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NDIS Registered and Unregistered Providers

1 June 2024

Let's delve into the world of NDIS providers, both registered and unregistered. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plays a crucial role in providing services and supports to people with disabilities.

Here are the key points you need to know:

Registered NDIS Providers:

    • Definition: A registered NDIS provider is an individual or organization that has received approval from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to deliver support to plan-managed participants.
    • Approval Process: Registered providers undergo a rigorous approval process by the NDIA. They must meet specific NDIS rules and regulations.
    • Services Offered: Registered providers offer a wide range of services, including personal supports, therapy, and other disability-related assistance.
    • Quality Assurance: Being registered ensures that their services meet the level of quality and safety outlined in the NDIS Practice Standards¹.

    Unregistered NDIS Providers:

      • Definition: Unregistered providers have not gone through the formal approval process with the NDIA. They may choose not to register or may not have received approval yet.
      • Who Can Engage Them?:
        • Self-Managed Participants: Individuals with self-managed NDIS plans can use both registered and unregistered providers.
        • Plan-Managed Participants: Those with plan-managed plans can also engage unregistered providers.
        • Agency-Managed Participants: However, agency-managed (NDIA-managed) participants must use only registered providers.
      • Obligations:
        • NDIS Code of Conduct: All NDIS providers, whether registered or unregistered, must comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct. This ensures ethical behavior and accountability.
        • Complaints Management: Unregistered providers must effectively manage complaints related to the quality and safety of their services. The NDIS Commission can assist in resolving complaints.
        • Worker Screening: Unregistered providers can ask their workers to demonstrate an NDIS Worker Screening clearance or undergo an NDIS Worker Screening Check¹.

      Balancing Choice and Safety:

        • The NDIS aims to strike a balance between participant choice and safety. While registered providers offer assurance, unregistered providers can still provide valuable services.
        • Participants should consider their management type (self-managed, plan-managed, or agency-managed) when choosing between registered and unregistered providers⁵.

        Participant Considerations:

          • Quality and Safety: Registered providers adhere to strict standards, but unregistered providers may offer unique services.
          • Cost: Unregistered providers might be more cost-effective, but participants should weigh this against quality and safety.
          • Flexibility: Unregistered providers may offer more flexibility in service delivery.
          • Individual Needs: Participants should assess their specific needs and preferences when making a choice.

          Cost and Funding:

            • Registered Providers:
              • Pricing: Registered providers adhere to the NDIS Price Guide, which outlines the maximum prices they can charge for specific services. Participants can find transparency in pricing, making budgeting more straightforward.
              • Funding: Participants can use their NDIS funding to pay registered providers directly.
            • Unregistered Providers:
              • Pricing: Unregistered providers have more flexibility in setting their prices. Participants can negotiate rates directly with them.
              • Funding: Participants need to manage their own payments to unregistered providers. This involves submitting claims to the NDIA for reimbursement.
            • Consideration: Participants should weigh the convenience of direct payment to registered providers against the potential cost savings with unregistered providers.

            Service Variety and Specialization:

              • Registered Providers:
                • Wide Range: Registered providers offer diverse services, including personal care, therapy, assistive technology, and more.
                • Specialization: Some registered providers specialize in specific areas (e.g., mental health, autism, or physical disabilities).
              • Unregistered Providers:
                • Niche Services: Unregistered providers may offer unique or specialized services that cater to specific needs.
                • Flexibility: Participants seeking unconventional or personalized support may find unregistered providers more accommodating.

              Geographic Availability:

                • Registered Providers:
                  • Coverage: Registered providers are available across Australia, ensuring broader geographic coverage.
                  • Remote Areas: They may also operate in remote or less densely populated regions.
                • Unregistered Providers:
                  • Local Focus: Unregistered providers often serve local communities.
                  • Urban vs. Rural: Availability may vary based on the location—urban areas may have more options.

                Participant Feedback and Reviews:

                  • Registered Providers:
                    • Transparency: Participants can access reviews and ratings for registered providers on the NDIS website.
                    • Quality Assurance: Registered providers are held accountable through participant feedback.
                  • Unregistered Providers:
                    • Word of Mouth: Participants rely on word-of-mouth recommendations or personal experiences.
                    • Vetting: Participants should thoroughly vet unregistered providers before engaging their services.

                  Participant Choice and Decision-Making:

                  • Empowerment: The NDIS emphasizes participant choice and control. Participants should consider their preferences, needs, and goals.
                  • Combining Both: Some participants choose a mix of registered and unregistered providers to balance quality, cost, and variety.


                  • Informed Choices: Whether registered or unregistered, participants should make informed decisions based on their unique circumstances.
                  • Flexibility: The NDIS recognizes that one size does not fit all, allowing participants to tailor their support network.

                    Remember, the NDIS journey is about empowerment, and participants should feel confident in their choices. If you have any specific questions or need further details, feel free to ask! 🌟.