Disability Employment Services

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

HDAA’s Experience with assessing Employment Services

HDAA is accredited by JAS-ANZ to assess disability employment services funded by the Department of Social Services and those service providing employment services under the NDIS.

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.

The Disability Employment Services and Supported Employment Services Scheme (refered to as DES/SES Scheme)

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

  1. Disability Employment Services – Disability Management Services;
  2. Disability Employment Services – Employment Support Services.
  3. Supported Employment Services – such as Australian Disability Enterprises until such time as the new quality and safeguarding arrangements for NDIS providers are in place.

The standards used for the DES are the National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS) and were introduced in 2014 to replace the DSS (Disability Service Standards).The 5th issue of the scheme (the procedure that guides how the NSDS are applied for DES services) was published in 2017, in response to changes in the NDIS environment, including establishment of the NDIA, the NDIS Commission, and separation of the oversight of Disability Employment Services and Supported Employment Services.
The DES scheme consists of two parts:

  • Human Services Scheme Part 1, Common requirements for bodies certifying Human Services
  • DES/SES scheme (HS Scheme Part 3), Additional requirements for bodies certifying Disability Employment Services and Supported Employment Services.

The DES scheme 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 Services;
  • 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 during the course of their assessment and certification to the Standards.

HDAA 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 (maintenance) Assessment;
  4. Re-certification Assessment.

Supported Employment Services, including 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.

New service providers registering under NDIS to provide Supported Employment Services. Until new quality and safeguarding arrangements are in place for the NDIS, on application for NDIA registration, new providers shall demonstrate evidence of a contract with a certification body for provision of certification to the NSDS. Provider registration shall be revoked if the provider cannot provide evidence of a certificate of conformity within twelve months of their registration date. HDAA is required to report to the Department of Social Services on new providers progress with certification.

Existing service providers certified to the NSDS. Supported employment is transitioning to the NDIS. Commonwealth and State jurisdictions have agreed to maintain current quality and safeguarding arrangements until the new arrangements for NDIS provision are in place.

Can We Help You With Your Disability Employment Assessment?

HDAA is an expert DES/SES assessment body and we can discuss your service’s individual needs with a simple, no obligation phone call.

Click the button to call our specialist team now.

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 services expertise.

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 (including a Lead Assessor and CTE) decision making;
  • Final assessment report forwarded to you (and the Department of Social Services for DES providers).

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.

Resources for Employment Services


NSDS easy English work book

NSDS evidence guide (pdf)

NSDS conversation tool

Corporate Governance Handbook

www.dss.gov.au – link to Department of Social Services website for DES/SES information.

Looking for a Certified Provider?

DES/SES Service providers certified to the NSDS by HDAA are available on the JAS-ANZ register at this link.

We Can Help You With Your DES/SES Assessment

HDAA can assess you for the DES/SES program and we can discuss your service’s individual needs with a simple, no obligation call.

Click the button bellow to get in contact with our expert team today.