The HDAA Story
Our assessment and certification organisation began in Brisbane, Queensland with a small team of people who believed (and still do) that despite its reputation “auditing” can have a significant impact on service delivery and consequently the lives of people who access human services and the quality of health care organisations. We also strongly believed (and still do) that the most effective way of supporting service development is to work as a colleague and partner in support of services.
Our passion and vision is to improve the quality of the lives of people by contributing to safeguarding the delivery of healthcare and human service supports. In so doing we hope to contribute to making our healthcare organisations and communities stronger.
In early 2007 we were still a fledgling organisation with a small team base in various locations. We had a General Manager who was supported by another manager and a small team of assessors. At that time we were guided by our current Managing Director, David Hamer. Through this passion and vision we embarked on the next phase of our journey. We began building our disability program in Queensland and were appointed to accredit diagnostic imaging services nationally. We opened our first office and recruited more staff to deliver an enhanced service, expanded our range of services as well as built the quality of our range of assessment services. We are now providing assessment for health and human service organisations in all states and territories of Australia.
From the start we pursued the philosophy that positive relationships are essential if we are to have credibility and gain acceptance when making judgments about services. We deeply understand that there has to be considerable respect for a service or practice to accept feedback. Services and practices need to feel that they are working with a true professional who is committed to helping improve and safeguard the service or practice.
We have always believed that we should do everything in our power to ensure our clients receive the insight necessary to enable them to develop and grow. We have followed our belief that the relationships we have with managers and staff of clients is central to achieving our purpose.
We identified early on that our skills were directly applicable to health and human services. All of the HDAA people who are involved in assessing have extensive experience as people who have received human services support, such as disability services or as managers who have worked at senior levels in the health and human services sectors.
The demand for our services has increased rapidly, driven by our commitment to providing a personalised cost effective service. We continued building our disability assessment services with the introduction of the Victoria Disability Standards and National Disability Advocacy Standards programs. We also were selected by the Department of Health as one of a select number of organisations to accredit diagnostic imaging services; which was the forerunner to standards setting to other healthcare services.
By building our initial client base in human services and health care across Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and in other states, we have been able to further expand our scope of assessment and certification programs.
The key events that shaped how we’ve grown include:
- In 2007 approximately 40 services in Queensland selected us as their preferred provider of certification services. This was sufficient to support our operation move forward.
- In 2008 we were selected by the Department of Health and Ageing (known as the Department of Health from October 2013) to provide diagnostic accreditation services throughout the nation. This positioned us at the beginning of a new movement of standards setting for all healthcare organisations.
- In 2009 ownership changed and the company became a Pty Ltd Australian entity. With this change we changed our brand to a more contemporary look.
- In 2009 we competed for, and were selected, by nearly half of the services that participated in the Standards for Disability Services in Victoria quality development program. This provided us with insight into the disability service delivery in Victoria and especially the monitoring of outcomes.
- In early 2010 we were successful in being selected by about 40% of the services that participated in the National Disability Advocacy Program independent monitoring development. This provided us with further insight into the role of advocacy services.
- In April 2010 we were selected by the Department of Health and Ageing (known as the Department of Health from October 2013) to implement Stage II of accreditation of diagnostic imaging services. This was a significant development for us as it expanded the client base and it provided us with continuity to our health accreditation program.
- Throughout 2010 – 2011 we continued to build our presence in Victoria auditing disability service providers.
- In April 2011 we were selected to lead the new Queensland Government initiative for integrated standards and implemented the demonstration pilot in the Human Services Quality Framework. In 2015 we were approved for the extension to Phase 2 of the HSQS to include Licensed Child Safety Services and Community Service Organisations.
- In June 2011 we moved head office to accommodate our growth and increased our number of office staff and a continually developing and diversifying network of assessors.
- In September 2011 we achieved ISQua “Organisation” Accreditation to the ISQua International Standards for Healthcare Accreditation Bodies.
- In May 2012 we launched the HDAA Mark for use by organisations certified by HDAA.
- In August 2012 the Victoria Department of Human Services entered a Deed of Agreement with us as an Independent review Body of the Department of Human Service Standards (HSS).
- In December 2012 approval as an Accreditation Agency for the National Safety & Quality in Health Services Standards was awarded to us by the Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care Services. This included approval to assess Hospitals, Day Procedure Services and Dental Practices nationally.
- In 2013 HDAA commenced providing assessments and certification to the National Standards for Mental Health Services.
- Medicare Local Approval was achieved in June 2013, awarded to us by the Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Health Care Services. This program has since ceased with the changes to Primary Health Networks.
- In July 2013 approval as a Third Party Verifier for the NSW Disability Service Standards was confirmed by Family & Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC).
- Early 2015 saw the approval for transition from the DSS for Employment and Enterprise Services to the National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS).
- Approval for the assessment and certification of services to the Attendant Care Industry Standards (ACIS) was achieved in August 2015.
- In November 2016 we became the sole certification body providing assessments for the Northern Territory Governments Quality and Safeguarding Framework, enabling disability service providers in the NT to progress registration with the NDIA.
- The introduction in mid 2017 of the Early Childhood Intervention Standards in Victoria provided an opportunity for us to offer service providers combined assessments to streamline certification activity.
- Our branding and image was refreshed and re-launched in 2018 to further emphasis our focus on “better”; our values and mission to work for organisations betterment for the improvement in the lives of people services work with.
- HDAA was recognised and approved by the NDIS Commission at the initial role out of the NDIS in NSW & SA in July 2018 to assess service providers under the “Approved Quality Auditor Scheme” and Practice Standards.
- To increase office efficiency and further enhance the services we provide our bespoke workflow management system “Step” was introduced in early 2019.
- NDIS phase two roll out in July 2019 to ACT, NT, QLD, TAS, VIC saw the increase in demand for our assessment services throughout Australia and a corresponding increase in our office support team and assessor network.
- In November 2019, we achieved accreditation to IAF MD4 Information and Communication Technology for Assessment Purposes.
- In January 2020, we became the first NDIS Approved Quality Auditor to be formally and fully accredited by JAS-ANZ for the NDIS AQA Scheme (previously approved by NDIS Commission transition arrangements).
- In March 2020, with the WHO confirming the COVID-19 global pandemic, HDAA shifted to a fully remote business model with office staff working full time from home and assessments conducted safely and effectively to our “Technology Assisted Assessment” (TAA) methodology.
- In September 2020 ,in partnership with NDIS Commission, the Age Care Quality Agency, JAS-ANZ and
the Department of Social Services, HDAA was selected to conducted trial assessment of the NDIS Practice Standards in Residential Age Care Facilities.
While we have grown, from a boutique provider of certification and accreditation services, our vision remains steadfast to be the outstanding assessment body in our chosen markets by excelling in our contribution to client effectiveness, management of risk and commitment to improvement. In so doing we contribute to making healthcare organisations and communities stronger. Our belief and passion sustains us in contributing to help services to reach their potential every day.