Employment Services

Our Experience

HDAA Experience with Assessing Employment Services

HDAA is accredited to assess disability employment services funded by the Department of Social Services.

All HDAA Employment Program assessors are qualified as Lead Assessors, and have extensive knowledge in the field of disability employment provision and quality management practices; skills in data collection and analysis; and experience in leadership and for the DES scheme disability policy development and evaluation.

All assessments are conducted by a team which comprises an experienced Lead Assessor and a Consumer Technical Expert (an Assessor with a disability who works as part of the Assessment Team to focus on engaging with service users and staff).

One thing about all our assessors that we are especially proud of, is that they are all truly passionate about supporting you to develop a high quality service.

We pride ourselves on our approach. We work with you as we would a colleague and with one aim in mind: to do all we can to strengthen your organisation. We are most fulfilled in our role when we can contribute to organisations so that they are supported to meet the needs of people with disability.

Upon certification, we provide you with a high quality Certification Folder which includes your final assessment report, certificate, documentation and information about the assessment program.

Program Details

The Disability Employment & Enterprise Scheme

The Department of Social Services Quality Assurance System for disability employment and enterprise services applies to three service types:

  1. Australian Disability Enterprises;
  2. Disability Employment Services – Disability Management Services;
  3. Disability Employment Services – Employment Support Services.

The Quality Assurance System for disability employment providers was introduced in 2002 with the goal of ensuring they meet certain standards so that they offer employment assistance to people with disability in quality environments.

The standards used for the DEES are the National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS) and were introduced in 2014 to replace the DSS (Disability Service Standards).

The System is designed to:

  • Give people with disability greater confidence in the quality of results services achieve for them;
  • Ensure all services meet a set of Standards for Disability Employment and Enterprise Services (DEES);
  • Make the assessment of quality more objective and measurable;
  • Treat all services equally;
  • Reduce government intervention in the day to day operation of services; and
  • Support services to continually improve.

The Quality Assurance System requires disability employment providers funded by the Department of Social Services to be assessed by an independent certification body. HDAA is an independent certifying body. Organisations must comply with, and demonstrate continuous improvement against the NSDS.

The Department of Social Services manages the assessment requirements of the DEES using Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) Human Services Scheme requirements (Part 1 and Part 3) for the implementation of the NSDS in DEES. HDAA is accredited by JAS-ANZ to provide NSDS assessments for Disability Employment and Enterprise Services and must adhere to rules set out in the Human Services Scheme.

We provide a range of assessment services to support employment providers in meeting the requirements of the standards and relevant programs. These services include:

  1. Pre-Assessment Preparation;
  2. Certification Assessment;
  3. Surveillance Assessment;
  4. Re-certification Assessment.

Australian Disability Enterprises and the NDIS

Funding of Australian Disability Enterprises is gradually transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As the NDIS rolls out, people with disability supported at Australian Disability Enterprises will gradually become NDIS participants. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) fund supported employment for participants of the NDIS who work in Australian Disability Enterprises. Once a supported employee has a plan approved under the NDIS, funding to support them in employment from the Department of Social Services (DSS) ceases as they will be eligible to receive funding under the NDIS.

Providers must register with the NDIA as a service provider in order to claim services delivered to NDIS participants.

Assessment Preparation

Preparing for your assessment

Contact us by email or phone 1800 601 696 to discuss your service’s individual needs, relevant transition details and to identify a suitable date with sufficient lead time to feel comfortable and prepare for your service’s transition.

To support your assessment planning, HDAA will provide you with clear information and guidance in regard to the evidence requirements, clarification of the specific time frames to meet your assessment cycle needs and an easy to use, comprehensive self-assessment document and improvement action plan system.

The Key Features of Assessment for Certification

An Assessment for Certification involves two key steps:

Stage 1 – a self-assessment and document review of your quality management system by a HDAA Assessor. A report of the findings of Stage 1 is provided to assist you prepare for Stage 2.

Stage 2 – a visit to your Head Office and to a sample of your sites/locations, meeting with people who use your services, volunteers, staff, management and Board.

Throughout the Assessment we work together with you to provide:

  • Access to HDAA’s Program Support team to clarify the requirements of the standards and discuss the assessment or other relevant matters;
  • A fully participatory and inclusive approach by our Assessment Teams;
  • Experienced and skilled Assessors who have worked with these standards and other human services assessment programs;
  • Assessors with relevant disability and employment┬áservices expertise.
Assessment Details

What an assessment involves

Key Features of Assessment for initial certification

  • Pre-visit co-ordination;
  • Pre-review of documentation by Assessment Team;
  • Visit by the Assessor/s;
  • Post-assessment report development;
  • Quality review of assessment reports by an independent Principle Assessor;
  • Draft assessment report provided for your feedback;
  • Certification panel decision making;
  • Final assessment report forwarded to you and the Department of Social Services.

Our aim is for your assessment report to provide a blueprint for your ongoing continuous improvement plan. Remember your Assessor is available to discuss your assessment and answer any questions you may have at each step in the process.

Maintenance review (Surveillance Assessment)

Maintenance Review involves working with you to assess your ongoing implementation of the standards and to determine your progress with your improvement plan. It provides you with assurance on how you are progressing against the standards and your previous Assessment and occurs at 12 months from your Certification (or re-certification).

The maintenance assessment includes on-site visits and, at a minimum, ensures:

  • That previously identified corrective actions are closed out, as stated in the improvement plan;
  • That management review, monitoring and internal assessment processes are functioning effectively;
  • The effective interaction between all elements of the quality management system;
  • That overall system effectiveness and integrity is maintained in the light of changes in operations;
  • That there is demonstrated commitment to maintaining the effectiveness of the system;
  • That there is consultation with service users.

The maintenance assessment usually involves:

  • Pre-visit co-ordination;
  • A review of your service in relation to a sample of standards and the previous Assessment for Certification (or Re-certification);
  • Discussions with staff;
  • Discussion with you on any improvements;
  • Provision of a full Maintenance Assessment Report.

Re-certification Assessment

Certification is for a period of three years from the date the Certificate decision is made following the on-site Assessment for Certification visit. Re-certification is required to maintain certification. The re-certification process is assessment to a selection of the Standards. The Re-certification assessment will be similar to Stage 2 of an Assessment for Certification.


NSDS easy English work book

NSDS evidence guide (pdf)

NSDS conversation tool

Corporate Governance Handbook

Quality Strategy Toolkit

Disability Services Act 1986

www.dss.gov.au – link to Department of Social Services website for DEES information.

www.australiandisabilityenterprises.com.au – link for DEES information for ADE’s.


Looking for a Certified Provider?

Service providers Certified to the DEES by HDAA are available on the JAS-ANZ register at this link.