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Frequently asked questions
This page has been organised in two sections: questions of a general nature relating to participation in the QIC Standards and Accreditation Program, and specific questions about procedures and tools in the Program.
Who can be accredited by QIC?
Any organisation in the human services field may participate in the QIC Program whether its main business is service provision, advocacy, communication, social marketing, policy development, service development, coordination, member services or administration. Organisations joining the Program may be self-help, not-for-profit, government operated or commercial. To be accredited an organisation must meet the program requirements:
Remember, QIC awards accreditation as part of an organisation’s participation in an ongoing quality improvement program. To find out more about joining the Program see Getting Started.
What are the benefits of participating in the QIC Accreditation Program?
Yes. Ongoing participation in the program leads to quality improvement being further embedded in organisations.
What happens if I participate in the Program but don’t get accredited?
The process is designed so you get early warning if there are major barriers to meeting the standards. You will then have time to make improvements and meet the standards. If you still do not meet the standards, you can remain in the Program, establish a plan for making the necessary improvements, then be re-assessed. If you have this concern it’s a good idea to talk with your Licensed Provider.
If my organisation is well short of meeting the QIC Standards, is it worth seeking accreditation?
Yes. Don’t give up!! Organisations join the QIC Program to improve their performance and learn how to make improvements sustainable. Talk to your Licensed Provider about how they can help you work towards accreditation.
What do governments think of the QIC Program?
Government services in every state and territory of Australia have been accredited by QIC, and about half QIC’s reviewers are employed in government services. Some state governments, the federal government in Australia and the national government in New Zealand have funded the development of Standards used in the QIC program. Some state governments in Australia require organisations in certain funded programs to participate in an accreditation program, and QIC is identified as one of the approved accreditation agencies.
How much will it cost to be in the Program?
Each License Provider has their own fee structure which is determined by complexity of organisations, travel costs and special factors. Contact your Licensed Provider to get a quotation.
How do I become a reviewer in the QIC Accreditation Program?
Reviewers are required to have experience and knowledge of the human services field, undertake training to QIC specifications and practice reviewing under supervision. For further information contact a Licensed Provider.
With the change from 5th to 6th Edition Standards, which QIC standards should we use?
Since 1 January 2011, all reviews have been conducted using the 6th Edition standards only.
What do we need to do to meet the program’s requirements for a Quality Workplan?
The Quality Workplan sets out how you will implement the findings of your review. The program requires you to prepare and present for approval a plan that clearly describes what you will do, who will do it and when it will be done. You are then required to report every six months to your licensed provider on your progress. We suggest you use the Quality Workplan Kit to help you write your workplan.
Up to the 5th Edition, organisations were required to use audit tools for various functions. Is that still required?
No. The audit tools were an extra checklist to help you monitor and evaluate your performance in various functions. QIC is currently reviewing the audit tools to determine how they might be used in the future. For now, you are encouraged to develop your own audit tool for each standard or locate a similar tool that meets this purpose.
In order to get an Exceeded rating for a QIC Standard, what do we have to do?
Ratings are awarded by external review teams using the QIC program rating descriptors. Rating is a matter of judgement on the team’s part and is not awarded ‘as of right’. There are three requirements for an Exceeded rating:
The review team must assess that the organisation has:
a) met the standard
b) achieved the standard in an innovative way that promotes and engenders good practice, and
c) achieved the standard with highly integrated continuous quality improvement, and sustained improved outcomes.
How do we know when we are providing good practice?
The QIC standards, Evidence Questions and Interpretive Guides have been written to give you lots of guidance regarding good practice. In addition organisations are encouraged to check for the elements of a ‘system’ (see Quality Journal Introduction). Good service or clinical governance will also lead your organisation to continually evaluate and upgrade practice. Note that good practice is not a permanent state. You need to continually examine evidence and suitability.
How is a Review Report written? When can we expect to see it? and do we have a say regarding its contents?
The Review Report sets out the findings of the review team about your organisation’s performance against the standards as assessed during the external review. It is usually written by the review team, and checked by the licensed provider as well as an external auditor. Six to nine weeks after review, the report is forwarded to the organisation to check for factual errors and feedback. The report records whether the accreditation is recommended. If so, it forms part of a package of documents sent to QIC to support accreditation.
When do we get our accreditation certificate/s?
The signing and mailout of accreditation certificate/s marks the final stage of accreditation. Note: accreditation certificates show that accreditation is backdated to start on the last day of the most recent external review. The certificate is issued as soon as QIC has all the documents needed to be satisfied that the organisation meets accreditation requirements. This usually takes between 4 and 26 weeks after review.
How do we apply the standards to the unique characteristics of our sector or service type?
The QIC standards, Evidence Questions and Interpretive Guides have been written to give you lots of guidance. Additionally, you are encouraged to research further sector specific guidance from: legislation/regulations, guidelines and policy material produced by funding or regulatory bodies, as well as material published by peak and consumer bodies.
What happens to QIC Evaluation surveys completed by organisations undergoing reviews
Where Low ratings are given, the program has a policy of mandatory follow up with the organisation completing the survey. Evaluation ratings and comments are aggregated and used for quality improvement purposes. Several of the recent changes to standards and tools originated from feedback received in Evaluation surveys.
For more information about these and other topics, please contact your Licensed Provider. You are welcome to suggest further questions for this page by contacting QIC.
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