NDIS Support Coordination
When a Provider delivers Services under the NDIS, as part of the Terms of Business of operating under NDIS with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), compliance related to Conflict of Interest must be demonstrated. SupportAbility is designed to assist providers, particularly those who deliver Support Coordination along with other Direct Services, demonstrate that compliance related to Conflict of Interest is upheld.
This article reviews the additional settings associated with NDIS Support Coordination configured Services in SupportAbility, privacy, separating out the Client's funding, Journal Templates, locking Support Coordination-specific Client Documents, as well as discussing options available to manage Activities and Client Goals given the nature of this Service.
Audience: Operations Management, Support Staff, Team Leaders
The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:
- Support Coordination Service
- NDIS Funding
Support Coordination Service
In order to maintain records that demonstrate potential or real conflicts are managed appropriately for each participant, extra privacy barriers are initiated for any Service in SupportAbility that is configured to being an NDIS Support Coordination related Service.
When a Service is configured in this manner, this ensures that privacy barriers are in place for Client Journals recorded for NDIS Support Coordination Services, meaning that Staff must have access not only to the Client record the Journal entry is for but also specifically to this Service, in order to see these Journals and ensure this compliance requirement is maintained.
For example, Felix is a Support Coordinator who only has access to this Service set up in their Staff Account. Therefore, Felix can only see the Client Journals related to this Service, even though Pina participates in other Services at our organisation:
Staff Members who work in any Standard Services will also not be able to see any of the Support Coordination Activities. However, it is important to note that the Support Coordinators will be able to see the Activities the Client participates for Standard Services at present.
Configuring Services with this setting must be completed by the team at SupportAbility. For new providers to SupportAbility, this should have already been done so for you in your initial installation set up e.g:
If your organisation, however, has an NDIS Support Coordination Service which is not set in this manner, please have one of your Authorised Representatives make contact with us via support and we can create and/or set this up for you.
To ensure the inbuilt privacy barriers regarding Client Journals are enforced, the Support Coordination Service must be added to the Client Service Participation for all Clients who participate in this Service:
Additionally, access to this Service must be added to the 'Sites and services where this staff member works' section in the Staff Account of any Staff who work in this Service:
Consider if Staff with high-level privileges should have access to Support Coordination
IMPORTANT: Staff who have been granted any of the following Staff Account privileges will inadvertently have access to Support Coordination:
- 'Team Leader for ALL Services'
- 'Human Resources for ALL Services'
- 'Edit Client Records Across ALL Services'OR
- the Default Administration Service for the Site that Support Coordination is linked to:
Therefore, if your organisation wishes to limit access to this Service to the Staff who work in Support Coordination only, existing Staff Accounts may need to be audited. This is required to identify if any Staff Members have been granted 'global' Security privileges as above, or Administration [ALL SERVICES] at any Site the Support Coordination Service is available from and amended as required. For example, if Staff need access to other Services available at this Site, but not Support Coordination, this can be itemised as follows:
The Staff Privileges Report may assist in identifying who has high-level Security privileges in your organisation. Please review the linked article below for more information. Additionally, the Creating Staff Accounts video available in the Staff Management section of the Learning Centre should also assist, as it steps through how to itemise Staff access as required:
Client Funding Tags
Client Funding Tags may be configured in System Preferences and can be used to identify NDIS Direct Client Funding records by specific attributes such as 'Support Coordination', and also to identify things such as when the funding is 'Plan Managed' or 'Self Managed':
For more information, please review the Configuring Tags article linked below.
Once configured, Tags may be added to the Client Funding record:
Client Funding Notes
Client Funding Notes may be configured in System Preferences, to be displayed in the NDIS Support Allocation window of Activities:
When activated, this means that information entered in the Notes fields of the Client Funding record:
Will be displayed in the NDIS Support Allocations window of the Activity for Staff to reference:
The above is simply an example of how this may be used, however, it may provide further benefit by providing Staff instruction regarding the NDIS Support Allocations applicable to the Client where needed.
'View Financial Information' privilege
If your organisation requires the Staff who work in the Support Coordination Service to have access to the Clients NDIS Funding record/s, they will need to be granted the 'View Financial Information' privilege, in addition to access to this Service.
For example, our Support Coordinator Felix has access limited to this Service, however, also has the 'View Financial Information' privilege:
This means that they will be able to see the Client's 'Funding' tab where they may enter or update NDIS Direct Funding records for the Client's who participate in this Service:
Separate NDIS Direct Client Funding record
Many providers who use SupportAbility have advised that they prefer to separate out the Client's NDIS Support Coordination funding to their other Supports by creating a separate NDIS Direct Client Funding record:
Titled in a way that will identify this e.g. NDIS Support Coordination: 01/07/2019 - 30/06/2020:
And only including this NDIS Support:
This ensures that these Supports are not available to be added in any Activities that they should not be added to. For example, Activities, where Core Supports, are used:
There are no additional privacy barriers around this separate Funding record, however. Staff with access to the Client's record, who also have the privileges required to manage Activities will be able to select either record in the Client's Funding Source of the Activity:
Utilisation and the Client Funding Statement
If a separate NDIS Direct Client Funding record is created, this will mean that the Utilisation of this Support is contained to this record and may be tracked independently to any other Supports being delivered by your organisation to this Client e.g:
The Utilisation by Month graph and data is a great way to keep track of the funds being used, noting that when we use the word 'used' in this area of SupportAbility, it means the NDIS Support Allocations included in Activities which have had the Activity Sign Off completed:
'Planned' refers to any NDIS Support Allocations which are included in Activities that have not had the Sign Off complete, therefore it is not common to see much Planned expenditure for Support Coordination, due to the nature of this Service.
Client Funding Statement
The Client's NDIS Funding Statement associated with this Funding record will similarly be contained to Support Coordination NDIS Supports:
For more information, please review the NDIS Direct Client Funding Utilisation article linked below.
Journal Types and Templates
Specific Journal Types and Templates can be created for Support Coordination by Staff with the System Preferences privilege. For example, we have created a set of Client Journal Types specifically for Support Coordination, identifiable by the preface of 'SC' e.g. SC - Intake meeting:
You may notice in the free text field above an example 'Journal Template' has been added, including guiding information to assist the Staff with what is required.
When a Staff Member adds a Client Journal of this Type, the information included in the 'Journal Template' will populate in the Notes field e.g:
The purpose of Journal Templates is to provide instruction and guidance where necessary. Staff may enter their own notes around this information, or remove it as required.
Lock Documents by Service
Client, Contact and Staff documents can now be restricted by Service for added privacy. If a Document is locked to a specific Service, only Staff that have access to that Service in their Staff Account privileges will be able to view this.
For example, if there is a specific document that should only be viewable by the NDIS Support Coordination Service, and no other Staff, this may be restricted to this Service.
To restrict access to a Client Document in this manner, select the double arrow button under the Security column of the Documents tab:
This will allow you to select the relevant Service it should be restricted to:
The status of the Client's Service Participation is listed next to each of the Services available for selection:
- Current - Client currently participating in this Service
- Historical - The Client participated in this Service historically
- Not Used - The Client has never participated in this Service
This may be helpful as all available Services are displayed and may be selected as required.
Please review the Locking Documents by Service article for more information about this feature.
Client Goals and Goal Strategies
Whilst Staff in other Services may be using Client Goals and Goal Strategies to track the Client's progress toward the Goals as determined in their planning meeting, Support Coordinators may get benefit out of using this functionality to assist monitoring the Client's progress toward building their capacity:
There are many fields that may be completed in the Goal record, however, to provide an example of how this might be used we have simply created a Goal of 'SC - Capacity Building', including a Start Date and the Support Coordination Service Agreement Document added for reference:
You may notice under the 'Add Journal' section above, that there are many Client Journals listed. These were not created from the Goal record, but from the Activities that the Client has been added to. Given the Goal was added to the Client Journal when it was created, they are appearing linked for reference here.
The relevant Standards applicable to this may be added e.g:
As well as Goal Strategies. To demonstrate this functionality, Goal Strategies of 'Priority 1', 'Priority 2' and 'Priority 3' have been created:
Similar to the Client Journals displayed above, for reference, the Client Journals this Goal Strategy has been added to are listed in the 'Progress Evidence and Assessments' section. If an assessment was added to this e.g Assessment Score 6 for Goal Strategy 'Priority 1':
The numeric value selected is displayed also:
Client Journals - capturing multiple support durations & evidence
Further to the above, many providers offering this Service choose to use Client Journals to record each of the 'Activities' that Support Coordinators perform, such as Intake meetings, Email correspondence, Referrals, Phone Calls, etc. rather than entering individual Activities for each of these instances of service delivery. These entries are often added from within the Activity record to ensure they are linked appropriately as evidence to support the Client's NDIS Support Allocations.
To create a Client Journal from the Activity, select the '+' icon under the Journals column:
This opens up the Client Journal record:
Note that a link to the Activity this Client Journal has been created from is included as highlighted above. The 'Journal Date' defaults to the Start Date of the Activity, but this may be changed as required to reflect the applicable date where different. The relevant 'Client Journal Type' may be selected, such as 'Email correspondence' in this case. We recommend updating the 'Title' of the Journal to include the time increment of the Activity e.g. 15m emails, as this will assist when calculating the total NDIS Support Allocations required for the period. 'Notes' are required to document the evidence of service delivery.
Where applicable Standards and/or Goals may also be added. For example, this Email correspondence is related to the Client's Goal Strategy 'Priority 2', therefore this has been added with supportive notes explaining how it is related:
Once the Client Journal has been created, you may navigate back to the Activity by selecting the Activity link as referenced above. Note upon returning to the Activity that there is a list icon with the number 2 appearing in the Journals column:
This indicates that 2 Client Journals have been created for this Client from this Activity. When you select this icon the Journal Date and Title are displayed:
If you wish to navigate to the Journal, select the Title link.
Configuration options to allow Support Coordination Staff to manage Activities
For many providers of NDIS Support Coordination, the feedback they have provided is that the Staff delivering this Service need a greater level of autonomy to create, edit and manage Activities. Including performing the Activity Sign Off for invoicing. There are two ways that this can be managed.
1. Deactivate the Team Leader privilege requirement to manage Activities for Support Coordination Service
The Team Leader privilege requirement to manage Activities can be deactivated at a Site/Service level in System Preferences, meaning this may be turned off for Staff who work in Support Coordination, whilst maintained for all other Site/Services.
2. Grant Staff who work in the Support Coordination Service the Team Leader privilege
Alternatively, the Staff who work in can be granted the Team Leader privilege for this particular Site and Service.
The Creating Staff Accounts video as referenced above will assist with further information, as this reviews four existing Staff Accounts and the privileges required for their respective roles, along with stepping through the process of creating Staff Accounts.
The Privileges required to manage Activities article linked below may also assist with more information regarding this.
How Activities may be used to record evidence & NDIS Support Allocations
Activities for Support Coordination are often required to be entered retrospectively, to reflect the various tasks associated with providing this Service. Due to this, creating a separate Activity for every single one of these tasks is not efficient. This is why many providers have their Support Coordinators manage Activities differently to other Services in the organisation.
To keep track of all of the tasks completed for the Clients a Support Coordinator works with, a week-long Activity is often created to manage this. Separate Activities are sometimes created for physical meetings such as Intake, for example, however, using a week-long Activity the method for recording all other instances of service delivery has resulted in success and added efficiency for many providers.
Let's step through an example of how this could be set up. At present our Support Coordinator Felix is working with three Clients primarily, Pina, Erin, and Tim. Felix has the Team Leader privilege, as well as the View Financial Information privilege as they need access to these Clients Funding records and the ability to create, edit and manage Activities right through to the Activity Sign Off which approves the NDIS Supports Allocated for Invoicing.
Pina attended an intake meeting with her father Ralph on the 1st of July, 2019. A stand-alone Activity was created for this, as Pina & Ralph attended the Melbourne HQ office for this meeting:
Felix added a Client Journal for Pina from the Activity record:
Using the Journal Type of 'SC - Intake Meeting' which includes a template to assist with the evidence required:
And added an NDIS Practice Standard that it relates to, as well as the related Client Goal:
To record all other instances of service delivery, week-long (Monday - Friday) Activities have been created including each of the Clients that Felix is working with. The duration has been set in this manner as in this example, our organisation generates NDIS Bulk Payment Requests weekly, therefore, these Activities must be up-to-date and have the Activity Sign Off completed by 12 pm each Friday to be ready for the finance team to generate Invoices and Bulk Payment Requests.
Each Client has been added and the relevant NDIS Funding record added as their Funding Source. The NDIS Support Allocations have not been added as yet, as this is the last step in the process before performing the Activity Sign Off. Throughout the week, Felix has added Client Journals with the time increment spent at the beginning of the Journal Title. When the Journal list icon is selected, a summary is provided:
This allows Felix to easily calculate the NDIS Support Allocations that need to be added for the week, which in this case is 2 hours and 15 minutes for Pina. This may then be added by selecting the 'Allocate NDIS Support Items' button:
This process is repeated for the other Clients included in the Activity. Once the allocations have been entered, they will appear as follows:
Once added, the Client Support Log will be available for completion if required. Please see the Using the Client Support Log article linked below for more information.
When all required actions have been completed, the Activity Sign Off must be performed to ensure these NDIS Supports are available for Invoicing and inclusion in the NDIS Bulk Payment Request:
Once complete it will appear as follows:
The Activity Sign Off may be removed up until the time that Invoices and/or Staff Timesheets have been generated by Staff with the required privileges.
There are various reports that may come in handy to search for the information that has been outlined in this article.
Client Funding Search
When Tags have been added to Client Funding records e.g. Support Coordination, records with this Tag applied may subsequently be located using the Client Funding Search Report:
Please review the Client Funding Search article linked below for more information about this report.
The Journal Search may be useful to locate specific Journal Types, such as 'SC - Intake meeting':
Similarly, the Document Search Report may be useful to search for specific Document Types, e.g. SC - Service Agreement:
Or Documents which may have been restricted to the Support Coordination Service for example:
Further details regarding this report can be found in the Document Search article linked below.
Activity Clients Report
The Activity Clients Report is a great report to check things such as which Activities require Journals, the NDIS Support Allocations and the status of the Activity Sign Off. For example, the Client Journal entries may be checked in relation to the Client NDIS Allocated Hrs column to ensure this is a match:
Comprehensive information regarding this report can be found in the Activity Clients Report article linked below.