Why ‘Generic’ Policies and Procedures Will Not Cut It

If you have, or are considering, purchasing standardised policies and procedures for your organisation, it is unlikely you will pass government certification (audit). Here are three reasons why:

  1. The ‘cookie cutter’ approach

Policies and procedures must reflect the individuality of the organisation’s they govern; and every organisation is fundamentally different, whether it be the types of services you offer, the way you offer them or even where you offer them. These documents form the fundamental basis of how you operate and for your staff to be able to follow them they need to be tailored and relevant to how you actually operate.

  1. Government legislative changes

State and Federal governments continually review and update legislation to serve an ever-changing Australian society. In 2018 alone, the Victorian State Government has passed at least four major legislation changes (related to disability services). Each of these changes have considerably impacted the State Government’s minimum requirements with respect to NDIS policies and procedures.

  1. Responsibilities

It’s not enough to set out a policy and process. Your Policies and Procedures must clearly set out lines of reporting and who is responsible for what action in any given circumstance. This is incredibly important when dealing with high risk matters such as critical incidents. It also needs to be clear for any client or other stakeholder reading them, who in the organisation they can contact regarding particular matters.

While not many organisations look forward to an audit, they play a crucial role for the regulating body (the Government) – providing transparency on how a business operates, ensuring they are delivering services appropriately and ethically; and, the service provider – to guide their operations and help them identify gaps so they can improve their service delivery in accordance with a broader understanding of ‘best practice’.

In industries like aged care and disability services (the NDIS), providers are dealing with vulnerable people. Audits ensure that you, the service provider, are best equipped to deliver your services, mitigate risks, and improve your services to help you thrive.

Our team invests many hours keeping up-to-date with the state and government legislation that has the potential to impact your organisation. We continue to work alongside auditing bodies to further understand provider compliance requirements and importantly, make sure your documentation is well-received by auditors and meets all compliance expectations.

We know it can be time consuming and costly investing in tailored policies and procedures to govern your organisation. However, also consider the cost and delay of having to pay for them twice because the first ones weren’t adequate…

To find out more about your compliance requirements and getting support in your business, join amerginhub free!

The New Aged Care Quality Standards

Since the 2015-2016 Australian Government Budget announcement, aged care providers across Australia have awaited the much-anticipated single set of Aged Care Quality Standards.

As many providers will be aware, the new single set of standards will move away from the Government’s current approach being provider compliance-focused, towards a consolidated and client-focused ‘single’ set of Standards.

The new Standards apply nationally and replace the four-existing program-specific Standards, which are the:

  1. Accreditation Standards;
  2. Home Care Standards;
  3. Transition Care Standards; and
  4. National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Framework Standards.

In the lead up to the release, significant consultation took place, with trials of the new Standards conducted with both providers and focus groups comprised of clients and carers, further cementing the emphasis towards clients and their carers being in control of the quality of care they receive.

We’re please to say the Quality Agency have announced access to view the new Home Care Quality Standards as of 1st July 2018 (currently awaiting parliamentary approval).

Providers delivering residential care, home care, flexible care and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program will be assessed against the new Aged Care Quality Standards from 1 July 2019.

This gives providers 12 months to understand, incorporate and deliver services across the 8 new standards.

To help you plan and prepare to transition to the new standards (and access our simple timeline), join amerginhub – our new innovative provider support platform.

Launching Australia’s most ’empowerful’ provider support platform

Today, we launch amerginhub – an online support platform that will change the way you think and operate.

With increasing demands placed on NDIS and Aged Care providers, it’s becoming harder to not only operate a quality care service but also manage the additional layers needed to be competitive, viable and compliant in the long-term. amerginhub opens the door to a growing community of like-minded providers who share the same challenges, while also bringing together essential tools, information and resources to help you more effectively run your organisation.

By working in-line with your organisation’s specific requirements, you’ll be part of a true business partnership that delivers instant access to a wide range of support services, all within a supportive environment.

BENEFITS

  • Collaborate with like-minded organisations and be part of a community who understand and supports you.
  • Save time and money on support staff and resource development.
  • Access best practice training modules and industry-specific education tools.
  • Book one of our specialist team for organisation readiness support or onsite audit preparation.
  • Get complete NDIS and Aged Care Registration Support from start-to-finish.
  • Stay informed with state and federal updates.
  • Always be compliant with our innovative policy and procedures manual update service.
  • Take advantage of exclusive industry partnership offers.

 

Whether you’re a new provider or established organisation, you can join the amerginhub community FREE by clicking here

The New National NDIS Quality and Safeguards

At the NDIS Provider Forum in Adelaide this week, we heard a lot of detail around  the National Quality and Safeguards Framework that will be coming in to effect from 1 July 2018.

Here are 8 things providers need to know:

  1. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (or the Commission) will oversee the implementation of a new quality assurance scheme, to include the new Practice Standards, only for States that have completely rolled out – South Australia and New South Wales will be the first to transition.
  2. Both the new provider ‘registration’ and registered provider ‘transition’ processes under the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Framework are now known.  However, the Practice Standards are still being finalised and expected to be released in April 2018.
  3. Existing providers registration will continue to be recognised and the Commission will initiate renewals against the new standards progressively.
  4. The NDIS Practice Standards will address:
    • Rights and Responsibilities
    • Governance and Operational Management
    • Provision of Supports
    • Support Provision Environment
  5. The providers will have to undergo ‘verification’ and/or certification’, depending on the type of services they’re intending to deliver. The Commission will be responsible for approving all registrations.
  6. A Provisional Licence will be granted for providers applying for, or, adding additional registration groups.
  7. Registration will consist of annual surveillance and 3 yearly recertification. Auditors will make recommendations to the Commission of compliance and for a provisional licence.
  8. Organisations will need to select from a list of recommended auditors will be provided by the Commission. Auditors will be expected to ‘work with and help empower’ providers. The audits themselves will be proportional to the organisations size and service footprint.

 

Amergin is the trusted name to help your business register for the NDIS.
We partner with you from start-to-finish, providing ongoing education, support and advice. Our experienced Team will develop high-quality, tailored documentation – including policies and procedures and self-assessments – so your organisations will comply with the new Practice Standards upon release. We can even help you prepare for audit!

Click here for complete NDIS registration support

Already registered?
While organisations already registered will roll in to the new Framework form the NDIA, the Commission will be contacting organisations to take them through new compliance expectation. For registered providers, Amerginhub is your ongoing compliance resource portal with industry / government updates, useful resources and tools and much more! We can also develop website and deliver tailored NDIS organisation preparedness workshops for your business.