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Service Agreement Information Kit for Funded Organisations

3.3.3 Compliance with Human Services Standards (Standards)

Disclaimer: this disclaimer must be read in conjunction with the content of this page.

Organisations that receive funding from the Department of Health and Human Services (department) for activities in scope of the Human Services Standards (Standards) (gazetted as the Department of Health and Human Services Standards) are required, unless exempt by the department, to undertake an independent review against the Standards. The Human Services Standards Policy, which lists the activities in scope of the Standards, is available on the Human Services Standards (opens in a new window) web page.

The Standards consist of the department’s four service delivery standards and the governance and management standards of a department-endorsed independent review body.

Organisations in receipt of department funding for in-scope activities are required to undertake one full certification review against the Standards in every three-year period, as well as maintain certification through the participation in mid-cycle audits (at least every eighteen months, per the process of the endorsed independent review body), except where a decision is made by the department to exempt an organisation.

Guidance about how to demonstrate compliance with the Standards is available in the Human Services Standards evidence guide (opens in a new window) web page.

The department has endorsed a number of independent review bodies to undertake reviews against the Standards. Further information on the department-endorsed independent review bodies can be found on the Human Services Standards (opens in a new window) web page.

Organisations that provide direct client services, but have otherwise been exempted by the department from independent reviews, may be required to undertake a self-assessment in accordance with the Human Services Standards self-assessment report and quality improvement plan. The Human Services Standards (opens in a new window) web page includes the self-assessment report and quality improvement plan.

Where an organisation does not meet a Standard, it must:

  • immediately resolve any non-compliance with the Standards that places a client at significant risk; or
  • resolve any other non-compliances with the Standards within six months of the review.

Under the Service Agreement the organisation agrees to an independent review body notifying the department that it has been engaged by the organisation. The organisation also agrees to the independent review body providing a copy of its review reports and other review information to the department.

Where the department requests additional information from an independent review body about an organisation's review, it will inform the organisation, unless there is a justifiable reason for not doing so, such as where notifying the organisation has the potential to compromise the collection of evidence in an investigation.

The department will receive a copy of the independent review body's review reports and may publish information about the organisation's performance against the Standards.

Under clause 10 of the Service Agreement, the department may agree to allow the organisation to subcontract the services. The department's operational divisions will notify the department's Standards and Regulation Unit of any agreed subcontracting arrangements.

Organisations that have obtained the department's prior written consent to engage a subcontractor to deliver all or part of the services must have a contract with the subcontractor that includes (among other things) a term allowing an independent review body to access the subcontractor's premises or place of business to conduct a performance review or audit of the subcontractor on the same terms and conditions as clause 9 of the Service Agreement.

Relationship with registration under the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and Disability Act 2006

The Disability Act 2006 and the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 set out the requirements for the registration of disability service providers and community services that deliver community-based child and family services and/or out-of-home care services.

The Standards are gazetted under the Children, Youth and Families Act and Disability Act and must be met by registered organisations.

For organisations new to registration, they must demonstrate their capacity to comply with the Standards via the department’s self-assessment report and quality improvement plan and undertake an independent review within 12 months of registration. To renew registration, organisations need to demonstrate compliance with the gazetted Standards, as evidenced by an independent review, unless exempt by the department. 

The Service Agreement does not affect any rights or obligations for the organisation and the department under the Children, Youth and Families Act and the Disability Act.

For further information on registration relating to the Acts, refer to the Policies, procedures and forms for the registration of disability service providers and community services available on the Human Services Standards (opens in a new window) web page.

Further information

For further information on the Standards and review processes refer to the Department of Health and Human Services Policy and Funding Guidelines (opens in a new window) and the Human Services Standards web page(opens in a new window).

Any questions related to the Standards can be emailed to the Standards and Regulation Unit: hsstandards@dhhs.vic.gov.au.