The 3 Levels of a Support Coordinator - Maple Services
The 3 Levels of a Support Coordinator

The 3 Levels of a Support Coordinator

If you’re just starting on your NDIS journey or considering a career as a support coordinator then understanding the different levels of NDIS support coordination is crucial for maximising the benefits of an NDIS plan and helping you or your participants to achieve their personal goals.

There are three NDIS levels of support coordination:

  • Level 1: Support Connection for participants who prefer greater autonomy when coordinating their supports.
  • Level 2: Support Coordination for participants that require some help and guidance with support coordination.
  • Level 3: Specialist Support Coordination for participants with high complex needs.

We all have our strengths and challenges in life and deserve the autonomy to decide how we want to receive support. At Maple, our aim is to provide as much information as possible about how to navigate the NDIS so you have the best possible experience and outcomes. Each level of support coordination provides distinct services designed to enhance participants’ independence, help them to manage their support effectively, and address any complex needs. 

What are the 3 levels of a Support Coordinator?

The NDIS recognises three levels of support coordination, each designed to cater to different needs and complexities of participants. If you are living with a disability that does not create cognitive challenges you may decide that a basic level of support coordination is best for you. If you or your loved ones’ disability is more complex, you may choose level 2 or level 3 for more comprehensive support. 

You can work with your plan manager in your initial NDIS planning meeting to ensure you receive the correct budget for support coordination.

The 3 levels of support coordination are:

Level 1 Support Connection

The focus of level 1 support coordination is known as Support Connection. It is the most basic level of support coordination where a support coordinator will help a participant to build the capacity to independently manage their support. The primary goal is to help participants understand their NDIS plan and connect with various supports, including informal, community, and funded services.

Activities for Level 1 Support Connection include:

  • Assisting participants in finding and linking with suitable service providers.
  • Helping participants understand how to use their NDIS funding effectively.
  • Providing guidance on how to access and utilise community resources.

Participants may decide that level 1 support connection is best for them if they prefer to gain the skills and confidence to manage their supports independently, cultivating a greater sense of autonomy.

Level 2 Support Coordination

The focus of level 2 coordination of supports is the intermediate level providing participants with more comprehensive assistance than level one support connection. Support coordinators will work closely with participants for effective management and implementation of the NDIS plan. They will help you to develop your capacity to understand and navigate the NDIS system at your own pace.

Activities for Level 2 support coordination include:

  • Collaborating with participants to identify their goals and needs.
  • Developing a personalised plan that aligns with their NDIS funding and objectives.
  • Coordinating multiple services and supports to ensure they work harmoniously. 
  • Helping participants build skills to manage their plan and support more independently over time.

If a participant chooses level 2 support coordination they can receive tailored support that enhances their ability to manage their NDIS plan, leading to improved outcomes and increased independence.

Level 3 Specialist Support Coordination

Level 3 support coordination is known as Specialist Support Coordination and focuses on intensive support for managing complex needs and high-level risks. This highest level of support coordination is designed for participants with particularly complex situations and high-level needs. Specialist support coordinators are highly skilled professionals who provide intensive support to manage risks and overcome significant barriers.

Activities for Level 3 support coordination include:

  • Developing and implementing strategies to address complex and high-risk scenarios.
  • Coordinating services across multiple providers to ensure cohesive and effective support.
  • Providing crisis management and intervention when necessary.
  • Advocating for the participant’s needs in complex situations, ensuring their rights and preferences are respected.
  • Stabilising the participant’s support environment and working towards sustainable, long-term solutions.

Participants with complex needs receive the highest level of support necessary to navigate their unique challenges, ensuring their safety and wellbeing, and improving their overall quality of life wherever possible.

What makes a good support coordinator?

Whether you’re on the hunt for the best support coordinator around or you want to brush up your support coordination skills to be better for your participants, we’ve outlined some of the crucial qualities that set the best apart from the rest.

  • Empathy and understanding – A great support coordinator will have exceptional listening skills, respect your unique challenges and be able to develop strategies to help you work towards your goals.
  • Strong communication skills – Effective support coordinators communicate clearly and empathetically with participants, their families and service providers. 
  • Organisational abilities – Managing multiple tasks, appointments, and service providers requires excellent organisational skills. A good support coordinator keeps track of all details to ensure seamless coordination and implementation of support plans.
  • Knowledge of the NDIS – In-depth understanding of the NDIS, including its processes, funding categories and available services is essential. This knowledge enables support coordinators to provide accurate guidance and make informed decisions.
  • Problem solving skills – Support coordinators often encounter challenges that require creative and effective solutions. Being able to think on their feet and navigate obstacles is crucial for ensuring the best outcomes for participants.
  • Advocacy skills – Acting as an advocate for participants ensures that their needs and preferences are respected. This includes negotiating with service providers and addressing any issues that arise.
  • Flexibility and adaptability – The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and needs is important. A good support coordinator is flexible and can adjust plans and strategies to meet evolving requirements.
  • Attention to detail – Ensuring all aspects of a participants’ plan is implemented correctly requires meticulous attention to detail. This helps in maintaining accurate records and providing consistent support.
  • Interpersonal skills – Building positive relationships with participants, their families, and service providers is key. Strong interpersonal skills foster trust and collaboration, making the support coordination process smoother and more effective.
  • Resourcefulness – A good coordinator is knowledgeable about the available resources and can connect participants with appropriate services and supports. They also stay informed about new opportunities and developments within the NDIS framework.
  • Commitment to empowerment – Ultimately, a good support coordinator is committed to empowering participants, helping them to build capacity and achieve greater independence. They focus on enabling participants to take control of their lives and reach their full potential.

To find out more about Maple’s support coordination services you can contact one of our team members today.