We speak with representatives from Gailes Community House and Mununjali about their experiences with completing aspects of the HSQF certification and assessment processes.
I actually used all the resources of Community Door. So I just accessed them and downloaded them. The Excel spreadsheet was great because once you enter data it then went on to your other page, so you didn't have to re-enter that data again, so if you said ‘oh if this is compliant, this isn't, this is where we need improvement - it created the continuous improvement plan without me having to then re-input all that information.
At first I wasn't sure at what level that we had to be doing the self-assessment, so I was writing, I was writing evaluations to send out to my committee and I was doing staff evaluations to give to my staff to actually ask them to quote. Because I was able to answer the questions presented, but do I know if they can. So we managed to access a little bit of money, and I spoke to somebody who I knew and I said look if we can offer you this amount contracted, are you able to do this? So that, so he took them way and he actually did our policies for us.
So that was when the new policy standards came into place. He was here, he was on site at least once a week. You know he would come and sit down with myself and with the committee, and then myself and the committee sat down once he handed them over to us. And we went through with a fine-tooth comb through every single policy.
So long as we had the base work of it we could then input what was needed, or you know, and he was great - he was able to say to us, ‘okay you know, like some of the policies would come up – things we'd never considered before, and some of them being around your evacuation or your, you know, what happens if there's a terrorist attack. I might really we have to consider a terrorist attack? Well in this world you have to consider everything. We were able to go, wow - let's think really broad and then contain it back into here. So we were able to kind of look at that as a bigger picture and then bring it back into what it needed to be.
Conversations with QCOSS to start with, conversations with our auditors. Then internal conversations as well, I guess, with that external consultant we brought in, and with our staff. I think really that's sort of how we got through it. We got to that point.
We got to a stage where, you know what - use it as a - just calm her down a bit - this is an opportunity for us to find the gaps, you know, because we need to get it out there to say ‘well this is where you are falling a bit’. So I said don’t panic about it too much – I kept trying to say don’t panic. And of course it's a process that helps us make it better.
It was towards the end of completion that I made contact with somebody from QCOSS because I wasn't aware that that was an option. And then I found that option, oh wow why did I not - why was I not doing this from day one. And I cconnected with someone from QCOSS and I had a look and I said actually, you know, well this is important to know but you don't actually have to be developing these documents to achieve that.
To be able to go ‘oh okay like it's not as big as what I thought it was’, like I had envisioned it being a lot bigger, but we're such a small organization that we need to work as one unity. We can't work as, oh there’s the committee, and there's the coordinator, and there's the this and there’s the that - everyone needs to understand.
So if you try to cover it up, that's not helping you at all. So we said just put on exactly, this is how we say we're doing it - there's the evidence to prove that we’ve actually done it. And there's the other piece of documentation saying, yeah you've actually followed what's done. And that really set the precedent up - so when you said, okay there's our policies and procedures, this is the evidence showing this is how we’re doing it and you just go from there.