Service Agreements in the spotlight
The NDIS scheme is being progressively implemented across Australia, and will be fully rolled out by July 2019. For the Participants and Families that have already received their NDIS plan, the following information may be useful if you are about to negotiate a Service Agreement.
Identify a Service provider, or if you are satisfied with your supports you can ask DJ Health Services/ACCnet21 to make a Service Agreement with you as your chosen Plan Management Provider.
Remember there are other ways that you can have more choice in the services you want!
When you are developing a Service Agreement with a provider, take a copy of your NDIS plan to help guide the discussion.
Things that can be specified in a Service Agreement include (but not limited to):
- The supports that will be provided
- The cost of those supports
- How, when, and where the participant requires the supports to be delivered
- How long the participant requires the supports to be provided
- When and how the Service Agreement will be reviewed
- How the participant and provider will deal with any problems or questions that may arise
- What the participant’s responsibilities are under the Service Agreement—for example, how much notice the participant must give to the provider if they cannot attend an appointment
- What the provider’s responsibilities are under the Service Agreement—for example, to work with the participant to provide supports that suit their needs and how the agreed supports will be provided
- What notice is needed for the participant or provider to change or end the Service Agreement and how this is done—for example, by email or mail.
Please contact us if you require additional assistance and support, as we provide the following:
- We hold regular NDIS information forums for people with a disability, families and carers – check our events page to see when sessions are being held.
- We are able to offer one-on-one pre-planning sessions to current customers to assist them in preparing for their first meeting with their NDIA planner.
- We are able to support you during your NDIA planning meeting, if you would like assistance. Decisions about your support plan and your NDIS funding package, however remain yours to make with your NDIA planner.
A checklist to assist you in negotiating your service agreement:
- Know exactly the limits of your organisation’s capabilities, services (features and benefits), resources (capacities)
- Know and respect the legal rights under the NDIS Act
- Understand any Policies & Procedures of the Provider
- Take notes and negotiate time frames
- Plan for alternative outcomes if you can’t reach agreement in the first meeting
- List/prioritise the needs/wants/issues which are important to both parties
- Check for mutual understanding – use examples – clarify issues not clear about – use open questions: what, why, how, when, where and who
- Keep calm and summarise points of agreement achieved
- Use verbal and non-verbal communication/persuasion skills – open, encouraging signals (“I understand what you are saying”) – positive body language; not defensive or closed
- Know if/when able to compromise – distinguish between needs and wants
- Use common-sense judgement – come to an agreement and explain next steps.
Regards, Kim Croft ACCnet21