Background to the Human Services Quality Framework
What is the Human Services Quality Framework?
The Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) is a system for assessing and improving the quality of human services. It applies to organisations delivering services under a service agreement with the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (the department) or other specified arrangements.
The HSQF incorporates:
- Six standards known as the Human Services Quality Standards (HSQS) which apply to all departmentally funded service providers. The standards set a benchmark for quality service provision and cover the core elements of human services. The six standards are:
- Governance and management
- Service access
- Responding to individual need
- Safety, wellbeing and rights
- Feedback, complaints and appeals
- Human resources
- An assessment process to review the performance of service providers against the standards
- Continuous improvement through ongoing review, planning and development activities that involve the customers and stakeholders of funded service providers.
Funded service providers may demonstrate compliance with the standards in one of the following ways:
- conduct an internal assessment to rate organisation processes and performance against the HSQS (self-assessment) and report to the department
- achieve and maintain certification through an approved independent auditing body demonstrating compliance with the HSQS
- provide certification/accreditation evidence under another quality system recognised by the department as meeting the relevant requirements of the HSQS.
The HSQF and quality improvement
The Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) provides a framework and guide for the development and management of quality services. Management of quality is an integral part of the work of organisations that provide human services as they change and adapt in response to external pressures, as customer needs change and to improve outcomes for customers. Many service providers have already undertaken formal quality improvement and certification programs and some are beginning their quality improvement endeavours for the first time.
The HSQF provides a formal quality improvement framework against which service providers can measure themselves and make improvements to ensure a consistent level of quality service delivery, effective operations and positive outcomes for customers. Community benefits from the adoption of the framework include a consistent level of service quality and public confidence in HSQF compliant providers.
The HSQF has a strong focus on continuous improvement of human services through a streamlined customer-focused accountability process.
Videos: Fears vs reality of the HSQF
Watch this short video to hear the experiences of Queensland service providers who have already transitioned to the HSQF.