The National Regulations require approved services to have a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP). The aim of a QIP is to help providers self-assess their performance in delivering quality education and care and to plan future improvements. The QIP also helps the regulatory authorities with their assessment of the service.
A QIP helps providers to document the strengths of their services and to recognise areas for improvement.
Who is responsible?
Approved Providers must make sure a Quality Improvement Plan is developed for each of their approved services. The Approved Provider is the individual, organisation or company managing the service. The provider should develop a QIP which reflects the unique circumstances of the service and its community. Educators, children, families and the community should all be involved in the self-assessment.
How many Quality Improvement Plans need to be prepared?
You need as many Quality Improvement Plans as you have approved education and care services. For example, an approved service may provide before and after school and vacation care and these could all be covered under one QIP. But if the provider had two service approvals; one for the vacation care held in one location and a second approval for the before and after school care held in a different location, then two QIPs would be required.
What information has to be included in my Quality Improvement Plan?
The Quality Improvement Plan must:
- include an assessment of the quality of practices of the service against the National Regulations and National Quality Standard
- identify areas the provider considers may require improvement
- contain a statement about the philosophy of the service.
What should be considered when preparing a Quality Improvement Plan?
- Does our statement of philosophy reflect a commitment to improvement?
- Are our resources targeted to support our plans?
- Are we collecting and using the right information to help our planning cycle?
- How do we handle complaints?
- How do we review our policies and procedures?
When does a Quality Improvement Plan need to be ready?
The provider of a service approved after 31 January 2012 must submit a QIP for the service to the regulatory authority within three months of the grant of service approval.
The Quality Improvement Plan must be on the premises and available at all times. For family day care services, it must be available at the principal office.
The QIP must be made available on request to parents of children enrolled at the service, or who are seeking to enrol a child.
Approved Providers must review and revise the QIP:
- at least annually, and
- at any time when directed by the regulatory authority.
How long should a Quality Improvement Plan be?
There is not a minimum or maximum number of pages requiried when completing your Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).
The Guide to Developing a QIP states that the QIP must include strategies to address those quality areas noted during the self-assessment or assessment process as not meeting the National Quality Standard or any regulatory requirement (page 6).
Where can I get more information about the Quality Improvement Plan?
The ACECQA website has the following information about preparing a Quality Improvement Plan:
ACECQA now has information available about the assessment & rating process
which may also inform your QIP, along with the National Quality Framework resource kit.