For NDIS participants who opt for Plan Management, it is vitally important they select the right Plan Manager. A great Plan Manager will be a genuine partner in the process, making the participant’s life easier and helping them make the most out of their NDIS plan.
So what should participants look for in a Plan Manager?
A good Plan Manager will be experienced in financial management and reporting. Often they will be qualified in accounting or finance.
However, beyond just financial know-how, they will also have a comprehensive understanding of the NDIS and will have a network of NDIS registered and non-registered providers they can recommend.
Ask a prospective Plan Manager about their background, their qualifications, how many other clients they manage and their relationships with providers.
As a partner in the participant’s NDIS journey, a great Plan Manager should take the time to understand the participant’s NDIS plan inside and out. Their role will be to make sure the plan is executed successfully within budget, so an in-depth knowledge of the plan is essential.
A great Plan Manager will take this one step further and be an active rather than a passive partner in the process. This means consistently exploring ways to maximize funding and reaching out regularly with ideas and input.
Ask a prospective Plan Manager about how they have achieved value for other clients and how they will take initiative to maximize value.
If a Plan Manager isn’t in regular contact with participants it’s a bad sign. A Plan Manager can’t do their job well without regular communication. Not only should they be responsive but they should proactively reach out regularly, including in person.
Ask a prospective Plan Manager about how often they meet with participants, how often they will share updates and how quickly they will respond to questions or requests.
A great Plan Manager will have excellent relationships with participants. This comes down to trust. The participant needs to know they can trust their Plan Manager to do the job well and be an effective partner in the process. One way to gauge whether a Plan Manager is trustworthy is to find out whether they are recommended by others.
Ask a prospective Plan Manager about their relationships with participants, and whether they can share client testimonials, case studies or feedback.
The role of a Plan Manager is to cut through the clutter and reduce the financial and administrative burden for the participant. But it’s so much more than that. A great Plan Manager is a true partner in the participant’s NDIS journey.
Not only should they be a source of guidance and support, they also play an important role in educating the participant and providing training if required. Ultimately they will always put the needs of the participant first.
Ask a prospective Plan Manager about how they serve as a partner to their clients, how they educate participants and whether they offer training.
By Raheel Chaudhry,
Director, RMC Plan Managers