What is a service provider?
A service provider, such as Help at Hand Support, is an individual or business that delivers specific disability services or therapies. Service providers may be individuals, non-profits, small business, or large businesses. They have different areas of experience and expertise. Some examples include:
- Occupational therapists
- Home cleaners
- Disability support workers
- Meal plan and delivery
What does it mean to be NDIS registered?
A registered NDIS provider is a provider who has taken the necessary steps to become registered with the NDIS. This includes having an independent audit conducted by a NDIS Approved Auditor. Service providers can choose if they want to formally register with the NDIS, meaning it is not necessarily a requirement. However, as part of the NDIS registration process, providers are audited to make sure they meet the strict requirements set for safety, quality and compliance, which are set by the NDIS safeguard commission.
Are there benefits to using a registered NDIS provider?
As a support coordinator or an NDIS participant you are probably thinking what is the benefit of using a Professional NDIS registered service provider?
NDIS registered providers have applied to and met the strict quality and safety standards of the NDIA. They have received formal accreditation to carry out the services they provide. For an organisation to achieve this, they must:
- Make sure all workers are taken through a screening process before joining
- Have an internal complaints management system
- Have an internal incident management system
This means that a business that is NDIS registered, such as Help at Hand Support is held to a higher standard than one that isn’t. The business must follow a set of rules and regulations, report back to the NDIS when there are issues, continue to train staff in updated standards and practices, and are audited by a governing body to ensure continuity of care.
Other benefits of using a registered NDIS provider, such as Help at Hand Support include:
- Peace of mind – Knowing that you will be looked after in a professional manner, we do the recruitment, vetting and onboard of all staff for you to join your care team. We ensure that our processes and procedures meet the NDIS requirements.
- Continuity of care – HAHS is a provider focused on trying to ensure there is continuity. We will work within participants budgets and preferences to provide continuity.
- Training and development – HAHS focuses on providing ongoing training and development of staff based on feedback and observations.
- Accountability – HAHS hold staff accountable for tardiness and absenteeism.
- Feedback – Having HAHS as your provider you can be assured that feedback can be kept confidential if desired and dealt with professional.
What is an independent support worker?
An independent support worker is generally someone that works for themselves. They maybe unregistered and work off an ABN. They may or may not be experienced as a support worker. It is important that you check their backgrounds carefully.
Challenges of using an Independent support worker
We understand that participants have choice and control and unfortunately we have seen cases where support workers who are not managed through an agency do the wrong things.
- If an independent worker does something wrong there is no agency behind them to hold them accountable.
- You need to speak with the NDIS commission or speak to your support coordinator.
- If your support worker is sick unfortunately you might not get support.
- Feedback you give will be directly with the support worker and this may be difficult where the support worker has a strong personality or is dominant.
At the end of the day you have choice and control and as a NDIS registered provider we want to ensure that you have your energy and time focused on what is important for you.
Are there negatives to using an unregistered provider?
In some cases where a support worker is unregistered and unmanaged by an agency, you may encounter issues with no resolutions. Providers without NDIS registration don’t technically need to meet the same standards as NDIS registered providers. This may result in undesirable outcomes and no real solutions. Issues may include:
- If an independent worker behaves incorrectly, there is no accountability or recourse
- If a support worker is unable to provide support for any reason, there is no cover
- Feedback may go unnoticed or may simply be ignored
When you engage the services of a company like Help at Hand Support, the support workers we provide are accountable, trustworthy and have been taken through a screening process before being sent out to you. If they are absent, we can provide other support workers to ensure you still receive the help you need. Complaints or feedback are taken seriously and processed via a formalised system and are used to improve the support we provide.
Do you have to use registered NDIS providers?
The choice is yours. If you have an existing relationship with an unregistered provider, you can continue to access their support as you please. In many cases, you can use your NDIS funding to pay for such supports, but it does depend on how your plan is managed.
- If your plan is self-managed, you can use any provider you like, registered or not, then pay for the service and apply to get the money back from your NDIS plan.
- If your plan is managed by a third-party provider, you can express your desire to use specific providers to your plan manager, and they can help work that into your plan.
- If you are NDIA managed or agency funded, you won’t be able to use unregistered providers.
The most important part of the NDIS are the participants, and whatever you choose is completely up to you. However, we do recommend you do research into any provider you choose, and make sure they are right for you.
We hope this article has helped you gain some understanding on why using a professional NDIS registered provider is valuable.