There are many reasons why we may consider changing NDIS providers. These reasons could range from having a different goal from when you first started out to being unhappy with the provider you currently have. As we continue to grow and learn new things about ourselves and our goals, change is inevitable as we transition into different phases of our lives. If this were to happen, you are most definitely allowed to switch between NDIS-approved providers.
There are several practical considerations required when potentially changing NDIS providers such as
- Tracking the progress of your journey so far
- Make a checklist of your next provider and what you would prefer
- Immediate circumstances
Steps to Keep in Mind
Whatever the reason, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you make the big switch. Below are several steps for a smooth transition in changing NDIS providers.
1. Communicating Thoughts with Current Service Provider
An ideal situation would be a smooth change that prevents any future disruption or conflict between the two parties. It would be ideal to tell the current service provider why you are leaving so that they are aware of your decision. You could tell them your specific issues, and inform that that you do not feel as supported as you would like. They should be capable of listening to all your concerns. Perhaps you would like to draft out reasoning with someone close to you before communicating with the NDIS service provider. If your concerns are not addressed or understood, then you can move on with the next few steps.
2. Go Over the Terms and Conditions of Your Service Agreement
Hopefully, there will be a pre-existing service agreement that lists out important details of your prior relationship. Essentially, it is just a contract with what you are entitled to, and what you have agreed upon with your provider. This should include:
- Final reports or documentation regarding progress, goals, etc.
- The period of notice required to be provided to the provider before terminating their service
- How will you notify them of their termination? I.e. Via a phone call or written out so that it is in black and white
- Canceling the service bookings via the NDIS portals. Some of these are slower so you can alternatively call up the NDIA and request them to terminate the service booking
- There may be booking fees for terminating the agreement early
It is extremely important that this is all checked so that there are no unwanted surprises as you are ending the agreement.
3. Ending the Service Agreement
Once all of the above is complete and you are confident in your terms and conditions, you can finalise the termination of the service agreement.
4. Rethink and Confirm Your Current Situation
Before moving onto a new service provider relationship right away, try and make a checklist of all the things that you would like to see and know before agreeing to any of them. For example, this can include elements like:
- How much do these services cost
- The types of services they offer, and if these align with what you require on a daily/weekly/monthly etc. basis
- How much input do you have in who is working with you?
- What is the standard of the customer service team. I.e. if you have a complaint, how will this be resolved?
- The level of communication with you – phone call, travelling to them, travelling to you, etc.
- How this support fits into your NDIS plan budget
5. Get Into Contact with New NDIS Service Partners
Don’t be too keen and jump into something that you are not entirely certain of, as this mistake is very common. There are a few rules of thumb that can help you assess the legitimacy and quality of the service provider.
Reviews from clients who have been in the exact same position as you are handy when making your decision. You can understand their experience first hand and see if there were any negative aspects.
Registered providers are legitimate and will do their best to provide you with the assistance you need. Be wary of fake and unregistered providers, which can often be noticed with the lack of an NDIS approved sign somewhere. If in doubt, call or email them to double check before going ahead.
Professional help is objective and straight to the point, and they have extensive knowledge within the industry as well. They may be able to provide recommendations tailored to your requirements and guide you every step of the way.
- Contact providers before signing any service agreement
You may have a whole list of providers that you are willing to try out. Make sure that you gather a list of serious questions that you have so that you can determine if they are right for you.
Changing NDIS Providers Can Be Scary, But…
It doesn’t have to be! There will be people there for you every step of the way, to ensure the transition goes smoothly. Remember, your satisfaction is the most important when it comes to NDIS providers.