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New to PACE? What to watch for

As the national rollout of PACE continues, we have tips to get you up to speed with the new system, latest improvements, and five issues for troubleshooting.

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New to PACE? What to watch for

A close up of a hand scrolling through a mobile phone beside a notebook and laptop

What you need to know

  • More providers have staff using PACE for the first time as the national rollout continues.
  • Providers should consider adapting their procedures to the participant-centred design principles that underpin payments in the new computer system.
  • Many technical problems reported by providers are known system issues that have scheduled improvements on the way.
  • NDS continues to work with the NDIA towards improved outcomes for both providers and participants.

Getting up to speed

PACE is the NDIA’s new computer system. The NDIA’s original system was not built for the NDIS, so PACE was developed to help meet participant service standards coming out of the 2019 Tune Review. This review also highlighted the need to better equip people with disability to be effective consumers in the NDIS marketplace. 

It is clear that the experience and autonomy of NDIS participants are a priority in the design of PACE. 

Following consultations and a Tasmanian trial starting in late 2022, the national rollout of PACE began in October 2023. All NDIS participants are expected to have a plan in the new computer system by May 2025. About 10 per cent of all NDIS participants are already using plans in PACE to deliver payments to providers. 

As part of this gradual transition, new NDIS participants now have their first plan developed in PACE, while existing NDIS participants who do not rollover their plan will move to a plan in PACE at their next reassessment. 

Providers who need help to work with participants in PACE can go to the NDIS Improvements website and join an NDIA information sessions for providers

NDS recommends that providers who have not yet worked in the new system prepare their procedures and staff for the several key changes that PACE may bring to their operations:  

  • changes to claims and payments and the introduction of My Providers 
  • using the My NDIS Provider Portal and the virtual provider learning environment 
  • the different visibility on the portal of participant information depending on the provider  
  • how support coordinators and psychosocial recovery coaches receive requests for service.  

The participant-centred design of payments in PACE reflect how the NDIA sees future relationships between the agency, NDIS participants and providers. That is: 

  • the NDIA delivers the participant an NDIS plan with reasonable and necessary funds for disability supports 
  • The participant engages a provider to deliver an agreed disability support 
  • The participant delivers payment to the provider for their service.  

With the removal of service bookings in PACE, many NDS members have redesigned their procedures to prepare for a more indirect relationship with the NDIA. NDS members can watch a webinar we hosted last year that shared insights about preparing for PACE from providers in the Tasmanian trial. 

The NDIA has also developed a range of resources to help NDIS participants to understand and adapt to the PACE transition. 

If providers would like to help with NDIA consultations to improve PACE, expressions of interest, with your contact details, can be sent to ndiatransition.providers@ndis.gov.au by Monday 13 May. The NDIA encourages applications from providers who have a good understanding of their organisation’s operations and feel comfortable both using the myplace provider portal and My NDIS Provider Portal. 

Five common issues providers are facing with PACE

If you are unfamiliar with PACE, you should be aware of the technical and practical hurdles that providers have reported to us, and prepare appropriately. Below, we breakdown the five most common issues. 

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1. Payment delays from My Provider relationship issues

What’s changing? 

My Provider relationships are a key component of the PACE payment system. During the Tasmanian trial they were called “participant-endorsed providers”. Providers cannot record themselves as a My Provider for a participant. 

For some categories of providers, a participant must record them as a My Provider in PACE before they can claim payment for services. 

Being recorded as a My Provider streamlines payment so that valid claims can be turned around in two to three days. Without the relationship, claims can take up to 10 days. 

What should I watch for? 

The NDIA acknowledge system issues with identifying and validating My Provider relationships at planning and reassessment meetings. This means that participants often need to recontact the NDIS National Contact Centre to record additional My Provider relationships. 

Providers who have been asked to support participants to recontact the NDIS have reported processing delays of weeks. Also, some categories of providers are unable to get paid until these relationships are recorded and some have previously faced issues claiming for supports delivered before the My Provider relationship was recorded. 

What can help here? 

Staying on top of recorded My Provider relationships 

The My Provider section of the What We're Working On webpage describes: 

  • the provider information that participants can bring to planning meetings so they can record My Provider relationships then and there 
  • how participants can contact the National Contact Centre on 1800 800 110 and offer the provider information to record a My Provider relationship 
  • how certain providers can identify a My Provider relationship through their My NDIS Provider Portal (that the NDIS will then validate with the participant) 
  • how other providers can identify a My Provider relationship via provider.support@ndis.gov.au (that the NDIS will then validate with the participant) 

The My NDIS Provider Portal webpage describes how providers can view notifications about their My Provider relationships as well as their participant list. 

The general support and feedback section of the FAQs for providers webpage describes how to escalate an unresolved enquiry with the National Contact Centre. This escalation requires a reference number, which is reportedly available only for enquiries started by phone or email but not by webchat. 

Troubleshooting claims before or after a My Provider relationship 

Providers who are required to have a My Provider relationship recorded to claim payment should know that, since February, providers can resubmit rejected claims for services that were delivered before the My Provider relationship was recorded in the plan. 

Service agreements are recommended by the NDIA and are key to clarifying the services that participants have agreed to pay for. NDS is aware of the NDIA increasingly asking for service agreements as evidence when they step in to disputes about payment. 

For example, the NDIS may ask to see a service agreement if a participant engages an allied health provider to deliver a functional assessment but, after receiving a report they do not agree with, the participant withholds payment. 

Scheduled system improvements  

The My Provider section of the What We’re Working On webpage and the New System Improvements webpage describes the NDIA working on: 

  • ways to identify existing connections with providers and validate them as a My Provider relationship at plan reassessment. 
  • more providers being able to identify a My Provider relationship through their My NDIS Provider Portal. 
  • training for NDIA staff to identify and validate My Provider relationships at planning or reassessment meetings. 
  • continuing the special team, announced in December, that is checking back through participant plans and identifying My Provider relationships that should have been recorded. 

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2. Changed visibility of participant funding via the provider portal 

What’s changing? 

After feedback from participant advisory groups, PACE was designed so that only certain details from a participant’s plan are shared with the relevant providers via their My NDIS Provider Portal. It was considered that this is similar to providers in mainstream markets not being able to see consumers’ bank accounts while they deliver their agreed work. 

For information not available on the portal, PACE encourages providers to engage NDIS participants and their representatives or intermediaries about it during their initial discussions about what services the participant would like to receive from the provider. 

What should I watch for? 

The removal of service bookings and the visibility of participant funding in PACE gives less certainty to providers that there is funding available to cover the NDIS services they have agreed to deliver. 

SIL providers, in particular, risk exposure if participants or intermediaries do not alert them of changes to a participant’s NDIS funding that may impact the home and living supports it can sustain long-term.  

Since the Tasmanian trial of PACE in 2022, NDS and provider advisory groups have been highlighting the operational pressures caused by these changes, but the NDIA has held firm about maintaining the current visibility of participant funding for non-intermediaries. NDS does not expect the participant-centric principles behind the design to be rolled back. 

In August 2023, the “ring-fencing” of Home and Living funding in PACE was introduced, so that only a My Provider approved by the participant could claim funds from this category. 

NDS continues to call for measures that ensure more certainty and fewer surprises for providers as they try to plan their operations and staffing levels. 

What can help here? 

Working with participants and their representatives and intermediaries 

PACE encourages participants to become more informed and effective consumers in the NDIS marketplace. Providers should not expect the NDIA or the My NDIS Provider Portal to give them all the personal information for delivering personalised supports to participants. 

The introduction of PACE has prompted NDS members to re-examine their processes, how they gather information to deliver quality supports, and how they might improve communication with NDIS participants and their representatives or intermediaries. 

Provider peaks have offered to continue working with the NDIA to improve outcomes for providers and participants using PACE. If your organisation has ideas for initiatives or resources that would assist NDIS participants to better engage with you and deliver what you need to provide quality disability supports, please get in touch with our Senior Policy Officer Jeremy Farley: submit enquiry/feedback

Clearer responsibilities for all parties involved in a service agreement 

With PACE emphasising participant choice, providers are unclear what action they can take if participants and their representatives or intermediaries choose to enter into a service agreement that cannot be funded with their NDIS plan. 

For example, a participant with a plan in PACE receives a reduction in their Home and Living funding after their scheduled plan reassessment. Neither they nor their support coordinator choose to inform the registered SIL provider and both parties renew a year-long service agreement at the current SIL support ratios. Their plan manager processes the claims for SIL supports, but the participant’s internal NDIS review is ultimately unsuccessful and plan funding is exhausted halfway through the service agreement. Following NDIS Practice Standards, the SIL provider delivers unfunded continuity of supports while next steps are ironed out. 

NDS will keep bringing this issue up with the NDIA and the NDIS Commission. Providers need to know what is expected of them when participants and their representatives do not advise of changes that exhaust their NDIS funding partway through their service agreement. 

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3. Technical barriers using the My NDIS Provider Portal  

What should I watch for? 

PACE uses information from several sources in the My NDIS Provider Portal. NDS understands that integrating data across these sources is causing system conflicts that can prevent providers from completing work in the portal, often showing the “Oops, something went wrong!” error message.  

The NDIA have acknowledged that these user profile errors are not the fault of the provider and are fixing the issue. However, the same error message can appear for other issues — such as participant consent— which can make it hard for providers to troubleshoot their next steps. 

What can help here? 

Troubleshooting resources 

The General Support and Feedback section of the FAQs for providers webpage outlines some of the problem-solving resources for providers for different issues and how to escalate an unresolved enquiry with the National Contact Centre. 

NDS Members have reported that the webchat on the top of the NDIS Improvements website can be quicker for clearing up simple issues than phoning or emailing. 

If you believe that the “Oops, something went wrong!” error message is because of an underlying system issue, lodge an enquiry describing the error message to the National Contact Centre via 1800 800 110 or provider.support@ndis.gov.au. This will alert staff to problems with the user profile and is reportedly quicker than waiting for the system’s data sweeps to identify and resolve the conflict.  

Scheduled system improvements  

The New System Improvements webpage describes the NDIA working on improvements to the My NDIS Provider Portal and the updating of PACE error messages to improve the provider experience. 

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4. Getting effective troubleshooting support 

What should I watch for? 

The NDIS National Contact Centre (NCC) is the go-to contact point for PACE enquiries from both providers and participants. NDIA Provider Engagement teams and NDIA staff delivering PACE information sessions regularly advise providers to contact the NCC about their PACE issues so that they can be centrally triaged and allocated.  

But this means they have a lot of enquiries coming in. Their webpage also reports additional demand and delays around processing changes of circumstances and requested changes to NDIS plans. 

Providers have been reporting long waiting times when contacting the NCC and enquiries, usually passed on to other NDIS staff, take a long time to resolve. Familiarity with PACE among NCC operators seems to be variable, with some new staff unfamiliar with common provider issues.  

What can help here? 

Provider familiarity with PACE processes and terminology 

Many of the PACE-related questions recently received by NDS could be answered by referring to resources on the NDIS Improvements website and in the NDIA information sessions for providers

NDS recommends that members new to PACE familiarise themselves with available resources, so they can prepare their procedures and staff for the changes. Provider peaks continue to pass on feedback about how the NDIS Improvements website could better help providers keep track of new resources. 

The NCC will not share information about an NDIS participant with another person or organisation unless the participant’s consent to do so is recorded in their system. Recording participant consent is a separate process to recording a My Provider relationship. 

For certain enquiries, some providers will phone the NCC alongside the consenting participant or ensure the participant has already sent in the NDIS consent form before they contact the NCC. 

When phoning the NCC on 1800 800 110 or emailing provider.support@ndis.gov.au with a PACE-related problem, providers say they get better outcomes when their enquiries give specific details about what they were trying to do before they encountered the problem and when they use the same terminology adopted by the NDIS Improvements website (and NDIA training resources). For example: 

  • An enquiry about claiming payment might benefit from specifying the error message received, at what screen they received the message, and what actions have been unsuccessful according to the claims and payment self-help guide
  • An issue accessing “the portal” could cause confusion by referring to either the My NDIS Provider Portal, the myplace provider portal, or the PRODA portal. 

NDS Members have advised that the webchat (at the top of the NDIS Improvements website) can be useful for getting clarification on simple issues more quickly than phoning or emailing the NCC. 

The General Support and Feedback section of the FAQs for Providers webpage describes how to escalate an unresolved enquiry with the National Contact Centre. This escalation requires a reference number, which is reportedly available only for enquiries started by phone or email but not by webchat. 

Ongoing system improvements  

The NDIA acknowledges these operational challenges with the NCC and a number of improvements are underway, but they will take time to kick in. 

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5. Navigating PACE alongside participants with statutory guardians 

What’s changing? 

PACE encourages participants to become more-informed consumers in the NDIS marketplace and to make decisions about their supports. For participants with impaired capacity to make decisions, providers have reported difficulty getting their decision-makers to progress supports and payments through PACE. 

What should I watch for? 

PACE processes typically involve the NDIS using SMS to contact participants about verifying payment claims. Some participants do not have a phone, have an older nominee not confident with technology, or have a statutory guardian unable to engage in this process. 

Most providers can expect payment of their claims to take up to 10 days if they are supporting participants with decision makers who have not recorded them as a My Provider and who do not respond to verification of payment claims from the NDIS. 

Providers who require a My Provider relationship to claim payment for services should ensure they engage effectively about this PACE process with participants who have impaired capacity to make decisions and their representatives or intermediaries. 

What can help here? 

Scheduled system improvements  

The NDIA acknowledges the issues providers are having around decision makers engaging with PACE.  

The Statutory Guardians section of the What We’re Working On webpage describes the NDIA working on a rollout of a dedicated portal for guardian organisations by the middle of the year. This portal will reportedly allow guardians to directly share information with NDIA systems. 

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Related resources

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Jeremy Farley, Senior Policy Officer – Member Advocacy, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number