To inform the new Self-Management Policy , we did research to hear directly from participants and learn about how self-management works in other schemes.

We have summarised what we heard from participants and what our research told us about the benefits and challenges of self-managing funding. 

The following report provides a summary of the findings from this research:

Participant engagement in the development of a self management policy

We held 8 focus groups on self-management of NDIS funding.

These were held in September 2021 with 35 NDIS participants, carers, nominees and child representatives.

The feedback gives us a better understanding of the benefits and challenges faced by self-managers.

It also informed our Participant Survey on Self-Management and our Self-management Policy .

The focus groups were made up of:

  • People who were currently self-managing.
  • People who had self-managed before.
  • People who had never self-managed.

A copy of the report is available.


    Participants in the focus groups talked about how they made the decision to self-manage.

    They told us:

    • What information, training and supports they found helpful when making decisions about self-management.
    • What further resources on self-management could be helpful.
    • The challenges for self-management, including having enough time and the organisational skills required.
    • They liked the flexibility to choose the services and items they wanted to buy.
    • They also liked the flexibility of both how and when they received services and items.
    • They found it hard to know what services or items they could and could not claim in their plan.
    • There wasn’t clear and reliable information available to help make these decisions about self-management.
    • How we could increase the number of participations self-managing.
    • How to make it easier to self-manage.

    A narrative review of self-directed disability budget management

    We have researched how self-management works in similar schemes around the world.

    This research can be found in a narrative review.

    The insights have informed our Self-management Policy.


    Self-management has been found to lead to beneficial outcomes for the budget holder and their families.

    This includes higher satisfaction with access to needs-led supports and improved:

    • quality of life
    • health
    • social and community participation
    • choice and control
    • empowerment
    • independence
    • relationship quality.

    The review found it is generally recognised that people with any type of disability can self-manage if they have the support of:

    • family
    • a circle of support
    • an independent representative, agency or broker if they have limited capacity.

    Self-management is more beneficial when people can use their funding in a creative and flexible way.

    It also works better when they have timely access to information, supports and tools to support self-management.

    Contact us if you have any questions regarding these reports.

    NDIA Research and Evaluation Branch

    Email:  [email protected] 

    This page current as of
    14 May 2024