Continuous Improvement Team supporting services in NSW
Early support from our Continuous Improvement Team increases the connection between services and their quality improvement journey.
18 May 2023
The NSW Regulatory Authority’s Continuous Improvement Team (CIT) supports services connect with the National Quality Framework (NQF) to achieve improved outcomes for children. This connection with the NQF informs a deeper understanding of practice and drives an ongoing uplift in quality practices, ensuring that assessment and rating (A&R) is part of a service's continuous journey of improvement, rather than a standalone event.
The CIT consists of experienced authorised officers who are located across NSW, equipping them to support regional, remote and metro services.
Since this team was established in late 2019, they have supported over 3,000 services to self-assess their quality and build confidence in documenting their practice and connecting with the assessment and rating process. This has created a significant shift increasing educator confidence and their engagement with the authorised officer conducting their assessment visit.
On average, 85% of services who are approaching an assessment and rating visit connect with the team for support. An increasing number of services also take up the opportunity for support outside of a scheduled assessment and rating period. This early support increases the connection services have with the NSW Regulatory Authority as well as with their improvement journey. It also builds confidence and understanding of educators about why they do what they do.
About the team
CIT provide 1:1 service support via phone, email and online. Each service is provided with consistent engagement from a dedicated officer who will assist in, answering questions, discussing service practice, the service leader’s understanding of the NQF and engaging staff in the improvement journey. The team understand and respect that no two services are the same, and that each will be driven by their own unique context.
Support sessions are scheduled around the needs of each service. A key focus of these is to understand the concept of self-assessment and how it is used to drive quality improvement.
The team support services to unpack their key practices and how they align to the National Quality Standard (NQS), use the NSW Self Assessment Working Document and assist services to submit their self-assessment information in preparation for a scheduled A&R.
Officers may also join service meetings online to talk about self-assessment and the A&R process, building confidence and understanding of what to expect.
Key learnings from CIT
- No one service is the same. Practices are unique to each service and are influenced by their individual contexts.
- Active engagement of the whole team in the self-assessment and quality improvement process, supports educators understanding about their practice and builds confidence and engagement in the A&R process.
- Self-assessment and articulating key practice build a clear picture of the context of the service.
- Key practices are deliberate and meaningful.
- An effective self-assessment begins with compliance.
- By analysing practices, ideas for improvement are brought to the forefront.
- By discussing ‘what we do’ helps educators understand ‘why we do it’.
Driving positive outcomes
Staff at an occasional care service recently shared they were feeling anxious and apprehensive about the transition of their service to the NQF and being assessed and rated against National Quality Standard (NQS). An authorised officer from the CIT engaged with the service over a series of phone, Zoom and face-to-face visits.
With support from the officer, the service was able to commence their continuous improvement journey, looking closely at their practices against the Law and Regulations and recording the process in the NSW Self-Assessment Working Document. The service was very grateful for the assistance, as they had never gone through this process before, and their understanding of the NQF was limited.
Following the support provided by CIT, the educators went into their A&R visit feeling confident about what they do and why they do it. The service shared some feedback following their experience: “Thank you for all the time and support you have given to myself and the team. I don’t find it overwhelming or consuming anymore, just everyday processes to improve and develop as a service.”
How and when services and providers can request support
All services in NSW can access support, at any time, from the Continuous Improvement Team. You can contact the team at email@example.com or by calling 1800 619 113 to discuss your individual service needs.