Policy Submission: NDIS Planning
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We have structured this submission to reflect the Inquiry elements below:
a. the experience, expertise and qualifications of planners;
b. the ability of planners to understand and address complex needs;
c. the ongoing training and professional development of planners;
d. the overall number of planners relative to the demand for plans;
e. participant involvement in planning processes and the efficacy of introducing draft plans;
f. the incidence, severity and impact of plan gaps;
g. the reassessment process, including the incidence and impact of funding changes;
h. the review process and means to streamline it;
i. the incidence of appeals to the AAT and possible measures to reduce the number;
j. the circumstances in which plans could be automatically rolled-over;
k. the circumstances in which longer plans could be introduced;
l. the adequacy of the planning process for rural and regional participants; and
m. any other related matters.
In considering these, we note they appear to be framed in the context of the current NDIS pathway arrangements and roles. In contrast, the essence of our submission is that there is a pressing imperative to consider a more substantial rethink of the nature of individual planning within the NDIS and where that planning takes place, which can then resolve the above elements in a more systemic and integrated way.
That instead of attempting to build a diversity of planning expertise within NDIA, the NDIS arrangements include a mechanism that better harnesses the existing planning expertise within Australia’s communities.
That in building planner capacity for people living with high or complex needs, NDIS arrangements ensure these planners maintain a strengths-based view of the participant, with a firm expectation that participants living with complex needs can move into rich and fulfilling lives characterised by choice and control and by valued active membership of mainstream community life.
That the NDIS arrangements include an auditable mandatory mechanism for continuing professional development of planners, where a given volume of development time is undertaken by each planner in order to maintain their eligibility to provide a planning service.
That NDIS arrangements include the piloting of alternative approaches to planning, including one where planning services are purchased on a per-person basis (instead of the per-population basis in current LAC commissioning arrangements) from accredited community agencies and individuals.
That people living with disability are authentically involved in the system decisions about how to evolve planning within the NDIS, in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.