Disability Employment Services

HDAA is accredited by JAS-ANZ to assess disability employment services.

Helping people with disability in employment

As a Disability Employment Service, you help make our communities Better. You support people with disability to make the contribution they want to, helping them to live fuller lives. It is a beneficial purpose that HDAA identifies with completely.

HDAA is proud to work alongside you to strengthen the quality of your services, helping employers and colleagues see disability in a different light, unlocking a people’s capabilities and shaping lives with new purpose and hope.

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

We believe in the principle ‘nothing about us without us’ so as a HDAA client, your DES/SES assessment team will include an Assessor with a disability who has experience of DES/SES services and will work alongside the Lead Assessor to focus on engaging service users who bring an important consumer perspective to the assessment process.

Throughout, we will work with you as your partner, focused on the shared goal of strengthening your organisation to meet the needs of people with disability and realising the opportunities that exist.

About the Disability Employment Services and Supported Employment Services Scheme (DES/SES Scheme)

The DES/SES scheme is a positive framework that’s designed to:

  • Give people with disability greater confidence in the outcome’s employment services can 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.
  • Support services to continually improve.

The Department of Social Services Quality Assurance System applies to 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.

The standards used for the DES/ESS are the National Standards for Disability Services (NSDS) introduced in 2013 to replace the DSS (Disability Service Standards). The 10th issue of the scheme (the procedure that guides how the NSDS are applied for DES services) was published in June 2020 and incorporates changes with the implementation of the NDIS and Practice Standards.

The DES scheme consists of two parts:

  • Human Services Scheme Part 1 – containing the 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.

ADEs and the NDIS

Funding of Australian Disability Enterprises is transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  As the NDIS rolls out, people with disability supported at Australian Disability Enterprises become NDIS participants.

Once a employee has a plan approved under the NDIS, funding to support the person will be via the NDIS and the ADE service providing employment will be assessed to the NDIS Practice Standards.

Providers with funding from both The Department of Social Services and the NDIS are required to comply with both the NSDS for DES/SES and the NDIS Practice Standards, with separate reporting provided to the Department of Social Services and the NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission.

Please note:

  • If your ADE service receives Temporary Viability Support (TVS) funding your service will be required to maintain your DES/SES certification.
  • If your ADE service receives rural and remote funding under the DEA program you are still required to undertake your NSDS audit until 31 March 2021

We can help you with your Disability Employment Assessment

We’re an expert DES/SES assessment body. We can discuss your service’s individual needs with a simple phone call. 

Your DES/SES Assessment

HDAA is here to assist you become DES/SES certified. Our Program Support team and experienced assessors have a genuine commitment to work with you towards certification, helping you through the assessment process and making it is easy as it can be.

HDAA provides a range of assessment services to support disability employment providers in meeting the requirements of the standards.  These services include:

  • Pre-Assessment preparation.
  • Certification assessment (“Stage 1” and “Stage 2” assessments).
  • Surveillance (maintenance) assessment.
  • Recertification assessment.

To support your assessment planning, HDAA will give you with clear information and guidance on evidence requirements, advise the time frames necessary to meet your assessment cycle and provide an easy to use, self-assessment and improvement action plan system. Our self-assessment process lets you know how well you’re placed to progress to certification, and our helpful assessors are there to discuss this with you and support you as required.

Assessment for Certification

Your initial assessment for Certification is split into two stages as follows:

  • Stage 1 – a self-assessment and document review of your quality management system by an HDAA Assessor, resulting in a report that helps you prepare for Stage 2.
  • Stage 2 – assessment of your Central Office and a selected sample of your sites/locations, meeting with people who use your services, volunteers, staff, management and Board.

The key steps in the assessment process for Initial Certification are:

  • Planning for and co-ordinating the assessment by assessors (including the self-assessment process).
  • Pre-review of documentation by Assessment Team.
  • Visit (in person on by Technology Assisted Assessment methodology) by the Assessor(s).
  • Completion of the post-assessment report.
  • Review of assessment reports by an independent Principle Assessor and consumer assessor, ensuring there is good detail and quality in the report.
  • The draft assessment report is provided to you for your feedback and comment.
  • Our certification panel make the certification decision.
  • Once certified, your certification is issued for three years.

Throughout the assessment you benefit from:

  • Access to HDAA Program Support team, using their knowledge to clarify the requirements of the Standards, discuss your assessment and other matters.
  • The inclusive approach taken by our assessment team.
  • The skills and experienced our assessors have in relation to the NSDS Standards, disability employment and other human services assessment programs.
  • Our assessors having extensive experience and expertise of disability services.

Your Assessment Report is a blueprint for continuous improvement. It contains recommendations and improvement actions that help you develop your services and strengthen your organisation. Your assessor is available to discuss your report and answer any questions you may have at any stage.

    Maintenance review (Surveillance Assessment)

    Your Maintenance Reviews provide assurance on how you are progressing against the standards and the improvements you’ve made since your previous assessment. Your Maintenance Reviews occur within 12 and 24 months from your certification (or recertification) assessment.

    The Maintenance Reviews involve HDAA assessing your ongoing implementation of the Standards and your progress consistent with your improvement plan. The Maintenance Assessments ensure, at a minimum, that:

    • Previously identified corrective actions are completed, as stated in your improvement plan.
    • Management review, monitoring and internal assessment processes are functioning effectively.
    • All elements of the quality management system are working together effectively.
    • Overall system effectiveness and integrity is maintained in the light of changes in operations.
    • There is demonstrated commitment to maintain the effectiveness of the quality management system.
    • There is meaningful consultation with service users.

    The Maintenance Assessment itself usually involves:

    • A pre-visit coordination.
    • A review of your service against a sample of standards and the previous Assessment for Certification / Recertification.
    • Discussions with staff.
    • Discussion with you on improvement actions and plans.
    • Providing you with a full Maintenance Assessment Report.

      Recertification 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. Recertification is required to maintain certification and involves an assessment to a selection of the Standards. The Recertification assessment is similar to Stage 2 of an Initial Assessment for Certification.

      We believe HDAA’s experience and approach makes us the perfect partner for services providers seeking certification to NSDS.  Contact us to discuss your service’s needs and arrange a plan that makes your progress towards certification as easy as it can be.

      Resources for Employment Services

      Read more about the scheme requirements here:

      The following resources may be useful as you prepare for your NSDS assessment:

      For more 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.