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ASES accreditation for homelessness providers in NSW

From 30 June 2024, all specialist homelessness service (SHS) providers contracted to deliver programs under the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) will be required to be accredited to the ASES Certificate level (or equivalent) in order to continue to receive DCJ funding for future contracts.

Following consultation with the sector, the DCJ endorsed the adoption of the ASES because it is tailored to and already used by a broad range of non-government organisations across Australia. It is the program most similar to the SHS Standards that providers are already familiar with.

The ASES are internationally recognised by the International Society for Quality in Health Care External Evaluation Association (IEEA). The IEEA have determined that the ASES meet and exceed international best-practice for community service standards, and drive the key principles of person-centred care, risk management, and cultivating positive outcomes and client engagements.

To maintain accreditation, services need to be externally assessed and demonstrate that they continue to comply with the system. The accreditation process occurs on a cyclical basis. This differs from the current SHS quality system, which is a voluntary self-assessment process without third party review.

ASES accreditation will align homelessness providers in NSW with DCJ strategic directions by having a strong emphasis on outcomes, customer focus, and evidence-based decision making.

QIP’s ASES accreditation program

QIP is an approved ASES accreditation agency. For more than 15 years we have worked alongside numerous community organisations to help them achieve ASES accreditation. Our personalised support and practical resources make the ASES certification experience a positive and quality-focused one.

QIP has client support personnel and sector-experienced assessors based in NSW who have capacity to help DCJ-funded providers achieve ASES accreditation by 30 June 2024. With this deadline fast approaching, we urge homelessness services to contact us as soon as possible to commence the accreditation process.

ASES is a step-by-step accreditation program that helps organisations improve business practices and client services through a set of community service standards and a program of support. Accreditation is required to be maintained every three years.

Pathways to ASES accreditation

Two pathways are available to achieve ASES accreditation – Certificate and Award levels. It is recommended that DCJ-funded providers aim for Certificate Level accreditation the first time they go through the accreditation process.

Certificate Level of the ASES means that the organisation is:

  • Actively applying sound management to meet legislative, industry and government guidelines
  • Operating confidently and efficiently
  • Effective in their communication
  • Engaging in strong partnerships
  • A safe and healthy environment for staff and consumers.

Consumers can feel confident in the service provision, make informed decisions and play an integral role in the development and planning of services.

Once a provider has Certificate Level accreditation, they may wish to achieve Award Level accreditation. The Award Level builds on the sound management systems and processes of the Certificate Level.

Award Level accreditation can apply to organisations:

  • Striving for excellence with standards
  • Wanting to be leading organisations
  • Seeking to be challenged beyond the essential elements of the Certificate level.

How long does accreditation take?

The time it takes to complete accreditation will vary between organisations, based on their prior experience with accreditation. However, as a guide, from first contact with QIP to registration, online self-assessment, and collation of required evidence, the process can take up to 18 months to complete. If a quality improvement plan is needed after the external assessment (on-site review), organisations will have up to 6 months to complete the actions required prior to achieving accreditation.

QIC Standards recognised as ‘highly equivalent’

The DCJ has recognised the QIC Health and Community Service Standards (the QIC Standards) as ‘highly equivalent’ to that of ASES and can be applied by relevant organisations to meet the 30 June 2024 requirements.

The QIC Standards are broader and more in-depth than ASES and are suited to larger organisations that offer multiple service streams. QIP developed and is the exclusive provider of the QIC Standards and has QIC client support staff and assessors based in NSW with capacity to support larger organisations that offer specialist homelessness services.

Financial support for the first accreditation cycle

DCJ has made a commitment to subsidise the accreditation costs for providers with less than $5million in total annual revenue to gain accreditation the first time. Funding of $16,000 per organisation is now available through the ASES Support Grant.

More information about the grant can be found on the NSW Government Department of Communities and Justice website.

Contact QIP to register now 

QIP joins with DCJ to encourage providers to start the process now to ensure the accreditation deadline of 30 June 2024 is achieved.

We are here to help and welcome queries no matter how large or small:

P 1300 888 329 | E info@qip.com.au | W www.qip.com.au/shs-provider-accreditation

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