With the rapid growth of the Health and Wellness Coaching industry in 2020, and a spotlight on mental health and wellbeing after lockdown, there has been a surge in interest in coaching within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as a viable work option.
If you’re interested in working in the NDIS in 2021 as a Health and Wellness Coach or as a Psychosocial Recovery Coach, this article will give you some pointers on how to get started.
The government-run National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) delivers the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to people with a disability.
The goal of the scheme is to identify needs and provide support as early as possible, to help improve their outcomes later in life.
Support needs are based on the individual’s circumstances and disability, their specific needs and goals. The supports chosen for the plan must be both “reasonable” and “necessary” as defined by the NDIS.
Once a plan is established, the individual needs to work with their nominated plan manager (see below) to identify the supports they need and are eligible for, to monitor their budget and engage in reviews.
2. Plan Managed, or
Coaching in the NDIS
Do Coaches Need to be Registered Providers in the NDIS?
Do coaches need to be register providers in the NDIS? The short answer is no, but there are differences in how you can work within the NDIS based on whether you register as a provider or not.
If you register as a provider, you have scope to work with clients whose plans are managed in any of the three ways noted above – so you have access to potentially more clients.
If you decide not to register, you will only be able to work with clients who are self-managed, or some who are plan-managed if the plan manager is a registered provider.
In January 2019, NDIS stated that over 250,000 Australians were receiving support under the NDIS, and this number has grown in 2020.
Areas a Coach Can Work in NDIS
They can also work in Capacity Building, which involves multiple areas including support coordination (organising the providers to support the individual), improved health and wellbeing, increased daily living and other areas.
As of July 2020, Psychosocial Recovery Coaches (aka Recovery Coaches) can provide support to people with a psychosocial disability.
• lived experience with mental health issues, or
• Cert IV in Mental Health or Cert IV in Mental Health Peer support or similar, or
• two years paid experience in supporting people with mental health challenges.
Psychosocial disability is a disability that can arise from a mental health issue, by improving their personal, social and emotional wellbeing while living with or recovering from a mental health condition. The individual defines ‘wellbeing’ in this case.
NDIS Coaching Pay Rates
At the time of writing, a Psychosocial Recovery Coach working in a Support Coordination role can earn $80.90 – $178.68 per hour depending on whether sessions are daytime, evening, weekends or public holidays.
A Health and Wellness Coach working in Improved Health and Wellbeing can earn upwards of $54.30 per hour, depending on whether they have additional qualifications that are recognised within the NDIS, and the level at which they are working.
Please visit the current NDIS pricing guide for more information.
What is it Like to Work with NDIS clients?
Octavia says “To be successful in a coaching role within the NDIS, the key is to build good rapport with Support Coordinators. I’m getting my name out there and am starting to get referrals.
A Support Coordinator recently referred a client to me who wanted support but did not wish to work with a psychologist. The Support Coordinator described me as someone who could offer coaching, mindfulness and body work which represents a blend of my skills and qualifications. I love the fact that I can use the various tools in my toolbox to help people take simple, tangible steps toward their goals, according to each client’s unique needs.”
The first decision to make is whether to go through the provider registration process, and whether to consider further study in Cert IV Mental Health or related qualification.
From there, it is a matter of networking with various agencies in the system to become known, and to start working with clients.
This is a very abbreviated summary of a complex system.
If you are interested in getting started as a coach within the NDIS and need support, we recommend reaching out to the NDIS for further information.
NDIS, 2019. A quarter of a million Australians now benefitting from NDIS. NDIS website, accessed 25.11.2020.