What does it take to be NDIS ready? The five pillars of readiness

Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability, each having unique circumstances and aspirations for their future. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will provide them with ‘choice and control’ in the supports that they receive with an emphasis on self-direction in planning and access to services.

The NDIS demands a fundamental change in the operating model for disability service providers, with increased choice leading to increased competition in the market. Annual NDIS expenditure of $22 Billion will see the market for disability services more than double over the next 4 years, thereby attracting new suppliers and more innovative service models. Over 90% of the Australian population has an agreed path into the NDIS over the next 3 years. Disruption is not ‘coming’, it is already here.

Becoming ‘NDIS ready’ is a journey

There are risks in transitioning to the brave new world, but also opportunities, particularly for those who covet the first-mover advantage and are passionate about being consumer-led.

Existing service providers will need to transform their business models to be ‘fit-for-purpose’ for the NDIS environment. This will in practice mean different things for each, but includes making sure that they can deliver supports that NDIS participants want (which means truly understanding the desires of participants) and have an operating model that supports them to do so profitably and sustainably.

So how can your organisation succeed in the NDIS environment? Whilst the journey will be different for each provider; in our experience a successful transition includes various activities across five key ‘readiness pillars’, as outlined in the diagram below.


As you explore each of these pillars, some of the key questions that you should be considering include:

  • Strategy and Customer: Do you have a clear strategy for NDIS? Have you made focused choices regarding what services you will pursue vs exit? What is your value proposition for participants? How does this compare to that of your competitors?
  • Service Delivery: How you will deliver high quality services which truly meet the needs of clients? How you will manage continuity of care as you make changes to your operating model?
  • Workforce: Do you have service delivery standards and processes which support your workforce to provide high quality, tailored services? Have you developed a workforce strategy? What change management support will you provide to your workforce throughout this period?
  • Financial and Operational Management: Do you understand your unit cost for all your services? Do you have a flexible and lean operating model ready to provide tailored support in a client-centered environment?
  • Risk, Governance and Policy: Do you have a solid governance foundation to ensure success? Have you revisited your risk management framework to ensure it is appropriate for an NDIS environment?
  • Data and Technology: Do your existing IT systems have NDIS capability for billing, workforce planning and client record management? How do you optimise the use of data and technology to manage information effectively and to support the needs of your staff and clients?

The end game

The NDIS is going to transform the way people with disabilities make choices for their lives. Whilst there will be an initial period of discomfort, the ‘end state’ provides people with disabilities greater opportunities to live their lives on their own terms – with more choice, possibility and opportunity. The challenge for service providers will be to navigate this transition period and deliver on this promise of ‘choice and control’, whilst remaining financially sustainable. This will require a clear strategy, prudent financial management and courageous leadership in a time of relentless change and uncertainty. Providers also have choices to make – What choices is your organisation making to take advantage of a brave new world?

Need help?  

Deloitte’s Social Impact Consulting practice works closely with the Disability sector (including service providers and government agencies) to navigate the impacts of the NDIS reform and build a strong ecosystem that is capable of providing people with a disability the support that they need. We also work with a range of market participants to bring innovation to the sector, including innovative alternative funding mechanisms, digital disruption, and cross-sectoral partnerships. We combine deep industry experience and consulting expertise to deliver tailored services for our disability sector clients. If you are interested in learning more about how we can support you with your NDIS readiness, please contact Tharani Jegatheeswaran (Partner – Social Impact Consulting) on tjegatheeswaran@deloitte.com.au

1 http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/BudgetReview201516/NDIS

Want to stay up-to-date?

Stay on trend and in the know when you sign up for our latest content