Amanda Pavia is the founder and director of Watching Over Wilbur, a NDIS-registered business that provides pet sitting, dog grooming and dog walking services. Please note that this guide is specific to Victoria, as the NDIS rolls out to further areas.
Registering with the NDIS as a provider was definitely not on my radar as something that would help expand my business and provide greater value to others. But it undoubtedly has.
Being new to my area, I was doing some advertising and dropping off some business flyers. One of these fell into the hands of a lovely woman whose daughter has a disability and who also LOVES dogs. The mother approached me and enquired about whether I would go on some walks with one of my dogs and her daughter, giving her the chance to have a friendship with a dog and a fun way to get regular exercise.
This amazing opportunity, to provide greater service to others in a different way, was very exciting! I jumped at the chance and of course took the new client.
This is where registering with the NDIS came in. The family were registered under the NDIS and in order for me to work for them, and for it to be funded by the government, I needed to work out how to become a provider. So, I began doing some research and it took me some time to work it all out. I figured a little dot point, step-by-step guide would be of some value right now!
Where do you start?
- Figure out if you are suitable to become a provider
– Call the NDIS helpline on 1800 800 110 to discuss your business, and what you offer, to see if you should become a provider.
– Find out if your location is covered by the NDIS.
– Check the NDIS pricing guide and look at the services that suit your business. You can find it here.
– Get a ‘Working with Children Check’ and ‘Police Check’ to upload onto the provider portal.
– Have a registered ABN or proof that you are a non-profit organisation.
– Once you have done this, and you know that your business is eligible, you can move on.
- Create your Provider Digital Access (PRODA) account through the NDIS website and complete the identity check. If you have employees, they will also need their own account.
- Use this account to register for the ‘myplace’ portal, where you will manage all activity with NDIS clients.
- Complete an ‘intent to register’ application, which is found on ‘myplace’. It requires your ABN, business name and a few other questions about your business.
- To complete your registration, nominate which of the 15 categories of support your business provides. This is done through ‘myplace’ under ‘Registration Details’. It will take a couple of weeks to be either approved or rejected.
- Finally, you need to upload a signed copy of the ‘Declaration of Suitability’. Wait until all is approved, and you are good to go!
Why should you sign up?
I hope that this step-by-step guide will be of value to some of you; I kind of wish I had this! The NDIS website does have a ton of information, although if you have no idea what you are doing, like I didn’t, it can be difficult to know where to look.
It has been a fulfilling new experience for not only me, but my fur child, Alfie, the Golden Retriever. Whenever we go over for our walks, he knows where we are and gets so excited that he practically pulls my arm off to get to the front door. Their daughter is just as excited to see him and her face always lights up.
If you are wondering whether or not to give something like this a go, I suggest to just dive in. Give it your best shot and making someone’s day will most likely become a regular thing for you.
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