We Hear You

Welcome to We Hear You, a blog hosted by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). Since starting operation on 1 January  2012, ACECQA has met with many people in children’s education and care services,  government regulatory authorities, community groups and professional associations. Talking with people about the National Quality Framework (NQF) helps us carry out our role to monitor and support the implementation of NQF. Listening helps us understand how the sector is adapting to the new framework as we work together to ensure children have the best possible start in life. With such important changes underway, ACECQA would like to hear from you. So how do we do that? We want to meet you face to face where possible and we’re doing that in a number of ways:

  • establishing formal meetings with national organisations representing the children’s education and care services sector
  • regularly attending your state and territory stakeholder reference groups
  • visiting services whenever we can
  • making it easier for you to invite us to your large events with a speaker request form on our website.

We also understand that some people are not members of larger organisations, or that you don’t get a chance to come to meetings, or that the best time for you to be heard is after 5pm. So how can we listen and talk with everyone? We Hear You. We Hear You is not only our blog, it’s our Facebook page, our Twitter account, our enquiries email and our national call centre. The online format of We Hear You gives us a way we can talk about the NQF no matter where you are or what time it is. The blog is running for a trial period, we’d like to know your thoughts and ideas on how you are finding this as a way of communicating. You can post to our Feedback page, or email [email protected]

Latest comments

Eileen Byrnes

Sun, 06 May 2012 - 14:24

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I was concerned to read that regulators will be considering any past complaints made against a centre when assesing a centre for accreditation.
Surely any past concerns raised by a parent or an advisor would have been attended to at the time it occurred and a centre should be assessed on the present performance. Has any other centre director or staff member raised this issue?


Mon, 07 May 2012 - 16:25

In reply to by Eileen Byrnes (not verified)

Hi Eileen, a good question to raise and we’ve now added it to our FAQs – thank you!

This information is from the <a href="http://http://acecqa.gov.au/resources-and-templates/assessment-and-rating-guides-and-instrument/#reg_auth" rel="nofollow">Guide to Assessment and Rating for Regulatory Authorities</a>:

<em>The National Regulations outlines a service’s compliance history that must be considered when assessing and rating a service (regulation 63).
Reviewing a service’s planning and history helps to familiarise authorised officers with background information about the service.
The authorised officer may also consider the following information:
• provider approval
• service approval
• notifications
• complaints
• investigations
• conditions on provider approval or service approval
• waivers
• inspections
• compliance action
• other intelligence, and
• previous assessment or accreditation visits (where relevant). </em>

This means assessors must consider the service’s history to have a complete view of the current performance. The outcomes of past concerns or complaints can be relevant

For example, a past complaint about sun safety may have led to a new policy and education program at a service. This could be an example of continuous quality improvement, and actually gives you an opportunity to show a good resolution.

You can find advice with <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/regulatory-authorities/" rel="nofollow">regulatory authorities</a> and <a href="http://www.pscalliance.org.au/" rel="nofollow">Professional Support Coordinators</a>.

ACECQA also has the following resources:
• <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/resources-and-templates/assessment-and-rating-guides-and-instrument/#NQS" rel="nofollow">National Quality Standard Assessment and Rating Instrument</a>
• <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/resources-and-templates/assessment-and-rating-guides-and-instrument/#services" rel="nofollow">Guide to Assessment and Rating for Services</a>
• <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/resources-and-templates/assessment-and-rating-guides-and-instrument/#reg_auth" rel="nofollow">Guide to Assessment and Rating for Regulatory Authorities</a>
• <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/faqs/" rel="nofollow">FAQs</a>

Cathy O'Hanlon

Fri, 25 May 2012 - 19:05

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I have read all the ACECQA material regarding assessment and rating but can't help but wonder how each element will be considered met. I've been told that each bullet point in the NQF document is a guide and wont necessarily need to be ticked off. Is this true.


Mon, 18 Jun 2012 - 16:21

In reply to by Cathy O'Hanlon (not verified)

Hi Cathy,
Authorised Officers will determine whether each element of the National Quality Standard is ‘met’ or ‘not met’ using the <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/resources-and-templates/assessment-and-rating-guides-and-instrument/#NQS" rel="nofollow">National Quality Standard Assessment and Rating Instrument</a>.

The purpose of the <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/national-quality-framework/national-quality-standard/" rel="nofollow">Guide to the National Quality Standard</a> is to assist services to complete the self-assessment and quality improvement planning process. The bullet points you refer to in the Guide are provided as examples of practice for each element and are intended as guidance only – they are not a ‘checklist’.

The examples of practice provided are not exhaustive and services may determine that they are able to meet the standards and elements in other ways. Page 17 of the Guide provides more information about working with elements and the way the element will be assessed, including the use of ‘observe’, ‘sight’ and ‘discuss’ techniques.

Please contact <a href="http://acecqa.gov.au/about/contact/" rel="nofollow">ACECQA</a> if you have any more questions

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