Orange Plan is ready for PACE, but what is it?

boy with disability playing with brother

The NDIS has recently announced that it is preparing to make changes to some key aspects of its systems and processes. These include the introduction of a new computer system called PACE, some updates to plan processes, and new support categories. We’ve compiled these changes into one comprehensive blog post, to help you understand the changes and what they mean for you. The NDIA has been working on these changes for some time and are staging a rollout of the system from October 30, 2023.

What are the latest changes to the NDIS?

One of the biggest changes the NDIS is rolling out is the new computer system and provider portal called PACE. The NDIS believes these new systems will be more user friendly and easier for NDIS staff, providers and participants on the scheme to use. The new system has already been tested in Tasmania, and will begin to roll out nationally from October 30, 2023 in a staged approach, with a complete rollout from February 2024.

From the end of October 2023, you may be offered a plan on PACE if any of the following applies to your new plan:

  • You are receiving your first ever NDIS plan
  • You have lodged a COC or Plan Review that was accepted and are being issued a new plan in line with this review
  • You have a plan expiring after October 30, 2023 and have opted into moving onto PACE

If you have a plan expiring after October 30, 2023 and do not wish to move to PACE or are not contacted by the NDIA, the NDIA have stated that your plan will roll over automatically, with your transition to PACE occurring at the expiry date of that rolled over plan.

What is the PACE system?

PACE is the latest business system for the NDIS and its partners. This new system will replace the existing computer program the NDIS uses to communicate with you and manage your NDIS plan.

The new system is designed to:

  • Improve the experience for both participants and providers
  • Provide clearer and more consistent information about how decisions are made
  • Create more consistency for systems and processes on a national scale
  • Make it easier to implement recent changes to the NDIS Act

The new system will be able to hold the information, enquiries, plans and budgets of participants, and can also connect to a new My NDIS participant portal.

What do you need to do to prepare for these changes?

The good news is, the roll out of the new system is expected to take up to 18 months, so you don’t need to do anything at this stage. Your NDIS plan will be moved over to the new system at the time of your next plan reassessment. During this transition, the NDIS will provide more information and support, and the Orange Plan team will be here to ensure a smooth transition. The biggest new change that will affect our clients and their families is the concept of ‘endorsement’ of your providers, detailed below.

What is endorsement, and how do I endorse a provider on the NDIS if I have a PACE Plan?

Endorsement is the new process by which you approve and acknowledge providers that you have engaged under your NDIS plan. Previously, old NDIS plans had the concept of service bookings, in which your provider lodged an allocation of funding in line with the services you had agreed they provide. 

The issue with this system was that some providers would claim incorrect amounts or refuse to release service bookings either for a set period, or until certain disputes were resolved. This practice restricted choice and control and prevented participants from moving to a new provider. While incorrect practice, it often took time for the NDIA to resolve these issues, which did not address the immediate problem of engaging your incoming support.

Under the new system, you (or your plan nominee or representative) will endorse the providers you wish to engage with. Endorsement allows your provider to quickly claim from your plan, and view key information such as your contact information and your representatives and nominee to help you get the support you need.

This new system also means you can contact the NDIA at anytime and change your endorsements if you wish to swap providers, or if you are having a dispute with a provider, helping to improve choice and control.

How do I manage my endorsements?

To add, remove or adjust an endorsement, you can either do so during a plan meeting, check-in or reassessment, or by contacting the NDIA on 1800 800 110. You will need the provider’s name and ABN, but we would recommend quoting their provider number if known as well. 

For example, to endorse Orange Plan Management you would need to provide the following information:

Business Name: Revigorate Pty Ltd trading as Orange Plan Management
ABN: 83 616 268 458
NDIS Provider Number: 4050021671

A great new quality of life change with the new system is that you can endorse a provider in an ongoing capacity. This means that for providers you are happy to continue to work with, you do not need to call up and refresh these endorsements regularly. This greatly assists with continuity of your support for supports such as SIL, SDA, Plan Management and Support Coordination.

Don’t worry, you can always adjust or end these ongoing arrangements at any time by contacting the NDIA on 1800 800 110.

How will this impact you and your plan?

In addition to the new computer system (PACE) that is currently being rolled out, there are a few more changes that may impact the way you navigate your NDIS plan. These include changes to:

  1. The way your plan is created
  2. Plan meetings
  3. Optional implementation meetings
  4. Participant check-ins
  5. NDIS support categories

The NDIS is also in the process of developing a brand new NDIS website, which has loads of information for people transitioning to the new NDIS PACE system.

Where can you go for more information?

The NDIS website has plenty of information about each of these changes and how they may impact you and your plan. If you have any questions about any of the above, you can also contact the Orange Plan team, who will be happy to help guide you through the process.