6 Steps to Becoming an Exceptional NDIS Support Coordinator

Key takeaways
6 Steps to Becoming an Exceptional NDIS Support Coordinator

Are you considering a career as an NDIS Support Coordinator?

As part of Support Coordination Month (we’ve made this up, so it’s not a thing, just yet 😉), we’ve reached out to NDIS support coordinators across Australia for their take on the required skills to succeed. At Ascend Health, we recognise just how pivotal this role is in improving the lives of participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). To excel in this position therefore, here are the top 6 qualities and steps you need to consider.

6 skills needed to become an exceptional NDIS Support Coordinator

1. Education lays a solid foundation

Having a university-level education can set you on the right track. It's not a requirement obviously, but the work required to get a degree often indicates an aptitude for handling voluminous paperwork professionally and within deadlines. Consider this as your foundation for success in managing complex documents, such as the S100 or S48 forms, a skill that Ascend Health values in the support coordinators it partners with. For example, let's say you're working with a participant who needs a plan review. Your educational background can be invaluable when deciphering the intricacies of the review process, ensuring all necessary documentation is accurate and submitted on time.

2. Exceptional organisational skills

One of the cornerstones of this role is organisation. You'll be juggling multiple cases, appointments, and documents, often simultaneously. Being highly organised is your key to meeting deadlines and providing timely support to participants. For example: Imagine you're coordinating services for a participant with multiple providers and appointments. Effective organisation helps you schedule and manage these appointments efficiently, reducing the risk of missed services. 

In addition to managing your day to day tasks, you always need to keep an eye on the future. Plan reviews are another example of how important this is, as you need to ensure you will have enough time to collect information to get the best outcome for your participants. Too often at Ascend Health, we’ll have a support coordinator call us to organise a last minute assessment for a plan review. These need to be organised months in advance, preferably by a service provider with many hours working with that participant.

3. Avoiding conflict of interest mitigation

Mitigating conflicts of interest is a non-negotiable aspect of your role as a support coordinator. Your utmost priority should always be the well-being of your participants. This means refraining from any situation where your personal or financial interests could compromise the quality of support you offer. The principles of transparency and ethical conduct are deeply rooted in Ascend Health's core values, for example. At Ascend Health, although we are registered for Support Coordination, we consciously abstain from providing these services, given our primary focus on therapy and support services. Although there are some great support coordinators that also provide therapy and support work, we’ve come across far too many examples of participants' funds being mismanaged and an unsatisfactory quality of service being delivered.

4. Cultivating a network and building relationships

An outstanding NDIS Support Coordinator is well-connected and has strong relationships with a variety of service providers. As a service provider ourselves, we highly value well-connected support coordinators at Ascend Health. Building these connections is instrumental in understanding the multitude of resources and service options available to NDIS participants. The more you know about these options, the better you can match them to the unique needs of your participants. For example, let's say you're working with a participant who requires assistive technology. Your network can help you identify options, recommend the most reputable suppliers, and assist in navigating the application process seamlessly.

5. Effective communication skills

Clear and effective communication is at the heart of support coordination. You need to be a great listener and capable of conveying complex information in a way that participants can understand. This skill also extends to liaising with service providers, participants, and their families to ensure everyone is on the same page. This is a skill we highly value at Ascend Health, as it allows us to deliver inclusive and transparent supports.

For example, when explaining the intricacies of a participant's NDIS plan, the ability to break down complex jargon into plain language is invaluable. It ensures that the participant fully comprehends their options and rights, delivering clear and client-focused service delivery.

6. A commitment to lifelong learning

In the dynamic world of NDIS, change is constant. Staying abreast of policy shifts and emerging industry trends is a cornerstone for delivering top-tier support, and it’s something you won’t be able to avoid. Ascend Health strongly encourages its preferred support coordinators to embrace this principle. Consider attending workshops, participating in webinars, and engaging in continuous learning to ensure you remain at the forefront of your field.

How to build a high-quality NDIS business

If you embrace these principles of quality education, outstanding organisational skills, ethical conduct, an extensive network, effective communication, and a commitment to continuous learning, you'll align yourself with other premier NDIS support and therapy agencies. Not only will this make your work easier, you will also be able to leverage the great work that other organisations are doing to improve the quality of disability supports in the community. This is the approach that we have used to build Ascend Health as the premier support work and therapy services agency in Australia, and it's something that we want to share with other professionals and organisations. Together, we can redefine what exceptional support services look like.

And finally, we would love to hear from you if you want to take your support coordination career to new heights. We have a Preferred Provider List that we engage with regularly, and we would love for you to be a part of it.

Increase your capacity with Ascend

Your support services are designed to address your unique goals and want you to feel comfortable with your ongoing support needs. We arrange an initial meet-and-greet between all our new clients and potential students until you find the right support worker for you.

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