05 August 2016

Get NDIS ready - 3 things you need to know

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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is revolutionising the disability service sector. It represents one of the greatest shifts in social policy to date.

More than $26 million of payments have been made through NDIS since its launch on July 1, despite some technical mishaps. More than 460,000 Australians are expected to benefit from the NDIS as it’s rolled out over the next three years.

As of July 2019 when NDIS becomes fully operational, it will be a consumer-driven marketplace with people living with a disability controlling their own funding and having the power of choice. It is critical that service providers prepare and undertake an effective NDIS business transformation strategy.

The NDS State of Disability Sector Report revealed that there are still significant barriers to overcome in implementing a strategic plan:

  • Lack of tools to measure success

Service delivery and social impacts are difficult outcomes to measure. It’s important to identify appropriate KPIs and implement them across your entire business plan. For example, consider a feedback loop for customer satisfaction. Baselining will provide you with a standard to track your progress and allow you to assess areas of success as well as areas which require attention.

  • No commercial expertise

Given that the funding (and power) has previously been held by disability service providers, they have had to do little in terms of marketing, branding and generating awareness. Providers now need to implement plans to ensure sustainable cash flow. This means advertising, promotional activities and listening to what the consumer wants.

  • Conflicting interests of stakeholders

People join the NFP sector for different reasons, contrasting starkly with the commercial sector which is driven by profit. With competing aims, it can be difficult (particularly for the CEO) to ensure the organisation is continuing to grow and move forward. The need for effective governance in organisations with a board is crucial.

Though daunting, the NDIS ultimately promises to ensure people living with a disability receive quality care. The resistance to change is worth overcoming. It’s time to get behind the biggest social shift the sector has seen. 

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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