Therapist Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common caseloads Umbo clinicians are likely to see?

Umbo has a broad caseload from children as young as two years old, up to adults in their 60s.

We have a number of clients with NDIS plans and a number with a diagnosis of ASD. 

Of our paediatric clients, some have diagnosed intellectual disabilities, others have developmental delays and some have chromosomal conditions such as Down Syndrome. Private paediatric clients tend to be referred for speech (fluency, articulation) and language difficulties - we have very few private OT clients. 

Of our adult clients, many live in supported accommodation and have diagnosed disabilities. 

What kinds of hours am I expected to work?

Umbo doesn't have any set hours. We want you to work when and where you want to. However, a minimum of 10 hours a week as a commitment is ideal, and we would love to see clinicians put in more hours than that. 

What is the nature of the recruitment model at Umbo?

Umbo’s entire model centres around having clinicians work when and where they want. As such, we have a contractor relationship with our clinicians. Clinicians are paid to provide services to Umbo clients. 

Umbo also provides the following for its clinicians: 

  • Compliance - the cost of ensuring that Umbo and your practice complies within legal and NDIS frameworks.
  • Technology and finance - the cost of maintaining and running clinical management  software/systems and financial management and systems, includes sending invoices and debt collection. 
  • Administration - organisational wide administration involving HR, clinical specific administration including client forms and records, therapist onboarding admin and documentation, customer service.
  • Partnerships/referral development - the cost of connecting our clinicians with rural communities who are lacking access to services. Note that the cost of this is higher for a social enterprise seeking to service marginalised communities than, for example, a bricks and mortar private practice in urban Australia. We ensure that we are attracting clients who match the clinician's specialty.
  • Clinical intake -  liaising with a client's stakeholders during onboarding (e.g. support coordinators, case managers, AHAs, referral partner etc), and coordinating with therapists on which clients they would like to take on.
  • Clinical supervision - the cost of training, onboarding and supervising clinicians to maintain quality control, effective teamwork and sharing of resources.
As a contractor, what kind of requirements do I need to work with Umbo?

Experience tells us that some of these requirements can take weeks or months to process, so we recommend having them in order as early as possible:

  • Australian Business Number
  • Certified Practising Membership with APHRA/SPA
  • Current Working with Children Check (or State equivalent)
  • National Police Clearance
  • Current professional indemnity and public liability insurance (min $5m)
  • NDIS Worker Screening Check
What kinds of resources am I expected to bring, as a contractor?

Umbo’s entire model centres around having clinicians work when and where they want. As such, we have a contractor relationship with our clinicians. Clinicians are paid to provide services to Umbo clients. 

Umbo does, however, pay for meeting attendance which is optional. We also provide assessment and therapy resources, and provide a client management system and video conferencing platform. The team readily shares resources in peer supervision meetings that occur every fortnight, as well as contributing to our resource bank. 

In terms of tech resources, you will need to supply your own device in which to undertake therapy. We recommend that you have good quality headphones and microphone (either inbuilt or external). You also need high speed, reliable internet connection.

As a contractor, what can I bill for? How does direct and indirect time work?

At Umbo, you can bill direct (client facing) time as well as indirect (non client facing but attributable to the client) time. The majority of our clients are NDIS clients, which means that indirect time can be billed toward the client’s plan in agreement with the client/their guardian.

Umbo projects that to ensure high quality service provision, a ratio of at least 1 hour of direct time to 1 hour of indirect time is reasonable for most clients. In some instances a higher ratio of indirect time is necessary. As long as this can be justified and is outlined broadly in the client’s service agreement or discussed with them, then the clinician has Umbo’s support.

Some examples of indirect time that Umbo clinicians can charge to a client include preparation of the session, case notes, meetings/phone calls, goal setting and report and letter writing.

For private clients, indirect time is depends on the client but is typically less.

Umbo also pays a rate of 70% of the clinical rate for meetings (which are optional), and 80% for late cancellations.

What level of professional and clinical supervision/support can I expect?

Professional supervision: During the first month, you will have a weekly phone call with the Clinical Services Manager. During the second month, a fortnightly call. At the end of the third month, a probation review occurs. After the probation period, you will have monthly calls with the Clinical Services Manager.

Clinical supervision: We will have someone sit in on your early sessions to ensure quality and feedback.
Ongoing, monthly paid 1:1 supervision is available for all clinicians. Peer supervision occurs once a month.
You will also have a buddy and the opportunity to observe sessions. The team collaborates regularly using tools such as Slack and calls through Google Meet.

Does it matter that I don’t have a great deal of experience in online therapy?

It doesn't matter that you don't have a huge level of experience with online therapy. The reality is that very few clinicians in Australia do; what we do expect is for you to have the mindset that you want to learn, improve and be flexible. Having strong clinical reasoning skills and being able to build rapport with clients and their key workers and family are the foundational skills required for effective online practice. 

Do I ever see clients face to face?

Although Umbo is an entirely online service provider, there are rare instances where clients live in the same location as clinicians. Although we wouldn't enforce it, we would not stop you from doing a face to face consult, if appropriate, as aligned to our face-to-face policy. 

Do all of the clients live in rural communities?

Not all of Umbo’s clients live in rural communities, but as a social enterprise specifically focussed on helping rural communities with access to speech and occupational therapy, we want the majority of our clients to be from rural communities. The actual number changes from time to time, but as of August 2021, it is 83%.

What kind of output do you expect from a contractor? 

Above all else, we are concerned about quality service delivery to clients. But of course, even though we are a social enterprise, we are a business with overheads and so we do need to generate revenue that enables us to pay clinicians, non-clinical team members and other costs. Once a contractor indicates the number of hours they are available to do Umbo work, we have an expectation of that clinician having 75% of that time as “billable” (i.e. an external source of revenue is being paid for their time). We look at this over a month, as we have clients who are seen fortnightly and monthly and want the 75% to be reflective of this.