top of page

The Ultimate Guide to NDIS Support Coordination: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Mar 8


Support Coordination is a category of support under NDIS that assists an NDIS participant navigate the complex NDIS system.

 

Levels of NDIS Support Coordination

 

There are three different levels of support coordination. The role of a support coordinator is staged from level 1 to level 3 with each level having different activities assigned to the role. The below table from NDIS explains the difference between these levels quite clearly.

 

Support Coordination activities by level -

Support Coordination Activities

Level 1 – Support Connection

Level 2 – Coordination of Supports

Level 3 – Specialist Support Coordination

Understand the plan

Yes

Yes

Yes

Connect with support & Services

Yes

Yes

Yes

Design support approaches

 

Yes

Yes

Establish Supports

Yes

Yes

Yes

Coach, refine and reflect

Yes

Yes

Yes

Report to NDIA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Build capacity & resilience

 

Yes

Yes

Crisis: planning, prevention, mitigation & Action

 

 

Yes

Address complex barriers

 

 

Yes

Design a service plan for complex support needs

 

 

Yes

*** Table from NDIA website

 

For this blog purpose, I will focus on processes around Level 2 support coordination.

 

What is Level 2 Support Coordination?

 

As you can see from the above image, the Level 2 support coordination helps an NDIS participant connect to service providers, helps build capacity, helps establish services as per your plan goals and funding and helps to get the most out of your plan as per the available budget and also troubleshoots for you if required.

 

Hence, the role of the support coordinator is quite important in an NDIS Plan.

 

As there is so much written and published about support coordination service and the role of support coordinators (more information on NDIS website HERE), I would not go in too much detail to explain the role of a support coordinator; instead, I will focus on how can a support coordination service be optimized to its best for an improved experience for NDIS participants, so that they can get the best outcomes for their NDIS plan.  

 

To give you an overview of the support coordination process, it can be as per the steps outlined below –

 

  1. Intake, assessment, and planning

  2. Implementation – Building the capacity of a client and organizing & establishing support.

  3. Monitoring – Routine check-ins with participants

  4. Record keeping and reporting – Towards the end of the plan or during the unscheduled review.

 

Support Coordination Planning process.

 

Like any other service, the first and most important step in a support coordinator’s role is to do adequate planning.

 

Planning is needed not just for organizing and coordinating the support services but also for planning to effectively utilize the support coordination budget.

 

When comes to goal accomplishment, we get to hear from clients regarding inefficient practices from coordinators resulting in participants not being able to achieve plan goals. Such situations can be demotivating for participants and may even lead to a loss of trust in coordinators.

 

There can be many underlying reasons leading to such situations, however, proper planning is needed to avoid such situations and doing it in the beginning can be very helpful.

 

But in many instances, a key to overcoming such problems relating to coordination could be simply implementing an effective communication method preferable to the client and rapport building with the client by investing some time in knowing the client’s support history and background.  

 

Simple steps taken, such as reading pre-existing reports, noting all goals from the participant’s plan, breaking it down into sub-goals and making some points on how to achieve them based on the client’s priorities and needs and allocating hours to each of the goals could lead to effective planning.

 

These steps can help a coordinator to be able to identify steps that would be required to achieve the client’s coordination goals and also be able to quantify the support coordinator’s inputs at varying stages of a plan journey, within the provided support coordination service budget.

 

Coordinator to set things right in the first few NDIS plans for clients is critical as CoS is only meant to be funded in full for the first few plans while in subsequent plans, NDIA expects that participant or their families would build their understanding and the capacity to navigate the NDIS and support system, it is expected that less help would be required from a coordinator and would mean reduction in CoS funding. Of course, this is not applicable in cases where clients lacks the ability to learn significantly.

 

Support coordination Monitoring process.

 

While planning is vital, a support coordinator must set aside some part of the funding for routine check-ins, monitoring, and contingencies.

 

This is even more important if the coordinator senses that a particular client is more likely to resist the treatment or is inclined to terminate services more frequently for any reason. Such engagements would make a coordinator’s job more time-intensive and have higher possibilities of more than one round of referrals in a plan, leading to quicker utilization of the coordinator's budget.

 

Such estimations can give more clarity around the overall involvement of the coordinator based on the complexity of the plan.

 

Additionally, a coordinator must do routine check-ins to not just monitor support quality but also monitor the total plan usage periodically as it helps a coordinator to predict an unscheduled plan review if required in an unforeseen circumstance.

 

Such plan reviews can take up a lot of time for a support coordinator in collating and organizing reports, applying to NDIA and doing follow-ups with NDIA, as a plan review is not an instant process.

 

We at ELS organize a workflow routine for support coordinators in a way that they can check in with clients regularly or at least fortnightly to do check-in with clients, monitor plan budgets and share them with clients; so that our clients feel connected and give them a sense of control over their plan and can share feedback regarding their support quality regularly.

 

 

Communication in Support Coordination

 

Support coordination can be made simple by following certain simple processes and techniques.

 

For support coordination to be successful - effective and clear communication, active listening and rapport building not just with clients but also with the entire care team, routine follow-up with clients, and being attentive and responsive is a must. If any of this is left unchecked, coordination can quickly become very chaotic.

 

Setting communication rights should be at the forefront. A coordinator must check a client’s preference for communication during the initial planning process and document it. If the client is nonverbal or cannot make decisions, check if there is a nominee or family member with power of decision-making that the client trusts to be contacted for any decision-making relating to your NDIS plan support coordination as this can make the coordination much smoother and faster.

 

We at ELS utilize the first initial meeting to communicate well with participants and/or family and do necessary discussions, particularly to capture the practical details such as what are the priority areas that should be actioned immediately, communication methods the client prefers, and if someone else making for the client (nominee) or assisting with supported decision making. This is to discuss as much clarity as possible and try and reduce the barriers to goal accomplishment. This airs out the confusion and leaves no grey areas.

 

Recording and reporting of support coordination work

 

Just as important as planning, the accuracy in record keeping, note taking and storing evidence information is also an essential pillar of successful support coordination service. A good support coordinator will have every detail recorded and organized. A coordinator will minute all needed and useful conversations whether using software or basic Microsoft applications such as Word, excel etc.

 

Recordkeeping can involve not just writing case notes but also having evidence records such as phone call logs, meeting notes, SMS texts etc. are few to name.  

 

This recording will eventually assist a coordinator to effectively report to NDIA with greater accuracy to cover all aspects of support in reporting. The NDIA reporting process is integral for successful plan reviews.  

 

For recording and reporting, we at ELS use a simple yet smart Excel-based tool made in-house that assists us in capturing vital details about the planning and helps us achieve quality in our work.

 

If you are a support coordinator reading this article and would like to explore or use our tool, we have made it freely available to the community and can be downloaded, using the below weblink –

  

CoS Tool - Client Name; Plan Start & End
.xlsx
Download XLSX • 792KB




Please write to us if you find it useful or if you wish to provide any feedback, please write to us via an email sent to our admin inbox at admin@elsaustralia.org.


So to summarise the above points - Set the planning right, manage the budget well and do routine check-ins, monitor services while keeping accurate records. Using these simple techniques will get you more success in your role as a support coordinator and will eventually help you while preparing and reporting for your plan review, making you a five-star coordinator. Also, this will get you a happy and satisfied client bringing the joy out of our work helping people as our clients in community services.   




92 views1 comment

1 Comment


Bentley Hale
Bentley Hale
Oct 08, 2021

Thanks ffor this blog post

Like
bottom of page