Practice guidelines - NDIS and mainstream services

The interactions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) with mainstream services will reinforce the obligations of mainstream service delivery systems to improve the lives of people with disability, in line with the National Disability Strategy.

All governments have agreed that our vision is for an inclusive Australian society, that enables people with disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens. To achieve this vision, all Australian governments, non-government organisations, business and the wider community have a role to play.

The Council of Australian Governments has developed 6 main principles, and also applied principles to define the funding responsibilities during the launch of the NDIS.

Principles for interaction between the NDIS and mainstream services

  1. People with disability have the same right of access to services as all Australians, consistent with the goals of the National Disability Strategy, which aims to maximise the potential and participation of people with disability.
  2. The NDIS will fund personalised supports related to people’s disability support needs, unless those supports are part of another service system’s universal service obligation (for example, meeting the health, education, housing, or safety needs of all Australians) or covered by reasonable adjustment (as required under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 or similar legislation in jurisdictions).
  3. Clear funding and delivery responsibilities should provide for the transparency and integrity of government appropriations consistent with their agreed policy goals.
  4. There should be a nationally consistent approach to the supports funded by the NDIS and the basis on which the NDIS engages with other systems. Note that, because there will be variation in non-NDIS supports funded within jurisdictions, there will need to be flexibility and innovation in the way the NDIS funds and/or delivers these activities.
  5. In determining the approach to the supports funded by the NDIS and other service systems, governments will have regard to efficiency, the existing statutory responsibilities and policy objectives of other service systems and operational implications.
  6. The interactions of people with disability with the NDIS and other service systems should be as seamless as possible, where integrated planning and coordinated supports, referrals and transitions are promoted, supported by a 'no wrong door' approach.

Applied principles and tables of support

Alongside the six main principles, the APTOS further define the activities funded by the NDIS and other systems.

The Principles to determine the responsibilities of the NDIS and other services systems document outlines the roles and responsibilities of different sectors who deliver supports to people with disability and provides the detail that direct policy and practice at an individual system level.

For more information and to access the Principles to determine the responsibilities of the NDIS and other services systems document, see the COAG Meeting Communiqué, 11 December 2015 page on the Council of Australian Governments website.

Practice guidelines - NDIS and mainstream services interface

Practice guidelines have been developed by us, intended for frontline staff in our mainstream program areas. The guidelines will support staff in building their knowledge and practice skills in working across the NDIS and mainstream service systems.

The guidelines identify best practice for five mainstream service systems:

  • Health and aged care services
  • Specialist clinical mental health services
  • Child and family services
  • Victorian homelessness services
  • Public housing services.

Based on a series of scenarios, the guidelines outline the roles and responsibilities of practitioners working in the mainstream service system and the roles of key staff in the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Local Area Coordinators and Support Coordinators.

Practice guidelines - NDIS and mainstream services fact sheet (Word).