Supported decision making policy

This policy is about helping everyone understand what supported decision making is, and how we can better support people with disability to make decisions in the NDIS. 

This includes things like applying, setting goals and how to use the supports in participants’ plans.

The policy aims to support and empower participants to take control over this part of their lives. 

The policy covers:

  • The role of the NDIA and NDIS in supporting people with disability to make decisions
  • How the NDIA can help children, young people and adults with disability understand their rights to make decisions, and support them to make decisions
  • The role of nominees, guardians, family members and others in supporting people with disability to make decisions about the NDIS.

What is supported decision making

Supported decision making is the process of providing support to people to make decisions to remain in control of their lives. 

Supported decision making involves building the skills and knowledge of people with disability, their friends, families, carers, peers and professionals.

Everyone uses supported decision making, as everyone needs support with decisions at different points in time.

How much and what kind of support a person needs to make decisions can change from time to time. 

In this video Luke from Inclusion Australia talks about what supported decision making is and how he was involved in the development of the policy.

Download the policy

What we are guided by

This policy has 4 main principles, they will guide how we can improve the NDIS to better support people with disability to make decisions: 

  • All adults have an equal right to make decisions that affect their lives and to have those decisions respected
  • There must be access to support for people who need help communicating and participating in decisions
  • Decisions are directed by a person’s own will, preferences and rights
  • Include appropriate and effective safeguards against violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation.

How we will deliver 

The implementation plan outlines the different steps we need to take to implement the policy. It has 5 key themes we will action, they are:

  • Increase opportunities for participants to make decisions
  • Support participants to develop skills and knowledge
  • Build skills and knowledge of decision supporters
  • Build skills and knowledge of NDIA staff and Partners in the Community 
  • Strengthen the supported decision making approach in the appointment, operation and review of nominees. 

We will keep involving people who benefit most from supported decision making in the implementation of this policy. 

The Policy will start to be implemented in 2023, and will continue over a number of years. 


Over the last 2 years we worked with people with disability, their friends, families, carers and the disability community. This involved receiving feedback on a consultation paper and engaging Disability Representative and Carer Organisation, Inclusion Australia, to lead our co-design workshops. 

Through co-design we built a strong and shared understanding of the problems people experience in being supported to make their own decisions.

The policy and implementation plan reflect the consultation feedback, ideas, suggestions and experiences from co-design.

To learn more about the Supported Decision Making Policy co-design and engagement journey, download the co-design story.

This page current as of
4 May 2023
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