Human Services Standards
The new Social Services Standards regulatory framework will be replacing the current Human Services Standards from 1 July 2024. For further information and to access the draft Social Services Regulation 2023, click here.
We have been working with Victorian human services organisations since the Human Services Standards were implemented in 2009. Since then, we have worked with hundreds of organisations providing assessment and certification to the Victoria standards.
HDAA is one of only a select number of independent review bodies approved to assess services and issue certification to the Department of Health and Human Services Standards. The HSS program enables the standards and independent review process to be used in four service areas:
- Child Protection and Family Services;
- Family Violence Service Delivery;
- Housing Assistance; and
- Disability Services.
Service providers that meet HSS must also achieve and maintain certification to a governance standard. We can offer your organisation a choice of DFFH-approved governance standards, including:
- National Standards for Disability Service (NSDS);
- ISO 9001 – Quality Management System – Requirements (ISO 9001);
- NDIS Practice Standards;
- National Safety and Quality in Health Service Standards (NSQHS).
We have both the experience and expertise to provide you full support in your progress to HSS certification. Your support team and assessors will ensure that your organisation gains maximum benefit from the assessment and that the process of becoming certified is as easy as it can be.
About Human Services Standards (HSS)
The HSS came about after community organisations identified the need to streamline and improve the Department’s approach to reporting. The aim of the HSS was to reduce the regulatory burden faced by funded organisations by creating a set of standards for use across human services; thereby improving the efficiency of certification, monitoring and evaluation processes. The HSS has been in effect since 1 July 2012.
If you provide child protection and family services, homelessness services, family violence service delivery, or disability services, your organisation needs to:
- Be accredited by a department-endorsed independent review body (such as HDAA) once every three years, regardless of the number of departmental programs the organisation is funded to provide.
- Demonstrate compliance with the Human Services Standards and the governance and management standards of an approved independent review body.
The Human Services Standards seek to ensure that service providers and the services they deliver achieve consistently positive outcomes for service users and the Victorian community at large. Key principles associated with the HSS are:
- Clients should be at the centre of service delivery with their rights promoted and upheld.
- Your policies, processes and systems consider and uphold client rights and needs.
- The assessment process should provide assurance to people accessing services and the community as to the quality of the services they will receive.
- The service delivery process should be efficient, reduce duplication and provide greater flexibility for the community sector to meet quality assurance obligations.
- The standards support continuous quality improvement and support the participation of people who access services in quality improvement processes.
HSS and Governance Standards
The Human Services Standards focus on empowerment, access and engagement, wellbeing, and participation. In addition, we can offer your organisation a choice of the following approved governance and management standards:
- National Standards for Disability Service
- ISO 9001
- NDIS Practice Standards
- National Safety and Quality in Health Service Standards.
We can help you pick the right governance standards for your organisation. This needs careful consideration as the choice can have a substantial on-going impact on how your service operates.
Please talk to us about your service’s assessment needs and current certifications to help us identify the best approach to meeting the HSS governance requirements.
Resources for your next assessment
HSS Scheme Requirements: these requirements form part of our contract with client service providers.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides on their website the necessary policy, procedures and forms for disability and community services providers who are registered or wish to become registered. These resources are regularly updated.
Information for providers about HSS is on the DHHS website and can be accessed here. This includes:
- Human Services Standards policy.
- Human Services Standards evidence guide and resource tool.
- Human Services Standards self-assessment tool.
- Staff, volunteer, carer and client file audit tools.
- Standards and Regulation Unit updates.
- Registration requirements for community services.
- Registration requirements for disability service providers.