A Guide to NDIS Service Agreements

19 Sep 2023

Guides & Articles

When you first start your NDIS journey, you will hear the words “service agreement” a lot. For many people, this is the first time they have needed to put service agreements in place. The NDIS defines a service agreement as:

“An agreement between a participant and their provider that outlines what both parties have agreed to. Service agreements help make sure the participant and provider have the same expectations of what supports will be delivered and how they will be delivered. Making a service agreement is a negotiation between the participant and the provider.”

The NDIA strongly recommends you put service agreements in place with all of your providers, with Specialist Disability Accommodation being the only support that an agreement is required.

NDIS Service agreements serve many functions, with the main one being they make sure you (as the participant) and your provider have the same expectations of what supports they will deliver (as well as the expectations of yourself), how they will be delivered and at what cost. Your agreement lays out what you have both agreed to, so if, on reading your agreement, you aren’t happy with something or it is different to what you discussed, be sure to go back to your provider for clarification before you sign the document.

Service Agreements should be simple and written using the language or type of communication that suits your needs. They can include information such as:
· What supports and services the provider has agreed to provide;
· The prices of those supports and services;
· How, when and where the supports and services are being provided;
· The duration of the Service Agreement and when and how the agreement will be reviewed;
· How the participant or the provider may change or end the Service Agreement;
· How any problems or issues that may arise will be handled;
· Participant responsibilities under the Service Agreement; and
· Provider responsibilities under the Service Agreement.

It is important to remember that service agreements are in place to protect the provider and you, the participant. When you are plan managed with Pathways to Care, your service agreements are saved to your file, so every invoice that comes through is checked against your agreements to ensure your providers are doing the right thing.

If you are unhappy with a provider, you can break your agreement. You do not need to wait for your service agreement to end, but you must give your provider the agreed amount of notice. If you are unhappy with a service but don’t want to move to another provider, speak to them about maybe changing the supports being provided and then adjusting your service agreement.

Service agreements can feel confusing, and having an agreement with every provider can feel overwhelming, but they are a necessity to keep you and your funding safe. Remember your service agreements are agreed upon by BOTH you and your provider. Speak up if you are unhappy, always ask if something doesn’t make sense and keep copies of your agreements so you can refer to them if needed.

If you have any questions about service agreements and how they work, call our friendly team on 1300 467 284. You can also read more about service agreements on the NDIS website here.