How much does it really cost to become an NDIS provider?
Have you been thinking about providing services to NDIS participants? That’s great! Supporting people living with disability to achieve their goals is hugely rewarding.
If so, you might be wondering ‘how much does it cost to become an NDIS provider?’
Here, we look at the costs involved in setting yourself up as an NDIS services provider, including the direct costs if you choose to become an NDIS-registered provider, plus other costs associated with setting up your NDIS business.
How much does it cost to become NDIS registered?
It’s free to register with the NDIS. However, there are costs associated with auditing your business, which are required by the applicable NDIS Practice Standards. These costs will vary depending on the size of your business and what type of services you plan to offer.
To ensure a successful NDIS registration, it's also important to familiarize yourself with the requirements and best practices for becoming a registered NDIS provider.
There are two types of NDIS audits:
1. Verification audit
This type of audit is for NDIS businesses that provide lower risk, less complex services, and support. This involves a desktop review of the documents you provide as evidence of your expertise by an approved auditor, and can cost approximately $900 - $1,500.
Examples of low-risk supports include:
Assistive products for personal care and safety
Personal mobility equipment
Assistance with transport arrangements
Assistive equipment for recreation
Community nursing care
Household tasks (such as cleaning and gardening)
Hearing services and equipment
Assistive technology for household tasks
Management of support funding
Therapeutic supports and personal wellbeing activities.
2. Certification audit
If you provide services and supports that are more complex or considered as higher risk, you may need to undergo a certification audit. This is an in-depth audit that involves assessing you against the NDIS Practice Standards. It may include site visits and interviews with NDIS participants and can cost upwards of $3,000.
Examples of high-risk supports include:
Assistance to access and maintain employment or higher education
High intensity daily personal activities
Assistance for coordinating/managing life stages, transitions and supports
Specialist behaviour support
Development of daily living and life skills
Early childhood early intervention supports
Participation in community, social, and civic activities
Specialist disability accommodation
Administration and ongoing costs
Along with the direct costs of undergoing an NDIS audit, it’s important to factor in the cost of the time it will take you to prepare and present the necessary documentation.
You’ll also need to complete a new self-assessment and an external audit during each three-year registration cycle.
How much does it cost to set up an NDIS business?
If you’re thinking about delivering NDIS services and supports, you’ll also need to consider the costs associated with starting the business itself. These costs can vary significantly depending on the size and scope of the business you aspire to build. Here are some of the business costs of becoming an NDIS provider you may need to think about.
Staff recruitment and training
Unless you plan to fly solo, you’ll need to factor in costs associated with hiring and training staff. For example, will you advertise for, screen, interview, and onboard new hires yourself? In this case, you’ll incur the costs associated with your time and effort. Alternatively, you could outsource this task to a recruitment agency, which may cost thousands of dollars per hire.
Depending on the qualifications your staff bring to the job, you might also need to consider training costs – including the costs of any professional development you choose to provide and whether you’ll pay for the time staff take to attend courses.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission advises NDIS-registered providers to include their Quality, Safety and You course, which explains workers’ obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct, in all-new worker inductions.
For other useful resources, you can integrate into your onboarding, we've put together a helpful list of 17 free or low-cost NDIS courses to upskill your support workers.
Running any type of business carries a degree of risk, which you can offset with relevant insurances. Depending on your business and service offerings, you might need to pay for insurance to cover:
Compulsory third party
Employee fraud or dishonesty
Computer and electronic equipment
Some types of insurance are required by law (such as workers' compensation insurance) and others are your choice. Insurance costs could run into many thousands, so it’s vital to include them in your budgeting.
Find more information about business insurance at Business.gov.au or talk to a financial planner or insurance broker.
Unless you plan to work from home, you’ll need to cover the costs of buying or leasing a base to operate your NDIS business. Again, these can vary significantly depending on the size and scale of your business but could run from approximately $150 per week for an office in a co-working space to thousands for large commercial premises.
You can’t build a business if the people who need your services don’t know you exist! A good marketing strategy will help ensure you get known to the right people and start to build a strong NDIS client base.
You can choose to do your own marketing, by attending networking events, listing your business in local directories, and posting on social media, for example. However, some marketing activities are usually best left to people with the skill to do them well, such as website developers, copywriters, graphic designers, and SEO experts.
For new businesses, and depending on which direction you choose to take, some of the costs involved in marketing your NDIS business can include:
Website design and set up
Paid social campaigns
Networking group fees.
You could also consider signing up with a marketing agency to take care of this aspect of your NDIS business. This could cost thousands per month, depending on the services and marketing strategies provided.
The Government of Western Australia's Small Business Development Corporation has put together an extensive marketing guide for small businesses.
Equipment and consumables
Setting up an NDIS business typically incurs the cost of buying and/or leasing the equipment and consumable items you need to run it. Some examples include:
Office fit-outs, such as desks, chairs, and filing cabinets
Computers and printers
Uniforms and name badges
Personal protective equipment
Some NDIS businesses might also want to hold the stock you either use in client visits or provide to clients, such as assistive technology devices and personal care items.
Again, equipment and consumable costs can vary widely depending on your plans for your NDIS business. Just be sure to factor them in.
Paper-based documentation and record-keeping systems are rarely adequate to meet the complex and changing needs of contemporary businesses. Investing in high-quality NDIS software can streamline many business tasks, including rostering, administration, invoicing, and more.
ShiftCare has been specifically designed to cater to the needs of NDIS providers.
Your investment can save you on time and energy associated with:
Maintaining progress notes
Team training and certification expiry tracking
Maintaining NDIS compliance
This makes ShiftCare extremely cost-effective, while also giving you back more time to focus on things that matter – like delivering the highest standards of client care!
Discover how ShiftCare can help you run a successful NDIS business and start your 7-day free trial today!