Action Plan documentation and Support Coordination Software

Why do I have to create an action plan when the participant already has an NDIS plan, a service agreement and a person centred plan?  I’ve been asked this question many times by Support Coordinators and like so many things that relate to Support Coordination, this question is not that simple to answer…

So to help me answer this question, here are some questions for you to consider…

  • have you supported the participant to express what their NDIS plan goals mean to them and what it will look like once they achieve their goals?
  • do they clearly understand the supports and services available and what it will take to achieve these outcomes?
  • has the participant been supported to identify their priorities and be a part of the planning process?
  • what if the participant is at risk of harm, if the appropriate supports are not available to achieve their goals, have you completed a risk assessment to identify risk mitigation strategies?

Support Coordination is a capacity building role – so how will you evidence your capacity building practice framework with how you support a participant to achieve their NDIS goals?

Let’s start by thinking about the participant: how do we define what each of their NDIS goals mean to them? An experienced Support Coordinator will know how to attain this information from their participants at their implementation meetings; but if you’re new to the game, a handy tool to have in your kit bag is a Plan Unpacking Guide (PUG).  This is essentially a guided process to assist you in your conversation with the participant to explore what each of their NDIS goals mean to them and how they want to achieve them. Importantly, framing these questions from a person-centred perspective prompts you to record this information in a way that makes sense to the participant.

The Action Plan then takes this information and further explores what tasks need to be performed, by whom and by when to ensure those goals come to fruition.  If you think this sounds very much like a project management plan, you’re on the money!  This provides clarity and transparency for a participant, including who is in their support network, the services required, and a timeframe of when these actions will be completed.

A quality Support Coordinator will work closely with their participant to ascertain what tasks the participant and their informal supports have capacity to do, and what tasks they (the Support Coordinator) are in the best position to perform.

This could include the participant and their family writing down strategies that have worked well in the past, or what hasn’t worked well, and why, and what they would like to do differently to achieve their goal.

Best practice dictates that when you are going through these questions you are looking out for any potential risks or barriers that may prevent the participant from achieving their goals, or that the participant may face in the pursuit of their goals.

A quality Action Plan will have all of these features laid out in an easy to record and easy to read format, with the ability to track the progress of each task required to achieve each goal.  This quality Action Plan will also have a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan built into the tool so you can easily access that at the click of a button if risks are evident.

So where will you find all of these tools in one place, I hear you ask…

Support Coordination Software has a Plan Unpacking Guide, an Action Plan and a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan built into the software!  If risks are identified the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan can be linked to an individual goal, a group of goals or the entire Action Plan.

So, how do these tools add value to your role?  These tools provide consistency in the way you work with participants and help you to keep track of your progress across all of the participants you are supporting.  You can provide your participants with evidence of the work you do, as well management have oversight of all of the great work you’ve done, and the work you’ve each planned to do.

If you’re a registered organisation your auditor will want to see the action plans you have drawn up for each of your participants, as well as evidence that you have done a risk assessment for that participant in the context of how they achieve their plan goals.

But it doesn’t end there!  The Action Plan can be used to add to your 8-week Implementation Report or a Progress Report to demonstrate what work has gone into assisting your participant in achieving their NDIS plan goals, and to justify the continuation of your Support Coordination budget.

The great thing about Support Coordination Software is that it is designed to reduce the number of times you enter the same piece of participant information into the system.  For example, all of the participant’s relevant NDIS details (participant’s name, NDIS number, plan dates etc) automatically populate into these documents, and if you start with the PUG, all of the goals and other relevant details populate into the Action Plan

This Tool is just another example of how Support Coordination Software promotes best practice whilst helping you to work as efficiently as possible, so you can spend more quality time with your participant, rather than filling out endless forms and spreadsheets with the same information time and time again.

Want to find out more about Action Plans, and the other Tools available with Support Coordination Software?  Click here to book a demo or sign up for a no obligation 14 day free trial.

Written by Shaughn O’Donoghue

As well as founding Co-Director of Support Coordination Software, Shaughn is the Director of Sunshine Specialist Supports, which is a medium sized specialist support coordination provider based on the Sunshine Coast.  Sunshine Specialist Supports is an independent provider of high-quality Specialist Support Coordination services to over 200 participants with a team of eight Specialist Support Coordinators.

Shaughn is passionate about ensuring that Support Coordinators across the country have access to cost effective solutions that enable them to provide best practice services whilst achieving the most efficient use of their time by providing Support Coordination Software.

He also contributes to training and content delivered by Support Coordination Academy.