I will be the first to admit that it took me a long time to get around to looking at the NDIS Operational Guidelines. They appeared to me at first to be needlessly long documents, impossible to navigate and likely full of high level non-information. I am very happy to tell you now that I was wrong.
For those of you don't know what I'm talking about, the NDIS Operational Guidelines set out a whole stack of operational information relating to the NDIS. They are not legislation (though they should be based on the NDIS Act) and are periodically updated and review. There are currently eleven operational guidelines:
- Overview of the NDIS
- Access to the NDIS
- Including Specific Types of Supports in Plans
- Specialist Disability Accommodation
- Child Representatives
- Registered Providers
- Information Handling
- Review of Decisions
Under each of these guidelines lie the answers to the questions we most commonly get from providers: What is the process for lodging a plan review? How soon does the planner have to get back to me? How should the planner be deciding what is reasonable and necessary? Which supports are the responsibility of the Health Department vs NDIS in mental health?
Taking just one of these questions into more detail, we have outlined the criteria for reasonable and necessary as stated in the NDIS Act in an earlier article but the Operational Guideline relating to Planning (section 10) takes each of the criteria of the legislation and looks at the detail behind them. For example, section 10.6 outlines the types of evidence the Agency will consider in deciding whether a support is likely to be effective:
- published and refereed literature and any consensus of expert opinion (rule 3.2(a) of the Supports for Participants Rules);
- the lived experience of the participant or their carers (rule 3.2(b) of the Supports for Participants Rules); or
- anything the NDIA has learnt through delivery of the NDIS (rule 3.2(c) of the Supports for Participants Rules).
This information is invaluable for providers looking to support participants to advocate for their supports on the basis of them being reasonable and necessary.
We don't necessarily recommend all providers read through the Operational Guidelines. They are, after all, very detailed. But all providers would do themselves and their participants a great service by spending some time familiarising themselves with the types of information available within them, so that when the need arises they are able to access and make the most of the detail within them.
Evie is an all rounder, a content guru, an NDIS nerd and DSC pinch hitter. She holds both a Masters degree in Sustainable Development from HEC Paris and a Media Communications degree from the University of Melbourne. Evie has been at DSC since the start and is the engine room of our content driven marketing success. She is an outstanding writer, presenter and digital service developer.
Early in her career, Evie worked on cutting edge Human Centred Design service development strategies for Procter & Gamble in Kenya and Brazil. Evie is an expert in NDIS detail, working with organisations around Australia at all stages of the NDIS journey. She has been influential in building the sector's understanding of NDIS Support Coordination, and is well known for her unique love of sharks and the NDIS Price Guide.
Sara profiles Enhanced Lifestyles, an SA-based organisation who took out our 2017 Award for Pioneering Organisational Adaptation.
The more you engage the experts - people with disability - in your service design, the more your services will reflect desires and aspirations of your customers. This handy co-design toolkit includes foundation principles, practical examples and engagement strategies.
Sara Gingold profiles The Art of Human Connection, a standout program for NDIS staff engagement that is an exemplary model for the sector.
In the first of our series profiling exceptional organisations, Sara Gingold details a a strategic and segmented approach to NDIS staff education.
The NDIS Operational Guidelines are not half as hard to read as they may appear and are fantastic sources of practical information, writes Evie Naufal.
Did you know that 80% of the NDIS workforce are women? Or only 3/4 of allocated NDIS funds are spent? In this fun interactive Q&A, Sara Gingold picks out 20 great nuggets of NDIS insight.
Vanessa and Roland take stock of where we are at with the NDIS and offer some inspiration for planning your organisation's journey...
2 years after his viral article A Rabbit in the NDIS Headlights, Roland explores what we are still seeing go wrong in the sector and what can be done.
Strong pre-planning is essential for getting the best possible outcomes from the NDIS. Faye Lawrence explores how offering pre-planning services can benefit both you and your customers.
After 3.5 years of NDIS transition, Rob Woolley looks back on what he would have done differently if he had his time again.