NDIS Introduces PACE


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has embarked on a groundbreaking journey with the implementation of the Participant/Provider Alternative Cloud Environment or for short PACE system, revolutionizing efficiency, and user-friendliness. PACE, the new billing system introduced by NDIA marks a significant milestone in enhancing the NDIS experience for both participants and providers. 

Key Updates of PACE: 

  1. Rollout Details 

The PACE system officially commenced its rollout in New South Wales on 30 October 2023. This new system is set to replace the current online system and MyPlace Portal introducing a new era of streamlined processes. 

  1. Changes for Participants 
  • New participants: Those receiving a NDIS plan for the first time will have their plans created in PACE 
  • Existing Participants with Changes: Participants experiencing changes in circumstances or support needs will undergo plant assessment in PACE from 31 October 2023 
  • Plan expiry between November 2023 and Late February 2024: Plans expiring during this period will either undergo a rollover or be transitioned to a new PACE plan if any changes are required. 
  • Plan Expiry After February 2024: Plans expiring after February 2024 will progressively transition to plans created in PACE 
  1. Changes affecting Participants and Providers: 
  • Endorsed Providers: Participants now have the authority to endorse their chosen service providers, enhancing the payment process and granting greater autonomy in provider selection 
  • New Portals: Both participants and providers will benefit from new, user-friendly portals designed to elevate their NDIS experience. 
  • Access to Participants’ Plans: Registered providers, support coordinators, and plan managers will have improved access to view participants’ plans with appropriate consent. 
  • No More Service Bookings: PACE eliminates service bookings, reducing administrative burdens and providing participants with greater flexibility in accessing services. 
  1. Impact on Current NDIS Plans: 

PACE will not affect existing plans until it is time for plan reassessment. Participants will continue with their current arrangements until a seamless transition during plan renewal. 

  1. For New Participants 

New Participants will be introduced to PACE during their planning meetings, ensuring a more efficient and user-friendly NDIS experience from the start 

  1. Endorsing Providers on PACE 

Once you are on the PACE system, you will need to endorse APC Prosthetics for your prosthetic providers. This will ensure the seamless continuity of our services. The endorsement can be done: 

  • During a new plan, participants confirm their choice of providers 
  • Contacting the NDIA National Call Centre or your Local Area Coordinator to express their endorsement. 

If APC Prosthetics isnt listed as your service provider, payments or approval may experience delays compared to the usual processing time. If you need assistance with this, please contact our admin team. 

  1. Provider Access to Participant Information: 

Registered providers, including APC Prosthetics, can view participants’ goals and nominee details with appropriate consent. Sharing goals with us ensures the best outcomes for you.  

  • To access this information, participants will be asked to fill a consent form 
  • You can OPT OUT of any information you do not wish to share with us 
  • Only your plan managers and support coordinators have access to funding information, therefore APC will still need to verify funding availability by contacting your appointed plan managers. 




APC Prosthetics is fully prepared for the PACE System. Stay tuned to our websites, social media channels and newsletters for future updates and detailed information. We are committed to providing the best possible support and outcomes for our participants. 


What Materials are Commonly used for Prosthetics?

We get many questions about how prosthetic limbs are made. Below, we explain some of the different aspects and types of prosthetic limbs and what materials are used for making prosthetics and what makes up each part.

How Are Prosthetic Limbs Made?

The prostheses (prosthetic limbs) that are delivered to our clients are made up of parts which can be grouped into three broad categories: Prosthetic Socket, Prosthetic Components, and Consumables.

The Prosthetic Socket is the upper part of the prosthesis which fits around your residual limb (AKA stump). This Socket is custom made onsite within the APC prosthetic workshop by our talented technicians. Below the socket are Prosthetic Components which include connective components (made of aluminium, stainless steel or titanium), prosthetic joints (such as prosthetic hips, knees, elbows and wrists), and prosthetic feet or prosthetic hands (also known as a terminal device). These Prosthetic Components are ordered from suppliers to meet each client’s specific requirements. Finally, consumables include items such as liners, knee sleeves, and socks which allow your prosthesis to comfortably hold on to your residual limb. These Consumables, like Prosthetic Components, are ordered specifically for each client, featuring materials such as silicone, TPE, rubber and much more.

Download our resources about how to care for your prosthesis and consumables. Or ask for our limb care guide at your nearest APC clinic.

Prosthetic Sockets


Diagnostic Socket Fabrication

The process of having a prosthetic socket made begins with your prosthetist taking a plaster cast of your residual limb. This is then filled with plaster to become a plaster copy of your residual limb (positive plaster cast) which can be used to make a Diagnostic Socket or a ‘check socket’. The primary aim of this clear plastic socket is to optimise the socket fit, refine the alignment, and ensure the prosthesis meets all necessary functional and comfort goals.

A diagnostic socket utilises materials which are suitable for a short-term trial period. These include thermoplastic sheets which are heat blistered and vacuum moulded onto the client’s positive plaster cast. Following this step, the socket is attached to a lamination anchor which provides the connection between the custom-manufactured prosthetic socket and the remaining prosthetic componentry. To ensure safety and security, the anchor is secured to the socket. This can be done in a variety of ways from wrapping it in a fibreglass bandage, laminating carbon fibre or fibreglass over it. Once this is achieved, the diagnostic socket is ready for trial!

Definitive Socket Fabrication

Once the prosthetic socket fit and alignment have been optimised, the diagnostic socket is ‘duplicated’ in an alignment jig creating an identical plaster mould whilst retaining the correct alignment of the connective componentry. Plaster or alginate is used in this step. If the shape of the socket allows it to be removed from the positive mould, the client can continue to wear their check socket whilst an APC manufactures their ‘definitive socket’.

The materials used in making definitive prosthetic limbs can vary. Factors include impact, weight of the user, activities that will be undertaken, method of suspension, socket design etc. Most definitive sockets will be made using at least two separate laminations, although some are made using a single lamination.

Some prosthetic socket designs will incorporate a compressible liner (typically made of a material called pelite), PET-G or a flexible plastic inner depending on what the prosthetist has deemed most suitable for the client. If your socket has one of these features, this is fabricated first on the inner most layer to the plaster cast. If not, the plaster cast will be first sealed with lacquer or similar (to prevent moisture leaving the plaster during the lamination).


Next an appropriate combination of materials including carbon fibre, fibreglass, stockinette, perlon and/or nyglass are layered over the cast, sealed under vacuum between PVA bags. Acrylic resin mixed with a hardener and sometimes a coloured pigment is then added. The resin penetrates the material fibres and solidifies the lay-up as the chemicals react, in a process called lamination. The initial lamination is focused on creating a strong, structured framework.

The lamination anchor (or adapter) is attached with bog in a similar process to diagnostic sockets but using the alignment transfer jig. The use of foam and putties allows for improved cosmesis and a smooth transition from the adapter to the socket. The second lamination utilises similar materials to the first, however, its focus instead shifts towards strength and security of the lamination anchor to the socket.

This layer can incorporate further coloured pigments or fabrics to personalise your prosthesis and show off your personality. We can laminate most materials as the final layer in the socket allowing endless cosmetic possibilities. Many clients opt for a specific design to finish their prosthetic sockets ranging from Indigenous Art to sports teams – there is such a variety! Clients are encouraged to bring in fabrics, t-shirts, or designs which they desire on their final socket. Sometimes a third clear layer of resin is needed to ensure a quality cosmetic finish is achieved when customising with images.


Interim Socket Fabrication

Your first limb following amputation is known as an interim prosthesis. This is because it is only used for a short time, typically a period of a few months. Why such a short time? Following amputation, your residual limb will shrink and change shape as the muscles waste away (muscle atrophy).

An interim socket is intended to be used during this initial period of rapid muscle atrophy. The time frame to stabilising is different for everyone, as is the shape or how your muscles will change over time.

Interim sockets are made using similar prosthetic materials and methods as diagnostic sockets, for adjustability during the initial post amputation period.  Once residual limb volume has stabilised, a new cast will be taken so that a diagnostic socket and later definitive socket can be manufactured.

For more information, read our resources about the processes involved in being a new amputee, support services and amputee peer support

Specialised Sockets

Exoskeletal socket fabrication


For a more cosmetically shaped prosthesis, the socket can be laminated down to the foot or hand and shaped to closely match the shape of your sound side limb, this is known as an Exoskeletal Prosthesis (Exo for short!). This design removes the need for standard tube clamps and pylons (known as a modular or endoskeletal prosthesis). An exo design has a few extra steps involved.

Over the first lamination as above, the APC technician pours a two-part expanding foam around the socket on the transfer jig down to the adapter. Sometimes an aluminium or carbon puck is used, or in upper limb this is where the joint’s attachment site will be attached to the socket. Once the foam is hardened, the technician precisely carves the shape of the limb according to the client’s measurements of their sound side. Exoskeletal prosthetic sockets include two additional laminations to gain strength and finish with a cosmetic appearance.  This style of socket is commonly used for upper limb prostheses, and for waterproof prostheses. Some benefits of this design are that these prostheses are lightweight and have fewer components which might otherwise rust.

Recreational socket fabrication


The initiation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has allowed many clients the opportunity to explore a recreational prosthesis such as running blades, rock climbing arms/legs, weight-lifting arms, surfing legs, cycling legs and many more. The custom design and materials used in prosthetics, allow for many recreational prostheses to be achieved.

The final definitive prostheses for recreational limbs reflect the great deal of detailed hours undertaken by both the prosthetist and technician to create custom-manufactured prosthetic sockets. This follows the same steps as everyday and waterproof limbs, using similar materials and processes to laminate the socket.

If this is a part of your goals, or something that may interests you long term, make sure you talk to your prosthetist to include a recreational limb in your funding request. For more information about planning for NDIS and goals click to see our NDIS page.

For more information on materials used for prosthetics please get in contact with the team below.

Get In Touch

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NDIS Participants Guide To Your Planning Meeting

Your planning meeting is where you discuss your functional goals and any funding requirements you require for the life of your next NDIS Plan.

Prior to meeting with your NDIS Local Area Co-ordinator (LAC), we recommend our participants contact our NDIS Administration Staff at APC Prosthetics to discuss your requirements, so they can assist in formulating the finer details for discussion with your Local Area Co-ordinator at your meeting.


Key points to discuss during your initial planning meeting

  1. Provision for Maintenance: this includes the cost of maintenance to your current limb. Please note an assessment, quotation and Assistive Technology Request is required by NDIS. This cost should be included under Capacity Building (CB) Daily Activity, please account 4-6 hours for the report and 8 hours for maintenance.
  2. Provision for Capital Supports/Assistive Technology: this will include the funding for your prostheses. Please note these items need to be quoted and approved through the Assistive Technology approval process.
  3. Provision for Core Supports: this includes ongoing low-cost consumables related to your prostheses, such as socks and sprays. Please note higher cost consumables need to be quoted and approved.


We recommend requesting for your NDIS Local Area Co-ordinator’s phone number and email address, so we can communicate with them directly if you require us to do so.

If you would like to have a chat about the NDIS and how we can help you prepare for your planning meeting, please contact your local APC NDIS Coordinator.


Funding for your Prosthesis

Depending on your individual circumstance, your prosthetic care will be funded by one of the following funding bodies:


EnableNSW – Prosthetic Limb Service provides funding for a basic prosthetic limb to all eligible amputees. Residents of NSW are eligible for admission to the PLS, provided they hold a valid Medicare Card. If you would like to find out more about the PLS please click on the following link:



The National Disability Insurance Scheme provides funding for eligible amputees under the age of 65 at the time of registration. Provided you have registered with the NDIS prior to being 65 you will continue to be funded. The team at APC Prosthetics have vast experience in navigating this scheme to ensure our client’s prosthetic care is optimised. See our guide here.

If you would like to find out more about the NDIS please click on the following link:


Insurance Clients

Patients with an insurance claim will be assessed comprehensively by a multidisciplinary team to determine the prosthetic management plan.

Once approval has been granted by your case manager, we will commence the prosthetics treatment immediately.

If you would like to find out more about this, please contact your case manager or alternatively, contact APC.

Private Clients                                                      

APC Prosthetics is Australia’s leading private prosthetic clinic and provides comprehensive services to private clients.

Private clients are free to determine what prosthetic technologies they wish to incorporate in their prostheses without restrictions. The specialists at APC are happy to provide consultations and advice without any demands or commitments to our clients.

Please feel free to contact APC if you wish to review your current and future treatment options.

Tips for navigating the NDIS

APC Prosthetics was at the forefront of the NDIS service provision, being involved in the start-up trials in Newcastle on the 1st July 2013. As a result, we have learnt much over the years, and have had a great many successful interactions with the NDIS in that time.

We have found that the main issue experienced by the NDIS participant, is the length of time for the limb approval process. To assist with the flow and expedite the approval process we have put together a checklist that should assist with your NDIS interactions and approval time. The listed items should assist both the new and experienced amputee.

5 Steps to getting NDIS approved

  1. Register with the NDIS
  2. NDIS will contact you and arrange a meeting with your NDIS representative. Be prepared to tell them what tasks you are having difficulty with. Make sure there are funds in your NDIS plan for your prosthetist to do a full assessment and report including outcome measures. You also need funding for adjustments and consumables built into your plan allowing for the upkeep of your current limb until approval comes through for your new limbs which may take some time. Ensure your listed goals are relevant to your prosthetic needs, they may focus on mobility, independence, return to sports etc. and will assist your NDIS representative and prosthetist in identifying the suitability of your prosthetic prescription.
  3. Make an appointment with your prosthetist for at least one hour and be prepared for a number of assessments to determine what type of limb is best suited to you and will assist in achieving the goals listed in your plan. Please bring your NDIS plan to this appointment, so your prosthetist can review and find solutions to the tasks you are having difficulty with. Communicate and work with your prosthetist, as this appointment determines your future limb provision.
  4. Be patient. There are many hours of research and report writing needed by your prosthetist to determine what type of limb is suited for your lifestyle. The quotation for your limb/limbs will accompany the report that is submitted to the NDIS by your service provider. This can take time depending on the complexity of the report.
  5. Once approval is provided by the NDIS you will be contacted by your service provider, an appointment will be made for the cast and measurements for your new limb.

Information you need to know

  • The funding for a limb is broken into two categories, one for limb componentry and the other for the clinical time (face to face) with your prosthetist, including the ongoing maintenance of your limb.
  • It is imperative that the participant is aware of how their plan and associated funding is managed. Confusion with this will significantly delay limb provision and cause frustration for all parties.
  • We have found from our experience, that the best and fastest way for limb approval, is for the participant to be NDIA Managed. Your provider will claim directly through the NDIS portal which generally results in faster provision of services and approval for limb fabrication.
  • If the participant is Self-Managed, all interactions with the NDIS are done by the participant. The participant is responsible for funding the approved limb and making payment directly to the service provider. They must navigate the online NDIS portal, uploading bills for payment and billing from the correct categories, so be prepared for this if you select this option (computer knowledge is recommended).  All records of transaction should be kept on hand for audit purposes.  Self-Managed participants should be familiar with the full process and can successfully navigate the NDIS system. Any problems experienced throughout the process will need to be solved by the participant and NDIS, with limited or no input from the service provider.
  • Plan Managed means a third party will be processing your invoices. Your prosthetist will need the details of the Plan Manager to communicate and sort out funding so they can provide your prosthetic services. Be prepared for some delays due to the interaction required between the provider and Plan Manager. Participants may have a delay of up to two weeks due to Plan Management processing of payments.

If these points are used as a guide the system should flow smoothly. In general, the approval process has improved over the last year, with the complete process taking months or at times weeks from start to finish.

If in doubt or you have any questions, please contact your service provider as they have experience in successfully navigating the NDIS system.

Changing Landscape of NDIS

Much has changed since the NDIS commenced their 3-year pilot program on 1st July 2013 in five areas across Australia. APC was fortunate to be have been involved in the Hunter region NDIS pilot program, managing approximately half of the NDIS amputee clients who went through the trial program in the 3-year period.

Throughout the trial, and following the 1st July 2016 roll-out, we have seen significant change and have been active in working with our NDIS partners to shape the processes for amputees. The NDIS systems are strengthening and becoming more consistent as time moves on.

The NDIS is a CLIENT FOCUSED and CLIENT DRIVEN program. The NDIS is insisting on clients advocating for themselves, and not relying upon service providers to do this for them as they have in the past. The NDIS is empowering amputees to take care of themselves and take control of their prosthetic care. One constant with the NDIS system is the input needed by the participant to create their plan. Participants have the power to expedite their plan approvals and outcomes. The participant driving their own care is the backbone of the NDIS, and as participants, the importance of follow up calls and emails to your planner and local area coordinators cannot be underestimated.

The focus in the planning meeting should be on the inability to perform tasks and other hurdles experienced on a day to day basis by the amputee. The solutions to the listed limitations can then be addressed by your prosthetist and as achievable goals with the provision of the correct Assistive Technology (AT). This is a total change of thinking needed from the amputee population, as historically the mindset has always been on what the amputee can do, not what they cannot do. The key point to be made here is that your prosthetist will find a solution to those listed difficulties through the provision of the appropriate technology.

As a prosthetic service provider, one of our constant hurdles is the approval of the treatment plan, and the subsequent allocation of funding for the treatment. If the correct NDIS procedures are followed by your planner, things simply work. The importance of working with your prosthetist is paramount to achieve a timely and positive outcome. Our client/NDIS interactions now run into the many hundreds and our knowledge and experience in the NDIS system has enabled us to guide our clients through the system in an efficient way. We have found that when things deviate from the normal NDIS process, long delays and client frustrations are the result. I strongly suggest you have discussions with your prosthetist prior to attending your planning meeting.

Some points to remember

  • Talk to your prosthetist prior to your planning meeting
  • Attend your planning meeting with a specific list of achievable goals.
  • A goal of “want to get on with life” is not helping your prosthetist find a solution to your limitation
  • Remember that ongoing maintenance of a prosthesis is just as important as the prosthesis provision itself
  • Funding must be allocated in the correct category for the system to work
  • If your planner is unsure of anything, ask them to contact your prosthetist
  • The participant is the driver so be proactive
  • Your prosthetist will know the NDIS system involving prosthetics better than your planner so ask them for advice

The NDIS are asking all registered service providers to have a quality system in place, and the NDIS will audit all service providers in 2019 to ensure they comply with NDIS standard and requirements.  APC have recently completed this NDIS/Quality and Safeguards audit and have successfully demonstrated that our quality systems meet the high standards the NDIS require from their service providers. APC is one of, if not the first prosthetic service provider to be NDIS accredited through this system in Australia. APC are currently engaged in this audit process, which will demonstrate APC has the systems and processes in place to meet the needs of NDIS participants.  These audits will continue to take place on an annual basis, and successfully completing the audit is a pre-requisite in continuing to be able to provide services to our NDIS amputee clients.

This industry wide audit process will involve all NDIS service providers involved in prosthetics and orthotics and raise the professionalism of our industry. Our professional association AOPA is also heavily involved in assuring the service provision for the amputee participants is at the forefront of care. This governance and guidance based around the NDIS system will set the stage for the continued successful service provision for our clients.

As the landscape changes and we adapt and grow in our knowledge of the system, our clients can be assured that amputee care is in a far better place than it was prior to the start of the NDIS in 2013.  We continue to make ourselves available to support our clients as they work their way through the new system.

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