NDIS in 2019 to provide more assistance to participants seeking to increase social and economic independence.

Generally, this means building support systems to help participants enjoy greater control of the management of their lives using a variety of available resources.

Like all NDIS support providers, coaches work in collaboration with plan participants, participant families, caregivers and other support providers.

Support from an NDIS recovery coach can be requested by NDIS participants with a primary diagnosis of psychosocial disability.

What Does a Recovery Coach Do?

The NDIS provides a very clear outline for the duties of the newly implemented recovery coach role.

Ultimately, all of the tasks handled by recovery coaches are aligned with the goal of helping NDIS participants to reach recovery that consists of achieving an “optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing while living with a mental health condition.”

Here are the key responsibilities of an NDIS recovery coach:

  • Providing support during recovery planning.
  • Building strong relationships oriented for recovery.
  • Helping to build motivation, momentum, resiliency and decision-making skills.
  • Collaborating with other support systems.
  • Supporting a client’s engagement with the NDIS program.
  • Handling documentation and reporting.

When managing reporting related to recovery, an NDIS recovery coach helps to create accountability and documentation regarding engagement and progress.

A coach is responsible for outlining recovery goals and documenting NDIS funding utilization. Overall, a recover coach is a link to resources for helping clients to stay on their plans, make use of available supports and change direction when needed.

What’s the Difference Between a Recovery Coach and a Support Coordinator?

An NDIS recovery coach is a resource available to plan participants with a primary diagnosis of psychosocial disability. As of right now, support coordination and recovery coaching won’t be funded within the same plan.

Recovery coaches essentially offer all of the same services as plan coordinators with the extra role of orienting all plan coordination toward the goal of recovery.

As a result, NDIS recovery coaches need to be trained across all of the same skills, services and functions necessary for a support coordinator role.

What Is a Recovery Plan?

According to the NDIS, recovery is defined as “achieving an optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing, as defined by each individual, whilst living with or recovering from a mental health condition.”

A recovery plan is the outlined course of action created by the plan participant and support providers.

The NDIS also outlines the following qualities that distinguish a recovery plan:

  • Choice and control for NDIS plan participants.
  • A lifetime commitment to available supports and funding.
  • Plan flexibility that allows supports to be adjusted to meet changing needs throughout a participant’s life.
  • An emphasis on opportunities for increased social and economic participation.
  • Disability-specific support oriented toward the NDIS definition of recovery.

The specific goals outlined in each participant’s NDIS funding plan will vary based on personal abilities and goals.

According to the NDIS, a mental health issue affects a person’s daily life in regards to socializing, interacting with others in social settings, learning self-care or fully participating in society.

Some specific disorders that are recognized as qualifying for NDIS recovery coaching support include schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), severe anxiety and depression.

Does the NDIS Provide Funding for Recovery Coaches?

Yes, NDIS funding for recovery coaches was officially introduced in 2019. However, this is not an “elective” option open to all NDIS plan participants. Only a participant with a primary diagnosis of psychosocial disability will have recovery coaching funded.

A secondary diagnosis of psychosocial disability does not qualify for this form of funding under current NDIS guidelines.

Currently, there are no maximum or minimum “hour” requirements for coaching services.

Current participants can begin applying funding toward NDIS recovery coaching right now without the need for a plan review if they have funds available.

Who Can Become an NDIS Recovery Coach?

Becoming an NDIS recovery coach is an option for anyone with a passion for helping people to move forward in recovery.

Unlike support coordinators and plan managers, NDIS recovery coaches must typically have some training and credentials to be considered for job roles.

Here’s a look at the recommended requirements in either lived or learned experience needed to work as an NDIS recovery coach:

  • Two years of experience with mental health work.
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work or Certificate IV in Mental Health. Applicants with equivalent training may also be considered.
  • A current driver’s license.
  • The ability to travel as needed.
  • Current First Aid and CPR credentials.
  • Current National Police Checks and Working With Children Checks.

Experience and credentials are just two parts of the larger picture for NDIS plan participants looking to bring in an NDIS recovery coach.

It’s also important to select a person with a passion for this line of work. When looking for an NDIS recovery coach, plan participants should ask themselves if a support provider seems easy to talk to, easy to get along with and good at listening.

On a practical level, location and availability are important because a recovery coach will play a very hands-on role in guiding the path toward recovery.

Where to Find NDIS Recovery Coaches

There are several ways to find an NDIS recovery coach. A good place to start is to simply ask your current NDIS plan manager, support coordinator or Local Area Coordinator to help you connect with a coach.

Of course, the newness of this role within the NDIS support network may mean that members of your current support team don’t yet have relationships with coaches.

There is also the option of looking at the NDIS provider registry.

Again, this is an option where the newness of this role may make it difficult to find a complete pool of candidates because new coaches may not have completed the costly and time-consuming process of becoming registered providers.

The NDIS actually doesn’t require plan participants to choose registered providers in order to be funded. That means that participants are free to find their own providers using NDIS support platforms.

Final Thoughts on NDIS Recovery Coaches

The NDIS’s decision to introduce funding for recovery coaches in 2019 demonstrated the agency’s commitment to providing useful, life-enhancing supports.

Like all NDIS support options, coaching support provides participants with freedom to choose their own providers.

NDIS recovery coaching is a resource that can help plan participants living with mental health issues to receive access to enhanced, highly specific supports for living more fulfilling and independent lives!

Similar Articles