Get to know your AOs: Nadine Baxter

This month get to know Nadine, a Senior Field Officer and member of the Quality Support team.

23 September 2020

1. Position/hub:

I am a Senior Field Officer and a member of the Quality Support Team. It is our role to support services engaging in self-assessment and a quality improvement process. Previous to this I have worked in the Guringai region which oversees North Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunter.

2. Where you are based:

I am based on the Central Coast, however my engagement with services extends across the state. I am fortunate to be able to work with a broad range of service types in varied geographical locations. Each service has a different story to tell and it’s a pleasure to listen and play a part in their self-assessment journey.

3. What's your favourite part of the job?

I find it exciting to talk to services about our approach to assessment and rating with the inclusion of the service’s self-assessment information and that this is the result of extensive consultation with the sector. Services are relieved to know that their voices have been heard and we have responded with a system that enables them to share their key practices in a clear and concise manner and that we recognise they know their unique service best.

4. What are some of the ways you've seen services embed self-assessment in their service philosophy or make it a regular and ongoing part of their practice?

Traditionally we’ve seen self-assessment as being part of a two-step process in order to feed into a Quality Improvement Plan. Our new approach enables services to assess their compliance with the legislation and then delve into their key practices and add value to the A&R experience. The most rewarding part of this step is talking about the unique features of a service and the practices we would see the educators engaging in on a daily basis.

In NSW we have developed a ‘Self-Assessment - Working Document’ (PDF, 2867 KB) and this encapsulates the process of self-assessment and also provides for continuous improvement planning. The feedback we’ve received from services who have been trialing this resource is overwhelmingly positive as it is very straight forward and reflects the online self-assessment form which services use in preparation for assessment and rating.

5. Can you give us any examples of where you've seen services successfully use self-assessment practices to support quality improvement?

Throughout this year, we’ve seen services become more familiar with the National Quality Standards because they are considering how they meet each element and identifying areas for improvement from here. Educators have shared that they feel more empowered to answer questions from the authorised officer because they’ve been involved in the process of identifying key practices and can easily articulate the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind what they do.

I am also working with a number of services who are engaging in the ‘Working towards Re-Assessment Initiative’. Following their participation in self-assessment and engagement with the Quality Support Team, they have been able to identify areas of improvement and successfully make changes to practice and meet the National Quality Standards.

6. How can services find out more about Self-Assessment for Quality Improvement?

We have a dedicated team of experienced authorised officers who are available to provide support and guidance, whether you are preparing for an upcoming assessment and rating visit or looking for support to engage further in your quality improvement process. You can contact our team via email ecequalitysupport@det.nsw.edu.au or phone 1800 619 113.

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