Registered vs Unregistered NDIS providers: What it Means For Your Funding

March 21, 2023

If you’re looking for providers of disability services and products, you’ve probably come across the terms “registered vs unregistered NDIS providers”.   

It’s important to understand what these terms mean because, depending on how your NDIS plan is managed, you may be limited in your choice of providers. 

The good news is, opting for plan management gives you all the choice and flexibility without the stress and admin work. Let’s break it down. 

Registered provider standards 

To earn NDIS registration, the provider must meet strict criteria around quality and experience, and must follow the NDIS Pricing Arrangements

NDIS-registered providers must pass regular audits to keep their registration.  

It’s a time-consuming and expensive process, so depending on the service, some smaller providers may choose not to go through it. 

Registered provider services  

Some services can only come from NDIS-registered providers, such as: 

  • SDA (Specialist Disability Accommodation) 
  • SIL (Supported Independent Living) 
  • Plan Management 
  • Any services that involve behaviour support, behaviour management plans or restrictive practices. 

There is a perception that NDIS-registered providers are more trustworthy, and it’s certainly true that they must maintain high standards to keep their registration. However, it does not necessarily translate that all un-registered providers are poor quality. 

Unregistered provider services 

Unregistered providers can still offer a range of other products and services. They must adhere to the NDIS Code of Conduct

There are many other everyday services you may like to access from unregistered providers, such as: 

  • House cleaners 
  • Gardeners 
  • Providers of consumables 
  • Allied health services: physiotherapist, occupational therapist etc.  

How registration status impacts your choices 

If you are agency-managed, you cannot pay unregistered providers with your NDIS funds. The NDIA only pays invoices from registered providers. This means you may not be able to access the products, services or allied health providers that you want.  

If you are self-managed, you are free to choose from registered and unregistered providers. But there are some things to be aware of when working with unregistered providers: 

  • Unregistered providers aren’t compelled to abide by the NDIS pricing guidelines. This could leave you out of pocket for some services, or it could mean your budget doesn’t stretch as far as you need it to. 
  • Using unregistered providers if you’re self-managed can mean more administrative work for you, as providers send their invoices to you and you have to manually claim them back. 

If you are plan-managed, you maintain your choice of providers, whether registered or unregistered, and your plan manager takes care of all the invoices, payments, and record-keeping for you.  

Plan management doesn’t cost you anything. When you choose plan management at your planning meeting or your next plan review, extra NDIS plan management funding is allocated to you. It’s that simple. 

How we can help 

When you partner with Disability Plan Services for plan management, we can also support you with the knowledge of how to negotiate prices with providers, to ensure you’re getting value for money in your budget.   

We have extensive experience in dealing with the NDIS, and we’ll explain your plan to you in a way you understand. We can answer your questions and find solutions for you. 

We like to think of plan management as the best of both worlds: all the choice and control, without the hassle!  

Want to switch to plan management? Contact us today for more information!