Service providers talk about how the audit process for the Human Services Quality Framework unfolded for their organisation.
Speakers in the video are:
- Nikola Sweet, Silky Oaks Children's Haven
- Kerrie Lewis, Life Without Barriers
- Carol Brosi and Linda Harte, Staffing OptionS
Find more information about the HSQF on Community Door.
Nikola: You always like play it up your head is it's going to be like mountain loads of work but I think it's been really collaborative the whole process
Kerrie: So most of our staff were quite nervous when the auditors first came and we found that the auditors actually really helped them feel more comfortable and talked to them about the process and really just talked to them about what do they do every day in the job. So it wasn't like this question and answer process that people felt like they had to pass a test.
Linda: Cos they're bringing all their experiences from other services as well so they say how about this or how about that and you know you could if you think that's going to work for your organisation put it down as an improvement and work on it, you know, you can go away and talk about it after you don't have to have everything right on the day.
Carol: When you did find a few gaps well, it just went in the improvement pile. That's what we'll be doing next, let's work on that next. It also gave you a bit of a running sheet, or an action to do list as well and it didn't mean that you were non-compliant, it just meant that, oh well they just needed a bit of looking after.
Kerrie: We had a lot of information that was provided that was resources that were developed by the department with HSQF so the self-assessment book and about the standards and the framework.
Nikola: The first stage audit with the people that we've engaged for the auditing process the first stages we send them all policies and procedures we send them all our documentation they review it and then they do the on-site audit is the second stage so that's over like a three day process of looking at all our residential facilities, our therapy team and our outreach services.
Kerrie: There weren't any issues meeting the standards as such I think it was more about looking at as a big organisation how, how did our governance documents like HR and finance, how did those policies and procedures work? How did the state requirements work as well? So you're trying to match both what are the national needs of your organisation as well as the state specific needs.
Carol: It's also actually making sure that what you actually have written is what you do. So we had to really look at that so we all have policy and procedure manuals, and they're all very similar, and it was then making sure that if we say that's what we're going to do that's what we do. So that made us look at all those things, it also made us take bits out we'd go well actually we don't do that anymore, get rid of that.
Linda: So it's a great way of streamlining and cleaning up your act basically.
Carol: And sort of making it simpler because we started off making it more difficult thinking that we had to have all these things in place and documentation and forms and that's why we were just looking at it going, oh my gosh, this is just, this is just a headache, and this is not useful and we're going to spend all that time filling out forms or writing out improvement logs and then over time we realised that no, let's just make something that is useful for us and so we just made that much simpler.
Nikola: So we had something like sixty policies that were mixed in with procedure and weren't very clear and by going through the HSQF process we were able to really clearly identify what was policy and what was a procedure and then we've ended up with 22 really clear policies to help
align with HSQF.
Carol: As the years have gone on each year it's obviously getting better and better even though we were told that in the beginning, we can actually say that that's true, that's actually what happens it does get easier and easier.