Many small and medium providers of supports and services to NDIS participants are not highly profitable, with relatively high fixed costs, significant staffing shortages, limited operational resources, and sometimes long waitlists.
For cost, time, red tape, service delivery, and other reasons, many providers do not register with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
Unregistered providers cannot offer supports and services to NDIS participants who have plans where the funds are managed by the NDIS.
Unregistered providers can offer and provide supports and services to NDIS participants who have plans that are:
- self-managed: where the participant (or nominee) decides upon and engages supports and services themselves; or
- plan managed: where the participant (or nominee) engages a registered plan manager to help them to plan, and manage funding for, services and supports for the participant.
Some exceptions exist, e.g., for specialist behaviour supports, and in situations involving potential regulated restrictive practices.
“Unregistered” does not mean “unregulated”. For example, when working with NDIS participants, unregistered providers of services must:
- comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct; and
- have systems to manage complaints from NDIS participants and others about the quality and safety of their services.
To protect participants, unregistered providers can benchmark their training and systems against registered provider requirements, e.g. by implementing codes of conduct, risk, incident, and emergency and disaster management systems, conducting worker screening checks on staff, and by developing policies and procedures for issues like booking and cancellations, child safety, and waste management.
Key source: NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, Unregistered Provider Obligations (Last update: 7 July 2022)
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