Self-assessment for quality improvement
The Regulatory Authority, in response to sector feedback, has reviewed the Assessment and Rating (A&R) process in NSW.
To provide a more effective approach to A&R, services can now include their self-assessment information in the A&R process.
All NSW services that choose to supply their self-assessment information will not be required to submit their Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).
This new approach to A&R reflects changes that services in NSW have told us they want to see, including:
- Increased engagement and frequency of visits.
- Opportunities to work with authorised officers.
- Increased consistency with assessment and rating.
Self-assessment is a key step in identifying your service’s strengths and areas for improvement as an ongoing process.
Services can submit their self-assessment information with their service context form which will be used by the authorised officer to confirm practices against the National Law and Regulations and the National Quality Standard (NQS) during the A&R visit.
This creates a great opportunity to showcase your service’s unique aspects.
ACECQA have developed a self-assessment tool to support approved providers, service leaders and educators assess the quality of their education and care practices, policies and procedures, against the NQS and the National Law and Regulations.
Designed to complement and contribute to the quality improvement planning process, the tool supports service teams to reflect on their current practices against the NQS and legislation, and to plan for quality improvements.
The tool is available for free on the ACECQA website.
The department has established a quality support team to assist services and providers prepare their self-assessment information for quality improvement. To contact the support team, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 619 113.
No. If you choose not to share your self-assessment information, in preparation for your A&R visit, you will continue to complete the service context form and submit your service QIP. However initial feedback from services who have undergone the process have felt more engaged and confident in showcasing their practices during the A&R visit.
Yes. Your self-assessment should include your level of compliance with the Law and Regulations, key practices aligned with the National Quality Standard and identified areas for improvement. The format in which you document this is up to you.
No, you will not be asked to submit the whole self-assessment tool. Once you have received your notice for assessment and rating, you will receive access to the new ‘service context and self-assessment form’.
You will need to complete the form, including outlining your key practices and areas of improvement aligned to the NQS and submit online prior to your visit. This process will allow you to identify the key practices of your service when thinking about the A&R visit.
The self-assessment form allows you to provide up to 5 key practices for each element in every standard. The information you provide will be shared with the authorised officer conducting your visit.
No. If you choose to share your service’s self-assessment information, in each standard, you will not be required to submit a separate QIP.
Self-assessment is already a requirement of the National Regulations and NQS, and is not something extra.
NQS 7.2.1 - states “there is an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process in place”. Self-assessment is already a requirement to meet this standard and the inclusion of this information prior to the visit allows you to focus on the practices that are key to your service quality.
You are most likely already engaging in self-assessment in an ongoing way and this is an opportunity to share this information with the Regulatory Authority during the A&R process. This is also an opportunity to share the inner workings of your service making the A&R process more efficient - putting you and your educators at ease as you’ve already articulated how ‘what you do’ aligns with the NQS.
Regulation 55 requires you to develop a Quality Improvement Plan that includes an assessment by the provider of your practices against the NQS and Regulations, areas for improvement and your philosophy.
The ACECQA self-assessment tool could be used as both, one document that suits both purposes, as the tool includes self-assessment and your areas for improvement.