Assessment and Ratings Process

The following tables outline the national quality rating and assessment process for evaluation of services against the National Quality Standards and the National Regulations.  It is designed to be a cooperative process with opportunities for services to discuss how they are meeting the National Quality Standards and enhancing outcomes for children. The timeframes reflect the approximate period of time involved in each step.

Assessment and Rating for Services

Timeline

Step

Process

Week 1*

A: Notice of visit

The approved provider receives a letter from the regulatory authority notifying of the four week period in which the assessment and rating visit will occur.

The regulatory authority requests that the approved provider submits a copy of the service Quality Improvement Plan within three weeks.  The regulatory authority may also request additional service specific information.

Week 3

B: Quality Improvement Plan

The approved provider submits the Quality Improvement Plan to the regulatory authority.

Weeks 5 - 8

C: Visit occurs

The assessment visit will occur during the four week period specified in the letter to the approved provider. For all service types the regulatory authority will give the approved provider at least five days' notice of the date of the visit. For family day care services, the regulatory authority will give between 0 and 5 days' notice of the educator sample to be visited.

The authorised officer may give some general comments at the time of the visit but will not give an indication of the service rating. Feedback may include the opportunity to make minor adjustments to the service operation within specified areas and timeframes to address concerns identified at the visit. For further information on the minor adjustments policy refer to the Assessment and Rating chapter of the Operational Policy Manual for Regulatory Authorities

After the visit

Approx. 3 - 5 weeks after the visit date

D: Draft report

The approved provider is issued the draft report.

The approved provider has 10 working days to provide feedback on any factual inaccuracies in the report and provide evidence to support their feedback.

Approx. 5 - 7 weeks after the visit date

E: Feedback due

Feedback on the draft report is provided to the regulatory authority.  If no feedback is provided, the report is final and the notice of final ratings is issued to the approved provider.

Approx. 8 weeks after the visit date

F: Final report

If feedback is provided on the draft report, this is considered by the regulatory authority, the report is then finalised and the notice of final ratings is issued to the approved provider. 

Once the report is finalised and received by the approved provider, the 14 day period in which a review can be requested commences. If the notice is sent electronically, the 14 days run from the day that it is sent. If posted, the 14 days run from the fourth day after the notice of ratings was posted.

 

Assessment and rating process for regulatory authorities

Timeline

Step

Process

Week 1*

A: Notice of start of process

The regulatory authority sends a letter to the approved provider notifying of the four week period in which the assessment and rating visit will occur. The letter includes:

  • the purpose of the assessment and rating process
  • a request to the approved provider to submit the Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) for their service within three weeks
  • that the authorised officer will advise of the actual assessment and rating visit date at least five working days in advance
  • guidance on how to source information on the assessment and rating process and developing/updating the QIP
  • the need for the approved provider or their key contact person (usually the nominated supervisor) to be available at the beginning and end, and for part of the visit.

The authorised officer undertakes an analysis of the available information about the service including reviewing the compliance history and the accreditation history where relevant.

 

Week 3

B: Quality Improvement Plan

On receipt of the QIP, the regulatory authority sends a second letter to the approved provider acknowledging the date the QIP was received.  The letter may also include:

  • a reminder that the approved provider or their key contact person (usually the nominated supervisor) is to be available at the beginning and end, and for part of the visit
  • details of the visit, including the approximate time and minimum length for the visit.

For centre-based services the letter advises that the assessment covers each room and all common areas (including outdoors), and detailed observations will be made with each age group present.

For family day care services the letter advises that there will be an initial visit to the service’s principal office, a request for the service’s family day care register, an assessment of a sample of educators and a final visit to the service’s principal office.

The authorised officer reviews the service’s QIP and prepares for the assessment and rating visit.

Weeks 5 - 8

 

C: Notice of visit

For all service types, the authorised officer will confirm the date of the visit and approximate time of arrival at least five working days before the assessment and rating visit.

For family day care services, the authorised officer will give between 0 and 5 days’ notice of the educator sample to be visited.

D: Visit occurs

The authorised officer conducts the assessment visit and records observations and evidence in the National Quality Standard Assessment and Rating Instrument. The authorised officer:

  • for centre-based services focuses on observations of practice in every room, common areas and outdoor area/s, and includes observations of each age group
  • for family day care services, will visit a sample of family day care educators’ residences or venues
  • engages in discussion with the approved provider or their key contact person, educators and staff members and co-ordinators for family day care services
  • sights and considers documentation.

The authorised officer also gives the approved provider, at the time of assessment or as soon as practicable afterwards, an indication of any minor adjustments that may be made at the service before the draft assessment and rating report is issued to the approved provider.

Any minor adjustments made by the service are included on the authorised officer’s notes and in the report.

After the visit, the authorised officer analyses the information gathered through the assessment and rating process, including whether there was any evidence of inconsistent practice throughout the service.

The authorised officer prepares the draft report with the proposed ratings.

The authorised officer also:

  • addresses any issues that need to be attended to immediately as a result of a risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of a child or children
  • clarifies any identified non-compliance
  • informs the service that a draft report with ratings for all quality areas and an overall rating will be provided approximately three to five weeks after the visit, and that the provider will have 10 working days to provide feedback.

Approx.
3 - 5 weeks after the visit date

E: Draft report

The draft report and covering letter is issued to the approved provider. The covering letter includes the contact details of the regulatory authority receiving feedback and that the report will be the final report if no feedback is received within 10 working days.

Approx.
5 - 7 weeks after the visit date

F: Consider feedback

The regulatory authority considers any feedback received from the service, determines final ratings and finalises the report.

Approx.
8 weeks after the visit date

G: Final report

The report is finalised, the final rating is determined and the notice of final ratings is issued to the approved provider. The regulatory authority informs the approved provider, and provides information about the review process including:

  • requests for a review must be lodged within 14 days of the approved provider’s receipt of the report
  • details of the person to whom a review application is made (name and address)
  • what can/cannot be reviewed
  • the review timeline.

 

* Note that the timeframes given in the tables are guidelines only.

 

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