Practical Design Fund Questions and Answers

Enquiry

Response

Q: The Practical Design Fund Questions and Answers page is updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If I have a question after Thursday 30 August 2012 what do I do?

A: FaHCSIA will not respond to questions received after 5pm Thursday 30 August 2012. After this time program guidelines should be examined for advice. FaHCSIA expects to make the final update of the Questions and Answers page by 6pm on Thursday 30 August 2012 although if complex questions are received it is possible an answer will be posted on Friday 31 August 2012.

Q: I would like to send a letter to the head of the PDF as part of a submission being prepared by another organisation. Can you please advise, name, position and postal address.

A: General correspondence concerning the Practical Design Fund may be addressed to:

Mr David Bowen
Chief Executive Officer
NDIS Launch Transition Agency
PO Box 7576,
Canberra Business Centre, ACT 2610

Please note that only material contained in PDF applications can be taken into account by the selection committee. If your letter is a letter of support, it should be included as an attachment to the application by the organisation that is applying for funding.

Q: Over the past four years my business revenue has been minimal and I have not needed to produce an audited set of accounts. I have completed my tax return on the Trust for the past 4 years.

I am concerned that I do not have the financial documents to be considered for funding. I have limited overheads as I work from home and I am part of a larger network of HR professionals who can assist in the delivery of these programs if I am successful in sourcing funding for a large volume of work.

Please suggest a course of action. I am not sure if applying as an individual is allowable.

A: Your application should be drafted noting that the selection committee will be considering your ability to deliver the project outputs (selection criterion two).

Individuals may apply for the Practical Design Fund. It is also open to you to lodge two similar applications – one as an individual and one as an organisation.

Q: Should all proposed projects be able to be adapted on a National level or can they be specific for a State or localised contained geographical area?

A: There is no requirement for projects to be able to be adapted on a national level but a project that benefits a large number of people or organisations would be more likely to be selected for funding than a similar project that benefits a small number of people or organisations.

Project proposals may be national, state-based or locally-based.

Q: Will the NDIS be clearly defined before the start of any projects?

 

A: The design of an NDIS includes significant community consultation as well as negotiation between all Australian governments. NDIS design will continue into 2013.

Please refer to Part A of the program documentation for the COAG NDIS high level design principles.

You may register with ndis.gov.au to receive updates on NDIS progress.

Q: I am wishing to confirm whether a budget for a practical design fund project application must be submitted. If so where is the best place to submit the budget proposal for the project?

A: You should provide the amount of funding you are applying for in your response to selection criteria one. You should also include information such as budget and financial management plans that will help the selection committee to determine value for money in social service delivery. See page 11 of the application form. You may also wish to read further questions and answers about budgets on this page.

Q: I understand that a question has been asked in regards to whether the PDF is seeking proposals that:

  • Identify solutions to transition issues OR
  • Develop and/or implement the solutions

I am hoping to get some clarification around the answer to this. My understanding of the fund is to identify possible solutions and present these as guidelines/advice but not develop and/or implement these solutions as this will be done at a later date. Could you please confirm if this is correct?

A: Yes your understanding is generally correct. The Practical Design Fund aims to identify practical solutions and innovative approaches to NDIS transition issues. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to include some development and implementation activities in order to inform the identification of practical solutions and innovative approaches.

The following scenario from Section 2.1 of Part C Program Guidelines illustrates that there could be some development and implementation activities within projects while noting that the Practical Design Fund is focused on identifying practical solutions and innovative approaches:

A project developing training guidelines to assist service providers to operate in the new environment may include implementation of training based on these guidelines in some sample service providers to inform the efficacy of the guidelines.

Q: We are a current FaHCSIA service provider, do we simply leave part 4 blank?

A: Yes.

Q: Our Organisation has received funding from FaHCSIA in 2011 and 2012 can you please confirm if Part 4 – Financial viability and Governance needs to be completed by the Applicant? Our Organisation can supply our current 2011 Annual Financials Statement Annual Report with this application.

A: If you are currently providing services on behalf of FaHCSIA you do not need to fill out Part 4 of the application form. Otherwise please fill out this section.

Q: Does the 500 word limit include tables and diagrams?

Words included in tables and diagrams are counted toward the 500 word limit.

Q: Can you advise when it is expected that a draft or final assessment tool would be available?

A: We are still determining the support needs assessment tools that we will use. We will be able to provide this information closer to launch.

Q: It is anticipated that a consultant would be employed to deliver some aspects of our proposed project, which may include some aspects of project management (although the organisation will retain responsibility and engagement throughout). Must we include this arrangement as a sub contract for part of the project?

A: Subcontractors only need to be declared if they are delivering services on behalf of FaHCSIA. Your project will be providing services to FaHCSIA not on behalf of FaHCSIA.

Q: Can you please advise where or how you wish applicants to attach a proposed budget for the project submitted for the Practical Design Fund for NDIS? We have completed the application and the only reference to budget we can find is in criteria one. Is this the only place we can attached a budget?

A: Yes. Please include budget details as part of your response to criterion one.

Q: We are in the process of completing an application and notice that the final page checklist asks whether a “Short explanation to question 18 has been attached if required”. The application to form does not appear to include a question 18 and so we were wondering what this relates to.

A: The checklist has an incorrect reference. It should refer to Question 14 of Part 4 – “Please tick if any of the following apply to your organisation – any form of litigation….”

Q: Does this project need to be linked to the NDIS launch sites?

A: No.

Q If two individuals are applying together should the application be put under a business name? And what happens if there is no business?

A: If two individuals are applying the application should be made in the name of the two individuals. For example, in response to question 2 on the application form which asks “What is the legal name of your organisation?” you would respond “Mrs Smith and Mr Brown”.

Q: As an individual applying, which of the following must I supply on request within 7 days:

  • an organisation chart;
  • duty statements for all positions;
  • financial policy and procedures (systems manual);
  • delegations, (authorised financial delegates or decision makers);
  • business plan;
  • risk management plan.

A: The question on the application form concerning these documents has two parts.

The first part asks if you have these documents. Documents such as organisation chart, duty statements, systems manual and details of delegations commonly are not relevant to an individual (as an applicant) applying for grant funding and so if you do not have these documents your application should indicate this by not ticking the boxes next to these documents.

If you do have any of the documents listed then you should indicate that you do have these documents by ticking the appropriate boxes.

The second part asks if you can supply these documents within seven days if requested. You should indicate the answer to that question by indicating “yes” or “no” on the application form.

It is open to individuals to lodge applications with none of the documents you have listed however a risk management plan, and particularly a business plan, are common documents lodged that may assist in giving confidence to the selection committee about your ability to deliver the project.

Q: Selection criterion one includes the request “Provide information such as budget and financial management plans that will help determine value for money in social service delivery” – does this mean I have to attach an action plan?

A: The dot points in selection criterion one are suggestions of ways that you may convince the selection committee as to the merits of your proposal. An action plan would be another type of document which may assist in convincing the selection committee as to the merits of your proposal. However it is not compulsory to submit an action plan.

Q: Is FAHCSIA looking for a coordinated national response, coordinated state response or are local applications relevant?

A: The identification of practical solutions to NDIS transition issues may be at a local, state or national level.

Q: Should applications focus on the target populations for the launch of the NDIS (for example, the particular age groups being covered in the South Australian launch) or can it be broader than that?

A: Either may be addressed.

Q: Is FAHCSIA able to comment as to whether they hope for just one successful bidder or multiple bidders?

A: The selection committee will receive no instructions concerning this. The overriding principle guiding the selection process is value for money for the Australian Government.

Q: Can you please confirm whether an organisation can submit more than one application?

A: Yes, organisations can submit more than one application.

Q: I am preparing an application for the  Practical Design Fund and being mindful of the word limits in the application I will submit a detailed budget and company financial records as attachments.

I see reference to one attachment being allowed - am I specifically restricted to one attachment?

A: You are not restricted to one attachment.

Q: In reference to Application Form Part 5 – Question (1): Supporting information in an attachment.

Where and how do I attach an action plan and time line to support question 1? Can I attach the action plan and time line as separate documents into an email along with the application, or do I have to insert the action plan and time line underneath my answer to question 1 within the word document application?

A: Applicants lodging complex projects or those of wide scope may provide a project summary within the 500 word limit and supporting information in an attachment. When you send in your email containing your application form you can add these attachments as separate documents in the email.

If your application is neither complex or of wide scope please include this information as part of your answer to Selection Criterion One. 

Q: In reference to Application Form Part 3 – Question 11: Please provide details of your organisation’s bank account for payment should your application be successful.

As an individual applying, can the bank account be registered under my own name, or does it have to be registered under the business name?

A: In the case of an individual applying for funding as an applicant you can use your own bank account.

Q: We are an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) which employs a proportion of our staff as supported employees. We are considering a project which involves the development of a web site which will have a business focus. I am concerned that this may not be viewed as a suitable project for funding as the benefits to people with a disability are indirect. Having said that it does fall into the philosophy of ADEs developing a more business oriented approach and community profile?

Would the proposed web site project be considered appropriate for the funding?

A: The PDF is designed to support projects that will identify NDIS transition issues and the best practical response for:

  • people with disability, their families and carers;
  • the disability sector workforce; and
  • disability sector organisations.

Please refer to selection criterion one and Attachment A in Part C for guidance on the type of projects which are suited for the Practical Design Fund. FaHCSIA is unable to discuss individual applications or provide advice as to whether the potential project is likely to receive funding or not.

The selection committee will receive no instructions as to whether the benefits flowing from the identified practical solutions should be direct or indirect.

Q: In reference to Application Form Part 4 question 12: Financial viability.

If the accounts referred to are not audited does this disqualify the applicant from receiving funding?

A: No, it does not disqualify an organisation from receiving Practical Design Fund funding.

It is open to the selection committee to place greater confidence in audited accounts over accounts that are not audited.

Q:  Can I attach references from organisations supporting my proposal? Do I attach them in an email along with the grant application?

A: Applicants lodging complex projects or those of wide scope may provide a project summary within the 500 word limit and supporting information in an attachment. You could include letters of support as attachments. When you send in your email containing your application form you can add these attachments as separate documents in the email.

If you are lodging an application for a project this is not complex or of wide scope please provide the information contained in these letters of support within the 500 word limit. You may wish to advise that original letters of support can be provided on request.

Q: Are applications first screened automatically as accepted/rejected through a machine readable programme before human intervention/examination?

A: No.

Q: Do para/sub-para numbering/lettering count as one word e.g. 1a

a: Paragraph numbers and sub-paragraph numbers do not count as words.

Q: Is part 5 of the application form asking organisations to take on a promotional/educational role for the NDIS? Or is it asking organisations what services they can provide in a practical sense i.e. we can provide so many hours at a certain cost for a particular service?

A: Part 5 of the application form contains the three criteria that should be addressed by organisations applying for Practical Design Fund funding.

This is not intended to collect information about what services organisations may be able to provide to people with disability funded by a National Disability Insurance Scheme when it is launched. Calls for organisations to provide NDIS funded services will be made at a later date.

With the Practical Design Fund FaHCSIA is seeking the identification of practical solutions to NDIS transition issues.

Applicants will not be taking on a promotional role. Applicants will have an educational role in some respects as the project will be providing advice to government.

Q: My company formed as a result of two organisations merging. One of these former organisations is a service provider of a FaHCSIA program. Do I need to fill out Part 4 of the application form?

A: If your organisation is currently providing FaHCSIA funded services you do not need to complete this section. Otherwise you do need to complete this section.

Q: I understand what a budget is but I am unsure what you require in a financial management plan as this term could be interpreted in a number of ways. Can you please elaborate on what a financial management plan should include?

A: The inclusion of a financial management plan is a suggestion only. There are no prescribed requirements for a financial management plan but it should be drafted with a view to providing confidence to the selection committee of your competence in managing funding that may be allocated to you.

If you choose to lodge a budget and a financial management plan you could include expected income and expenditure for the project in the budget while the financial management plan could detail the processes surrounding the management of budgeted items and could include organisational governance structures, risk management frameworks and procurement strategies etc.

Q: I am reading through the information, and cannot seem to find a budget template or an item in the application form that asks for the requested amount of funding. Could you direct me to where this might be?

Additionally, what are your recommended application amounts?

A: On the application form, under selection criterion one there is a request to provide information such as budget and financial management plans that will help determine value for money in social service delivery. There is no standard budget template.

There is no recommended minimum or maximum amount that applicants could apply for. However, funding must only be spent on carrying out the project and in accordance with the agreement between you and FaHCSIA. Page 4 of the standard funding agreement refers.

Q: Is the Practical Design Fund seeking proposals that: 

  • identify solutions to transition issues OR
  • develop and/or implement the solutions for transition issues.

A: The Practical Design Fund aims to identify practical solutions and innovative approaches to NDIS transition issues.

Q: What type of information can I attach to answer question 1 in more detail? Both our business plan and action plan? What other documents can we supply and how many?

A: FaHCSIA does not prescribe the documentation that you need to supply in support of criterion one of the application form but suggestions are included.

In answering selection criterion one you should be demonstrating to the selection committee that your project will identify practical solutions, the impact of your solutions and also to show that your project represents value for money. The overriding principle guiding the selection process is value for money for the Australian Government.

If your project is complex or of wide scope it is open to you to provide more documents rather than less noting that the selection committee can then reference the supporting information as required.

Q: I will be applying for a grant as an individual. Which of the following must I submit?

  • an organisation chart;
  • duty statements for all positions;
  • financial policy and procedures (systems manual);
  • delegations, (authorised financial delegates or decision makers);
  • business plan;
  • risk management plan?

A: The application form has been developed with an organisation focus so individuals (as applicants) should fill out this form as fully as possible taking references to organisations to be references to individuals. Upon receipt of application FaHCSIA will contact you if any required information is missing from this application form.

It is open to individuals to lodge applications with none of the documents you have listed however a risk management plan, and particularly a business plan, are common documents lodged that may assist in giving confidence to the selection committee about your ability to deliver the project.

Documents such as organisation chart, duty statements, systems manual and details of delegations commonly are not relevant to an individual (as an applicant) applying for grant funding.

Q: What date will the funding be available to begin the proposed project, and what is the expected completion date for the proposed project?

A: Funding is expected to be available in October 2012. Projects must be completed by 29 March 2013.

Q: I cannot adjust the area size of the application PDF to meet the word limit for the three criteria. Secondly, when I type or paste text into the document the text does not extend over to the next page. Also when I making a typing error, on some occasions, I am unable to go back and delete what I have typed.

A: It is very difficult to provide advice on such matters as the causes could result from a large number of issues.

Many people have free PDF software that allows you to read PDF documents but not make adjustments to forms. Software must be purchased in order to fill out PDF forms properly.

You can reference to a separate sheet of paper if you have insufficient space in the document e.g. “Please refer to Attachment A”.

You could also use the Word document which many computer users find easy to use.

Q: The Practical Design Fund guidelines state “Projects already funded by state governments or the Commonwealth Government are not eligible for funding under the Practical Design Fund”.  Please define ‘projects’?

A: Projects are the proposals being put forward to obtain Practical Design Fund funding.

Q: The Practical Design Fund guidelines state “Projects already funded by state governments or the Commonwealth Government are not eligible for funding under the Practical Design Fund”.  In its broadest sense it could rule out all government  funded service providers. Can you please clarify?

A: Government funded organisations are eligible to apply for Practical Design Fund funding as long as the project put forward is not already specifically funded by state governments or the Commonwealth government. If a proposed project included a contribution by staff already funded by state government or the Commonwealth Government salary costs of these staff could not be included.

Q: Our work areas are structured as separate ‘business zones’ e.g. Respite Care has a different structure and needs compared to the Day Therapy Service. Consequently each area has different priorities and questions to be examined regarding transfer to an NDIS system. 
Should I submit separate funding applications for the different projects that are proposed for the different work areas or should I describe all projects on one application?

A: Either method may be used.

FaHCSIA may accept an application for funding in part or in full.

In the event that an application is lodged addressing several issues and FaHCSIA determines it is the best proposal with respect to some issues but not to others FaHCSIA will contact the applicant proposing part funding.  

Q: Sole traders are not mentioned as one of the eligibility types. As a sole trader, am I considered an individual? If so, does this mean that I do not have to prove financial viability?

A: You would apply for Practical Design Fund funding as an individual and would not need to prove financial viability.

Q: Does the question about sub-contracting out (Q4 application form) include getting an external expert firm to construct work for us?
For example, we wish to get funding to hire a consultant to provide a report on how we adjust to a new business model, advice on costing systems etc. An expert professional is required to do this. Is this an example of a sub-contractor for the purposes of this application?

A: This question refers to the sub-contracting out of service provision. It is expected that most projects that will be submitted for Practical Design Fund consideration will be providing the service of “advice to government”. As such it would be unlikely that projects would be outsourcing this function. However if your project involved service provision and you intended to subcontract out this function then details would need to be included at Question Four.

If, as part of your project, you obtain services from an external party or consultant to inform your project this does not need to be declared at this question.

“Part C Application Information for the Practical Design Fund” provides information on the aims of the PDF and examples of the types of projects that the PDF will fund. It also includes selection criteria that should be examined to determine if proposed projects may meet funding specifications.

Q: We will be hiring a firm to conduct our project and do not know exact costs. How should we approach this in our application? Should this be approximated or should be obtain a quote for services?

A: Either method is acceptable noting that funding must only be spent on carrying out the project and in accordance with the funding agreement between you and FaHCSIA. The standard FaHCSIA funding agreement, which is provided on the website, provides further information on how funding is treated by FaHCSIA.

Selection Criterion Two refers to the ability of your organisation to carry out the project outputs. It is open for the selection committee to have greater confidence in an application which provides clarity with respect of costs compared to one which does not.

Q: An earlier download of the application form Part 3 on Page 8 included questions 12 to 15. The application form now has the same questions numbered 8 to 11? Please advise.

A: On the original form the numbers were out of sequence. There is no change to the questions themselves. Either version of the form may be lodged.

Q: Is it possible for some findings from PDF-funded projects to remain commercial-in-confidence or must all results be publicly disseminated?

A: It is a condition of funding that project findings are available for wide dissemination and therefore the project findings could not be classified as commercial-in-confidence and be eligible for funding.

Q: Do projects have to be fully completed by March 2013, or can the funds be fully expended by then with the project completing by June 2013?

A: Projects must be completed by 29 March 2013.

Q: I am wondering if you can tell me whether a budget is required with the submission for the PDF? In the application guidelines it mentions that applications will be assessed in terms of ‘value for money’ but the three selection criteria do not mention a budget requirement.

A: A budget is required as part of your application. On the application form, under selection criterion one there is a request to provide information such as budget and financial management plans that will help determine value for money in social service delivery.

Applications will be assessed as follows:

 

  1. Applications will be assessed on the essential selection criteria (criteria one and two);
  2. Applications assessed as equivalent based on the essential selection criteria will be differentiated by reference to the preferred criterion (criterion three);
  3. Applications will then be assessed on a value for money basis;
  4. Applications will be selected to ensure coverage of issues faced by:

    a) people with disability, their families and carers;
    b) the disability services workforce;
    c) disability service organisations.

Q: If an internal tool is developed for the Practical Design Fund, who owns the intellectual property to this tool e.g. a human resources system recruitment tool?

A: The Commonwealth will offer Standard Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions to successful applicants in which the funding recipient retains ownership of intellectual property rights, however it is a condition of funding that project findings are available for wide dissemination. See Section 14 of the Standard Funding Agreement for full details. A copy of this document is included with the other Practical Design Fund documentation.

Q: Would funding be considered that would support the development of an organisation (from an individual) if it was able to show that it supported the criteria as outlined. For example, I am wanting to set up a service to individuals would this be considered?

A: The PDF is designed to support projects that will identify NDIS transition issues and the best practical response for:

  • people with disability, their families and carers;
  • the disability sector workforce; and
  • disability sector organisations.

Please refer to selection criterion one and Attachment A in Part C for guidance on the type of projects which are suited for the Practical Design Fund. FaHCSIA is unable to discuss individual applications or provide advice as to whether the potential project is likely to receive funding or not.

Q: What impact does my state government’s support for an NDIS have on applications for PDF funding?

A: None.

Q: Can you please provide an indication as to whether any of the projects listed below may be eligible for funding?

A: The PDF is designed to support projects that will identify NDIS transition issues and the best practical response for:

  • people with disability, their families and carers;
  • the disability sector workforce; and
  • disability sector organisations.

Please refer to selection criterion one and Attachment A in Part C for guidance on the type of projects which are suited for the Practical Design Fund. FaHCSIA is unable to discuss individual applications or provide advice as to whether the potential project is likely to receive funding or not.

Q: Will NDIS funding help a person to get into training?

A:  The Australian Government is currently working with states and territories on the design of an NDIS, including critical questions such as how to determine eligibility and how people’s needs will be assessed. The package of supports that will be available under an NDIS is still being developed.

Q: I’m thinking of applying to the NDIS Practical Design Fund as an individual, do I have to prove financial viability?

A: No.

Q: I note that complex projects and those with a wide scope may provide additional information as an attachment when addressing selection criterion one. How is a complex project or a project with a wide scope defined?

A: A project with a wide scope is one that addresses a number of NDIS transition issues.

A complex project is one that requires considerable detail in order for the selection panel to adequately comprehend the relevance of the project in meeting the selection criterion.

The selection committee will assess the application based on the project summary with reference to the supporting information as required.

Q: Part 7 of the Practical Design Fund application form asks “Have you addressed selection criteria 1 to 5 …” There are only 3 questions in part 5, what are the other 2 criteria?

A: There are only three selection criteria. .

Q: Can you please advise if applications will be accepted from partnerships of two organisations? And if so, how do we enter the organisation details onto the Application Form?

A:   The following entity types are eligible to apply for funding for this activity:

a) Incorporated Associations (incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have 'Association' or 'Incorporated' or 'Inc' in their legal name);

b) Incorporated Cooperatives (also incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have "Cooperative' in their legal name);

c) Companies (incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 – may be not-for-profit or for-profit proprietary company (limited by shares or by guarantee) or public companies);

d) Aboriginal Corporations (incorporated under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2006);

e) Organisations established through a specific piece of Commonwealth or State/Territory legislation (many public benevolent institutions, churches, universities, unions etc);

f) An individual or - jointly and separately – individuals.
Other entities are not eligible to apply for funding.

Q: In Attachment A of Part C a project example reads “How do providers ensure an individualised approach across their organisation?” What does this mean?

A: This refers to a key focus of the NDIS. The NDIS will place the individual at the centre of decision making, with portable individualised funding packages to support choice of tailored services that are aligned to individual need.

Service Providers will need to adjust to this new environment, provide services in demand and objectively demonstrate value for money to people considering purchasing their services.  
Providing individualised services is in contrast to providing block funded services.

Q: I downloaded and read all the information pertaining to the PDF to see if my project meets the criteria. It states that more projects will become available so I was wondering if I should wait.

A: The program documentation does not state that more projects will become available.
There may be a second round of funding if applications received in this round do not sufficiently cover the objectives of the PDF or emerging issues for the NDIS require addressing.

Q: I would like some clarification concerning "Special Conditions applying to this Activity (Intellectual property generated by projects will become the property of the Commonwealth of Australia)".  Is this stating that any physical outcomes (such as software solutions) will become the property of the Commonwealth of Australia?

A: The Commonwealth’s interest with respect to intellectual property is that solutions identified with Practical Design Fund assistance will be available for wide dissemination through the sector including uploading to websites that are publicly available.

To this end the Commonwealth will offer Standard Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions to successful applicants in which the funding recipient retains ownership of intellectual property rights (See Clause 14.1 of the Standard Funding Agreement available on this funding information website) rather than the Commonwealth.

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Instead, the Commonwealth will seek broad licence over intellectual property rights as per Clause 14.3 of the Standard Funding Agreement.

Q: If we submit a Practical Design Fund funding proposal which involves a project with people with disability and their carers, will we need to source participants, or will there be departmental help in sourcing participants and carers?

A: FaHCSIA does not provide assistance in contacting potential participants for projects.

Q: Is there a preferred approach regarding the presentation of the project budget and/or budget build up to be provided in the documentation? (e.g. a proforma?)

A: No

Q: I note the tender criteria states value for money, but the application form doesn’t have a place to attach a budget to the tender. How and when do we provide this?

A: You should provide the amount of funding you are applying for in your response to selection criteria one. You should also include information such as budget and financial management plans that will help the selection committee to determine value for money in social service delivery.  See page 11 of the application form.

Q: How much may a corporation apply for to deliver this service?

A: There is no specified limit on the amount of funding an applicant may apply for. However, funding must only be spent on carrying out the project and in accordance with the agreement between you and FaHCSIA. Page 4 of the standard funding agreement refers.

Q: Will FaHCSIA take into account matched funding processes?

A: Yes.

Q: Can you please give me an indication whether grants will be made available for:

  • Infrastructure
  • Programs
  • Services?

A: There are no prescribed restrictions on the items that the grants can be made available for, provided that the project meets the guidelines for the Practical Development Fund. The practical solutions identified by the projects could include any of these items, however projects and activities already funded by state governments or the Commonwealth Government are not eligible for funding under the Practical Design Fund. Applicants should examine selection criterion one when designing projects.

Q: Can we access the report into the assessment tools?

A: Not at this time.  The report on the National Assessment Tools is a draft which is currently being considered by Governments.

Q: Could we access the assessment tools and develop a project that will ‘road test’ the assessment tool to a targeted group?

A: Access is not available at this time (see above).  There may be opportunities, subject to decisions by Governments, for access to assessment tools in the future. 

Please refer to selection criterion one and Attachment A in Part C for guidance on the type of projects which are suited for the Practical Design Fund. FaHCSIA is unable to discuss individual applications or provide advice as to whether the potential project is likely to receive funding or not.

Q: Will submissions for the NDIS Practical Design Fund from a consortia be accepted?

A:   The following entity types are eligible to apply for funding for this activity:

a) Incorporated Associations (incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have 'Association' or 'Incorporated' or 'Inc' in their legal name);

b) Incorporated Cooperatives (also incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have "Cooperative' in their legal name);

c) Companies (incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 – may be not-for-profit or for-profit proprietary company (limited by shares or by guarantee) or public companies);

d) Aboriginal Corporations (incorporated under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2006);

e) Organisations established through a specific piece of Commonwealth or State/Territory legislation (many public benevolent institutions, churches, universities, unions etc);

  f) An individual or - jointly and separately – individuals.

Other entities are not eligible to apply for funding.

Q:  Are state or territory governments eligible to receive Practical Design Fund grants to prepare the community sector for an NDIS?

A:  State and territory governments are not eligible to receive Practical Design Fund grants.

Q:  Is an Expert Panel established by a state or territory government eligible to receive Practical Design Fund grants if working to prepare the community sector for an NDIS? The Expert Panel consists of people with disability, community service providers, business, peak bodies and economic advisers?

A:  The following entity types are eligible to apply for funding for this activity:

a) Incorporated Associations (incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have 'Association' or 'Incorporated' or 'Inc' in their legal name);

b) Incorporated Cooperatives (also incorporated under State/Territory legislation, commonly have "Cooperative' in their legal name);

c) Companies (incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001 – may be not-for-profit or for-profit proprietary company (limited by shares or by guarantee) or public companies);

d) Aboriginal Corporations (incorporated under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2006);

e) Organisations established through a specific piece of Commonwealth or State/Territory legislation (many public benevolent institutions, churches, universities, unions etc);

  f) An individual or - jointly and separately – individuals.

Other entities are not eligible to apply for funding.

Specific projects already funded by state or territory governments or the Commonwealth Government are not eligible for funding under the Practical Design Fund.

 Q: I would like to apply for the practical design fund as an individual. There is one question in the application that requires “Your organisation’s most recent audited financial statements (with previous year for comparison)”. I have trouble providing the above as this would be the first time I am applying for a grant. Can I still submit my application if the financial statement requirements are not met?

A: Yes, please submit the application without financial statements. The application form has been developed with an organisation focus. Individuals (as applicants) should fill out this form as fully as possible taking references to organisations to be references to individuals. Upon receipt of application FaHCSIA will contact you if any required information is missing from this application form.

Q:  Program documentation includes the sentence “Applications can only be submitted during the application round for the Program and for the locations or sites as defined in the Application Form”. Are there specific locations or sites limited to this application round?

A:  No. The Practical Design Fund aims to identify practical solutions and innovative approaches to assist with NDIS transition. Funding is not based on geographic parameters or specific sites.

Q:  Do we need to supply budget details or the amount of funding required to fund the project?

A:  Yes. You should provide the amount of funding you are applying for in your response to selection criteria one. You should also include information such as budget and financial management plans that will help the selection committee to determine value for money in social service delivery.  See page 11 of the application form.

Q:  Are any locations, states or territories in Australia excluded from the Practical Design Fund?

A:  No.

Q:  Please advise of funding breakdown for project applications:

  • Is $10m to be allocated to one winning project applicant? OR
  • Are successful applicants allocated individual funding on a merit basis?

A:  There is no requirement for the Practical Design Fund to be allocated to one applicant or to be allocated to many applicants.  Distribution of funding will be based on the merit of the project proposals.

Q:  How much funding is available per application? And can you provide an indication of what amount per project you are expecting to fund?  This will assist us in developing realistic project parameters and making our decision as to whether to apply.

A:  The objective of the PDF is to tap into existing sector knowledge and expertise to identify practical solutions and innovative approaches that will assist people with disability, their families and carers, the disability workforce and disability service organisations or segments of this population in managing issues of NDIS transition.

There is no minimum or maximum amount (other than the total fund limit) that can be provided to successful applications.

It is open to the selection committee to recommend projects for funding (whether high cost or low cost). The cost of projects may vary due to the number of issues that are to be covered or the amount and type of work necessary to identify the practical solutions.

Q:  We note that completion of all projects is required by 29 March 2013. This provides relatively short timelines. Is it possible to be specific about the anticipated timing for the assessment process and notifications, so that an estimated start date for projects could be built in to our proposal?

A: The assessment start date is 3 September 2012. It is expected that projects will be selected by the end of September 2012 and that negotiations with successful applicants and finalisation of contracts will occur in October 2012.

Q: Are organisations able to submit more than one application (for different projects)?

A: Yes.
Q: We note that ownership of Intellectual Property rests with the Commonwealth. Has consideration been given to the circumstances of projects which draw on or include IP that has already been developed, for example through research that has already been completed, but which apply this research to practical tools to support the NDIS, and how IP would be handled? For example, formal acknowledgement of IP in materials being disseminated.

A: The Commonwealth’s interest with respect to intellectual property is that solutions identified with Practical Design Fund assistance will be available for wide dissemination through the sector including uploading to websites that are publicly available.

To this end the Commonwealth will offer Standard Funding Agreement Terms and Conditions to successful applicants in which the funding recipient retains ownership of intellectual property rights (See Clause 14.1 of the Standard Funding Agreement available on this funding information website) rather than the Commonwealth.

www.fahcsia.gov.au/grants-funding/general-information-on-funding/terms-and-conditions-standard-funding-agreement

Instead, the Commonwealth will seek broad licence over intellectual property rights as per Clause 14.3 of the Standard Funding Agreement.

Q: It is my view on reading the guidelines for the Practical Design Fund that we do not need to have a system attached to a particular trial district but rather that it will be a systematic approach to achieving the outcomes that can apply nationally. Is this correct?

A:   The objective of the PDF is to tap into existing sector knowledge and expertise to identify practical solutions and innovative approaches that will assist people with disability, their families and carers, the disability workforce and disability service organisations or segments of this population in managing issues of NDIS transition.

The selection criteria make no requirement for projects to be focused on launch regions or to be nationally focused.

Q:  Does the PDF include an allowance to help determine exactly who has a qualifying disability and what the cut-off point is that would attract assistance from NDIS funding?

No allowances are included in the Practical Design Fund for particular elements of work.
The PDF is designed to support projects that will identify NDIS transition issues and the best practical response for:

  • people with disability, their families and carers;
  • the disability sector workforce; and
  • disability sector organisations.

Q: Is it intended that the NDIS will include an assessment procedure to determine who has a disability and what level of assistance is justified?

A: Yes.

Q:  Would an application from my company, which deals solely in disability assessment, be considered?

A: Yes, if the application meets the selection criteria of the Practical Design Fund.

Q: Is it appropriate/inappropriate for me to compose a project submission for this fund as an individual (though drawing on expertise developed in my current government role).

I have consulted Section 1.5 ‘Conflicts of interest’ of your ‘Part B’ document, and as far as I can tell from that, I would need to consult with FaHCSIA and my own department to clarify whether such a conflict exists.
I will consult with my own Department; could someone contact me from FaHCSIA for this purpose too?

A: A project submission lodged by an individual drawing on expertise from state or territory government experience or from non-government experience does not constitute a conflict of interest from the perspective of FaHCSIA.

To ensure all applicants receive the same information about the PDF FaHCSIA will not contact individuals about the Practical Design Fund but will provide information on this website instead.

Applicants must identify, in their application, any potential or actual conflicts of interest they believe will or may arise from submitting the application.  This should address their responsibilities to the Australian Government and other parties in the course the activity.

A conflict of interest can arise when an applicant’s integrity, objectivity or fairness in performing the services is at risk due to a pecuniary interest of a person or organisation associated with the applicant or a conflicting business arrangement.

Applicants must specify in their applications how any actual or perceived conflict of interest will be addressed and monitored to ensure it does not compromise the outcomes desired for this funding process.
FaHCSIA reserves the right to assess the potential impact of the conflict or perceived conflict and what plans, if any, are proposed to address the conflict of interest in relation to the application for funding. 
FaHCSIA may reject an application if FaHCSIA is not satisfied that there are arrangements in place to appropriately address/manage a perceived or actual conflict of interest.

FaHCSIA also has mechanisms in place for identifying and managing potential or actual conflicts of interest such as requiring assessment staff to sign conflict of interest declarations prior to undertaking the assessment of applications.

Q: My area of expertise is in providing assistance to people with disability, their families and carers regarding the issues faced transitioning to the NDIS is it possible to provide a submission on this subject alone?

A: Yes, if the application meets the selection criteria of the Practical Design Fund.

Q: I am an individual with an ABN (no company registered). I have not applied for tenders as a consultant before. I work mostly PAYG with the odd consultancy job here and there. Am I eligible to apply for this funding.

A: Yes, if the application meets the selection criteria of the Practical Design Fund.

Q: We are trying our best to fill in the form for the  NDIS,  but we do not know how to do it,  as it will not enter what we want to write in the spaces provided. Can you help us please or can we print it off and fill it in by hand and send it via  'Aust Post'  to you please?

A: The Practical Design Fund application form is provided in two different formats – Rich Text Format and Adobe. You may wish to try Rich Text Format which can be updated in Microsoft Word. The department is unable to provide assistance to individual applicants.

Applications must be emailed to practicaldesignfund@dss.gov.au. within the application period to be considered.

Q: After an initial look at the material provided I could not see an easy outline of how an individual could apply for any of the benefits.

A: The Practical Design Fund does not provide benefits to assist individuals personally. 
The Practical Design Fund provides funding for research projects related to the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

For example, funding may be provided to research the best way for disability service providers to expand their workforce in readiness for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

 

Content Updated: 14 March 2014