If you or your loved one is an NDIS participant, you must have spent hours crawling through the Internet-researching service providers and finding the right one for you. Finding a competent provider is the first step in ensuring you get the best support and services that help you live more independently & form meaningful relationships within your community.
In your search for an NDIS provider, you must have come across terms like registered and unregistered providers. Have you ever wondered what sets the two apart and which one of the two you should choose? Well, here is a comprehensive guide that will help you understand the difference between the two types of providers and help you choose the right one for your requirements.
What is an Unregistered NDIS Service Provider?
The first thing you must remember when you come across an unregistered NDIS provider is their lack of registration with the NDIS does not make them unsuitable for the job. For instance, if it is a supported living accommodation provider, it must have all the credentials and the licensing required to run its operations, whether registered with the NDIS or not.
What Does “Unregistered” Mean In the Case of NDIS Providers?
Many service providers register with the NDIS, which requires them to undergo a stringent audit procedure to prove that they meet the strict safety and quality standards specified in the NDIS Quality and Safety Commission. However, any disability support worker or provider currently not registered with the NDIS is an unregistered service provider.
Registering is a lengthy and costly process. And hence many organisations, especially smaller ones, choose not to register themselves. The main difference between an unregistered and registered service provider is that while the latter’s services get inspected, audited and approved by a government agency, the former has chosen not to opt for it.
Unregistered vs Registered NDIS Providers
Unregistered providers can be just as professional and caring as the registered ones. They might also exceed the standards set by the NDIS. However, registered providers offer certain perks that unregistered ones cannot, such as the ones listed below.
- Registered providers are also eligible to provide plan management services for participants.
- They meet the strict safety and quality standards set by the NDIA.
- Their registration makes them more trustworthy and credible.
- They are answerable to the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) in case of any discrepancy.
The question that arises is which one is a better option? A comparative analysis shows that both registered as well as unregistered providers have their own share of pros and cons.
Registered Service Providers
- They meet the guidelines set by the NDIA.
- The NDIS recognises them as service providers who meet a certain standard.
- It is hassle-free since the invoices are sent to your NDIS portal directly.
- They are eligible to provide certain services that unregistered providers are not.
- They must abide by the price caps set by the NDIA.
- The NDIA can prosecute and even penalise them in case of any discrepancy.
- These services are often more expensive than unregistered ones.
- It involves a lot of paperwork.
- Your choices are limited to a select few service providers.
- It could be an inconvenience if the registered providers don’t offer their services in your region or if the ones in your area have reached capacity.
- They offer more competitive pricing since no licensing or auditing fee is involved.
- Hiring them involves very little paperwork.
- You have access to a broader network of service providers.
- They offer more flexibility in terms of the services provided.
- Often they provide services at par or even better than registered providers to maintain their reputation.
- The service providers have to work harder to establish their reputation.
- They do not fall under the NDIA’s radar. Therefore, their legal liabilities, in case of discrepancies, are less.
- Unregistered providers, unlike registered ones, are ineligible to provide services like plan management.
Who Can Work with Unregistered Service Providers?
Despite the perks offered, the question might arise if participants can still work with unregistered providers. It could be because of their accessibility, availability or the comfort they offer their clients. But whether you can hire unregistered providers or not depends entirely on how your NDIS plan gets managed.
Depending on who or who else oversees your NDIS funds, the following table enlists your eligibility for the types of services one gets there.
|Who handles your NDIS funding?||Type of service you can hire|
|Self-managed (i.e., you manage it yourself)||Both registered and unregistered providers|
|A plan manager (registered NDIS provider)||Both registered and unregistered providers|
|The NDIA||Only registered providers|
Find Trusted NDIS Providers for You
Finding a trusted NDIS provider for yourself or your loved one is challenging. There is a lot of research, and you encounter various confusing terms. And we hope we have helped you tackle at least one such aspect with this guide.
My Link Assist is a registered NDIS provider providing support, guidance, and care to NDIS participants in Melbourne, Geelong, Bayside, Latrobe, Ballarat, Casey and Hume areas. We believe in respecting the dignity and individuality of all our clients. We understand that every individual has specific needs, and we are committed to providing our clients with services tailored to suit their requirements.At My Link Assist, our team of experienced caregivers and service providers provide NDIS participants with holistic care, guidance and support to help our clients achieve their goals and live enriched lives. Find the best care for you or your loved ones or enquire more about the services we offer. Connect with us so we can help you as well.
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