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An NDIS service agreement can be a relatively simple document to put together. The challenge lies in creating an agreement that is both legally sound and uses simple language so that all parties can understand its contents.
In this guide, we explore the key points of a service agreement including how to write one with every stakeholder in mind.
What's in this guide?
- What is an NDIS Service Agreement?
- When should I use an NDIS Service Agreement?
- NDIS Service Agreement vs NDIS Plan
- What does an NDIS Service Agreement include?
- How effective is the agreement?
- Do I need to use a lawyer?
- Get access to customisable NDIS Service Agreement templates online
- How do I write an NDIS Service Agreement?
- Where can I get free legal documents and templates like an NDIS Service Agreement?
What is an NDIS Service Agreement?
An NDIS agreement should clearly state the terms and conditions between an NDIS service provider and NDIS participant. As well as outlining the type of service that will be provided, the agreement also deals with how and when the service will take place, and the payment procedure.
Download this template at Lawpath
When should I use an NDIS Service Agreement?
You should use an NDIS Service Agreement if you're a providing a service for an NDIS participant. This is anybody who is supported by the National Disability Insurance Scheme, including those with physical, sensory, intellectual, cognitive or psychosocial disabilities.
NDIS Service Agreement vs NDIS Plan
It's important to use a participant's NDIS Plan to develop the service agreement. An NDIS plan is a personalised document that identifies the type of support and services an individual requires and for how long. It also explicitly states how much funding an individual will receive.
A service agreement focuses on the relationship a participant will have with the service provider and how to meet the goals outlined in the NDIA plan.
What does an NDIS Service Agreement include?
The primary purpose of an NDIS service agreement is to provide a clear sense of what support services the provider will deliver and how. To do this, it's crucial to cover the following points:
- Details of the type of support that the provider will deliver
- Personal details of the provider and participant
- Cost of the service and payment terms
- How, when and where the provider will deliver the service
- The duration of the service including start and end dates
- Rights and responsibilities of the provider and participant
- Complaint and conflict resolution processes
- How either party can end or change the agreement
- Cancellation policies
- Risk assurances.
The NDIS have put together a handy checklist and guide to make sure you don't miss anything out in your service agreement.
What is not included in an NDIS Service Agreement?
It's important not to include unfair or unclear terms in your NDIS service agreement. The document should be accessible to everyone by using simple English language and uncomplicated terms.
How effective is the agreement?
One of the main aims of an NDIS service agreement is to protect both parties involved in the engagement. For the provider, the agreement can help to reduce any business risks that are involved in working with an NDIS participant. For the participant, the agreement allows them to meet the goals outlined in the NDIS Plan. The document also provides an element of security for all parties.
Do I need to use a lawyer?
An NDIS service agreement isn't a compulsory document, and you don't need to hire a lawyer to write one. It can be useful, however, to take advantage of one of the many NDIS service agreement templates that you'll find online.
Get access to customisable NDIS Service Agreement templates online
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How do I write an NDIS Service Agreement?
It is crucial to make sure that both parties can understand the contents of your NDIS service agreement. To do this, use simple language throughout the document. Also, remember to define any terms that may be difficult to understand. As well as simplifying the language you use, the NDIS advise that you order the terms set out in the agreement in order of importance.
Remember that the writing process can be a collaborative process with your participant. If possible, try to sit down with them and come up with an agreement that suits you and the participant while hitting the targets on the NDIS Plan.
In some situations where communication may be difficult, the NDIS recommends using pictures in the agreement to create an 'Easy Read' document.
Where can I get free legal documents and templates like an NDIS Service Agreement?
If you're still unsure about writing your agreement, you can use an NDIS services agreement template.
The internet is populated with hundreds of free NDIS Service agreement templates that you can take inspiration from. These demonstrate the basic structure of the document and different ways you can write one to make it accessible for your participant.
The official NDIS website is a great resource for information and templates around the service agreement. Other websites such as Carers Australia and even charities like My Healthy Mind have their own templates that you can access for free.
Alternatively, you can seek the peace of mind of a legal professional by reaching out to online legal services like Lawpath or Lawdepot.
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