The National Disability Insurance Scheme - Setting Goals and Making a Plan

Setting Goals and Making a Plan

Once a person has been assessed as eligible for the scheme they will be invited to sit down with a planner who is employed by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and assist participants to develop a plan that will outline the types of ‘reasonable and necessary’ services and supports that a person wishes to use their individualised funding to purchase. 

The supports may be tied to the goals that participants set for themselves when devising their support plans. The NDIS Rules for Participants state that Participant’s Statement of Goals and Aspirations is to be prepared by the participant whereas the Statement of Participant’s Supports is prepared by an NDIS planner with a participant and then approved by the CEO. This is why building the capacity of people to engage in ‘goal setting’ is so important. 

In addition to information from the NDIA, a few of the Practical Design Fund projects focussed on goal setting and indivualised planning. 

The resources below provide information about goal setting and the development of support plans. 

National Disability Insurance Agency

NDIS – (supports for participants) Rules. Page 6 outlines what a Statement of Goals and Aspirations and Participant Support Plan is. Page 6 of the document also outlines the 6 key criteria the NDIA will use to determine whether the supports are ‘reasonable and necessary’ and should be funded. Key considerations include; whether supports will facilitate increased economic and social participation for the participant, whether they reflect good practice (the lived experience of the participant carer is taken into account as evidence) and whether they represent value for money for the scheme. 

This link takes you to the page that provides a general overview of the assessment and planning process as specified in the operational guidelines that govern the conduct of the NDIS.

The following is a resource that explains what the planning process to facilitate the statement of a participant’s goals and aspirations will entail including the role and responsibility of a planner. It outlines the twelve principles underpinning what a plan should be and aim to do.  

Here you can find general information about the planning process

The following link provides an example of a model agreement that a participant could make that outlines the responsibilities of both support providers and the participant. The agreement would be signed by the relevant person from the provider and the participant or nominee and would specify the duration and frequency of the support provision as well as the cost of supports and any resolution process should a dispute arise.

Operational guidelines: The planning and assessment process

The Operational Guidelines on Planning and Assessment contain operational information about the process for developing a participant’s plan.

The Operational Guidelines on Planning and Assessment are:

Operational Guidelines on Monitoring and Review of a Participant’s Plan

The Operational Guidelines on Monitoring and Review of Plans contain operational information about the ongoing monitoring and review of a participant’s plan.

The Operational Guidelines on Monitoring and Review of Plans are:

Additional resources on setting goals and making a plan 

Richmond PRA

Richmond PRA resource on goal-setting and person centred planning for people with psychosocial disability.

The report below was funded through the NDIS Practical Design Fund and includes information acquired from a literature review of best-practice approaches to person-centred planning and setting short and medium term goals by/for people with psychosocial disability

Association for Children with a Disability

Life Long Assist Do It Yourself Planning Tool. A planning tool, which can be used by people with a disability and their families to support the thinking, identifying, planning and deciding on what they believe will best support their life choices.

The report also makes recommendations relating to the role of Disability Service Organisations (DSOs) and Local Area Coordinators (LACs) within the framework of Disability Care Australia.

While the report is not mental health specific it does contain information relevant to ensuring that the planning process is as effective as possible to provide long-term supports including a helpful literature review.

Information for carers related to support planning

The NDIS website includes a page with information for carers and families who may be involved in the planning process or who may be appointed as nominees in situations where people making access requests for support may not be in a position where they can fully articulate their goals and determine for themselves the totality of supports they will need to make their plan work.

The following link provides an overview of information available on the NDIS website for carers and families:

In addition, the NDIA has produced information sheets about the role of ‘nominees’ in the NDIS. The information summarises the role defined for nominees in the NDIS (nominees) Rules and the National Disability Insurance Act 2013:


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