Human services queensland

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 (requirements specific to 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, Disability Services and Seniors and the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women providing funded services including Disability Services, Child Safety Services, Community Services and now NDIA registered 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 involves compliance 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 with services that are 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). In early 2019 the HSQF broadened further to also include Queensland Heath funded community mental health services. The Human Services Quality Framework current version is V5 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 on site (at 18 months) 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.

Scope of the HSQF

Services funded by the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors; the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women; and Queensland Health funded community mental health services* are each required to achieve and maintain HSQS certification (*note, some QLD Health funded community mental health services may acheive accreditation to other standards such as the National Standards for Mental Health Services) . Queensland services registering for NDIS specialist support groups are also now in scope of the HSQF while the NDIS rolls out across Queensland  over the three years from July 2016 to June 2019 (when the entire State transitions to the NDIS).

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. The purpose is to ensure your service is ready to proceed to the Stage 2. A report of the findings of Stage 1 is provided to assist you prepare for Stage 2.

Stage 2 – the full assessment activity to the HSQS including 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, child safety, domestic and family violence, women’s services and community 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 are used by the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors and the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (the Departments) for service providers certified to the HSQS:

  • 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 5 (pdf)
  • The Human Services Quality Framework User Guide V5 explains the Standards and shows examples of evidence.
  • 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.