In NSW, services will be assessed against the National Quality Standard by the Department of Education and Communities (DEC). Your service will need to reflect on its practices with respect to the seven quality areas and then prepare a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) outlining your strengths and areas for growth against the National Quality Standard. An Authorised Officer from DEC will review your Plan and make a visit to observe typical practice at your service to determine your rating.
Services are encouraged to reflect on current practice in relation to the seven quality areas and identify your strengths and areas of growth. There is no set format for the self reflection and the self assessment does not need to be submitted to DEC.
Based on your self reflection, services need to prepare a QIP outlining which areas of the National Quality Standard (NQS) you believe your service needs to improve against. This will become your roadmap as you work to improve quality in these areas. You will be asked to submit your QIP prior to the assessment visit and your service needs to update it annually.
The assessment visit is intended to observe typical practice at your service. An assessment and compliance officer will come to your service (if centre-based) and assess the service. Your rating is determined by a review of your QIP, your compliance history, your assessment history and the practices observed during the assessment visit. Family Day Care schemes will have their assessment visits to the service and one or more carers depending on the size of the scheme.
There is a five-tier rating scale under the NQF. Your service will have a rating for each quality area of the NQS and an overall service rating.
The ratings are: