Planning

7. The participant’s statement of goals and aspirations

A participant’s plan must include the participant's statement of goals and aspirations prepared by the participant that specifies:

  • the goals, objectives and aspirations of the participant (section 33(1)(a)); and
  • the environmental and personal context of the participant's living, including the participant's:
    1. living arrangements (section 33(1)(b)(i));
    2. informal community supports and other community supports (section 33(1)(b)(ii)); and
    3. social and economic participation (section 33(1)(b)(iii)).

7.1 What is the importance of the participant’s statement of goals and aspirations?

The participant’s statement of goals and aspirations (also known as the participant’s statement) is the important first step in preparing the participant’s plan.

The participant’s statement of goals and aspirations is critical to the development of a successful statement of participant supports.

Firstly, the NDIS Act states that the NDIA must have regard to a participant’s statement of goals and aspirations when deciding to include supports in a participant’s plan(section 33(5)(a)).

Secondly, before including any support in a participant’s plan, the NDIA must also be satisfied that the support will assist the participant to pursue the goals, objectives and aspirations included in the participant’s statement of goals and aspirations (section 34(1)(a)).

Therefore, the link between participant’s statement of goals and aspirations and the statement of participant supports is explicit, and ensures that the participant’s statement provides the important foundation for the subsequent selection of supports.

7.2 Does a participant’s statement of goals and aspirations need to be in writing?

A participant’s statement of goals and aspirations does not need to be in writing and can be in any form the participant wishes (section 33(8)).

If a participant provides a statement that is not in writing, but in some other form, for example an oral statement developed during the planning and assessment conversation, the NDIA will record the statement in writing on behalf of the participant (section 33(8)).

The NDIA will then ask the participant to confirm that their statement, as recorded in writing, is a true and accurate reflection of their goals and aspirations.

7.3 Who prepares the participant’s statement of goals and aspirations?

To maximise choice and control, the participant’s statement of goals and aspirations is to be prepared by the participant (section 33(1)).

The statement is to be prepared by the participant (with or without support) to the fullest extent possible having regard to the participant’s preferences.

If a participant has an existing statement of goals and aspirations that includes the relevant information required under the NDIS Act, this statement can be used for the purposes of the NDIS.

If a participant wishes, the NDIA can assist the participant to prepare their statement of goals and aspirations. Participants may also wish to seek informal support from family or friends.

7.4 Supporting participants to prepare their statement of goals and aspirations

To support people with disability to exercise choice and control in pursuit of their goals, the NDIA may provide support and assistance (including financial assistance) to participants in relation to doing things or meeting obligations under, or for the purposes of, the NDIS Act (section 6).

If a participant wishes, the NDIA will provide support and assistance to help them prepare their statement of goals and aspirations. This can include arranging support from a Local Area Coordinator, NDIA planner or other resource.

Where a participant requires significant support the NDIA may purchase that assistance from an external service provider.

7.5 The goals, objectives and aspirations of the participant

A participant’s statement of goals and aspirations must identify the personal goals, objectives and aspirations a participant wishes to pursue (section 33(1)(a)).

The NDIA will adopt a strengths based approach in supporting a participant to identify their goals, objectives and aspirations. Strengths based approaches focus on untapped gifts, positive attributes and underdeveloped capabilities which can direct a participant’s potential for positive functioning. The decision on how far to pursue these ideals remains with the participant.

7.6 The environmental and personal context of the participant

A participant’s statement of goals and aspirations must identify the environmental and personal context of the participant’s living, including the participant’s living arrangements, informal and other community supports and social and economic participation (section 33(1)(b)).

The environmental and personal context of the participant plays a vital role in how they live their life and will help inform their goals and aspirations. The participant’s statement of goals and aspirations should tell the participant’s unique story providing a comprehensive picture of their life circumstances, future goals and aspirations and existing supports, including informal and mainstream supports.

Informal supports are supports that are provided by carers, family or friends. The NDIA recognises the vital role informal supports play in supporting people with disability, including NDIS participants.

Mainstream and community supports are available to all members of the Australian community regardless of whether they have a disability or not. For example, supports provided or funded through the health, education or transport systems.

Informal and mainstream supports are critical to the financial sustainability of the NDIS, and the NDIS is intended to complement, not replace these supports.