Human Services Quality Framework Version 7.0 has commenced

An updated version of the Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) Quality Framework Version 7.0 and HSQF User Guide – Certification Version 7.0, is now available on the HSQF website, as well as a range of new and updated resources.

– The HSQF Quality Framework Version 7.0 includes information about new service types under HSQF as well as updates to existing service types as required.

– The HSQF User Guide – Certification Version 7.0 outlines quality guidelines and evidence requirements for organisations required to achieve HSQF certification.

– The HSQF User Guide – Self-Assessment Version 3.0 outlines quality guidelines and evidence requirements for organisations required to undergo a HSQF Self-Assessment (only).

– The Version Control and Log of Changes provides information on all changes.

Some of the key changes include:

  • inclusion of the new Sexual Violence and women’s support service investment specification service types and requirements
  • re-inclusion of requirements for disability service under HSQF into the HSQF User Guide – Certification – Version 7.0 and the discontinuation of the supplement from Version 6.0
  • relocation of ‘safety requirements’ previously listed within indicator 4.2 footnote, to Appendix A
  • inclusion of requirements relating to anti cyberbullying and bullying in line with recommendations made by the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce
  • updates to Blue Card requirements to reflect ‘No Card No Start’ legislation, which commenced 31 August 2020.

What you need to do:

  • Organisations in-scope of HSQF audits/certification should review the HSQF Quality Framework Version 7.0 and the HSQF User Guide – Certification Version 7.0 and implement new/amended requirements relevant to the services you are delivering in order to demonstrate your compliance with the Human Services Quality Standards in future audits.
  • The relevant Version Control Registers and Log of Changes will assist you in identifying the changes/updates in Versions 7.0 and your departmental contract officer/s can assist with determining whether any new services need to be brought into the scope of your next audit.

Lead time for new requirements:

To allow organisations and certification bodies time to understand and implement changed requirements, a lead-in time of three months applies to all new/amended mandatory requirements, with auditors being asked to apply the following approach:

  • For audits being conducted prior to 1 October 2020, the Versions 6.0 remain current, with the Quality Framework Version 6.0 and User Guide Version 6.0 now available on the ‘Previous Versions’ page on the HSQF website.
  • Audits between 1 October 2020 – 31 December 2020 are undertaken against the requirements of the Quality Framework Version 7.0 and User Guide Version 7.0 however any findings which do not align with amended/updated requirements in Versions 7.0 are treated as a continuous improvement item, with corrective actions reviewed at the next audit.
  • Audits from 1 January 2021 will consider all requirements from Quality Framework Version 7.0 and User Guide Version 7.0 in line with the standard audit and non-conformance process.

Other updates

In addition to the updated User Guide and Framework, a range of other new and updated Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) resources are also available on the HSQF website.

These include:

  • A new “HSQF Audit Participation Factsheet”, that provides information for service users about participating in a HSQF audit
  • New factsheets to help neighbourhood centres, shelters and boards understand their Blue Card Services requirements
  • Updates to existing HSQF resources including a redesigned HSQF pintable poster for display by services.

Further information about all of the new and updated HSQF resources is outlined on the HSQF News and updates page.

Communication with the sector

The Queensland Government’s HSQF team has contacted all organisations funded by the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women (DCSYW) and the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS) that are in-scope of certification and has also requested that departmental contract officers forward these emails to their service-level contacts (all service streams).

For questions about the new versions, please contact the HSQF team via email or call 1800 034 022. In addition, QCOSS offers one-on-one or small group support – organisations can contact QCOSS for support, or be referred by their departmental contract officer. Apply for support here.