30. Aug, 2015

NDIS - a template letter for CEOs to their staff

Dear Staff Member,

The commencement of the full transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is now less than a year away.


To get ready, there is a whole bunch of stuff I’d like you to know:


  • The NDIS will be a great thing for the people who use our services; they are going to love it! I think we will learn to love it too, but it is going to mean some pretty serious changes and challenges for us.


  • Our organisation will at some point over the next 3 years stop getting ‘block grant’ funding (paid in-advance) to fund the outlet you now work in. Instead, every person who uses our services will have an Individual Support Package (ISP) provided by the NDIS and if the people who currently use us are going to stay with us, they will need to choose us to be a provider of their support. Of course, they may choose to go somewhere else - something very hard to do under the block grant system, but very, very easy to do under the new system.


  • If people choose us to provide their support, we will need to raise an invoice to get paid for what we deliver (paid in-arrears) for every single person, every single time we support them.


  • Notice, I’ve said ‘support’ not ‘service’. The NDIS does not fund service types. Rather, the NDIS funds ‘supports’ that are linked to the attainment of a person’s goals. You can see a list of the kinds of supports the NDIS will pay for here.  Note, the prices are inclusive of all ‘overhead costs’ e.g. management, rent, utilities, corporate services etc. Also note, the NDIS will not actually 'fund' our organisation at all, they will provide funds for use by the person with disability to purchase the supports they want, from who they want, when they want them. Please rest-assured that we are currently working to see how this will impact on our organisation into the future.


  • It is highly likely some of the people we now serve will be eligible for a greater variety of supports than they are currently getting. And as the scheme is intended to double the number of people in our community who access supports, it is highly likely some new people might be knocking on our door too. If we are able to provide the support they have funding for in their ISP, then we want them to choose us!


How this affects you:


  • First and foremost, our organisation will need staff that are customer focussed and committed to providing quality support.


  • You need to accept that NDIS participants will be our customers. Some of them might only have relatively small amounts of money to spend like $3,000 pa. Others might have $30,000 pa to spend. And yet others might have close to $300,000 pa to spend. But no matter how you look at it, any businesswould love to have customers that spend that much (even the $3,000) with them every year!


  • You also need to accept that people can choose to spend their money with any organisation they choose - and if you don’t treat them right, they may leave.


  • I believe you are our greatest asset when it comes to treating people right. How you act and behave with the people who choose to use us, will be a big factor in them choosing to stay with us.


  • You will need to completely embrace a ‘person-centred approach’ to the support you provide. Nothing less will suffice.


  • We may need you to collect data on the support you provide in future so we can invoice for it - simply put, if we don’t invoice for it, we don’t get paid.


  • While there are never any guarantees, with the money being spent on disability support rising from $6.5b today to around $22bwhen the whole NDIS is rolled out, if our organisation gets this right and you can make the changes you need to make, there should be plenty of jobs to go around.


How this affects our organisation:


  • We need to accept that our future is inextricably linked to the choices people will make in terms of the types of support they will want as a part of their ISP.


  • We will need to be responsive to these choices.


  • We need to work out exactly what supports we will provide into the future.


  • We need to work out exactly what it currently costs us to provide support, so we can ensure we can continue to operate at the prices the NDIS will pay.


  • We need to start working now with the people who currently use our services and their families, to start to understand what they might choose when their turn comes to move to the NDIS. We also need to help them prepare for the changes too – the NDIS will do some of the preparation, but they don’t know the people we work with like we do!


  • We need to start to think about what the new people who currently don’t use our services might want and how we can market the supports we can provide to them.


  • We need to work out how we will deal with people on a week to week basis who might want to alter the schedule or frequency of the supports they receive from us.


  • We need to work out how we can provide supports outside of normal business hours and in different locations, as people will want their support when they want it, where they want it, not when and where we may have historically provided it.


  • We need to work out how often we will be invoicing for the supports we provide and who will do it.


  • As we won’t have any ‘contracts’ with government, we will need to develop a ‘service agreement’ for use with the people who choose us to be their support provider.


  • We need to work out how as an organisation we can bestsupport you as we move through this change process.


How this will affect me:


  • I need to provide the leadership to create the environment and build on our culture, so that we can face the future as assured of success as we possibly can!


  • I can’t do this alone, it’s exciting but it is also challenging and we all need to work together to ensure we are able to deliver the very best supports to people with disability. We need to share our knowledge, concerns, fears, and our aspirations - and we need to support each other to create and implement a vision for our organisation's future.


Are you with me?


Yours sincerely,


Your CEO


Peregrinus Consulting - supporting those who provide paid support for people with disability 


Previous NDIS related posts on LinkedIn

Nine essential steps for NDIS readiness - a simple checklist of the things to do to prepare for the NDIS

The NDIS, a jewellery shop and the wedding planner - my thoughts on customer service under the NDIS

Olivetti and the NDIS - innovation may be the key to your organisation's sustainability under the NDIS

NDIS - who's buying it? - marketing your services and continuous improvement under the NDIS

NDIS - who's the competition? - four strategies to enhance your organisation's competitiveness under the NDIS

NDIS - death of the convenient excuse - the need to empower staff with decision making skills and financial literacy

NDIS and the year of the rabbit - the importance of keeping your organisation's core values intact when innovating

NDIS - the review mirror and co-design - the importance of looking ahead and involving stakeholders in designing your organisation's future

NDIS - what a way to make a living - employment and the NDIS

NDIS - to market, to market, to buy a fat pig - four strategies for sustainability under the NDIS

NDIS and congestion at the cash register - the importance of working capital and managing your cash flow under the NDIS

NDIS - frontline workers FAQs - just as the title says

NDIS - don't hold your breath - 3 strategies to maximise cash when preparing for the NDIS