The importance of having a service agreement

Acacia Plan Management service agreement
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While having a one isn’t obligatory, it is important to have a service agreement with your providers. Why, you ask?   The written agreement will clearly outline what each party agrees to, it sets out expectations, how services will be delivered and at what cost.  It helps to remove any grey areas and if any difficulties between parties arise, it may assist in finding a resolution.  Setting up a service agreement is a relatively simple task if you know what to include.

What is a service agreement?

When you agree to use funds from your NDIS budget to pay a provider for support, you are entering into a contract.  A service agreement is an agreement between you and your provider that clearly defines what you have both agreed to and is covered by Australian Consumer Law. Your service provider could be any sole trader or organisation that provides services to you under the NDIS. 

The NDIA recommends having a written service agreement so participants and providers are clear about what each party has agreed to. For example, what supports will be delivered and how they will be delivered.

Making a service agreement is a negotiation between you and your provider.   You can involve another person, such as a family member or friend to agree on the contents of your agreement.  Providers should support you to understand any service agreement using the language and way of communicating you understand. 

Things to consider when making a service agreement

While there are no hard and fast rules about what needs to be captured in a service agreement, it does need to cover off some key points to ensure both parties are clear about each other’s expectations and prevent possible misunderstanding.

Your service agreement should define:

  • The name and contact details of both yourself and the provider
  • The dates that the service will commence and end, within the dates of your NDIS plan
  • The type of support services being provided
  • Details of the frequency and duration of when services will be provided
  • The cost per service provided, hourly rate or total cost over the duration of the agreement
  • The responsibilities of the provider
  • Your responsibilities
  • How you will manage any possible dispute
  • Any terms and conditions, including cancellation policies

Things to think about when making a service agreement (PDF 182KB) can help you when you are thinking about what to include when making a service agreement.

Once you’re happy with it, both you and your service provider should sign the document.

What should I do with my signed service agreement?

Once you have a signed service agreement, keep a copy for your records and ensure it is kept somewhere easily accessible so it can be located when required.

How can I get some assistance with setting up service agreements?

For more advice, you should contact your Local Area or Support Coordinator.