What is a Shared Contact record?

Shared Contacts are any organisations or professionals that multiple Clients are associated with.  These form an organisation's Contacts register and can be linked to the relevant individual Client records. 

This article provides an overview of Shared Contact records in SupportAbility, including examples of Shared Contacts, and the information recorded in a Shared Contact record. 

Detailed information about how to create a Shared Contact and link it to a Client record, is outlined in the How to create a Shared Contact record article, linked at the end of this article for reference.

Audience: All


The following list summarises the content of this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:

What is a Shared Contact record?

Shared Contacts are any organisations or professionals that multiple Clients are associated with. This may include the Client's NDIS Support Coordinator, their NDIS Financial Plan Manager, their GP or any medical professionals or organisations that support the Client e.g. their Physio, or any other professional that your organisation may need to liaise with.

When an organisation or professional is associated with multiple Clients, we recommend setting them up as a Shared Contact in SupportAbility, rather than as a personal Client Contact in individual Client records. 

Creating them as a Shared Contact record allows this one Shared Contact to be linked to each of the related Client records. 

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Examples of Shared Contacts

Examples of professionals, organisations, services, and suppliers which would be best suited to be being created as a Shared Contact record include the following: 

  • Accommodation
  • Allied Health
  • Behavioural Intervention Support 
  • Charity organisations
  • Community Centres/Council venues
  • Community Organisations
  • Continence Products suppliers
  • Dental professionals/clinics/services
  • Disability Aids & Equipment suppliers
  • ECEI - Early Childhood Early Intervention services
  • Educational institutions
  • Employment Services
  • Financial Plan Managers
  • Hospital/Medical Emergency
  • In-Home Support services
  • Local Area Coordinator
  • Local Government contacts
  • Medical Practitioner/Clinic
  • Peak Bodies
  • PPE Products supplier
  • Sporting Clubs/Associations
  • Support Coordinators

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Information stored in a Shared Contact Record

Shared Contact records comprise five tabs as follows:

  • Shared Contact Details
  • Documents
  • Journal
  • Clients
  • Employees

An additional tab 'Funding' is visible to those Staff who have been granted the 'View Financial Information' Security privilege: 

The information stored on each of these tabs is outlined below.

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'Shared Contact Details' tab

The Shared Contact Details tab comprises four sections as follows:

  • Shared Contact Details
  • Financials
  • Venue and Activity Details
  • Notes

Shared Contact Details

This section is primarily for making the Contact record active/inactive and recording the Shared Contact's details.  Meaningful Tags created by your organisation can also be applied here, which may serve as useful filters in a Shared Contact Search.

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This section is primarily used to identify financially related Contacts and does not need to be completed for general Shared Contacts.

More information regarding each of these is outlined in the following articles, which have been linked at the end of this article:  

NDIS Financial Plan ManagementHow to configure NDIS Direct Funding for Plan Managed Clients using Shared Contacts

NDIS Service Provider - NDIS Service Provider Contact record

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Venue and Activity Details 

This section primarily relates to Shared Contacts which are venues and contains some general information about the venue facilities and suitability for specific activities.

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This is a free text field for entering any additional information relevant to the Shared Contact.

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Documents tab

Documents related to the Shared Contact can be uploaded here and either viewed or downloaded via the relevant icons:

Dates can be set for review and a Staff member set to notify via Dashboard Notifications when the Document is due for review.

Sensitive Documents can also be marked as 'Managers Only', thus enforcing a privacy barrier around the Document whereby only those Staff members who have the 'User is a Manager' Security Privilege granted in their Staff Account, are able to see and access the Document.

Alternatively, Documents can be locked down to a particular Service, by selecting the 'Change Service' (double arrow) icon which opens a list of Services from which the relevant Service can be selected:

This enforces a privacy barrier around the Document whereby only those Staff Members who have that Service listed in their Staff Account, or have access via a high-level global Security Privilege, are able to see and access the Document:

More information about accessing Documents can be found in the Download and Preview Documents article, linked below.

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Journal tab

Journals can be created for Shared Contacts for a variety of purposes on the Journal tab of the Shared Contact record:

Documents that have already been uploaded to the Documents tab of the Shared Contact record can be linked to a Shared Contact Journal:

Contact Journal Types can be configured in System Preferences::Journals::Contact.  Once configured the relevant Journal Type will be available for selection when creating a Contact Journal: 

If a template has been created for that Journal Type it will serve as a useful prompt for Staff when completing the Journal.

Standards can be linked to the Journal, along with Journal Actions created and set to notify for specific Staff members. 

Once Journals have been created for this Shared Contact, a list of the Journals will appear on the Journal tab of the Shared Contact record:

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Clients tab

When a Shared Contact has been linked on the Contacts tab of a Client record this Client's name with a link to the Client's record will display in the list of 'Linked Clients' on the 'Clients' tab of the Shared Contact record:

N.B. Staff will only see those Clients they have access to. If there are Clients linked to a Shared Contact record that a Staff Member does not have access to, a notification message will populate at the top indicating the number of Linked Clients they do not have access to:

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Employees tab

Shared Contact records are created for both professionals and organisations. 

When the record is for an organisation the Address and Phone details entered on the 'Shared Contact Details' tab of the Shared Contact record usually relate to the organisation.  The Primary Contact person's Name can also be added there, however, their details are added to the 'Employees' tab of the Shared Contact record.

The fields of information that can be recorded for an Employee include:

  • Name (first)
  • Name (surname)
  • Position
  • Department
  • Phone
  • Mobile
  • Email

Once a valid email address has been entered for the Employee, the email icon will populate:

Selecting the email icon will automatically open your preferred email program (such as Microsoft Outlook, Gmail etc), create a new email and pre-populate the selected employees' email address.  All communications are sent outside of SupportAbility.

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Funding tab

The Funding tab of a Shared Contact record is only visible to those Staff with the 'View Financial Information' Security privilege.

Clients who have a Shared Contact set as their Financial Plan Manager in their NDIS Direct Client Funding record, and to whom Invoices have been sent are listed on the Funding tab of the relevant Shared Contact record:

A link to the Client Details tab of the Client record and the Client's NDIS Direct Funding record are included in the 'NDIS FPM Clients and Invoices Sent' list:

A blue notification also populates at the top of this tab with a link to the related Invoices:

Once this link has been selected the 'Invoice List' window opens displaying the list of Invoices. These can be accessed via the links provided:

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Quick Search

If a Shared Contact name is known e.g. Brunswick Community Medical Centre and you wish to access the specific Shared Contact record, it can easily be accessed via the Quick Search functionality. 

Simply begin entering the name and select the relevant entity from the options which populate in the Shared Contacts list:

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Shared Contacts Search

For a more detailed search filtering by a range of search criteria, the 'Shared Contacts Search' accessible via the Dashboard is a useful tool:

More detailed information about this Search is outlined in the Shared Contacts Search article linked below for reference.

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Identifying Shared Contact records by Tags and Lists 

Prior to creating Shared Contact records, your organisation may wish to review the Lists and Tags associated with 'Contact' records.  These are useful for identifying different Shared Contact records in the Shared Contact Search.  

N.B. Staff require the 'Edit System Preferences' Security privilege granted in their Staff Account in order to access 'System Preferences' and complete this configuration. 

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Contact Tags can be created and edited in System Preferences::Tags::Contact as per the example below:

For more information on Tags please refer to the  Configuring Tags article linked below.

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Similarly the list of options available for selection for 'Contact Type' and 'Contact Service Type' can be edited in System Preferences::Lists as per the example below for Contact:Service Type:  

This means that when Staff are creating a Shared Contact record the relevant options will be available for selection.  For more information on Lists please refer to the Configuring Lists article linked below.

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