All disability employment services must meet the requirements of the independent quality assurance system to receive funding from the Australian Government.
The legislation containing this requirement is the Disability Services Act (1986).
The Quality Strategy for disability employment and rehabilitation services was introduced in 2002. All Australian Government funded services were required to be independently certified against the 12 Disability Services Standards by December 2004.
The objectives of the Quality Strategy are to:
- give people with disability confidence in the quality of service delivery and employment outcomes achieved by Australian Government funded disability employment and rehabilitation services
- ensure all services meet, as a minimum, the Disability Services Standards
- make the assessment of service quality more objective and measurable
- link certification to funding
- reduce government intervention in the day to day operation of services
- assist services to continuously review and improve the services they deliver.
Quality Assurance for Australian Disability Enterprises and Disability Employment Services - Frequently Asked Questions from Service Providers
Must my organisation be certified against the Disability Services Standards?
If you are receiving funding as an Australian Government Disability Employment Service Provider (that is, if you are delivering DEEWR funded Disability Employment Services or FaHCSIA funded Australian Disability Enterprise services) you will have to meet the requirements of the Disability Employment Services Quality Assurance System. New organisations (not new outlets) have 12 months to meet the requirements of the Disability Services Act.
Must my organisation pay to become certified?
FaHCSIA, on behalf of the Australian Government, will provide a contribution towards the costs to an approved amount.
How much work does my organisation need to do to become certified?
The first step is conducting a self assessment. You should read the Quality Strategy Toolkit thoroughly and then assess your organisation against the Disability Services Standards (you may choose to use the self-assessment checklist included in the Quality Strategy Toolkit). You may also, after selecting your certification body (cb), like to talk with your cb about your progress to date.
What happens if my organisation is not certified?
Under the Commonwealth Disability Services Act (1986) organisations funded by the Australian Government to deliver disability employment services must be certified against the Disability Services Standards. Failure to do so may result in loss of funding.
Quality Assurance Links and Resources:
- Disability Services Act (1986)
- Disability Services Standards DEEWR DEN and VRS
- Disability Services Standards FaHCSIA for Australian Disability Enterprises
- List of Accredited Certification Bodies
- JAS-ANZ Procedures, including Procedure 18
- Quality Strategy Toolkit
- Disability Services Audit Personnel (DS) Certification Scheme
- Quality Strategy Publications
- Consumer Training and Support
- Complaints and Referral Processes
- Evidence Guidelines for Australian Disability Enterprises and Disability Employment Services