Client Service Participation

This article provides detailed information relating to the Client Service Participation section of a Client record, how this relates to Staff access to Client information, and its relevance for other features in SupportAbility. 

Information about Client Service Participation can also be found in the  Client: Client Details tab video, available from the 'Client Record' section of the Client Management tab in the Learning Centre: 

Audience: All


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

Why does the Client Service Participation need to be entered?

It is essential to enter all the Sites and Services in which a Client participates, in the 'Client Service Participation' section of their Client record:

For the following reasons:

  • at least one Service must be entered and the 'Primary' Service selected in order for the Client record to be deemed as 'complete' and ensure an 'Incomplete' Client Warning does not display
  • to accurately record the Client's participation in the Services your organisation delivers
  • to enforce the privacy barriers regarding Staff access to Client records
  • so the correct Clients are available for selection when creating Activities related to the Sites and Services they participate in
  • to activate additional functionality for Clients participating in the NDIS Financial Plan Management Service i.e. NDIS FPM tab, or participating in the Employment-related Services i.e. Workforce and/or Employment tabs

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How do Staff have access to Client records?

Staff are granted access to Client records based on the  Sites and Services they work in, or they may have access to all Clients in the system via their Staff Account Privileges.  Provided Staff have access to the Client record, they are able to view and edit the Client record.

To access Client records, one of the following conditions must be true as set in the 'Client Service Participation' section of the Client record: 

  • The Client has no Services (active or inactive)
    • The Client record will be accessible by ALL Staff
  • The Client only has inactive services 
    • The Client record will be accessible by Staff who work in one of those inactive Services, or who have high-level Security privileges
  • The Client has active Services 
    • The Client record will only be accessible by Staff who work in one of those active Services, or who have high-level Security privileges

N.B. When no Sites and Services have been added to the Client Service Participation this means that there are no privacy barriers in place, therefore, all Staff can access this Client record until the Client Service Participation has been updated. 

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Adding a new Client Service

The  Client Service Participation section on the 'Client Details tab' of a Client record is where the Sites and Services which a Client participates in, are entered.

SupportAbility can be used to manage your interactions with Clients from their first point of contact, tracking their Status progress from enquiry, through waiting list, to intake and finally as an actively participating Client in one or more Services which your organisation delivers. 

To begin, a Client record must be created with a minimum of First name, Surname and Date of Birth being entered to create a unique record:

You will notice that this record is still 'Incomplete' as further information is required (underlined in amber), however, it can be saved with a minimum of the data entry points listed above. 

Once a Client record has been created the Services they are enquiring about or participating in can be added to the 'Client Service Participation' section of their Client record and the relevant Status flagged, as outlined below.

Adding a Client Service Participation entry

To begin select the  '+' icon next to 'Add a new client service':

When selecting the Site/Service to add, Staff Members will only be able to see and add those Site/Services which they have access to:

The status next to the 'Select' button will indicate which Services are Current, Historical or Not [currently] Used in the Clients' Service Participation. 

Once a Service at the relevant Site has been added, there are four fields that require configuration as follows:

  • Primary Service - mandatory to deem the Client record 'complete' 
  • Status - optional 
  • Start & End Date - optional 
  • Key Support Worker - mandatory to deem the Client record 'complete' 

N.B. Services and Sites can only be selected when they have been configured correctly. If no Services and Sites are available to select from, this indicates that this step has not been completed correctly. In such a case, we would recommend reviewing the Configuring Services article linked below.

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Primary Site/Service

The Primary Service in which a Client participates in is a mandatory field and can be set by checking the circle next to the relevant Service:

Once flagged as the primary Service and saved, this will display at the top of the 'Client Service Participation' section.

The Primary Service is a filterable search criterion in both the Client Search and the Client Service Participation Report.  

If a Client record does not have any Services selected as the Primary Service, two warning messages will appear as follows:

The 'Client Service Participation' section will display a warning:

An 'Incomplete' Client Warning will appear at the top of the Client record, as the Client record is deemed 'incomplete' when this information is missing:

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The Client: Service Participation Status is a customisable list that can be configured in System Preferences::Lists to suit your organisation's requirements. Those Staff who have the relevant 'Edit System Preferences' Staff Account privilege are able to access and edit this list.

It is recommended that separate entries are created for each Status per Site/Service, including recording the Start and End Dates for each, to facilitate the ability to search on the duration of each Status, thereby tracking the life-cycle of a Client with your organisation. This is necessary as SupportAbility does not track changes made to the Status of a single Client Service Participation entry.

The example below illustrates the use of separate entries for each Status, for Client: Adam Boshell relative to his participation in Day Services delivered from the Melbourne (HQ) Site: 

Adam first enquired about participating in Day Services at the Melbourne HQ Site on the 12th of April, 2021.  A Client record was created for him, along with an entry in the 'Client Service Participation' section of his Client record. This included information about the relevant Site, Service, Status (e.g. Intake), Start Date (e.g. 12/04/2021), and Key Support Worker who handled the Intake and Assessment process with him (e.g. Stacey Pieratt).

Once Adam progressed to the waitlist for this Service, an End Date was entered in the Client Service Participation entry for the Status 'Intake'.  A new entry was created with a Status of 'Waiting list' to reflect the time that he was added to the waiting list and the Key Support Worker supporting Adam through this phase.

The same process was repeated for each subsequent Status i.e. 'Waiting List' to 'Active' as above. 

Once this information has been recorded as recommended above, it can be searched on via the  Client Service Participation Report as this clearly captures information regarding the length of time the Client spent in each Status regarding their engagement with 'Day Services'. This information can be useful to assist an organisation to measure the time it is taking to progress from one Status to the next. 

Information pertaining to this report is available in the Client Service Participation Report article, linked below.

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Start and End Date

As outlined earlier it is recommended that separate line items are created per Status for each Site/Service.  When the Start and End Dates are applied per Status this will provide more meaningful data which can be searched for in the Client Service Participation Report.

The Start and End Dates can be selected: 

Once an End Date has been applied, the entry will become 'greyed out,' and move to the 'historical client services' section. Selecting the 'Show historical client services' button will open this section to display all Services, both Active and historic:

Waiting List Date

When 'Waiting List' is selected as the 'Status', an additional Waiting List Date field, separate to the Start and End Date fields will appear:

N.B. The 'Waiting List Date' is a searchable field in the Client Search:

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Key Support Worker

All Client Service Participation records, including historical Client Services, need to have a 'Key Support Worker' recorded in order to deem the Client record as 'complete' and ensure an 'Incomplete' Client Warning does not display:

The list of Staff available for selection in the 'Key Support Worker' field is organised alphabetically and grouped by 'Service Staff' first, followed by 'Non-Service Staff':

The Key Support Worker information may be useful when an organisation wishes to track the different Key Support Workers who have worked with a Client throughout their time participating in a Service.  It may, therefore, be helpful to create separate entries for each Support Worker per Status per Site/Service:

N.B. 'Key Support Worker' is an available search criterion in both the 'Client Search' and 'Client Service Participation Report'.  More information on these Search Reports is available in the related articles linked below for reference.

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Historical Client Services

When Clients have Service/s in Client Service Participation with an 'End Date' of less than today, these Services are listed at the bottom of the Client Service Participation and are hidden from view by default. 

View Historical Client Services

To view this information, select Show historical client services:

Hide Historical Client Services

To hide these Services again, simply select the 'Hide historical client services button:

Reactivate Historical Client Services

To 'reactivate' a historical service, simply navigate to the relevant entry in the 'Historical Client Services' section, remove the 'End Date' and select the 'Save Client' button to save your changes.   This entry will no longer be greyed out and will now be visible in the Client Service Participation section.

N.B. The Status does not automatically update when an End Date is removed, and therefore the Status must always be updated manually.

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Client participation in an 'NDIS Support Coordination' Service

When a Client participates in a Service that has been configured as an NDIS Support Coordination Service in System Preferences, and this Service is added to a Client's Service Participation: 

Extra privacy barriers are activated due to the privacy requirements around this Service. 

For Staff to access specific Journal entries for this Service, they must not only have access to the Client record, but also this Service specifically in their Staff Account privileges. Please review the Journal Permissions article, linked below, for further information. 

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Client participation in  an 'NDIS  Financial Plan Management' Service

When a Client participates in a Service that has been configured as an NDIS Financial Plan Management service in System Preferences and this Service is added to their Client Service Participation:

Extra privacy barriers are also activated due to the privacy requirements around this. 

For Staff to access specific Journal entries for this Service, they must not only have access to the Client record, but also this Service specifically in their Staff Account privileges. Please review the Journal Permissions article for further information. 

Along with the additional privacy layer, adding this Service in the Client Service Participation makes available the 'FPM' tab on the Client record, to allow the entry of External Invoices received to be included in the NDIS Bulk Payment Request as part of the inbuilt NDIS Financial Plan Management functionality for Plan Managers: 

For more information regarding this functionality, please review the  Steps to set up and use the NDIS Financial Plan Management functionality article linked below.  

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Adding Clients to an Activity

It is also important that Sites and Services have been entered in 'Client Service Participation' so that the Clients who participate are available for selection when adding a Client to an Activity.  Only Staff with the relevant Staff Account Privilege are able to create Activities and add Clients to existing Activities.

Adding Clients participating in a Service, to a new Activity

Clients who participate in the Site and Service the Activity is created for are displayed for selection, within Step 3: Clients when creating a new Activity: 

Adding Clients participating in a Service, to an existing Activity

When adding Clients to an existing Activity via the 'Show Service Clients Not Participating' button: 

a list of Clients who participate in this Site/Service will be displayed for selection. The relevant Client can be added by selecting the checkbox next to their name:

This list may be minimised once the relevant participants have been selected by clicking the 'Hide Service Clients Not Participating' button:

Adding Clients via the 'Add a client' search field

If the Client to be added to the Activity is known, part or all of their name can be entered in the 'Add a client' search field:

Selecting the relevant option from the list will add the Client to the Activity:

N.B.  When additional Clients are added to a group Activity it may be necessary to adjust the Portion for the relevant Support Allocations for each Client. 

Adding Clients who do not usually participate in this Site/Service

It is also possible to add Clients to an Activity who do not participate in the Site/Service associated with the Activity.  Entering part or all of their name in the 'Add a client' search field will display the options that match the value entered, including both those who participate and those who do not participate in this Site/Service:

Once selected, Clients who do not participate in this Site/Service will be displayed in the subsection titled 'Additional Clients' of the Clients section:

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Status when adding a Client Journal

When creating a Client Journal the status of the Client's Service Participation is listed next to each of the Service/Sites available for selection: 

  • Current - Client currently participating in Site/Service.  
  • Historical - Client participated in Site/Service historically.
  • Not Used - Client has never participated in this Site/Service.

This may be helpful as the Site/Services displayed for selection are based on the Staff members privileges and not the Client:

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