How to develop a service delivery model

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How to develop a service delivery model

The NDIS model gives clients the opportunity to select providers and decide when and how they want to receive services. Having identified your organisation’s ideal client segments – ‘who you serve’ and the value you deliver to them – ‘what you do’ - the next step is to develop a service model that outlines ‘how you deliver it’.

You should clarify the relationship each client segment wants you to establish with them. Relationships are developed through different channels. They can range from personal to automated, from transactional to long-term. The type of service model you put in place influences the overall client experience. Are all your current services funded under the NDIS model?

Understand the guiding principles

The guiding principles of the NDIS can be challenging for organisations with legacy services that have traditionally operated under block funding. The NDIA outlines 17 general principles guiding actions under the Act that will impact how you deliver services.

Four principles are worth close consideration:

  • ‘Choice and control’ means people with disability can choose and control how, where and when their reasonable and necessary supports are provided. This can be challenging at first for participants, workers and services.
  • ‘Individualised funding’ enables people with disability to get the supports they need to pursue their goals, to be more independent and to participate in the community.
  • ‘Take a lifetime view’. The NDIS takes a transition approach which means planning beyond immediate client needs to what may be required across a person’s lifetime. Support arrangements can be changed as goals, preferences and needs alter over time.
  • ‘Insurance-based approaches’ are used to estimate the cost of reasonable and necessary supports and manage costs to make sure the Scheme is sustainable. This is important in considering how governments will fund the NDIS in the future and how organisations can fully recover costs.

Develop a vision for what services should look like

Comparing your current service delivery with that of other agencies delivering services to the clients you have identified.

Review your current programs via SWOT analysis or a similar tool to identify gaps and opportunities to inform your service design.

Consult with other community partners or agencies involved in your client’s support to determine the role you play and how you can design a complimentary service model.

Talk to key stakeholders, clients and carers to co-create a service model that is attractive and aligned to their needs.

Review policies and procedures

Aligning your service model and organisational goals to ensure you make informed decisions and achieve the best results for your clients.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission provides clear guidance on practice standards to regulate the NDIS market, provide national consistency, promote safety and quality services, resolve problems and identify areas for improvement.

Design the new service delivery model

Identify the key practices for your service model, focussing on the needs of people with a disability, carers and stakeholders.

Identify other organisations working in this area and look at their service delivery models. Look at staffing structures, risks, mitigation strategies and lessons learned. Service delivery in remote or regional areas may involve collaboration across organisations, some of which may be competitors in the new NDIS market.

Involve frontline staff in reviewing the SWOT analysis and providing recommendations to the proposed design of services.

Develop a staffing structure that supports the new model and determines costs and pricing. For more information refer to:

Consider the different level of risks. Analyse what measures you can take to mitigate the risks in your current or new service model.

Develop performance and outcome indicators to measure the effectiveness and success of the new model - what will ‘good’ look like and how will you know if you have achieved it?

Test your service model

Once you have identified a few preferred models, they should be tested. Testing enables your service model to be further understood and refined to find the right solution. You can check your model by consulting with key stakeholders and clients to see how well it addresses their needs.

Also refer to How to assess the viability of your service models.


NDIS Practice Standards

How do I use the Customer Relationships building block of the Business Model Canvas?