5. Making minor adjustments

National Law & Regulations

[ National Regulations, Regulation 63(2)(b) ] The regulatory authority may consider any information available to them about any steps taken by the education and care service to rectify any matters identified during the rating assessment.

A service rating should accurately reflect service quality. Minor matters that do not seriously impact on a service’s quality may not affect the rating if they are able to be rectified quickly and easily. There may be some circumstances in which the regulatory authority gives an approved provider the opportunity to make minor adjustments prior to finalising a service’s assessment report and overall rating. If a minor adjustment could result in an individual element being assessed as ‘met’ instead of ‘not met’, the regulatory authority should consider offering a minor adjustment, even if other elements in the standard are ‘not met’.

The regulatory authority may give an approved provider a short time to make these minor adjustments in the following circumstances.

Circumstances in which minor adjustments may be offered

There is no unacceptable risk to the safety, health or wellbeing of children

The quality of service provided is minimally impacted

Rectification can take place quickly and easily

The matters to be adjusted are minor

Elements that have been assessed as not met are elements where a minor adjustment could result in the element being met. The service may receive a higher rating against a standard if the issue is rectified

The changes required involve simple, concrete solutions that can be implemented within the specified timeframe (e.g. within days of the assessment and rating visit, preferably immediately, unless otherwise specified by the regulatory authority).

At the time of the assessment or soon after, the regulatory authority will inform the approved provider of the opportunity to make minor adjustments and provide evidence of those adjustments before the draft assessment and rating report is provided. The regulatory authority assesses whether the evidence provided demonstrates that an element assessed as ‘not met’ during the assessment and rating visit is now considered to be ‘met’.

The approved provider’s evidence must satisfy the regulatory authority that appropriate corrective action has been taken without the need to make a subsequent assessment and rating visit to the service. Examples of evidence could include:

  • photographs (e.g. to demonstrate that a physical hazard has been removed or fixed, or to demonstrate that an item of documentation is now being displayed at the service)
  • copies of revised written policies or procedures
  • a record indicating that information has been provided to families attending the service (such as an email).

The evidence must satisfy the regulatory authority that the issue has been fully rectified. Evidence provided after the regulatory authority has issued the draft report to the approved provider for feedback will generally not be considered.

An approved provider may choose not to make minor adjustments, or not to provide evidence of minor adjustments, in which case the regulatory authority will draft the service’s assessment report and rating based on the circumstances of the service at the time of the assessment and rating visit.

Providing evidence to demonstrate that an issue has been rectified does not guarantee that the service will be assessed as having met the relevant element or standard.

The right to review

An approved provider cannot request a review of a decision made by the regulatory authority to apply the minor adjustments policy.

Assessing inconsistent quality

The term ‘inconsistent quality’ refers to situations where different levels of service quality are identified at an assessment and rating visit, including in different rooms, sessions, residences or venues or between different educators in the one room. The experiences of children within particular age groups or specific rooms within a service may be significantly different from what has been identified across the service. For example, experiences of some children in the service may be consistently below the NQS.

The final rating should take into consideration the impact this inconsistent quality has on the experiences of each child in the service.

The following flow chart provides guidance to authorised officers about assessing inconsistent quality.

Inconsistent quality chart