Pathway reform - what's happening in 2019

Pathways program

The participant pathway is the way each person:

  • first learns about the NDIS
  • finds out if the NDIS is right for them 
  • builds a plan to support the achievement of their goals
  • uses their plan to improve their lives.

Providers have a pathway too. The provider pathway supports people that deliver disability services to:

  • learn about the NDIS
  • register as a new disability service provider
  • connect with and support participants to achieve their outcomes
  • help them get paid through the NDIS portal.

We are working hard to improve the experience of participants and providers and how we work together. 

To help you understand what is changing, when it is changing and how it might make your life easier, we have included the 2019 changes in the Pathways program update as of June 2019 (PDF 138KB)

We have created three ways to better support people with a disability, their families and carers, providing a more consistent experience for participants. 

  • Pathways: the end-to-end experience of a participant when working with the NDIS. 
  • Service streams: targeted support for participants to provide an experience that is more suited to their specific disability needs. 
  • Service enhancements: delivering services to people from different backgrounds or areas that meet their communication and engagement needs.

Roll out across Australia

The NDIA will roll out these changes across the country in different ways. 

For some improvements, we will roll out the changes everywhere at the same time. For others, we may roll them out area-by-area or state-by-state. Sometimes, we will test new ideas in a single location before looking at the results and deciding what to do next.

New NDIS pathway

We are improving the way we support you to develop and use your plan. Our new approach includes providing you with face-to-face planning and plan implementation meetings; providing you with a consistent NDIS point of contact; implementing processes to ensure your Local Area Coordinator and your planner discuss your plan before and after your plan has been finalised; upskilling both Local Area Coordinators and planners to ensure they can support a high quality planning experience for you, your families and carers.

How will the change benefit me?

These changes will improve both your experience with NDIS staff and the outcomes you are able to achieve. By providing you with face-to-face meetings and a single point of contact within the NDIS, you won't have to tell your story multiple times and you will know who you can contact if you have any questions.

Meetings between your Local Area Coordinator (LAC) and planner before your plan is reviewed will support the planner to better understand your circumstances and why you have requested the supports in your plan. A meeting between you and your LAC once your plan has been approved will allow the LAC to explain the reasonable and necessary decisions that have been made, including a discussion with you about other support options that may be available through community and other government services.

Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) pathway

We are making three changes to the ECEI pathway in the first part of 2019. We have provided your Early Childhood Partner with a new prioritisation framework to make sure those most in need get services first and have released an ECEI booklet for parents and carers so you will know how the system works and what you should expect from your Early Childhood Partner. Lastly, we are appointing ECEI practice leads to build early childhood intervention capability across our workforce. 

How will the change benefit me?

These changes have been designed to support parents and carers to better understand the ECEI pathway approach and support the NDIS to deliver an evidence-based, best practice early childhood intervention service. This way, children with a developmental delay and/or disability can take up opportunities in their natural environment, practicing the skills they need to participate in everyday life. 

Complex support needs pathway

Some of you have personal and situational factors that impact on your ability to engage with the NDIS. To better support people in these situations, we are implementing a complex support needs pathway. The complex support needs pathway will include staff with the experience to support participants, work with other government services, and guide and drive workforce development.

It is important that we get the complex support needs pathway right. As such, we will progressively roll out this new approach, learning and adapting it as it spreads across the country.

How will the change benefit me?

If you receive support as part of the complex support needs pathway, you may receive more targeted support as you transition from state and/or commonwealth service; you might receive more targeted support as you develop your plan; and you might be linked to an experienced support coordinator who will help you to work out the best way to use your plan—including linking participants with the supports they need, monitoring the use of your plan, supporting you with your plan review and responding to issues as they are identified.

Psychosocial disability service stream

We are upskilling our workforce to better understand severe and persistent mental health conditions, what we call psychosocial disability. We are also making available new resources for participants, partners, service providers, and other government services to support access to the NDIS and active participation in the planning process.

How will the change benefit me?

The new resources will support you to better understand the NDIS, what you need to do to seek access to the NDIS and how your experience will be supported by a highly skilled, knowledgeable NDIS workforce.

Hearing service stream

We continue to work with Australian Hearing to improve access to the NDIS for children from birth to 6 years old. 

We are also working with Australian Hearing to move people from current hearing services and supports to the NDIS (where this is appropriate). If you are not eligible for the NDIS, we will help you to access other government or community services. 

How will the change benefit me?

Parents and carers will be able to access the supports their child needs to avoid the risk of developmental delay.

Service enhancements

We are making a number of changes to our approach so that participants from a variety of backgrounds receive a service tailored to their requirements. This includes Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and LGBTIQA+ communities. Changes include:

  • Interpreting services: If you speak a language other than English, staff can connect you to interpreting resources and services when working with the NDIA.
  • Training staff: Our staff are training to better understand you and your disability needs including Contemporary disability in Australia and cultural awareness. 
  • Extended Community Connectors: We understand that people in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities need to receive services in different ways. Community connectors are trusted local people that connect local communities with the NDIS.

How will the change benefit me?

If you prefer to speak in a language other than English when meeting with your service providers, the new resources will assist you to get the interpreter support you need.

Online improvements for all participants

To provide you with high quality customer service it is important that we have business systems and processes that are fit for purpose. 

We are making a number of changes to our business system and processes to make your plan easier to understand, make it easier for your plan to be adjusted, and make it easier for you to get the assistive technology and home modifications you need.

Assistive technology

Changes to NDIA systems will make it easier to access assistive technology, such as adjustable chairs, vision aids, prosthetics, bathing devices or mobility items.

Quotes are not required for assistive technology items under $1,500.

We will make it easier to replace assistive technology and reduce replacement wait times.

Home modifications

We will make it easier for you to make adjustments to your home so you can increase your independence. We will make changes to our systems to ensure it is easier to arrange home modifications.

Participant portal upgrades

The NDIA myplace system will be reviewed to:

  • Remove any barriers, and make it easier for participants to use the online services provided by the NDIA, regardless of age or disability.
  • Use additional online functions to support participants while using myplace.

The myplace system will continue to be improved to:

  • Make it easier for participants to access and understand NDIS plans.
  • Make it easier for participants to understand NDIS funding and costs in NDIS plans.

Provider pathway

Providers of disability services are critical to the success of the NDIS. We need a strong and vibrant provider market that contributes to improving outcomes for participants. As part of the new provider pathway, the NDIA will provide better information and insights to support business decisions and make it easier for providers to interact with the NDIS and connect with participants. This includes both system and service improvements.

This page current as of
18 June 2019