Equipment for trial
Find out about trialling equipment, and what to do if the trial is unsuccessful or if the equipment is not within the credentialed level you hold as an Equipment and Modification Services (EMS) Assessor.
Band 2 and Band 3 equipment
Band 2 and Band 3 Equipment will generally need to be trialed by the person before the most appropriate solution to meet their needs has been determined.
Trials by the person should not take longer than 20 working days unless there is a clear reason for this (for example, different components to be trialled are not available from suppliers at the same time).
The value of equipment used for trial is extremely high – the longer that this equipment is trialled, the more costly items become. Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People understands the importance of trialling items, however, is keen to ensure that equipment is made available to EMS Assessors for their clients to trial for a realistic period of time (ie, generally no more than 20 working days). A longer trial period should only be necessary when an EMS Assessor is awaiting the supply of different components of an overall ‘package’ of equipment.
Accessable or Enable New Zealand will follow up with the EMS Assessor and suppliers if the trial equipment has not been returned to the supplier within 30 working days of it being supplied or if the EMS Assessor has not advised Accessable or Enable New Zealand of the outcome of the trial.
When choosing which equipment to request for trial from a supplier, the EMS Assessor should consider the most cost-effective solution to meet the person’s needs – add-on features to a base item should only be considered when they are essential. An example of this is an ultra-light wheelchair, with standard wheels and not synergy wheels.
The EMS Advisors at Enable New Zealand and Accessable can assist EMS Assessors in the selection of which products to trial. The Provider will check their stores after a Service Request has been made to see if there is any refurbished equipment in stock that can be trialled.
Number of items to be trialled
A Service Request may contain more than one item (for example, two manual wheel chairs, cushions or backrests) to be trialled if the EMS Assessor needs to assess which is the most appropriate solution to meet the person’s needs.
Unsuccessful initial trial
If the outcome of the trial indicates that the person has the same needs, but:
- a different model or type of solution is required (for example, a different model of manual wheelchair or a wheelchair cushion), and
- the new equipment to be trialled is within the same category of accreditation (for example, Wheeled Mobility and Postural Management), and
- the items are within the credentialed level that the EMS Assessor holds (for example, Wheeled Mobility and Postural Management Level 1).
The EMS Assessor will need to follow the processes established by the relevant EMS Provider. This will either mean that they will need to make contact with the EMS Provider requesting a continuation of the trial or submit a new Service Request.
Further consultation with an EMS Advisor may be required at this time, according to the usual processes for the assessment and consideration of equipment or modifications.
A new Service Request does need to be submitted when the outcome of the trial indicates that a different solution is required because the person’s needs are more complex than first indicated, (for example, a power wheelchair with high specifications rather than a standard power wheelchair or a manual wheelchair). Further consultation with an EMS Advisor may be required at this time.
EMS Assessor Accreditation Framework
If the new equipment to be trialled is not within the credentialed level that the EMS Assessor holds, the EMS Assessor will need to:
- have the Provisional (in training)* credential in the specific category and credentialed level of accreditation, and
- work alongside or liaise with and appropriately credentialed EMS Assessor during the assessment process, or
- refer the assessment on to an EMS Assessor who holds the appropriate level of accreditation.
*The Provisional (in training) EMS Assessor must have updated their details in the EMS Assessor Accreditation Framework, using the Enable New Zealand on-line system to reflect this status, or they will not be able submit a Service Request in that particular category of accreditation.
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