The Controversial NDIS Independent Assessments and More

May 10, 2021

Hi Everyone,

So much is happening with NDIS and the most controversial is:

The Independent Assessments
By now you’d be familiar with the concerns raised about NDIS’s proposed Independent Assessment process. In a nutshell, whilst there are some key benefits such as the cost being borne by NDIA and not by participants, many of whom couldn’t afford the specialist consultations, the concerns seem to outweigh the benefits. The disability sector ‘s concerns are about the way assessments will be carried out and how the assessments will be used to determine participant plans and funding.

The former CEO of NDIS, David Bowen believes that the government’s change is “a way of controlling the amount of funds that go into each plan, through determining that plan value through an assessment tool, rather than through a personalised plan.”

The submissions of several disability industry peak bodies and representative groups over the past few months have slowed down the implementation of Independent Assessments which was scheduled for June 2021.

The new minister for the NDIS, Linda Reynolds, announced in mid April 2021 that Independent Assessments will not be implemented as planned, until feedback from the current trials has been assessed, and further consultation across the sector has taken place.
My main concern as a provider registered with NDIS since its inception, is the conflict of interest within some of the appointed organisations.

From ABC’s investigations we know that at least 4 of the 8 government tendered and appointed assessors have subsidiary companies who offer NDIS support services!

If this is not bad enough, NDIA says: “If there is a perceived conflict of interest, the NDIA and organisations manage these via a conflict of interest management plan”. There could be further conflict of interest in applying these ‘management plans’ as the NDIA has a vested interest.

Why appoint organisations when they are affiliated to service provision? Surely there are sufficient standalone organisations with health and allied health professionals not involved in NDIS?

The Productivity Commission in 2011 recommended independent assessments as only one part of a range of assessment tools to measure participants’ disabilities and support needs. In my opinion in the name of fairness, personalised plans recognising the individual circumstances of people recommended by participants’ treating medical and allied health professionals has to be a part of this assessment process.

You can have your say

Hearings at the Joint Standing Committee inquiry into independent assessments began on Friday 23 April. Wider consultations are in progress now. You can read more about the specific concerns and also have your say via:

Other reviews of the Scheme

Hear what Martin Hoffman, the CEO of the NDIA has to say about other reviews of the Scheme including the Independent Assessments:

What do you think? Is NDIA on the right track or not with Independent Assessments?

I’d love to have your feedback.

Until then regards,


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