Outcomes Framework Pilot Study: Summary Report

A key aim of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is to assist people with disability to live “an ordinary life”. That is to fully realise their potential, to participate in and contribute to society, and to have a say in their own future – just as other members of Australian society do. The Scheme also involves families and carers, respecting their role whilst supporting them to achieve their goals by providing certainty of support for people with disability. These aims are embedded in the Scheme's legislation. The National Disability Insurance Agency is responsible for measuring and reporting on the Scheme's success against these aims.

What is the NDIS outcomes framework?

The Agency has developed an outcomes framework to measure the medium and long-term benefits of the NDIS for participants and their families.

The Agency will collect information from participants and families and carers on how they are progressing in different areas of their lives.

The Framework will allow tracking of participant and Scheme progress over time, and demonstrate how participants are faring relative to other Australians and other OECD countries.

It will also contribute to an understanding of what types of supports lead to good outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers.

Development of the outcomes framework

Development of the framework was guided by some basic principles, including that the indicators should be meaningful, informative, and feasible to collect and report.

A comprehensive review of other national and international frameworks was undertaken, together with an extensive consultation and co-design process that involved people with disability, members of the Independent Advisory Council (IAC) and CEO forum (CEOs of major providers, peak bodies and advocacy groups), disability researchers, experts working with specific cohorts (such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities), and intellectual disability experts.

Following this review and consultation, questionnaires were developed and piloted with a sample of NDIS participants, families and carers.

Almost 400 interviews were conducted during the pilot study, and the information collected was used to refine the questionnaires and inform implementation strategies.

Questionnaire domains

Building on research commissioned by the IAC, the outcomes framework adopts a lifespan approach to measuring outcomes, recognising that different outcomes will be important at different stages of life.

The questionnaires for adult participants collect information about eight domains or areas of life: choice and control, daily living activities, relationships, home, health and wellbeing, lifelong learning, work, and social, community and civic participation.

Pilot study: key results1

The graphs below detail key results from the 25 to 55 year group analysis. The graphs summarise responses to the final question from each domain. For example, for the adult “Choice and Control” domain, the final question was “Has the NDIS helped you have more choices and more control over your life?” Possible responses were “It's my first plan”, “Yes” or “No”. Since the NDIS would not have had a real opportunity to help participants in their first plan, results show the percentage of respondents who thought the NDIS had helped, after excluding those who said they were in their first plan.

Participants aged 25 to 55

Responses to this question were most positive for Domain 1 (choice and control), where 76% thought the NDIS had helped, followed by Domain 2 (daily living) and Domain 5 (health and wellbeing).

Family members of participants aged 25 and over

Responses to this question were most positive for Domain 1 (support to care), followed by Domain 3 (families are able to access services).
A full report has been prepared detailing analysis of the responses to each question in the outcomes framework questionnaires.


  1. The analysis is based on relatively small sample sizes, particularly for some questionnaire versions, and should therefore be viewed as exploratory in nature.