Any assessment and rating process can be daunting. You might like to consider the following three things when preparing for your service’s assessment and rating visit - Authenticity, Collaboration and Empowerment.
The authorised officer will be looking for examples of typical, authentic practice embedded in your service. This is your opportunity to showcase your strengths, so think about what you would like the authorised officer to observe, discuss and sight while at your service. Try to make sure that your practice and routines on the day of the visit accurately represent the philosophy of your service. Above all - try to be yourself.
It is important to involve children, educators, management, families and other key stakeholders in identifying and prioritising strategies and goals for improvement. Undertaking a thorough, honest and critically reflective self-assessment, typically captured in your Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), should help ensure that there are no surprises during the assessment and rating visit. Having respectful conversations about how your practices have evolved to support quality outcomes for children will also help demonstrate your commitment to critical reflection and continuous improvement.
During the assessment and rating process, it’s important for educators to feel empowered to share their practices with the authorised officer. This begins with careful preparation – have a look at the resources on ACECQA’s website to make sure you know the contents of the NQS. Then have a look at your practices. Why do you do what you do? How do your practices align with the NQS? On the day of the visit, be proactive. This is your opportunity to share your practices with the authorised officer. Describe how your practice meets the Standard in a way that is relevant to your children, families and community.
Jill Clennett, an authorised officer working in Tasmania, thinks creating an environment of authenticity can reduce anxiety for educators and help the authorised officer with their observations.
‘It makes such a difference when the educators go about their day as normal,’ said Jill. ‘It ensures the assessment and rating integrates into the flow of the program and aids our observations.
‘Collaboration can also help reduce educators’ stress. Supporting one another and ensuring everyone is engaged in the critical reflection process helps enormously'.
For information on the assessment and rating process and resources available, download the assessment and rating information sheet
or visit the ACECQA website