Welcome to Part 2 of my blog series of the highlights of the NDIS Scheme. If you haven’t already read it, here is the link to Part 1, which was on Stage 1 and 2 of the audit process: https://www.thequalitynerd.com/blog/highlights-of-the-ndis-scheme-stage-1-and-2
At the Stage 2 audit, the auditor will want to speak to your clients, and review client files. There is a methodology in the Scheme for how auditors must sample your clients – the methodology is multi-layered so that auditors can get the best coverage or sample of clients, but that means that it can be complex to understand.
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission considers some Registration Groups to be low-risk, such as Household Tasks. They have listed these low-risk groups as Appendix D of the Scheme. These groups are excluded from client sampling.
For the other groups, the number of clients you have in each group will be added together, and the square root of this total number will be the number of clients that your auditor has to sample at your external audit.
For example, if you have 16 clients in total from the in-scope Registration Groups, the auditor will interview and review the files of four clients. At surveillance audits, it will be the square root of the total number, multiplied by 0.6.
The auditor will try and speak to clients best represent who you are delivering services to – they might choose clients that speak a different language, that have different communication needs, or that access more than one service at your organisation.
You, as the organisation, must ensure that you have notified your clients that the NDIS audit process is ‘opt-out’, meaning that clients must say that they don’t want to participate – otherwise the auditor will be able to access their file, and contact them for an interview. If possible, you can work with the auditor to arrange interview times with clients during the audit, but organisations are now allowed to pre-select clients for file review or interviews. The auditor needs to tell you which clients they would like to look at.
I hope that this has de-mystified the client sampling process for you. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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 email@example.com
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Whether you own or work in a business, compliance is key. Compliance is making sure that you meet all of the requirements relevant to your business - this could be legislation, regulations, best practice, or quality standards. Every business in Australia has compliance requirements, so knowing what they are, and having a system in place to manage these requirements, really puts you in front.
Many people think of quality management as a burden or an "extra", but compliance requirements aren't going away (especially in the human services sector). Remember what I said about embracing compliance? Setting up a quality management system is the easiest way to manage your compliance. Managing your quality management system - that is, actively working in and on it - will make compliance a breeze.
The best way to manage your QMS is to be proactive! Schedule time each week in your calendar for quality management tasks. Schedule different tasks for each week of the months. For example:
Week 1: Review policies and procedures
Week 2: Review complaints and incidents
Week 3: Review governance requirements
Week 4: Review improvement actions
Start with one hour a week - that is only 2.5% of your working week! That is surely worth the investment for the peace of mind that you are meeting your compliance requirements.
Speak to me about how to manage your QMS, and how to make compliance a breeze: firstname.lastname@example.org
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I've been running my business for several years now and I just realised my blog posts go all the way back to 2013! That's a lot to read through if you've just found me. So I thought I'd round up some of my blog posts that specifically address quality management for beginners or new businesses.
Getting outcomes focused (important for both NDIS and Aged Care/Home Care providers):
My vlog on policies and procedures, parts 1 and 2:
Transitioning to new standards:
Some quick tips for setting up your quality management system - it's more than just having policies and procedures!:
A lot of new organisations will have external audits coming up; here's some tips for how to deal with a non-conformity:
I hope you find these helpful! If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message: email@example.com
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There has been a lot happening in the disability and aged care sectors, but of course one of the biggest things impacting organisations has been the development and release of the new NDIS Practice Standards (replacing all state-based quality standards like the Human Services Standards and Human Services Quality Standards) and the Aged Care Quality Standards (which brought together the Aged Care Accreditation Standards and the Home Care Standards).
These two new standards are not vastly different from what we had before. But they do require some effort to implement in your organisation, so that you can be truly ready for the next time an external auditor comes to visit. Here are three things that you can do:
A consultant like myself can help you with steps 1 and 2 above, but step 3 will always be up to you, and it is a crucial step. Remember to keep records of your transition – include what you’re doing in your Improvement Plan, ensure you have a system for keeping records of any new process (e.g. signing new Codes of Conduct, adding new training to your Training Register).
If you do need help with steps 1 and 2, give me a call! I can work across all states and territories and can currently offer a quick turnaround for your project.
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I just downloaded the latest resource from EVPA and Social Value International, released 12 September 2017. It's called Impact Management Principles, and it's a short, highline look at how non-government organisations (or what they call social purpose organisations) can incorporate impact management / measurement into their information collection processes.
Link to website
Link to resource
We're still getting used to the idea of measuring outcomes in human services organisations here in Australia, but the time when it becomes mandatory for many service types is fast-approaching. It can seem overwhelming - you need to plan, maintain, analyse, report. What I like about this resource is that it breaks down impact management into manageable parts, and they've presented the information in a very easy-to-read format - great for beginners!
Don't forget I have organisational review packages running until the end of November - book me now to start 2018 fresh and clear about where your organisation is at with regards to meeting quality standards. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Please let me know if there's any other quality or business topics you'd like me to cover in a vlog!
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I might be a bit late to the party, but today I received my usual update from Stephanie Evergreen - data visualisation expert - which mentioned her Evergreen Data Academy. It took me about 15 seconds after clicking on the link to the Academy site to decide to sign up. Now, why would a quality manager want to pay to learn about data visualisation? Let me explain..
1. It should be very clear by now that how we "do" human services in Australia is changing very, very rapidly. We are no longer just 'delivering' services, nor do we just have to 'comply' to continue our funding. We are very much moving towards outcomes and competitive models. We need to be able to demonstrate what we are achieving. Organisations that can do that well will have a market edge.
2. How Quality Managers operate within human services organisations must change along with how are organisations will be run. We can't sit on the sidelines issuing reports detailing what people are doing wrong.
We must be able to proactively gather data about how services are running, and be able to display that data in a way that engages the management team to take action. We must also be able to engage clients and potential clients with that data - therefore, it needs to be accessible and appropriate to our audience.
3. A Quality Management professional should never sit still. We need to be the leaders in our organisations; the people others look to for advice; the people that others consult and collaborate with. This requires us to maintain, update, and expand our skills. I have no doubt that data and how it is used and presented is a very important part of the future of Quality Management. I am, therefore, so excited to be part of the Evergreen Data Academy, and I can't wait to start learning!
Best of all, increasing my skills means I can help your organisation more. Contact me if you'd like to talk about your data at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading,
I have been a huge fan of Christopher Paris’s work essentially since I first started in Quality Management way back when. His Eyesore 9001: A Smartass’s Guide to ISO 9001:2000 (now in 2008 version) basically saved my bacon when I was a Quality newbie. It was useful and applicable, and it told me that I wasn’t going crazy and that no matter how ISO tried to dress up 9001 as a standard for both ‘products and services’, it really, really wasn’t written for services at all (or by anyone who understood service organisations?), especially human services.
For ISO’s 2015 version of 9001, Paris hasn’t released an Eyesore – instead he went down the rabbit-hole and has written and published an entire book. This book is the most comprehensive drill-down of the ISO 9001 that you will ever read. How Paris made it out of his analysis alive and sane could be considered a miracle (or did he? Someone let me know), as he has really left out no detail – it’s pretty much a word-by-word breakdown of what is, in my opinion, the worst written anything of everything.
I have, since the beginning of my Quality career, been a huge critic of the use of ISO 9001 in human service organisations. I absolutely believe that organisations should have management systems in place, and should be concerned about the quality of their services and how they achieve quality for their clients. But it scares me that governments have written into service agreements that human service organisations must be certified to ISO 9001, and that some organisations are voluntarily opting-in (because they think it helps prove that they’re doing the right thing) when the standard just isn’t written in our language and is still very much “we make products” focused.
(Also, governments, there are so many human services quality standards you can now pick from that you could ask organisations and services to demonstrate compliance to (without needing them to be certified if the standard is from another state). Why waste time with ISO 9001?)
Paris’s book is amazing, right from his documentation of the history of how the standard comes about (which should be appalling to all of us quality professionals), to his breakdown of the clauses, to how we can apply it in our organisations – but (and this is not Paris’s deficiency, but rather my conclusion), his book only further convinces me of the unsuitability of ISO 9001 for our industry. That being said, if you do work in human services and you do need help figuring out ISO 9001, this is the best book you could buy to help you.
PS – this blog post is not sponsored, and I don’t know Christopher Paris and I’ve never done any work with Oxebridge. I just really respect what he is trying to do and I have genuinely found his work to be very helpful to me as I’ve tried to navigate the ISO 9001.
Do you have a topic suggestion? Something really bugging you about Quality? Send me an email! Your details will remain private, but I'll send you an email back