Quality Strategy for Disability Employment and Rehabilitation Services

All disability employment services must meet the requirements of the independent quality assurance system to receive funding from the Australian Government.

The legislation containing this requirement is the Disability Services Act (1986).

The Quality Strategy for disability employment and rehabilitation services was introduced in 2002. All Australian Government funded services were required to be independently certified against the 12 Disability Services Standards by December 2004.

In December 2013 all Australian jurisdictions endorsed a revised set on National Standards for Disability Services.  These new Standards are now applicable to all Disability Employment services and Australian Disability Enterprises. 

There is a twelve month transition period from 1 January 2014. 

During the transition period service providers are able to choose to apply the old standards or the new National Standards.  DSS encourages service providers to transition to the new standards as soon as possible and to discuss the transition with their certifying body.

From 1 January 2015 the 12 disability employment standards will no longer be applicable and service providers must be using the new National Standards for Disability Services.

The objectives of the Quality Strategy is to:

  • give people with disability confidence in the quality of service delivery and employment outcomes achieved by Australian Government funded disability employment and rehabilitation services
  • ensure all services meet, as a minimum, Disability Services Standards
  • make the assessment of service quality more objective and measurable
  • link certification to funding
  • reduce government intervention in the day to day operation of services
  • assist services to continuously review and improve the services they deliver.

Quality Assurance for Australian Disability Enterprises and Disability Employment Services - Frequently Asked Questions from Service Providers

Must my organisation be certified against the Disability Services Standards?

If you are receiving funding as an Australian Government Disability Employment Service Provider (that is, if you are delivering Disability Employment Services or Australian Disability Enterprise services) you will have to meet the requirements of the Disability Employment Services Quality Assurance System. New organisations (not new outlets) have 12 months to meet the requirements of the Disability Services Act.

Must my organisation pay to become certified?

DSS, on behalf of the Australian Government, will provide a contribution towards the costs to an approved amount.

What happens if my organisation is not certified?

Under the Commonwealth Disability Services Act (1986) organisations funded by the Australian Government to deliver disability employment services must be certified against the Disability Services Standards. Failure to do so may result in loss of funding.

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