Independent Assessment Pilot (IAP)

What is the IAP? | Who is eligible for the IAP? | How will the IAP work? | When is the IAP taking place? | Where is the IAP taking place? | What is the IAP process? | Why should I participate in the IAP? | How can I get involved? | Downloadable resources | Find out more

The NDIA has launched a pilot which will use independent health professionals with experience in disability to undertake functional assessments, so that participants are able to access and use appropriate supports through the NDIS.

Formed as part of the improvements being made to the NDIS Participant Pathway, the pilot will help build a fair, consistent and reliable Scheme that delivers the best outcomes for individuals, now and into the future.

This pilot will introduce a functional impact assessment with an independent assessor using standardised assessment tools that help determine the impact a person's disability has on their capacity to engage in the community, work place, and social activities.

The pilot will be voluntary, free of charge, and available to people who have already applied to the NDIS and are awaiting an access decision, and for people who already have their access confirmed and are awaiting a plan.

Analysis by the NDIA shows access and planning decisions have been variable for participants with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and psychosocial disability. The pilot will focus on understanding the functional impact of these disabilities to make sure participants are able to access the right supports.

Participants in the pilot, which will be run in areas of New South Wales for people aged seven years and older, will have the chance to provide feedback about the experience and shape future improvements to the NDIS access and planning process.

This feedback and information gathered through the pilot will support the NDIA in improving the consistency, accuracy and reliability of Agency decision-making, and help deliver improved and more consistent access decisions and plans.

The pilot will run from November 2018 – February 2019.

Any future improvements to the access and planning process will only be undertaken after further consultation with people with disability, their families, the sector and providers.

Any person who is eligible for the NDIS will receive the reasonable and necessary supports they need.

What is the Independent Assessment Pilot?

The Independent Assessment Pilot is a voluntary assessment process for people with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability and psychosocial disability who are seeking access to the NDIS, or who are eligible for the NDIS and are developing their NDIS plans.

Individuals who opt-in to the pilot will follow the same application or planning process as everyone else, except there will be a functional impact assessment to assess and understand the impact of the participant's disability on their daily life delivered by a qualified professional from The Benevolent Society.

The independent assessors will use standardised functional assessment tools to deliver expert, consistent and fair assessments. The outcomes of the assessment will help inform pilot participants' access and planning decisions.

In line with recommendations made in the Productivity Commission's Disability and Care Inquiry Report 2011, the pilot draws on the skills and expertise of qualified health professionals to deliver the assessments. 

Who is eligible for the pilot?

The pilot is voluntary and is free of charge. Individuals who meet the following criteria may be invited to participate:

  • People who have applied for the NDIS but have not yet been assessed for eligibility, OR, who have applied for the NDIS and have had an 'access met' decision but do not yet have a plan.
  • People aged 7 – 64 years.
  • People who have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability or psychosocial disability.
  • People who live near a local NDIS office in one of the following New South Wales locations: Gosford, Parramatta, Chatswood, Blacktown, Hurstville, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Penrith.

How will the pilot work?

If you opt-in to the pilot, you will undertake the same application or planning process as everyone else, except there will be an independent functional impact assessment delivered by a qualified professional from The Benevolent Society.

The functional impact assessment will include one or more of the PEDI-CAT, Vineland-3 and LSP-16 assessment methods, depending on diagnosis.

The outcome of each assessment will be provided securely to the NDIA, and depending on what stage you are at in the participant pathway, contribute towards the progress of your planning or access decision.

When is the Independent Assessment Pilot taking place?

The IAP is being trialled between November 2018 and February 2019.

Where is the Independent Assessment Pilot taking place?

The IAP is being trialled in New South Wales only. People who live near the following NDIA offices may be invited to take part in the pilot:

    • Gosford
    • Parramatta
    • Chatswood
    • Blacktown
    • Hurstville
    • Campbelltown
    • Liverpool
    • Penrith

What is the Independent Assessment Pilot process?

Pilot participants will complete the steps all participants are required to take when applying for access to, or creating a plan with, the NDIS, except that the participant's parent/legal guardian or representative will undergo the additional voluntary assessment.

  • The pilot process:
  • Those that volunteer for the pilot will be connected with an independent assessor from The Benevolent Society to schedule an assessment appointment.
  • The independent assessor will undertake an assessment of the functional ability of the participant using one or a combination of PEDI-CAT, Vineland-3 and LSP-16 assessment tools.
  • The outcomes of each assessment will be shared with the NDIA to inform access and planning decisions.
  • Healthcare professionals from The Benevolent Society, who have longstanding experience and expertise in disability, will undertake all pilot assessments.
  • Functional impact assessments are just one piece in a collection of supporting evidence that the NDIA considers when making its decisions.

Why should I participate in the pilot?

Feedback on the pilot from parents, legal guardians, representatives and participants will be instrumental in shaping how the NDIS supports people with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability and psychosocial disability in the future. There will be opportunities throughout the process for open discussion and feedback in the form of opt-in surveys and focus groups, giving those who participate in the pilot the chance to shape any future improvements to the NDIS access and planning process.

IAP assessments are offered free of charge and will support your application for the NDIS, and help determine the supports that are included in your plan.

Standardised assessment tools will capture consistent information to ensure you get a fair access decision or plan outcome.

Information gathered from the pilot will help the NDIA to understand how it can better support people with autism spectrum disorder, psychosocial disability and intellectual disability now and in the future.

How can I get involved?

If you are eligible and would like to take part in this pilot, please email us: assessments@ndis.gov.au

Downloadable resources

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Frequently asked questions