From the CEO August 2019

Welcome to the August edition of the CEO Sector Update.

With the release of our Quarterly Report last week, I wanted to specifically talk about the important role data plays in informing our decision-making as we continue to build a better Scheme for participants.

In my last update, I mentioned the Minister for the NDIS, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, had released a suite of NDIS research and data. Minister Robert and the NDIA are committed to full transparency for the Scheme.

This release paints a picture of both successes and challenges for participants and those who support them. We are committed to sharing more data over time and are continuing to learn from the insights the data provides us.

Participant, family and carer outcomes data

The recently released Participant Outcomes and Family and Carers Outcomes reports for 30 June 2018 are the result of one of the largest longitudinal surveys of people with disability, their families and carers in the nation’s history. The reports are based on close to 60,000 responses from participants and their family members and carers after one year in the Scheme, and the data shows the NDIS is making a real difference in homes and communities across Australia.

The NDIS approach to early intervention is helping children develop the skills required to take part in daily activities and achieve their goals. For young children 14 years and under, the percentage of children who have friends they enjoy playing with has increased by almost 11 per cent. A total of 91 per cent of parents and carers said the NDIS had helped their child’s development. 

Young adults aged 15 to 24 are also growing in social confidence, meeting more people, and are getting involved in their community. Around 38 per cent have been actively involved in the community in the 12 months prior, which is a significant increase compared to 31 per cent when they initially join the Scheme. 

NDIS is also helping participants aged 25 and over by supporting them to explore opportunities within their communities. Significantly, 70 per cent of participants had tried new activities or experiences, an increase of 15 per cent compared to the 12 months prior. Importantly, 96 per cent of those participants who participated in leisure activities said those activities were enjoyable. 

The Families and Carers Outcomes Report shows the number of family members or carers working in a paid job of 15 hours or more per week has increased by two per cent over a single year. This is really encouraging progress. Minister Robert announced the Economic Participant of People with Disability grant recipients recently, which will contribute to making our communities and workplaces more inclusive for people with disability. We will, however need to work together as a community to continue to improve outcomes for participants and family members and carers. 

COAG Disability Reform Council Quarterly Report – 30 June 2019

The Minister has released the biggest COAG Disability Reform Council Quarterly Report in the Agency’s history.

I’m particularly pleased to highlight the following achievements as of 30 June 2019:

  • 298,816 people with disabilities have joined the NDIS, an 8 per cent increase over the prior quarter. 
  • 99,537 participants have received supports for the first time. 
  • Overall participant satisfaction is high at 90 per cent.
  • 29 per cent of participants with plans approved in the quarter are either fully or partly self-managing their plans, in comparison to 19 per cent of plans approved in the June 2017 quarter.
  • Plan utilisation continues to increase as participants become more confident and start exercising more choice and control. Plan utilisation for participants on their fifth plan or greater (75 per cent) versus first plans (47 per cent).  
  • The number of registered providers has also increased to 21,150, representing 6 per cent growth on the last quarter. Specifically Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) is a fast growing and significant provider registration group, increasing 19 per cent from 139 to 166 providers. There are currently 13,309 participants with SDA in their plan, an increase of eight per cent since last quarter.

I want to specifically draw your attention to the results around Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) in this Quarterly Report. 5,312 children in the ECEI gateway have joined the NDIS this quarter, which equates to 27 per cent of participants who received an approved plan. This is a significant increase in comparison to 12 per cent in previous quarters. Minister Robert has recently release a plan to ensure more children get faster access to NDIS supports . We are particularly focusing our attention in this area because we know supports are so important to children getting the best possible outcomes. We have started contacting parents and carers of children who have experienced wait times of over 50 days to discuss the option of a six month plan so that supports can be accessed until the face-to-face planning conversation takes place.  

Collecting, sharing and learning from our data

Since September 2018, the NDIA has been refining a new participant satisfaction survey to provide a comprehensive understanding of the participant experience at each step of the pathway. A new online version of the survey was launched in June 2019 to complement existing phone surveys. 

We have also recently concluded a series of ‘Insights Forums’ with participants, providers, academics and government officials to share NDIS insights and data hosted by our Scheme Actuary. Sharing this information provides the community with a greater understanding of our achievements and the identified areas for improvement. Those attending the forums are asked to share their ideas on what we can do to improve participant outcomes and support the marketplace. The knowledge we gain through these forums are invaluable in helping us shape the future of the Scheme.  

I look forward to being able to share more data and insights with you in future updates and, as always, thank you for your ongoing support. 

Warm regards, 


This page current as of
3 December 2020