Here’s How to Become an NDIS Plan Manager [Full Guide]
How to become an NDIS plan manager:
- Meet qualifications of experience in the field (see below)
- Go through the appropriate training courses
- Stick to NDIS practice standards
- Register as an NDIS provider
- Set up your business legally
- Use the MyPlace portal
Learn all the steps in detail below.
NDIS plan managers liaise between NDIS participants, NDIS providers, and the NDIA to handle the financial aspects of NDIS plans on behalf of participants.
To become an NDIS plan manager, you need to demonstrate experience in the disability care field through certifications, open your business, and operate via a PRODA account.
Plan management is one of the 4 different options an NDIS participant can choose to manage their NDIS funding (in addition to self-managed, agency-managed, or a combination). Participants can request support from a plan manager at any time.
An NDIS plan manager acts as a participant’s personal accountant and an NDIS matters expert. As a financial intermediary, their role is to liaise between participants, providers, and the NDIA to handle the financial aspects of NDIS plans on behalf of participants.
Their daily tasks include helping participants receive invoices, paying their service providers, tracking funding budgets, managing financial reporting for NDIS audits, and claiming funds through the NDIS portal. They can also help their clients improve their financial and plan management skills and teach them how to self-manage their funds.
Another benefit of using a Plan Manager for participants is that they can give them access to a broader choice of providers. Thanks to their Plan Manager, participants are not limited to using vendors registered with the NDIS.
How to Become an NDIS Plan Manager [Step-By-Step Guide]
As the rapidly growing disability support industry is expected to increase by 6,000 jobs by 2024 in Australia, now could be a great time to become an NDIS plan manager. To assist you in reaching your goal, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide:
NDIS Plan Management Training & Requirements
Certifications & Experience
To become an NDIS plan manager, you’ll need to meet at least one of the following membership, qualification, or experience requirements:
- Membership with the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants (ATMA)
- Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
- Association of Certified Bookkeepers (CBK)
- Accountants (ACCA)
- Australia Bookkeepers Association Limited (ABAL)
- CPA Australia (CPA)
- Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)
- Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)
- Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CAANZ) or equivalent
On top of this, you need to comply with the NDIS Practice Standards. Find a full list of qualifications needed for you to become an NDIS plan manager.
NDIS Plan Management Training
Even though you’ve been working in the disability field for years, it might be a good idea to consider following an NDIS plan management-specific training before getting started.
This will help you sharpen your skills and broaden your knowledge while ensuring you can provide the best service to participants later down the track.
If you want to boost your employability or increase your knowledge, you could also seek to obtain certain specifications such as a Certificate in Disability Support.
If you need to train on the technical aspects of the job, you can browse the plan management section of the DSC website.
NDIS Plan Manager Requirements & Obligations
As an NDIS plan manager, you’ll have to adhere to strict industry requirements and fulfill certain obligations. For instance, you’ll have to follow the NDIS Practice Standards and the Code of Conduct. You’ll find more information about industry requirements and service providers’ obligations on the NDIS Commission’s website.
NDIS Provider Registration
If you want to set up your own NDIS plan management business, you’ll need to become a registered NDIS provider. This will enable you to be registered for the plan management of participants’ NDIS plans.
We’ve listed below all the steps you’ll need to complete:
Step #1: Complete your online application form
The application will require you to provide your organisation’s name, corporate structure, and details about your personnel, if applicable. You’ll also be asked to complete a self-assessment against the NDIS Practice Standards.
Step #2: Use an approved quality auditor
Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a notification from the NDIS Commission asking you to either proceed to a verification or certification audit.
It is your responsibility to then hire an approved quality auditor to ensure your organisation complies with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards.
Step #3: Be audited
Note that the auditor should work with you and answer any questions you might have during the process. Once the audit is completed, the auditor will submit their report through an online portal to the NDIS Commission.
You can prepare for your audit here.
Step #4: The NDIS Commission will review your NDIS provider application and make a decision
The NDIS Commission will notify you of the reasons as to why your application has or hasn’t been successful.
Step #5: The NDIS Commission will officially notify you of the outcome
If the outcome is positive, you’ll receive a certificate of registration. If not, you’ll be able to request a review within three months of the decision. You’ll find the detailed NDIS provider application process on the NDIS Commission’s website.
Step #6: Create your PRODA account
As a Plan Manager, the MyPlace provider portal will allow you to manage your participants’ services, including:
- Making payment requests for services provided to participants
- Managing and reviewing service agreement details with participants
- Accessing registration details
- Accessing instant messaging with participants
You can browse the application pack for more guidance on the documents you’ll need to gather before submitting your NDIS provider application.
You can directly apply to suitable roles within these organisations.
Set Up Your Plan Management Business
Once you have completed your NDIS registration and created your PRODA account, it’s time to set up your business. As with any other business in other fields, you’ll need to:
- Understand your target market and their pain points
- Identify your strengths and how you can leverage them to help participants
- Establish clear business goals such as how many participants you think you can support
Implement a Service Agreement
The NDIA recommends that plan managers implement a service agreement to outline the responsibilities and roles of each party throughout the duration of the Plan.
Some of the key things to include in the service agreement encompass:
- How participants should submit invoices
- How your service will be delivered
- Steps on how to resolve any problems that may arise
- How long will payments take
- How to end the agreement
Find more information about what areas to cover when making a service agreement.
Harness the Power of NDIS Technology
Working as an NDIS plan manager will require you to be highly organised. You’ll have to juggle multiple tasks during the day, sometimes all at once.
Having powerful tools and streamlined processes in place to help you through your daily tasks will be essential.
Using a client relationship management system (CRM) will help keep you organised, streamline your processes and admin tasks, thus allowing you to allocate more time to your clients, deliver top-notch service and grow your business.
CRMs such as Brevity’s NDIS Plan Management Software have been specifically designed with NDIS plan managers in mind. Brevity is NDIS-compliant and allows you to save time, optimise your process and deliver an enhanced customer service to your clients. Some of the key features of Brevity’s NDIS Plan Management include:
- Simplified invoice processing
- Easy client funding tracking and reporting
- Full integration with PRODA
- MYOB & Xero Accounting Integration
- Simplified supplier payment system
- Access to supplier remittances
- Access to a mobile app allowing clients to track their budget live
If you want to know more about Brevity’s NDIS Plan Management Software and how it can help you grow your business and manage your clients, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Our team will be happy to walk you through the features of our powerful tool.
Originally published May 8 2021
Frequently asked questions
Participants are allocated $1,400 a year to pay for their plan management services. Note that salaries start at $55,000 a year in NDIS Plan Management and Services organisations.
An NDIS plan manager supports NDIS participants to manage funding in their NDIS plan. As such, they handle all the paperwork regarding invoice payment, making claims, budgeting, and tracking funds. They can also assist their clients in choosing their providers, such as therapists, and teach them the skills to self-manage their NDIS plan.
If you wish to be self-employed, you’ll first need to register as an NDIS provider and access your PRODA. If you’d like to work for an organisation, you can follow some online courses before directly applying to jobs through these organisations’ websites.