The good news is that Veritable is now a ‘Registered NDIS Provider’ (fanfare). We can now officially hang out our shingle for providing NDIS services. This is a great achievement, but is really just the start of the road.
For those of you reading this with an interest in establishing an NDIS business, this post is more for you.
Deciding to register to be an NDIS provider is an exercise in patience. In batting any ball in your court back to the other side as efficiently as possible. For the ball will be held for a considerable period of time on the other side of the net!
We made the decision to establish Veritable in mid January 2019. We started a company, worked our way through the NDIS provider guide, and filled out all necessary paperwork.
Then we waited. After a few days, we got the all important letter telling us that we were ‘Pending State Approval’. Which we sent off immediately to the State (in our case, the NT).
Then we waited. And waited. Finally we got a referral for accreditation to a company. Diligently completed all our declarations. Pressed submit.
Then we waited. And waited. ‘Still in accreditation phase!’ was my familiar refrain. In the end, it was exactly 2 months from uploading our first document to the NDIS portal to receiving the final letter declaring we were approved and registered.
Of that time, we were holding the ball in our court for only about 2 weeks. All of the remainder had the ball in either the hands of government or someone contracted by them. And we were in the ‘streamlined’ process.
In most respects, it is very reassuring that there are robust accreditation processes. It is entirely appropriate for this area of service delivery. This is essentially all of our (tax) money, being provided for support that is fundamentally about human rights.
For those new to the world of government services, however, becoming an NDIS provider may send you a little spare. This is not a space in which the efficient ‘time is money’ processes of the corporate sector operate.
Our number one tip is: reach out for help. The local NDIS provider team in our region were great. We could ring up a direct landline and speak to any of the agencies involved in our accreditation. They patiently answered our questions or made reassuring suggestions to our ‘how long do you think this will be’ mournful query.
Equally, reach out to other NDIS providers. They’ve done the hard yards already. All the providers we spoke to were welcoming and friendly. Thank you to everyone who was encouraging and supportive along the way.
Lastly, use the waiting time wisely (because you’re going to have lots of time to wile away). Professional development. Processes and systems. Promotional material. There is a lot to get ready so that you can hit the ground running.
Time to get started. New ball, new court.