Continuous Improvement And The Assessment And Rating Process

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AUGUST 2017ISSUE 27QUALITY ASSESSMENT& REGULATION UPDATEIN THIS ISSUE: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT BALNARRING SERVICE EARNS EXCELLENT RATING REMINDER ON IRIS ALERTS OSHC GUIDE FOR SCHOOLS REPORTABLE CONDUCT SCHEME UPDATE ON SUPERVISOR CERTIFICATESSTRIVING FOREXCELLENCEContinuous improvementand the Assessment andRating ProcessFundamental to the assessment and rating process is theexpectation that services will improve what they do through acontinuous improvement process.Central to this is the requirement for services to have aneffective self-assessment and quality improvement process.All services must have a quality improvement plan.Next assessment and ratingsThe results of next assessment and ratings show services aredemonstrating a commitment to ongoing quality improvement.By the end of 2016 in Victoria, 60% of services that had receiveda next assessment and rating visit achieved a higher rating. Forthe 40% of services with no change in their overall rating, over65% of these improved their performance against the NQS.The QARD 2016 Annual Report presents a case study by anOSHC service in Yallourn North demonstrating commitment toongoing quality improvement.Services and educators who are committed to continuousimprovement are always thinking about how their greatpractice and successful strategies can become better andbetter.Promoting continuous improvementThe Guide to the National Quality Standard refers to theprocess of continuous quality improvement as a ‘ positiveorganisational culture [in] an environment of trust andopenness where management and staff members are motivatedto continuously improve the service for the benefit of childrenand their families’ (ACECQA, September 2013, p. 168).Promoting continuous improvement in your service requiresdeep reflection. It also requires a ’lively culture of professionalenquiry’ (DEEWR, 2009, p. 13) where educators can think andrethink, imagine and reimagine and make shared decisionsabout what improvement looks like for them.The reality of attaining a Meeting or Exceeding rating is thatContinued on page two1

QUALITY ASSESSMENT AND REGULATION UPDATEAUGUST 2017GUIDE TOSERVICESACROSSTHE DEPARTMENTNew OSHC guide availablefor school councils and thesectorA Guide to Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) Provision: Supportfor school councils to establish and operate an OSHC service isnow available on the Department’s website.The Guide is primarily for use by school councils in governmentschools, and contains information that all those working in theOSHC sector may find useful.The Guide, developed in partnership with Community Child CareAssociation and in consultation with government schools andregional staff, brings together information from across differentareas of the Department in the one place.“I think the Guide is a great resource for school councilsconsidering or developing an OSHC service. I like the links andreferences, and the list of things to do and consider throughoutthe journey of setting up and having an OSHC service aretremendous.School Councils will feel supported throughout the processbecause there is a clear road-map of Department advice whenbig decisions are to be made.” Principal, Tatura Primary SchoolThe Guide provides an overview of the regulations for earlychildhood education and care services under the NationalQuality Framework, legal requirements and operationalguidance.Whether school council managed or third party operated, theGuide supports schools to provide a quality OSHC service forchildren and their families.More informationView the Guide on our website.Continuous improvementContinued from page onethe culture of continuous improvement must continue to benurtured and cultivated.For services to be rated Exceeding NQS under Standard 7.2, theself-assessment and quality improvement process must includegenuine opportunities for family members and children tooffer feedback or input into the decision making at the service.Effective management is also important, requiring constantreview of a changing environment.For more information see the article by Catharine HydonContinuous Improvement: The New Normal.2

QUALITY ASSESSMENT AND REGULATION UPDATEAUGUST 2017EARNING ANEXCELLENTRATINGBalnarring Preschool earnsExcellent ratingCongratulations to Balnarring Preschool, situated in Balnarringon the Mornington Peninsula, in the South Eastern VictoriaRegion for being awarded the Excellent rating on 6 July 2017.It is the 9th Victorian service to be awarded an Excellent ratingsince 2015.Balnarring Preschool offers three and four year old kindergartenprograms based on the concept of ‘learning through play’.The service believes that an important part of childhood is beingoutdoors and exploring nature. The service was recognised forits exceptional commitment to providing high quality programsthat support children to connect with the natural environmentthrough its Beach and Bush programs.The service demonstrated outstanding commitment toembedding excellent practice and to developing initiatives andcollaborative partnerships with local organisations and groupsto support children’s wellbeing, development and connectionwith the community.Balnarring Preschool was acknowledged for its respectfulengagement with, and promotion of, Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander communities. The service demonstrated exceptionalcollaborative partnerships with community organisations suchas the local primary school, the early learning centre and localElders. This led to supporting children’s cultural competenceand providing opportunities for children, families and the localcommunity to connect with the land and develop strong andempowering Indigenous perspectives.Approved providers with a service that has received an overallrating of ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ are eligible toapply to ACECQA for the Excellent rating.Further information is available at:

QUALITY ASSESSMENT AND REGULATION UPDATEAUGUST 2017Reportable Conduct Schemecommenced with newreporting requirement forsome servicesAs a result of the Betrayal of Trust report from the VictorianParliamentary Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse byReligious and other Non-Government Organisations, theVictorian Government introduced a range of measures to betterprotect children.The measures also position Victoria to respond effectively toanticipated recommendations of the Commonwealth RoyalCommission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.These include: The Child Safe Standards Reportable Conduct Scheme Organisational Duty of CareThe Child Safe Standards were introduced in January 2016 andthe Reportable Conduct Scheme is being phased in from 1 July2017. They are administered by the Commission for Children andYoung People (Commission).Most Early Childhood Education and Care services will needto comply with the Reportable Conduct Scheme from January2019. However, some services will be brought in earlier as theyare part of an organisation that operates a service that isincluded in the first or second phase, including for example:Phase 1: From 1 July 2017 Any early childhood education and care service operated bya school Department of Health and Human Services-funded servicesPhase 2: From 1 January 2018 Kindergartens run by an organisation which providesnon-residential disability services or is a disability serviceprovider within the meaning of the Disability Act 2006Videos explaining the SchemeThe Commission has created two videos that explain thescheme:Introducing the Reportable Conduct Scheme:Treating child safety seriouslyFor more information and guidance:Organisations covered by the Reportable Conduct Schemeshould contact the Commission for clarification, guidance andto discuss any concerns.Telephone: (03) 8601 5281 oremail information about the Reportable Conduct Scheme isavailable on the Commission’s website4

QUALITY ASSESSMENT AND REGULATION UPDATEAUGUST 2017Reminder about IRIS alertsSome services have recently started receiving Code Amber IRISAlerts from the Department after reported suspicious activity.The Department’s IRIS (Incident Reporting Information System)is an important internal communication tool.IRIS Alerts are distributed to key staff across the departmentto convey information relating to a wide range of categoriesincluding alleged criminal activity, critical incidents, severeweather events and emergencies.IRIS Alerts forwarded to schools and early childhood facilitiesare for internal communication purposes only. They are not tobe further distributed to parents or the wider community.This is because information they contain is unsubstantiatedand the format of the alert is unsuitable for externalcommunication, providing the possibility to generate undueanxiety or confusion outside the Department.Code Amber AlertsOne category of IRIS Alerts is known as IRIS Code Amber Alertsand these relate to the reporting of unwelcome persons orvehicles.Although unsubstantiated, regions promptly forward these IRISCode Amber Alerts to schools and early childhood facilitieswithin a defined area from the point of origin.These provide a heads up to a potential threat or risk withinthe area. These reports are also made to police who formallyinvestigate them.Reporting obligationsWhile schools can use IRIS to report incidents to the Department,services must make notifications via NQA ITS. A list ofnotifications and timeframes is available on our website.5

QUALITY ASSESSMENT AND REGULATION UPDATEAUGUST 2017Supervisor certificateapprovals being phased out 1OctoberFrom 1 October 2017, changes to the NQF will come into effectand supervisor certificates will no longer be required. In thelead up to 1 October, services can use the service supervisorcertificate.A person covered by the service supervisor certificate doesnot need to apply to the regulatory authority for an individualsupervisor certificate.This means you do not need to provide evidence to theregulatory authority of your qualification and experience, anddo not need to pay the 30 application fee.If you wish to submit a new service approval prior to 1 October2017, your nominated supervisor will be required to hold theirown supervisor certificate. Please contact the RegulatoryAuthority if you require advice.CONTACTSQUALITY ASSESSMENT AND REGULATION DIVISIONDEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAININGGPO BOX 4367, MELBOURNE VIC 30011300 307 2207-4198. PUBLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ANDTRAINING QUALITY ASSESSMENT AND REGULATION DIVISION.THIS WORK IS LICENSED UNDER THE CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0INTERNATIONAL LICENSE. THIS PUBLICATION INCLUDES ICONS LICENSEDFROM THE NOUN PROJECT UNDER A CREATIVE COMMONS 3.0 LICENCE, USEDWITH PERMISSION.6

continuous improvement process. Central to this is the requirement for services to have an effective self-assessment and quality improvement process. All services must have a quality improvement plan. Next assessment and ratings The results of next assessment and ratings show services are demonstrating a commitment to ongoing quality improvement.

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