If you are an NDIS Provider, by now you should know all about the NDIS (Approved Quality Auditors Scheme) Scheme 2018, or, the verification or certification process that all registered providers have to go through where you are assessed by an external auditor.
If you haven’t yet read the Scheme – I don’t blame you! It’s essentially a piece of legislation, it’s dense and full of auditing jargon. But you have me! I was on the technical committee that developed the Human Services Quality Framework Scheme here in Queensland (I also wrote the first draft of that Scheme), so I can help break it down for you. For this blog post, I’m going to talk about Stage 1 and 2 of the audit process.
First up, Stage 1 and 2 only applies if you are a provider that has to go through the certification process. How do you know? You head in to the NDIS Portal and get yourself an Initial Scope of Audit document. This tells you – and the Approved Quality Auditors – what type of process you need to undergo.
Stage 1 is completed offsite by your auditor, and consists of the auditor reviewing your self-assessment, any prior certification outcomes, and any evidence that you also provided, such as your policies and procedures. The purpose of the Stage 1 audit is so that your auditor can determine how prepared your organisation is to go through a full external audit. The report you will be provided will contain where the auditor thinks you might have a non-conformity. When you think about it, this is great information! It means you get a heads-up on what you need to fix before you need to get certified.
A Stage 2 audit occurs within three months of the Stage 1 audit – plenty of time to fix what might have been identified as an issue in Stage 1. A Stage 2 will initially consist of at least two auditors coming to your site/s and reviewing your records, interviewing management and staff, and interviewing participants.
A sampling methodology is applied if you have more than one service site, and to how many participants the auditors will interview and how many participant records they will look at. The methodology can seem complicated, but really what the auditors need to do is ensure they interview and look at the widest range possible in the time that they have. They will try and speak to people from all backgrounds and from the different services you deliver. I may discuss this in a future blog post, along with what happens if you get a non-conformity during the Stage 2.
I encourage you to develop a good relationship with your Approved Quality Auditor, as they will help you have a smooth certification process, and will tell you what you need for both stages.
If you’re just starting out in this process and need some help, please feel free to drop me an email so we can discuss your options: email@example.com
Thanks for reading,
Hi everyone, and welcome to Part 2 of my blog series on leadership. Part 1 is here if you haven’t read it yet.
I read a great article recently on a concept called Servant Leadership in Eno Global Media (12 Principles of Servant Leadership), and it really struck me as the perfect description of what I would consider to be a best practice Quality Manager.
Quality Management, and particularly this discipline within Human Services, is essentially to be of service to your stakeholders, especially your organisation’s clients. To have excellent quality, you need to be able to listen carefully to your stakeholders, understand their needs within the context of your regulatory environment, enact and implement actions to meet stakeholder needs, and then evaluation and check in to ensure that the actions have had a positive result.
Your emotional intelligence is of far more importance than whether you’ve been to university, or what position you’ve reached on a corporate ladder, especially if you’re just starting out in a quality management role. You can easily look up, and learn, the technical skills of quality management and external legislation and guidelines. But being able to relate to your stakeholders is a skill you will need from the beginning.
I’ve said this from the beginning of my career, and especially when I was working in human service organisations as a quality manager: I’m here to support you. I do what I do so that you can be safe, be happy in your job/be happy with your services, and so that we can improve. I absolutely stand by this, more than 10 year after my first quality management role. And I still believe it to be true as a consultant.
What do you think? Are you a Servant Leader? Let me know in the comments or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading,
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