Organisations in Focus

Parramatta Mission

Image of Parramatta Mission people

With teamwork and a well-planned approach, Parramatta Mission made the jump from the 6th to 7th Edition QIC Health and Community Services Standards to achieve the sixth cycle of QIP accreditation.

The QIC Health and Community Services Standards 7th Edition has recently rolled out across Australia and a handful of community organisations have successfully achieved accreditation against the new QIC Standards 7th Edition. Among these organisations is NSW based, Parramatta Mission. We spoke to Parramatta Mission’s Quality & Risk Manager, Devin North, to find out more about the organisation and their accreditation experience against both the QIC Standards 6th and 7th Editions, along with other insights into their ongoing quality improvement journey.

Parramatta Mission has extensive experience in successfully establishing and managing community-based services for vulnerable populations, from the Blue Mountains to the Hunter Valley region. With a focus on working with client populations who experience homelessness or mental health issues.

They successfully empower their clients to engage with their community through employment, education and support activities. Underpinned by a person-centred, recovery focused approach, Parramatta Mission delivers a range of prevention, early intervention, rehabilitation and recovery, treatment, and continuing care services specifically targeted for:

  • People living with mental illness, including serious mental illness
  • Family members or carers of people with mental illness
  • Young people
  • Those living in crisis (financial or emotional crisis), and
  • Vulnerable communities or groups.

These services are provided through an extensive list including mental health, accommodation, gambling assistance, meal provision and personal help organisations that fall under the Parramatta Mission umbrella.

In order to provide the best possible services to their clients and ensure a high-quality workplace for staff, Parramatta Mission has successfully achieved accreditation against the QIC Standards 7th Edition. The switch from the 6th Edition Standards did require some adjustments and unfamiliarity’s for the team but as Devin explained, the changes were for the best.

Devin shared that the biggest positive change experienced by their team, between each edition, was the ‘Met’ or ‘Not Met’ rating system, the prescriptive evidence guide which allowed them to clearly identify the evidence required for assessment. Devin mentioned that “The collation of our evidence was a smoother process and supported our overarching narrative on quality support across our services.”

Devin also referenced the newly developed ‘QIC Standards 7th Edition Interview Themes’ resource document, available for download via the QIP accreditation hub in QbAY, as a helpful template to add context to the evidence having to be provided. The team worked through each question and discussed what specific evidence was deemed useful. From there, they were then able to undertake a review of the suggested evidence in-line with the expectation of the Standard/ Indicator/Sub-indicator and upload the relevant information into AccreditationPro.

The Parramatta Mission team also found a key principle, the DICE method (Documented, Implemented, Communicated, Evaluated) a useful tool during evidence collation. “Prior to uploading something, we would apply DICE to the evidence to ascertain any risks and/or gaps that could be fed into our continuous improvement register, as well as giving us an opportunity to provide context in the evidence upload section for the assessors,” said Devin.

Devin could not express more, how imperative the staff members at Parramatta Mission are in the entire process of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and accomplishing a well-executed accreditation process.

In Devin’s words, “When done well, Continuous Quality Improvement is inherent and embedded within the roles and tasks undertaken by staff daily. We have our Quality Improvement Plan which was created following our accreditation with QIP which guides our progress and assists with measuring our outcomes, as well as our policies and processes which support CQI.”

As an organisation, Parramatta Mission holds extreme value in being accredited, resulting in benefits for their staff and ultimately their consumers and stakeholders. It’s a testament to the quality of their daily service provision as well as the staff within their organisation.

The team at Parramatta Mission has a number of systems and initiatives in place to assist them in confidently preparing for and achieving accreditation. One of these systems is the implementation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which supports them to manage and monitor Risk Management, Learning and Development, Recruitment and Induction and more. Devin explained, “As an organisation, we are proud to continue our path of learning and support our consumers in the best way that we can. We are constantly looking at technology and how we can best use this to support all functions of our operations.”

The QIP team thank Parramatta Mission’s Quality & Risk Manager, Devin North for providing some great tips and insight into the Continuous Quality Improvement of the organisation while offering some practical advice around the requirements of the QIC Standards 7th Edition. As one last piece of encouragement, Devin explained that the journey of Quality Improvement is just that, a journey and is something which should be undertaken and implemented in every aspect of one’s work. Devin has a quote in his office which reminds him of the purpose of his work daily, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

Congratulations to the entire Parramatta Mission team on their achievement of QIP accreditation against the QIC Standards 7th Edition. As one of the first organisations across Australia to do so, this is an achievement to be proud of!