Response to NDIA on the costing model for recovery coaching

Neami National and Wellways Australia welcome the introduction of recovery coaching to the NDIS. Like many organisations within the mental health and disabilities sectors, we have welcomed the opportunity to engage in constructive discussions with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). We also appreciate NDIA’s acknowledgement of our input to the consultation on the costing model for Recovery Coaching and agreement on a wages price point being SCHADS level 4.4.

We would like, however, to set the record straight that at no time did we endorse or support any other aspect of the NDIA’s costing formula nor the final price point, which we believe is too low.

Recovery coaching is a psychological intervention. To be delivered at consistently high standards requires recovery coaches (either formally qualified or qualified through Lived Experience) to have access to clinical supervision, both in one to one and group settings and ongoing professional development. We believe the current price does not factor in these considerable costs.

As a comparison, we note that for New Access, beyondblue’s Low Intensity CBT program, also a psychological intervention, there is considerable investment in up-front training (6 weeks for new coaches), clinical supervision (external and prescribed), both one to one and in group settings. It also has a minimum data set, used to monitor performance and outcomes and to measure fidelity to the New Access model. We believe recovery coaching deserves the same rigour in its implementation and development. The current price does not allow for this.

The sector has argued successfully that investment in recovery coaching, used early in NDIS plans for people with psychosocial disability, will produce better outcomes for participants and save a considerable amount of money in the longer term, with reduced need for NDIS supports. Underfunding puts at risk that outcome.

We join Mental Health Victoria and other peaks, along with the rest of the sector, in calling on the NDIA to urgently review its pricing of recovery coaching to ensure the standard of delivery that delivers both recovery outcomes for NDIS participants and long term return on investment for the NDIA.  

Laura Collister     Tom Dolton
CEO Wellways        CEO Neami National

Download statement (PDF - 176KB)

For comment contact:
Scott Samson, Public Affairs, Wellways Australia | (03) 8486 4200 | 0429 022 248