Outcomes of NDIS you may not know (part 2)

Goal Based Reporting

In the previous article, we looked at the macro economic impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and focused on the financial and social crisis that the Australian governments are avoiding by investing in a more equitable based funding model now.

This article covers a major outcome of the fundamental change to a person centric system as it affects the service providers, mainly non-profit organisations. Although it takes time to get details worked out on changes to reporting requirements, there is a clear trend to goal (outcome) based funding.

With full roll-outs occurring over then next 5-6 years, the specifics of how things will work are the purpose of existing trials.  They are currently onboarding “new” clients into the system. These clients go straight onto individualised funding and do not have an existing “bulk funding” support.  Current “bulk funded” clients are being moved straight over without any changes until they are assessed and have an individualised plan.

The process details to work out are many, such as:

  • establishing individualised goals (outcomes) for each recipient with funding attached to each outcome,
  • trial the “connectors” (called “Ability Link coordinators” in NSW) who put clients in touch with local services matching their needs/goals,
  • begin organising “standard rates” for services

As similar state based individualised funding (such as NSW “Stronger Together”) were already underway, the NDIS mainly accelerates a process/funding to the person-centric model. The impact to the non-profit service providers is huge as they now need systems to manage 1000s of clients, rather than just two (e.g. state and federal governments). The tweaking of the systems involve multiple, sometimes complex changes.

Until the trials are further along, it is impossible to predict many of the changes with certainty, however, it is clear that one of the KEY new change is the way the Federal government expects reporting. Under NDIS, service providers are paid for services delivered in the client individualised plan, so reporting on the tasks and services that help reach goals are mandatory.   The need for service providers to track and report on goals and tasks related to the goals is therefore our 2nd outcome of the NDIS that most people may not know.

Outcome 2: Goal (outcome) based funding

goal bar chart

The NDIS is an investment approach rather than a charity. The goal based funding requires a couple of principles to be met:

  1. Does the activity, service or function help person to achieve more independence and or become more self-sufficient?
  2. Does the activity, service or function allow greater involvement in the community?

Whether it is a basic skill that needs developing, a lifelong dream of travelling or organising an event, the plan is adjusted to the individual. Outcomes which make persons more independent can vary, but largely contain activities which most folks take for granted. Cooking, cleaning, dressing, showering, paying bills, grooming, driving a car and many other similar items could easily be a goal requiring support to achieve independence.

Independence goals

Other independence goals include getting a job, procuring equipment to assist in movement are also valid goals. Community goals would include hobbies, art, drama, excursions, etc. Individual goals – throwing Xmas party, learning to garden. The goal, such as cooking for oneself, is broken down into tasks such as training, practice and other things that build confidence until the person is able to cook for them self. Tasks would be varied according to existing abilities. It is perceived that each goal will have a series of tasks to be completed, each representing a portion (%) of achieving the overall goal.


The expected outcome of developing goals for more people and doubling the funding means more professionals and support staff are needed, which is the subject of part 3 in this series.

For assistance with improving your organisations ability to support NDIS, contact Empower IT Solutions.


1. Above Chart is from Price Waterhouse Coopers, “Disability expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia“,

2. The Productivity Commission, “Disablity Support Chapter 20: The Benefits of reform”