Self-assessment for quality improvement

Why self-assessment is important and how it can be included in the Assessment and Rating (A&R) process. The information on this page is for early childhood education and out of school hours care services.


Self-assessment is essential in driving continuous improvement. It helps you identify your service’s strengths and areas for improvement on an ongoing basis.

You can also opt to include your service’s self-assessment information in the A&R process. Doing so helps you prepare for your next A&R visit.

All NSW services that choose to supply their self-assessment information will not be required to submit their Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), as part of the assessment and rating process.

We introduced this option following feedback from services in NSW who told us they wanted to see:

  • increased engagement and frequency of visits
  • opportunities to work with authorised officers
  • increased consistency with assessment and rating.

NSW self-assessment working document

You can use our self-assessment working document to:

  • engage in self assessment and continuous improvement on an ongoing basis
  • prepare for Assessment and Rating.

The idea of continuous self-assessment is that you are always ready for A&R.

Note: you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your device to use the self-assessment working document.

Submitting your self-assessment information provides an excellent opportunity to engage in the A&R process, by sharing your service’s unique context and key practices.

Services who use the NSW self assessment working document can easily transfer their information into the online self-assessment form. We’ll send a link to the online self-assessment form when we notify you that your Assessment and Rating has been scheduled.

If your service opts in for self-assessment, you are not required to submit a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). This is because the online self-assessment form incorporates the key elements of the QIP.

If your service currently holds a Working Towards rating and you have made improvements to your practice since your last assessment visit, you are able to apply for a free re-assessment and re-rating using the ‘self-assessment for quality improvement’ approach.


The Continuous Improvement team can guide you through the self-assessment process including helping you prepare self-assessment information for quality improvement. Contact the team by:


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, the majority of services that have undergone the self-assessment process have felt more engaged and confident in showcasing their practices during the A&R visit.

Services will receive access to the online ‘service context’ and ‘self-assessment form’ with their notification of assessment and rating. 

The online form is a replica of the NSW Self-Assessment Working Document. Services using this editable PDF document will simply cut and paste their key practices into the online form. 

For services not using the working document, you can also cut and paste information into the online form. However, you will need to review your key practices to ensure information is within the character count.

Yes. The self-assessment form allows up to 5 key practices for each element in every standard. There is a 500 character limit (for each) to support services clearly articulate their different key practices.

No. Currently services are encouraged to use the NSW Self-Assessment Working Document to support them to prepare their self-assessment information. This form will make the process of moving information into the online version easier. 

We are hearing feedback from the sector that services would like access to the online form so they can use it as an ongoing tool to maintain and review self-assessment. 

We are also conscious of reducing the administrative burden for services and are exploring options to enable services to readily access a secure portal shortly.

No. All NSW services that choose to submit their self-assessment information via the online self-assessment form will not be required to submit a QIP.

No. Regulation 55 requires services 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 NSW Self-Assessment Working Document has been designed to meet the requirements of Regulation 55 and if you are maintaining this record, it is considered to be your QIP.

In addition to contacting the Continuous Improvement Team, peak bodies such as CELA and other organisations offer training and support relating to self-assessment and the A&R process. Other resources related to self-assessment and A&R can be found on the ACECQA website.

The Continuous Improvement Team is available at any time to support services with their self-assessment. You do not have to wait for your notification of A&R.

To contact the team, email or call 1800 619 113.

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