Differences between Unregistered vs. Registered NDIS Providers

ndis ndis registration Aug 03, 2023

Have you ever thought about what the difference between unregistered and registered NDIS providers are? Ever wondered if there are any benefits in becoming a registered NDIS provider? We will break down the differences, and whether becoming registered will be beneficial for you. 


For unregistered care providers, venturing into the world of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) can be both exciting and overwhelming. As you think about possibly taking the leap into becoming a registered NDIS provider, it is crucial to understand the key differences between registered and unregistered providers. This post aims to demystify the process and shed light on the benefits of becoming a registered NDIS provider while addressing concerns that often arise when considering this transition.


Let's go through the question, What is the NDIS?

The NDIS is the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia, and is designed to provide essential support and services to people living with disabilities, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives and achieve their goals. 


What different types of NDIS participants are there?

Before we go further, it is important to know the differences between the three different types of NDIS participants, since your access to which participants you can provide services to will be depending on your registration. The three types are:

  1. Self-managed: The NDIA provides the participant with funding so they can access the supports that will best help them pursue their goals. 
  2. Plan-managed: The NDIA will provide funding in the participants plan to pay for a Plan Manager who pays their providers for them, helps them keep track of funds and takes care of financial reporting for participants.
  3. NDIA-managed: The NDIA pays the participants providers on their behalf.


Unregistered Provider Do's and Don'ts 

As an unregistered NDIS provider, you operate independently of the NDIS Commission and the formal registration process. While this approach offers certain advantages, such as:

  • Flexibility in Service Delivery: Unregistered providers have the flexibility to offer customised services and negotiate individual agreements with participants. This flexibility can be appealing to certain participants seeking personalised support.

It also presents some challenges, such as:

  • You are only able to provide services to participants who are self-managed or plan-managed
  • As an unregistered provider, you may not be able to offer certain specialised services. These include Specialist disability accommodation, the use of regulated restrictive practices, conducting behaviour support assessments and formulating behaviour support plans.



Is becoming a registered provider beneficial?

A registered NDIS provider is an organisation or individual that has successfully undergone the NDIS registration process with the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission). Becoming registered offers several significant advantages: 

  1. Being a registered provider helps build confidence in participants and their families, demonstrating your commitment to meeting high-quality standards and adhering to NDIS guidelines. 
  2. Registered providers are listed on the official NDIS provider list, making it easier for potential participants to find and engage with your services. This increased visibility can lead to greater opportunities for growth and expansion.
  3. Registered providers can claim payments directly from the NDIA, streamlining the payment process and ensuring you are promptly reimbursed for the services you provide. 
  1. NDIS registration involves meeting strict compliance standards and undergoing regular audits, which ultimately leads to improved service delivery and accountability.
  2. You will also be able to provide services to participants who are NDIA managed.

Taking on the audit process during registration can be tough, as your compliance to the NDIS Management Systems will be checked. However, this process serves as a safeguard, ensuring the protection of your business and the well-being of your clients simultaneously.

Embracing registration can elevate your organisation's credibility, inspire trust in participants, and unlock new opportunities for growth. However, each provider's journey is unique, and it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making this significant decision. By understanding the differences between registered and unregistered providers, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your organisation's values and long-term goals in the NDIS market. 



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