Human services queensland

Our Experience

HDAA Experience with Assessing the HSQF

HDAA was the sole accreditation agency selected by the Department of Communities to pilot the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) during 2011 and continues to be a major provider of HSQF assessment services to providers in Queensland. We are well versed in the HSQF Standards and nuances as well as being a respected provider of quality assessments in Queensland, and beyond.

HDAA is accredited by JAS-ANZ to the Human Service Scheme, including Part 1 (Common Requirements) and Part 2 (specific to HSQF). HDAA has been approved by the Department of Communities for a Deed of Agreement for the Provision of Child Safety Care Services assessments to the HSQF.

What this means is that HDAA is empowered to work with all service providers delivering services under a service agreement with the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services including Disability Services, Child Safety Services and Community Services Organisations.

Providers registering with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to deliver specialist disability services in Queensland must meet the requirements of the NDIA provider registration process, which currently complies with the HSQF.

HDAA is considerably experienced with assessment of the diverse range of Queensland service providers under both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the HSQF and now transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Program Details

What is the HSQF?

The HSQF is the consolidation of standards used with Human Service organisations in Queensland. Initially the HSQF applied to Disability Service providers and then included Licensed Child Safety Services.

In 2015 the scope of the HSQF broadened to include Community Service Organisations (as well as Disability and Child Safety Services). The Human Services Quality Framework, Measuring Quality Improving Services Version 3 was released in May 2015 and details all services in the scope, plus a few exceptions.

The HSQF Certification cycle is for three years with a mid-point surveillance assessment and is designed on a continuous improvement framework to support service providers with quality improvement.

The standards of the HSQF are the Human Service Quality Standards (HSQS).

HDAA provides a supportive and developmental approach to assessments for the HSQS. The key features working with HDAA through the assessment process are shown here.

We welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss how HDAA can assist your service with assessment to the HSQS.

Phase 2 of the HSQF

Phase 2 of the HSQF roll-out commenced from 1 July 2015 and expanded the range of services in scope from Disability Services and Licensed Child Safety Services to also include organisations funded to deliver child and family support services and community services.

Services with existing HSQS certification (i.e. for disability services or licensed child safety services providers) who now have services that come in scope of Phase 2 of the HSQS (i.e. Community Services and Child, Youth and Family Services) can dovetail relevant services into their exiting HSQS certificate cycle.

Licensed Child Safety Services previously not certified to the HSQS must achieve certification within 18 months of contracting with the Department.

Community Services that do not currently have a HSQS certification are required to obtain HSQS certification within 18 months.

Queensland Disability Service Providers preparing for the NDIS

While the NDIS will roll out across Queensland in stages over the three years from July 2016 to June 2019, the HSQF remains in place for providers delivering specialist disability services until either the NDIA advise of a specific quality and safeguarding framework or 30 June 2019.

Providers registering with the NDIA to deliver specialist disability services in Queensland must meet the requirements of the NDIA provider registration process which includes:

  • Adherence to the safeguards as set out in the Disability Services Act 2006 (DSA) and other Queensland state government legislation;
  • Have, maintain, implement and act in accordance with policies consistent with the Queensland state government Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Policy; and
  • Provide evidence of compliance with the Queensland Human Services Quality Framework.

For details of specialist disability service types, please refer to the Mapping of Queensland Specialist Disability Services and Queensland Community Care Services to NDIS support clusters.

Assessment Preparation

Preparing for your HSQS 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 child safety services expertise.
Assessment Details

What an assessment to the HSQS for 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 Communities.

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 18 months from your Certification (or re-certification) assessment.

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 an assessment to a selection of the Human Services Quality Standards. The Re-certification assessment will be similar to Stage 2 of an Assessment for Certification.


HSQF resources

Key features for services and participants of the supportive and development style of assessments with HDAA to the HSQS.

The following resources have been developed by the Department of Communities for Service Provider use:

  • The Human Services Quality Standards (pdf 225 kb)¬†explains the 6 Standards and associated indicators.
  • The Human Services Quality Framework, Measuring Quality Improving Services Version 3 (pdf 1326 kb)
  • User Guide (pdf 251kb) explains the Standards and shows examples of evidence.
  • Licensing Companion Guide V3 (pdf 481kb) explains the interface between the HSQF Standards and the Child Safety Licensing process.
  • Service Users Fact Sheet(pdf120kb)
  • How to Register with the NDIA for the delivery of specialist disability services in Queensland.

Looking for a Certified Provider?

Service providers Certified to the HSQF by HDAA or other bodies are available on the JAS-ANZ register at this link.