Applying for a waiver
Waivers play an important role in helping providers maintain their level of service to families while dealing with special circumstances or unexpected events.
An approved provider may apply to a regulatory authority for a waiver. Applying for a waiver should be a last resort; providers should explore other avenues before making an application.
- Types of waivers
- Applying for a waiver
- How your application is processed
- Displaying your waiver
- Effect of waivers on quality ratings
There are two types of waivers:
- Temporary waivers may be granted for up to 12 months.
- Service waivers may be granted if a provider is unable to meet requirements for an ongoing period. There is no specific expiry date for a service waiver.
Approved providers can submit a waiver application via the NQA IT System.
Your application must include:
- reasons you are unable to comply with the requirement(s) of the National Regulations / *element(s) of the National Quality Standard (NQS)
- details and evidence of attempts to comply
- measures being taken to protect the wellbeing of children.
*From 1 October 2023, approved providers will continue to be able to apply for waivers from specified regulations but can no longer apply for waivers from prescribed element/s of the National Quality Standard (NQS).
Your application can only be assessed by your regulatory authority if it is complete. Before submitting your application, check that the:
- required sections of the application are complete
- supporting documentation / evidence is attached
- prescribed fees are paid.
The Evidence for Waiver Applications information sheet explains the types of waivers available and evidence that can be submitted with your application.
Your regulatory authority will review each application on a case-by-case basis.
To issue a waiver, the regulatory authority must be certain that:
- genuine steps have been made or are being made to meet the requirements
- children’s safety, health and well-being is not compromised or at risk
- a plan is in place for the service to meet the requirements by the time the waiver is due to expire (in the case of a temporary waiver).
Your regulatory authority has up to 60 days to assess a complete application. Incomplete applications will be returned to approved providers for further information, lengthening the process.
You can check the status of your waiver application through the NQA IT System.
A regulatory authority can revoke a waiver at any time, and an approved provider can apply to have a waiver revoked at any time.
If your waiver application is approved, a new service approval which outlines the waiver(s) will be sent to you. The new service approval must be displayed at the entry of the service.
A service granted a waiver can still achieve ratings of Meeting National Quality Standard and Exceeding National Quality Standard. This is because the service is taken to comply or not required to comply with the requirements of the National Regulations and *elements of the NQS that are covered by the waiver.
*From 1 October 2023, approved providers will continue to be able to apply for waivers from specified regulations and can no longer apply for waivers from prescribed element/s of the National Quality Standard (NQS).