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New process to combine funding

A quick explainer on the NDIA’s new Coordinated Funding Proposals (CFP) process

By Sara Gingold

Updated 15 Apr 202420 Jan 2023

Right before Christmas, the NDIA released details of a new process called Coordinated Funding Proposals (CFP), an initiative that that helps participants group together to approach providers to deliver supports.

CFP can help people

  • attract providers to areas that might be underserviced or lack specialist services
  • save money by sharing costs such as provider travel and accommodation

Presumably, CFP has been designed to be a thin market intervention. However, it is not limited to people living in thin markets. Many remote communities have been combining their funding to attract providers since the inception of the NDIS. the NDIA might have learned this move from the communities who have been using initiative solutions to tackle provider shortages for years. For these communities, CFP should not impact existing arrangements.

How it works

The NDIA lists 6 steps in the CFP process.

  • Step 1: Building a group

Participants will need to find a group of other people who want similar supports. This may be one of those rare opportunities where Facebook can be a force for good in the world.

  • Step 2: Agreeing on supports

The group agrees on what supports to purchase.

  • Step 3: Asking for a quote

The group sends proposals to providers. The NDIA recommends sending it to 3 providers. There is a proposal template on the NDIA’s website, but using it is not compulsory.

  • Step 4: Choosing the provider

Providers send quotes to participants detailing what supports will be included, the cost of providing those supports, and so on. Again, the NDIA has a non-compulsory template that providers can use. Participants will then look over the quotes and select a provider

  • Step 5: Setting up supports

Providers will need to enter into a service agreement with each participant.

  • Step 6: Monitor the supports

This step is just about making sure everybody gets the supports that have been agreed upon.

Who would use this?

CFP might be useful for anybody looking for group supports or for communities struggling to attract providers. A group of people living in a region with a shortage of occupational therapists (OTs), for example, might use a CFP to attract a provider to make monthly visits to their area. Alternatively, a group of friends who wants to spend a couple of days together every week might use CFPs to shop around for a provider that will offer community-based group supports.

Service agreements

Providers enter into service agreements with each individual, not with the group. This means that people can withdraw from services without the support ending for everyone.

How does the funding side of things work?

There are plenty of uncertainties around how the funding side of things will work, particularly whether each participant will pay a share of the total provider cost or if the provider will claim against each person’s plan on an hourly basis. The example quote template has sections asking for “total CFP cost” and “total CFP cost per participant”, which suggests that the Agency anticipates each person paying an equal share of the overall cost. However, the provider is entering into a service agreement with individuals, and presumably people will sometimes need different levels of support.

On the plus side, this lack of clarity might allow for a degree of flexibility, as providers and participants can enter into an arrangement that works best for them.

Funding in plans

CFP is just a different way of purchasing regular NDIS supports, so it does not need to be specified in the plan. People just need to make sure that they have enough money to pay for the support.

Team leaders

The NDIA recommends that CFP groups have a team leader who leads all the organisation side of things. This can be a participant, but it can also be a support coordinator, friend, or family member or advocate.

Group size

Groups can be any size; there is no minimum or maximum. 

CFP as an individual

The NDIA’s newsletter also said that individuals can choose to use CFP to purchase a range of supports from one provider.

You can learn more about CFPs and find the proposal and quote example templates on the NDIS’s website.

Authors

Sara Gingold

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