Independence: Who is looking after your best interests?

Independence: Who is looking after your best interests?

Independent plan managers are impartial, enabling a participant to make informed decisions about their support arrangements without seeking to further their own financial interests.  

Aspect Plan Management is an independent plan manager because we do not provide any other services to the participant except for plan management. We do not receive any benefits such as money for referring any providers. Hence, when participants receive supports and associated invoices for payments, we can objectively assess and challenge incorrect billing for them. We look after the participants best interests when it comes to using their budget and fighting for them when providers have not delivered what they promised.  

To truly understand what independent means, we need to understand what a “conflict of interest” is for a plan manager. A “conflict of interest” is when a plan manager has other motives and is able to profit from a participant using other services their company offers. This is particularly concerning when the participant is sold on services that they do not want or need. It could be that their company also provides support coordination, support work or social activities.

While there are many good providers that provide a range of services in addition to being a plan manager, there are sadly some that have their own agenda. We have heard reports of some non-independent providers that do not charge correctly and may take advantage of easy access to participants’ funds. When this occurs it can be very difficult for the participant to challenge a billing error, as the plan manager isn’t really working for them. In these cases, the left hand generates invoices for the right hand to process and pay from the participant’s budget.  

We are seeing one participant every month who has been caught up with providers that provide everything including plan management. Providers have been observed accessing funds in an unauthorised manner, such as billing excessively and processing these payments while disregarding their participant’s concerns. We’ve had a number of cases where participants have been charged for support work on days that support wasn’t delivered or additional hours have been charged. Their concerns have been ignored and their 2-year budgets have been consumed within 3 to 6 months. A conflicted service provider would not be concerned about incorrect billing because they have put their own company’s interest ahead of participant.  


Independent Plan Managers are a better option because they only focus on what’s the best financial interests of the participant. They are not there to sell other services and are never tempted to overbill. They respect your choice and control.

The NDIA encourages participants to engage with an independent plan manager who does not provide other NDIS funded supports to them.  

This ensures that plan management services are impartial, enabling a participant to make informed decisions about their support arrangements. Section 4 of the NDIS Commission Code of Conduct (external) describes the expectations of providers to act with integrity, honesty, and transparency, which includes managing real and perceived conflicts of interest.  


The NDIS states that:  

Plan management providers must assist participants to manage the financial aspects of their plan without seeking to further the financial, or other interests, of themselves and their organisation, or any third parties. This means plan management providers are required to have policies and processes in place to actively manage any real or perceived conflicts of interest.   


If you would like to find out more about independent plan managers and issues arising from providers with real or perceived conflicts of interest – contact us on 1300 770 986 or email [email protected] 

Switch or Join Aspect Plan Management today – an independent plan manager looking after your best interests.  



  1. NDIA – NDIS Guide to Plan Management September 2020 
  2. NDIS Commission – NDIS Code of Conduct.  
  3. NDSI – Support coordinators and conflict of interest