National Safety and Quality Mental Health Standards for Community Managed Organisations (NSQMHCMO Standards)

National Safety & Quality Mental Health Standards for Community Managed Organisations (NSQMHCMO Standards)

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has developed the National Safety and Quality Mental Health Standards for Community Managed Organisations (NSQMHCMO Standards). These standards aim to enhance the safety and quality of mental health services provided by community organisations, ensuring consistent, high-quality care across the sector. Developed in consultation with key stakeholders, the standards provide a structured framework to protect consumers and continuously improve service provision.

Community managed organisations currently accredited under the National Standards for Mental Health Services (NSMHS Standards) may wish to transfer to these new Standards.

NSQMHCMO Standards

The three NSQMHCHO Standards are:

1. Practice Governance Standard

This standard assesses whether community managed organisations (CMOs) have effective governance systems to maintain and improve the reliability, safety, and quality of mental health care. It includes leadership, accountability, and continuous improvement measures to ensure services are safe and high-quality.

2. Partnering with Consumers, Families, and Carers Standard

This standard ensures that consumers, families, and carers are actively involved in decision-making and service planning. It promotes a person-centred approach, encouraging the inclusion of diverse perspectives to improve service responsiveness and relevance.

3. Model of Care Standard

This standard evaluates whether CMOs have systems in place to provide evidence-based, best practice mental health services. It ensures that care is consistent, safe, and effective, with a focus on minimising harm and improving outcomes for consumers.

Each standard includes a detailed description, a statement of intent, and a list of key criteria and actions to meet the standard. Not all actions within each standard will apply to every CMO-delivered mental health service.

Who the standards apply to

The NSQMHCMO Standards are voluntary however regulators or funders of a CMO may mandate accreditation to CMOs that provide mental health services. These standards are primarily designed for not-for-profit, non-government organisations delivering various mental health services, including psychosocial rehabilitation, helpline and counselling services, accommodation support, and peer support. However, they may also be suitable for some for-profit service providers, particularly smaller organisations or those catering to specific target groups interested in achieving accreditation against the CMO standards.

Accreditation cycle and process

The accreditation process follows a three-year cycle and involves a staged assessment process involving:

  1. initial assessment comprising a desktop review, followed by
  2. verification and demonstration assessment conducted either on-site or virtually, and
  3. remediation period if required, to address any material concerns identified during the initial assessment, followed by a final assessment.

Why become accredited?

Becoming accredited against the NSQMHCMO Standards offers several benefits including:

  • Improved service quality: Implementing best practices and evidence-based care
  • Increased consumer trust: Demonstrating a commitment to safety and quality
  • Strengthened organisational capacity: Developing robust management and operational capabilities
  • Compliance with national standards: Adhering to national safety and quality standards, reducing risks and legal liabilities.

For more information on the NSQMHCMO Standards, please refer to the FAQs on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s website.

How QIP supports organisations

Tailored support

QIP has trained QIP Client Liaison Teams on hand to answer any questions clients may have about their accreditation, certification or verification. With expert knowledge of each of the standards or frameworks, evidence requirements and the self-assessment process, QIP’s Client Liaison Teams provide clients with on-going advice throughout their cycle.

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QIP’s accreditation hub

The QIP accreditation hub is an online platform tailored to each client’s individual accreditation timelines and framework requirements. It includes a personalised action plan, a resource library and a number of other features to support clients throughout their accreditation journey.

Access to AccreditationPro

QIP’s online self-assessment software, known as AccreditationPro, streamlines accreditation preparation by helping clients determine their organisation’s compliance with an applicable set of Standards.

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Access to online resources and education

QIP’s online Education and Resource Library, provides clients with access to a range of practical, informative and customisable resources to support organisations in complying with the relevant industry Standards.

Regular news and e-newsletters

Stay up-to-date with industry and organisational news, helpful tips and your standards information with QIP communications including periodical e-newsletters advising of any changes to processes, systems, standards or evidence requirements are released.

Highly trained assessment teams

QIP’s Assessors are highly trained and qualified peer assessors who work across the Australian health, community and human services sectors. Our team will share their knowledge and support organisations through the accreditation assessment.

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Celebrating the achievement of accreditation

Achieving QIP accreditation takes dedication, team work and a commitment to continuous quality improvement. When organisations achieve their accredited, certificated or verified status, they are provided with their own 'Promotional Toolkit' filled with a number of materials to celebrate and promote this achievement.

The QIP Accredited Symbol is one way consumers and local community can be reassured that an organisation has been recognised for their commitment to delivering a safe and quality-focused service.

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Become part of our online community

Join us on social media to celebrate organisation achievements made within the health, community and human services sectors and to be kept up-to-date with the latest industry news and events, including QIP and AGPAL updates.

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Contact QIP about the NSQMHCMO Standards Accreditation Program

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