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What’s the difference between registered and unregistered NDIS service providers?

Why would a service provider choose not to be registered with the NDIA?

What does engaging an unregistered service provider mean for an NDIS participant?


The Body Refinery works with many NDIS clients but is an unregistered service provider. The National Disability Insurance Scheme encourages service providers to register, however, this process takes a considerable amount of time, money and effort on behalf of the service provider. For this reason, there are many service providers who choose not to register. This effectively labels them as ‘unregistered service providers’.

One of the benefits of opting to be Plan-Managed or Self-Managed over Agency-Managed (i.e. by the NDIA), is access to both registered and unregistered service providers.

The word ‘unregistered’ can make some people feel uneasy, however, the term is misunderstood, and as a result, some participants miss out on the opportunity to work with a vast number of professional service providers who can help them achieve their NDIS goals.


Put simply:

  • a registered service provider is an entity that has registered its services and has been approved by the NDIA as a service provider.
  • an unregistered service provider has not completed this approval process, though can still offer a valid service to participants.

One key difference is that only registered providers can claim their invoices directly with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, whereas an unregistered provider will send invoices to you or your Plan Manager for payment. Participants who use the services of unregistered providers will need to manually claim funds back from the NDIS through their NDIS portal, or you can engage a Plan Manager to do this for you.

It’s important to remember that just because a service provider chooses to remain unregistered with the NDIS doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t use their services. Unregistered service providers can offer NDIS participants essential and highly-skilled services that can assist the participant in reaching their goals. These services are still covered by the NDIS, though you may need to pay a gap if the price of the services doesn’t fall within the NDIS price guide.

There is minimal risk in engaging an unregistered service provider, with many of these service providers using their skills and dedication to improve the lives of people living with a disability.

Unregistered NDIS providers are not audited for adherence to the requirements of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Commission, however, physiotherapists and other health professionals already adhere to the requirements of their own professional industry body, the standards expected by their employer/practice and generally pride themselves on providing excellent patient care.


The Body Refinery offers a range of services that are covered under the NDIS, and the relevant team members are experienced in writing the care plans required for the NDIS.  We have existing relationships with many Plan Management companies to ensure that participants receive the highest quality of care.

If you’d like to see how we can ensure you are living your fullest life with the benefits of the NDIS, call our friendly admin team, who can arrange for you to speak directly with one of our physiotherapists, osteopaths, or exercise physiologists.

NDIS – National Disability Insurance Scheme
NDIA – National Disability Insurance Agency