After you’ve met with the participant to decide on the required supports and services as outlined in their NDIS plan. Now it’s time you enter into a written agreement with them. This is what is known as an NDIS service agreement.
How Does an NDIS Service Agreement Work?
Entering into an NDIS service agreement is the way you work towards meeting the stated short-and long-term goals within the participants NDIS plan.
It is important that you the participant agree on what specific services you will provide as part of the NDIS service agreement.
In fact, the participant might even have a support coordinator working with them to develop a service plan in order to achieve your unique goals and needs as set out in your NDIS plan.
It’s important to keep referring back to the NDIS plan while talking with the participant and deciding which services to provide in order to help them achieve their goals. That’s why it’s always a good idea to request the participant bring a copy of their NDIS plan along during any initial meetings.
Let’s take a look at 5 other important factors to consider before getting participants to sign on the dotted line.
5 Things to Consider When Creating the Agreement
Developing a service agreement requires you to be careful about a lot of things: the who, which, when, what and how of the arrangements and limits.
Below are 5 things to consider before you ask the participant to sign.
Who Can Make an NDIS Service Agreement?
Most often a Service Agreement is made between NDIS participants and their providers. The focus therefore should be on making it clearly understandable and relevant to both the parties.
However, it is possible for the participant to nominate a trusted person to enter into the agreement on their behalf.
Persons such as family members or friends may be able to fulfill this responsibility on behalf of the participant.
If the participant has an NDIS support coordinator, they can provide assistance with making and reviewing the agreement as well.
You should have provision within your Service Agreement for the nominated contact to be specified if needed.
What Should an NDIS Service Agreement Outline?
Any agreement reached between the parties involved should be:
Indeed, such agreements essentially need to outline what supports will be delivered and when. They should also state how much the provision of the supports will cost.
When you are making an NDIS service agreement, you need to consider things such as:
- The specific types of supports provided in line with stated goals
- Costings for the provision of supports
- When, where and how supports will be provided
- The duration for which supports will be provided
- The review date
- How problems or issues are handle
Your NDIS service agreement should detail your responsibilities and the participants responsibilities.
On the one hand, you as the provider has a commitment to work with you to help you achieve your goals by delivering the agreed-upon supports in the right way. On the other hand, you may details requirements for the participant to inform you if something comes up whereby you cannot make an appointment.
Constraints like these should also be outlined in the service agreement.
Keeping things simple and straightforward will ensure the participant or their nominees are able to fully understand what they are signing which will reduce complaints later.
Is It Necessary to Have a Service Agreement?
Generally speaking, no.
In fact, a written agreement is only required if you are accessing Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) as part of your NDIS plan. Otherwise, the NDIA does not mandate that NDIS participants have a written service agreement with their providers.
That being said, it is always a good idea to have a contract written up between yourself and participants. That’s because this will formalise your working relationship together.
Not only that but it also works to clear up any confusion about the type and frequency of the supports being rendered. Also, these agreements help to protect you (and the participant) if something goes wrong. Indeed, all the stated terms and obligations agreed upon in an NDIS service agreement are legally binding.
That said, it is still possible to begin receiving supports and services without a signed NDIS service agreement.
However, it must be proven that, as a participant, they fully comprehend and are in agreement with the document (for example, by signing the service agreement or through communication via email).
How Do I Store an NDIS Service Agreement?
Whether or not it’s been signed, you should still give a copy of the agreed-upon service contract to the participant.
This should then be stored for record-keeping purposes. Storing either a hard copy or a digital version is fine. You just need to ensure that your NDIS service agreement is easily retrievable when you need to refer to it.
If the participant has a Plan Manager, it’s a good idea to hand them a copy of the agreement. This will help them track spending as well as ensure they are holding funds for you from the participant’s budget.
Do I Need a Service Agreement?
Put simply: yes.
While they may not be legally required, it is a very good idea to use an NDIS service agreement because they:
- formalise your working relationship with the participant
- help your NDIS Plan Manager maximise your use of funds
- are legally binding
Is There an NDIS Service Agreement Template I Can Use?
Yes. Brevity Care Software provides an excellent NDIS service agreement template you can use to ensure that all the required details are included.
One of the best things about this template is its simplicity. Rather than getting too technical, or bogged down with complexities, the template supplied by Brevity can be used to create a straightforward contract that’s fair for both parties.
Need Help with Your NDIS Service Agreement and other aspects of running an NDIS organisation? Let Us Help
If you would like to know more about how a software like Brevity can simplfy creating service agreements and help meet your unique needs as an NDIS provider, click on this link to begin your journey with Brevity.
Originally published Dec 26 2021
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Frequently Asked Questions
It is the way you work towards meeting the short- and long-term goals of your NDIS plan. It is a written agreement between a participant and an NDIS service provider about what supports and services will be delivered in line with the NDIS plan.
Generally speaking, no. In fact, a written agreement is only required if you are accessing Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) as part of your NDIS plan. Otherwise, it is not mandated that NDIS participants have a written service agreement with their providers.
The best way to begin writing a service agreement is to use an excellent template experts such as Brevity Care Software provide on their website. That way, you can ensure all the required details are included.
The NDIS agreement outlines what supports will be delivered and when. It should also state how much the provision of the supports will cost.