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How to Design a Quality Assurance Framework in Australia?   

25/11/2022by minal.metkari0Read: 11 minutes
How to Design a Quality Assurance Framework in Australia?    

The Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) establishes basic quality requirements for Providers, ensuring that their policies and practices promote continual improvement and high-quality service delivery.

Designing a Quality Assurance Framework

A Quality Assurance Framework in Australia is built upon 7 key principles, which are as given below

There are 7 Quality Principles:

1) Governance

2) Leadership

3) Personnel

4) Participants

5) Labour market, Employers, and Community

6) Operational effectiveness

7) Continual improvement.

Each Quality Principle is supported by a set of Key Performance Measures (KPMs) that include Practice Requirements (PRs) that a Provider must achieve in order to show compliance with the KPM. Attachment A contains the KPMs and PRs.

We have explained each below:

1. Governance

a) Key Performance Measures

The Provider has in place suitable policies and practices to manage operational and strategic risks associated with the supply of Services, including disaster recovery as mentioned in the Year 1 certification/recertification audits and surveillance audits.

b) Practice Requirement

  1. For the delivery of Services, the Provider has corporate governance procedures in place that control risk.
  2. For the supply of Services, the Provider has corporate governance systems in place that manage fraud.
  3. For the delivery of Services, the Provider has corporate governance procedures in place that control IT systems.

c) QAF Evidence Requirement

1) The Provider currently applies a risk management framework to the delivery of Services, which includes:

(a) overall organisational and Site risk management plans;

(b) procedures for identifying and managing risks, including incident management and disaster recovery plans; and

(c) procedures for conducting frequent evaluations of all risk management strategies on a regular basis.

2) The Provider currently employs a fraud control plan in the supply of Services, which includes:

(a) methods for Personnel to report management of possible fraud (internal and external)

(b) contact information for the Department’s tip-off line.

3) The Provider has in place:

(a) a comprehensive strategy that includes methods for identifying and managing IT system fraud risks; and

(b) policies and processes for continuous compliance with the Deed in terms of access and information security, including Right Fit for Risk.

2. Leadership

a) Key Performance Measures

All Employees are well versed with the design and operational features of the Provider’s model for service delivery and how this relates to the aim of Workforce Australia Services as given in the Year 2 Certification/Recertification Audits and Surveillance Audits

b) Practice Requirement

  1. The model for the delivery of Services by the Provider is conveyed to its Personnel, and the model is followed and supported by the Provider and its Personnel.
  2. The Service Provider and its Employees encourage and uphold the Provider’s Code of Conduct.

c) QAF Evidence Requirement

  1. The Provider has ongoing systems in place to ensure that its Personnel: (a) are aware of and follow the model for delivering Services; (b) facilitate Participants’ use of self-help resources; and (c) support Participants in accordance with the objectives of the Services and the requirements of the Deed.
  2. The Provider does have an existing Code of Conduct that is implemented to the service delivery, and it includes: (a) a set of values outlining Personnel expectations regarding how they deal with Participants; and (b) a requirement that Personnel acts in the good interest and in a manner that maintains the Services’ positive reputation. (c) frequent planned evaluations of personnel understanding of Code of Conduct Requirements.

3. Personnel

a) Key Performance Measures

The Provider has a disciplined strategy for hiring, developing, and managing its employees’ performance as per Year 1 certification/recertification audits and surveillance audits.

b) Practice Requirement

1) The Provider has policies and procedures in place to guarantee that Personnel with the necessary skills and competencies are employed to assist Participants.

2) Personnel development and training strategies and methods are in place at the Provider.

3) The Provider has policies and protocols to ensure that its personnel is culturally competent when working with Participants.

c) QAF Evidence Requirement

1) The Provider has policies and processes in place to ensure that: (a) people with appropriate skills and abilities are employed to deliver Services; (b) personnel delivering Services have obtained and maintain any required police checks and checks for working with vulnerable people; and (c) personnel delivering Services have obtained and maintain any required police checks and checks for working with vulnerable people (as required by relevant legislation).

2) The Provider has current policies and processes in place to ensure that: (a) the Personnel induction describes what is required in regard to the delivery of Services; and (b) the Personnel induction outlines what is necessary for the delivery of Services.

(b) Employee training and development aids in the efficient delivery of services.

(c) Personnel complete all Department-mandated training in accordance with the Deed and Guidelines.

(d) Personnel are aware of the rights and tasks allocated to them under Social Security legislation.

(e) Personnel performance reviews are conducted on a regular basis.

3) The Provider has systems in place to guarantee that Personnel:

(a) get training to allow them to offer culturally appropriate Services; and

(b) can determine where interpreting services for Participants are needed and readily get these services for these Participants.

4. Participants

a) Key Performance Measures

1) The Provider has put in place tactics that result in effective interaction with Participants, as mentioned in the Year 2 Certification/Recertification Audits and Surveillance Audits.

2) In accordance with individual program eligibility, services are provided to Participants to help them become job ready and achieve sustainable Employment, as mentioned in the Year 1 certification/recertification audits and surveillance audits

3) Job Plans set out an individualised approach reflective of a Participant’s current circumstances and servicing needs as mentioned in Certification/ Recertification Audits and Surveillance Audit year 2.

b) Practice Requirement

1)

  1. i) The Provider has communication policies and processes in place to engage with Participants.
  2. ii) The Provider assesses its Caseload on a regular basis to guarantee Participant involvement.

2)

  1. i) The Service Guarantee and the Joint Charter are followed by the Provider.
  2. ii) Provider Personnel understand the qualifying criteria for individual employment Services and programs and can determine the compliance needs of particular Participants.

3)

  1. i) Provider Personnel undertake assessments of the Participant’s circumstances and implement strategies that focus on assisting them to become work ready and gain sustainable Employment.
  2. ii) The Provider employs a number of tactics to promote a wide range of Employment prospects to Participants.

4)

  1. i) Job Plans are personalised to the Participant and include activities such as:
  • satisfying the Participant’s Mutual Obligation Requirements (where applicable) and PBAS Points Target and
  • assisting Participants in achieving their Employment objectives.

2. ii) The Provider has systems in place to ensure that Participants fulfill their Mutual Obligation Requirements via the PBAS and that Personnel takes action in accordance with the Targeted Compliance Framework in an effective and appropriate manner.

c) QAF Evidence Requirement

1)

i) For interacting with Participants, the Provider has communication policies and protocols that: (a) include a variety of communication channels; (b) provide choices for Participants with communication impairments; and (c) comply with the Service Guarantee.

ii) The Provider has systems and laws in place to ensure that: (a) there is regular Caseload monitoring across Sites and emerging issues are addressed; (b) Participants are enrolled quickly after the date of referral; (c) Participants are enrolled quickly into Activities and remain involved in the Activity for the duration of the Employment Outcome period; and (d) engagement with Participants is maintained to assist them in remaining in Employment for the duration of the Employment Outcome period.

2)

i) The Provider has procedures and policies in place that: (a) reflect the expectations established in the Service Guarantee and Joint Charter; and

(b) are consistent with the Service Guarantee and Joint Charter.

(c) Ensure Personnel are aware of the requirements specified in the Service Guarantee and apply them correctly to individual Participants.

(d) Ensure Participants are aware of the minimal level of service they may expect and what is required of them as outlined in the Service Guarantee.

ii) The Provider has processes and rules in place to ensure that its personnel:

(a) are aware of their eligibility for individual employment Services and programs, and (b) have access to them.

(b) is aware of and supports Participants in managing their participation and reporting through the Points-Based Activation System, and (c) is aware of and supports Participants in managing their participation and reporting through the Points-Based Activation System (PBAS).

3)

i) The Provider has processes and procedures in place that:

(a) represent the expectations established in the Service Guarantee and Joint Charter; and (b) are consistent with the Service Guarantee and Joint Charter.

(b) Ensure Personnel are aware of the requirements specified in the Service Guarantee and apply them correctly to individual Participants.

(c) Ensure Participants are aware of the minimal level of service they may expect and what is required of them as outlined in the Service Guarantee.

4)

i) The Provider has systems in place to ensure that its employees:

(a) utilise available assessments of the Participant’s circumstances to execute plans that will enable them to become job ready and achieve sustained Employment

(b) review a Participant’s circumstances on a regular basis and modify implemented strategies as needed;

(c) record factual and informative notes in the appropriate system about the Participant’s circumstances to ensure that the Participant receives consistent service regardless of which Provider Personnel is managing them.

ii) The Provider has systems in place to guarantee that Personnel can:

(a) find relevant Employment opportunities for Participants; and (b) communicate with them.

(b) provide Participants with adequate employment possibilities.

5)

  1. i) The Provider has systems in place to ensure that:

(a) Participants have individualised and up-to-date Job Plans that have been discussed, agreed upon, and signed by the Participant;

(b) the Job Plans are recorded on the Department’s IT systems;

(c) Participant Job Plans are modified and reviewed and on a regular basis;

(d) Participants fulfil the requirements of their individual Job Plans; and

(e) Participants are placed in suitable Activities that allow them to meet Mandatory A.

(f) Participants’ requisite hours of participation in Activities are appropriately documented and in accordance with Deed and Guideline criteria.

2. ii) In regard to MORs, the Provider has systems in place to ensure that its Personnel:

(a) report non-attendance or non-compliance when required; and

(b) take appropriate action when a Participant fails to comply with their MORs.

5. Labour market, Employers, and Community

a) Key Performance Measures

1) The Provider finds and integrates local labour market knowledge into the delivery of Services.

2) The Provider has a methodical process to meeting the needs of Employers, including proof of ongoing partnerships that result in Employment Outcomes for Participants.

3) Relationships with Host Organizations, other Workforce Australia Employment Services Suppliers, and providers of other projects and services are formed and maintained.

b) Practice Requirement

1)

i)The Provider has rules in place to help Personnel attain Employment Outcomes by using labour market insights.

ii) The Provider has systems and laws in place to provide personalised support to the cohorts it serves in order to help these Participants find work.

2)

i) Employers’ needs are met by policies in place by the Provider.

ii) The Provider has rules and processes in place to source and match Participants with available positions.

3)

i) The Provider can demonstrate connections to Host Organizations.

ii) The Provider can show connections between the Services provided and appropriate referral to and from other entities.

c) QAF Evidence Requirement

1)

i) The Provider has procedures and policies in place to: (a) maintain with, appraise, and implement local labour market knowledge; and (b) help its Personnel customise Services to diverse cohort groups.

ii) The Provider has policies and processes in place that:

a) identify the different cohort groups it services

b) detail the specific procedures to support and assist these Participants in Employment.

2)

i) The Provider has: (a) processes for engaging, developing, and maintaining relationships with Employers and employer groups and (b) examples of engagement with Employers and Employer groups.

ii) The Provider provides methods and policies in place to ensure that its Personnel can:

(a) analyse Employer requirements and match them with Participants on the Caseload; and (b) manage the Caseload.

(b) offer continuous assistance to Employers in order to improve Employment Outcomes for qualified Participants.

3)

i) The Provider has the following processes in place: (a) methods for advertising Services and programs to potential Host Organizations

(b) illustrations of how Services were advertised to prospective Host Organizations

ii) The Provider has the following procedures in place: (a) methods for creating networks with other Employment Services Suppliers and providers of other initiatives and services

(b) instances of networks formed with other Employment Services Suppliers and providers of other projects and services.

6. Operational effectiveness

a) Key Performance Measures

  1. The Provider’s laws and procedures facilitate the provision of Services in accordance with the Deed and Guidelines as per inclusions provided in Year 2 Certification/Recertification Audits and Surveillance Audits.
  2. The Provider has put in place measures to ensure compliance with the Privacy Act of 1988, the applicable Work Health and Safety Act(s), and other legislative requirements, as included in Year 1 certification/recertification audits and surveillance audits.

b) Practice Requirements

1) Modifications to the Deed and Guidelines are incorporated in the Provider’s systems, processes, and procedures in a timely and accurate manner.

2)

i) The Provider has procedures to inform Participants, Host Organizations, and Employers about its confidentiality and privacy rules.

ii) The Provider has in place rules and methods to monitor and comply with any applicable Work Health and Safety standards.

c) QAF Evidence Requirement

  1. The Provider has guidelines and procedures in place that outline:i) when and how rules will be modified in response to modifications to the Deed and/or the Guideline; ii) when and how policies will be updated.

iii) when and how its employees will be informed of and trained on changes to the Deed and/or the Guideline.

2. The Provider has methodologies and procedures in place to ensure that:

i) its personnel are aware of and follow privacy and confidentiality requirements in relation to Participants, Host Organizations, and Employers;

ii) Participants are informed about how their personal information may be used;

iii) Employers and Host Organizations are informed of privacy requirements in relation to Participants; and (d) breaches of privacy or confidentiality are identified and addressed immediately.

4. The Provider has methods and policies in place to ensure that:

i) Provider Sites and Activities involving Participants are in continuous compliance with any applicable Work Health and Safety requirements; and

ii) Risk Assessments for Activities and Participants are revised and uploaded before the beginning of an Activity;

iii) its Personnel are aware of their Work Health and Safety responsibilities and respond to Work Health and Safety issues, including reporting incidents and Notifiable Incidents; and

iv) practices are examined and modified as needed following a Work Health and Safety concern or event.

7. Continual Improvement

Each Quality Principle is underpinned by a set of Key Performance Measures (KPMs), containing Practice Requirements (PRs) that a Provider must meet to demonstrate conformance with the KPM.

a)  Key Performance Measures

1) The Provider has a structured methodology in place to identify and implement continuous improvement as included in 1 Year certification/recertification audits and surveillance audits

2) The Provider has established procedures to measure the satisfaction of its Personnel, Participants, Employers, and other organisations with which it collaborates to offer Workforce Australia services, and it encourages the submission of feedback and any concerns, as included in the Surveillance Audit year 2, which includes Certification/Recertification Audits.

b) Practice Requirements

1)

i) The Service provider has mechanisms in place to regulate and report on the performance of the work location, area of Employment, and Provider.

ii) The Provider maintains a continuous improvement register to track continuous improvement requests and the activities that address them.

 

2) The Provider has rules and processes in place to measure Participant satisfaction with the Services provided.

i) The Provider’s rules and practices encourage the submission of complaints and comments without fear of retaliation, and they enable the settlement of concerns.

ii) The Provider can explain how comments and complaints from multiple sources affect the implementation of continuous improvement efforts.

c) QAF Evidence Requirement

  1. The Provider has systems and procedures for evaluating and performance reviews at the Location, Employment Area, and Provider stages.

2. i) The processes involve special monitoring of: I Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ placement and outcome data; and (ii) placement techniques to ensure they continue to be effective in attaining Employment Outcomes for Participants.

ii) The procedures are reviewed and monitored, and specific performance improvements are achieved.

3. The Provider has a mechanism in place for monitoring and updating a continuous improvement register, which includes:

i) non-conformances discovered during audits of Quality Standards and/or Quality Principles.

4.  The Provider has policies and practices in operation to assess Participant satisfaction with the Services provided on an ongoing, regular, and proactive basis.

5. The Provider has policies and processes in place to:

i) assist Participants, its Personnel, Employers, and other organisations with whom it collaborates to deliver Workforce Australia services in raising complaints and providing feedback; and

ii) to assist Participants, Personnel, Employers, and other organisations with which it collaborates to deliver

iii) that its personnel handle, discuss, and, to the greatest extent practicable, resolve complaints and feedback

iv) that its personnel escalates issues that cannot be resolved (where required).

6.  The Provider has processes in place to:

i) collect Provider-wide information on feedback and complaints received from its Personnel, Participants, Employers, and other organisations with whom it collaborates to deliver Workforce Australia services, auditors, and the Department; and report this information to the Department.

ii) to revise processes at the Site and Provider levels in response to complaints and feedback received

c) QAF Certification

To earn QAF Certification, providers must:

  • achieve certification against one of the Department’s two recognised Quality Standards; and
  • show adherence to the Department’s seven quality principles.

Providers must acquire a QAF Certificate not later than 9 months from the start date of any Head Licence unless otherwise notified by the Department and keep the Certificate current for the duration of the Head Licence Term.

QAF Certification is valid for three years, provided that the Provider maintains Certification against both the Quality Standards and the Quality Principles.

If you want Anitech’s Quality Consultants to help you in designing a Quality Assurance Framework for your organisation, feel free to enquire here.

You can also contact us at 1300 802 163 or email us at info@anitechgroup.com.

Anitech’s QMS Consultants will be glad to help you!

minal.metkari

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