Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Agreements, contracts, a scope/schedule of service – terms commonly used for legal contracts & documents - we all know very well. These document gets signed by parties engaged, in purchasing services or products/goods in today's world. So why is it that some clients and/or service providers do not follow making an agreement when it comes to NDIS services?
Within this blog article, I will discuss service agreements in detail, more particularly in the context of NDIS services and what NDIS service agreements entail generally.
We are often asked by participants and other suppliers/providers - is service agreement compulsory before commencing the NDIS services? as there are mixed ideas, some providers heavily emphasize it and some don’t even talk about it.
As we are a registered NDIS provider for many supports under NDIS including plan management, we recommend signing agreements and insist on having a signed schedule for supports as an important part of the support delivery process.
So lets delayer - When it comes to NDIS agreements and whether you should be signing one in the first place, I should say - the answer depends upon many factors ex: who the service provider is (NDIS registered or unregistered provider), what type of service you are receiving from whom, the length of your service with the service provider while receiving the service in your NDIS plan, for example -
TYPE OF PROVIDER - A person with a disability may tap into services from a provider who is not an NDIS registered provider. These could be businesses that do not necessarily just operate within NDIS. As a business, they may be following all good practices and the industry codes but may not do service agreements in the format, as you expect a registered NDIS Provider may do.
SCOPE OF SERVICE - Service may be one-off only such as a one-off cleaning by a cleaner who is located just down the road or someone you know. In such cases, he either lacks the capacity for admin and maybe has nothing to do or understands NDIA rules but does good business practices, where just a verbal agreement and a Tax Invoice are proof of services delivered.
TYPE OF PRODUCT/SERVICE - Purchasing consumable items such as gloves, pads, and other items from a superstore such as Woolworths, coles where you just get a receipt as proof of purchase.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICE/SUPPORTS - Some of the scenarios I have seen with some NDIS clients is that service providers do sign an agreement but do not have a schedule of service signed as they would have realized that the schedule of service for the client is going to change each week based on the needs and hence for them to lock a schedule, means not being able to offer flexibility or make a change every time service need changes.
Besides all of the above said, I would still believe that it is important to have both parties sign a document as they engage in any sort of service. This gives much-needed clarity in terms of what to expect from a service.