Why should I ask my providers for service agreements?

Service agreements are a contract that clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of both parties. 

It is covered by Australian Consumer Law. They aren’t mandatory, except for Specialist Disability Accommodation supports. However, they are strongly recommended for a number of reasons. Service agreements detail what services will be provided, the costs, the responsibilities of both parties and how long the agreement is expected to go for. They are also necessary to properly allocate your NDIS funds, so you have plenty of resources to meet each of your needs. 

Service agreements help you get the right supports for your goals.

When developing the service agreement, your provider should work with you to formulate a plan for the service that is based on your needs and goals set out in your NDIS plan. This also helps the provider to deliver support in a way that is right for you.

Service agreements are essential to preserving a good relationship with your provider.

They ensure everyone is on the same page in regard to what is expected from the service. By having all of the details of the service made clear, the risk of there being any disagreement or misunderstanding in the future is minimised, and you can maintain a good relationship with your provider. 

Service agreements protect you in the event of a dispute.

The terms of the service agreement are legally binding. The agreement can cover things like the costs of the supports, cancellation policies, how, when and where they will be delivered, who provides what equipment and resources if necessary and also a dispute resolution process. In the event that there is a dispute between you and your provider, you’ll be able to refer back to your service agreement. 

How do I create a service agreement?

There isn’t any specific template that you must follow, but there are some things we recommend you include in your service agreement. To make sure you’ve covered all bases, at the very least, it’s a good idea to include in your agreement;

  • A description of the supports being provided
  • The cost of the supports
  • Provider responsibilities
  • Participant responsibilities
  • Dates of all services
  • The length of the agreement and how to make changes
  • Cancellation notice period
  • The dispute resolution and termination process
  • How to go about escalating a dispute if a resolution is not achieved

It’s also important to consult the NDIS price guide and make sure cancellations, payment and information sharing are all covered in the agreement as well. 

If you’re unsure, your plan manager should be able to assist you with service agreements. 

We understand how overwhelming the intricacies of the NDIS can be. We offer professional plan management to NDIS participants and can help you with any NDIS questions you may have.

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Why should I ask my providers for service agreements?