2018 DES Reform Transition Frequently Asked Questions

When will participants be transferred to new providers?

The Department will transition DES participants to gaining providers on the weekend of 30 June 2018, unless a provider leaves DES prior to this date.

How will participants be affected?

Participants will be affected if their service provider is closing.

All DES participants have received a letter from the Department in mid-March to inform them that there will be some changes to the Program from 1 July 2018, but that at this stage they don’t have to do anything.

Participants are encouraged to talk to their provider if they have any questions.

If you are a provider that will be exiting the program or the site, please let your participants know in advance that they will have to choose another provider.

An information sheet is available from the Provider Portal to support this conversation.

Where a provider is exiting the site from 30 June, affected participants will receive a letter from the Department in mid-May which will list new DES providers they can choose from.

The letter will include a link to JobAccess website which they can use to search for other DES providers in their area or surrounding areas. If they don’t have access to the website, they can ring the 1800 464 800 for assistance in finding information about DES providers and the transition process.

If a provider closes prior to 30 June 2018. What happens with the participants?

The current program arrangements will be applied to providers who have not extended their contract beyond March 2018, or exit prior to 30 June 2018.

That is, participants will be transitioned to another provider in the ESA.

After 1 July 2018, these transferred participants will have the opportunity to transfer to a provider of their choice.

Where can I find more information?

Detailed information on the 2018 DES Reforms can be found in the DES Provider Transition Advice on the DSS website and the Provider Portal under: Provider Portal>DES>Provider Operations>2018 DES Reform Transition

All providers are encouraged to read the advice and other resources available on these pages. Providers can also email queries to DESTransition@dss.gov.au

Will there be a Webinar/information sessions for DES providers?

Yes. A webinar is scheduled for 12 April 2018 to outline the 2018 DES Program. The presentation will explain processes and timeframes for transitioning of participants to their new DES Providers.

The key purpose of this webinar is to provide an opportunity for providers to ask questions about the arrangements or other transition related matters.

Registration is available through the Learning Centre.

The Transition Guidelines state that Exiting Providers should “close Sites in the Department's IT Systems as soon as possible". This is previously been the responsibility of the Department of Social Services. Can you please confirm the arrangements?

The Department will manage the IT system arrangements for closing sites. The Transition Guidelines have been updated to reflect this arrangement.

Where a participant is anchored in employment or education under the current program, but the outcome falls due after the new program commences on 1 July 2018, will these outcomes be included in post 1 July 18 Star Ratings?

If a placement has been anchored on or before 30 June 2018, it will not be included as part of the post 1 July 2018 Star Ratings. This includes outcomes that are anchored under the current program, and fall due after the new program commences on 1 July 2018.

A correction has been made in the latest version of the Transition Guidelines to reflect this arrangement.

We require clarification what the term ‘New Provider’ means in the context of DES reform. If we currently deliver DES in one ESA, but will start to deliver in another ESA, are we a new provider?

In the DES transition context, the terms ‘Exiting Provider’ and ‘New Provider’ are in reference to an Employment Service Area (ESA). For example, a provider will be considered a New Provider if they will deliver services in an ESA from 1 July 2018, even if they currently have sites in adjacent ESAs or operate a different service type in the ESA.
Where a provider is considered a New Provider, any new sites will not be able to accept referrals, deliver services or commence Participants, until the Grant Agreements commence on 1 July 2018.

We have changed our entity type through the recent selections process and will have a new ABN. Are we considered a Continuing Provider or a New Provider?

The Department recognises that there will be instances where a provider will exit and subsequently re-enter an Employment Service Area (ESA) as the result of the recent purchasing process. When determining whether these sites are considered as ‘continuing’ or ‘new’, the Department will consider these on a case by case basis, with consideration of the current service footprint and caseload. The overarching principle of the upcoming transition is to minimise disruption to participants and to maintain service continuity, where possible.

Please note, where a provider changes its ABN, they will be considered a new organisation in the Department’s IT systems. If the Department deems it appropriate for a provider to keep their caseload despite a change in ABN, their caseload will transfer from their current IT profile to their new profile as a bulk transfer. All the conditions that apply for a business as usual transfer will apply to all affected participants.  For example, all affected participants will have their status reset to pending and service fees.

We are a Continuing Provider. Can you please advise how many transition participants will receive through the allocation process?

The Department cannot advise how many participants a provider will receive, if any, as part of the transition process. This is dependent on a number of factors including: the number of participants required to change providers due to a provider closing; the random allocation of these participants to the closest providers available; and the choice of participants required to move to a new provider.  Impacted participants will be allocated to all providers continuing to deliver services in the ESA, as well as new providers that will enter the market on 1 July 2018.

From mid-May 2018 and pending IT systems access, continuing providers and new providers will be able to view transition participants that have nominally been allocated to their site(s) or have chosen to be serviced at their site(s) on the Indicative Caseload screen. This will allow providers to anticipate how their caseload will increase as a result of the transition arrangements. Functionality will be available to pre-book appointments from mid-June 2018 for participant appointments commencing Monday 2 July 2018 through the Department’s IT Systems.

We are a new provider, can we advertise our services as a DES provider ahead of 1 July 2018?

New providers are able to promote themselves as a DES provider once they have returned their signed Grant Agreement. Please refer to section 13 of the Transition Guidelines for further information on DES Branding.

Is the Moderate Intellectual Disability payment paid in addition to the four, 13, 26 and 52‑week outcome fees?

Where eligible, the Moderate Intellectual Disability Payment is paid in addition to the DES employment outcome fees.

Is the Infosec Registered Assessor Program (IRAP) certification part of the DES framework?

In the past, the Department has only endorsed security assessors who are members of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Infosec Registered Assessor Program (IRAP). The accreditation process, which involves certification by the Department and the use of an independent security assessor (an IRAP member), has been inaccurately called an ‘IRAP Certification’, when in fact, IRAP members cannot issue ‘certifications’.

The Security Assessment Program is currently under review, and will be released in the coming months. It will be more flexible than the current security accreditation program. Further, it will be based on a generally accepted industry information security standard approach, and will be transitioned in gradually to allow sufficient time for providers to accommodate these requirements.

For more information on security requirements, please see section 3A of the DES Grant Agreement for further information.

During the transition period, can a specialist provider transfer clients to another specialist site they operate in another ESA?

During the transition period, participants will be able to transfer as per normal. This may be when a participant changes address or their servicing needs change and they require a level of support not offered by their current provider. However, providers cannot transfer a participant for the purposes of keeping the participant on their caseload when the new program commences on 1 July 2018.

Can a Work Assist participant move into Ongoing Support only when they have achieved a Work Assist Outcome, or can a participant receive Work Assist and Ongoing Support at the same time?

There are no changes to Ongoing Support arrangements for Work Assist (currently Job in Jeopardy) participants under the new DES program. Following a Work Assist Outcome, if the provider determines that Ongoing Support is required, the provider must refer the participant for an Ongoing Support Assessment before moving the participant into Ongoing Support. Please refer to the Ongoing Support Guidelines for further information.

How will the Department allocate transition participants? Will participants be allocated to outreach sites or just full and part-time sites?

When allocating transition participants, the Department will calculate the distance between the participant’s primary residence and the sites in their area. This calculation will be inclusive of full and part-time sites only. Outreach sites are not included in this calculation. The Department will only consider allocating transition participants to Outreach sites in exceptional circumstances.

After the Grant Agreement is signed and executed, are providers required to keep sites operational for the duration of the Grant Agreement? What would be the impact of closing a site earlier if it under‑performs? What would be involved in that case and who would we need to speak to (e.g. Account Manager)? Furthermore, would there be any implications/penalties etc.?

Servicing arrangements for Employment Service Areas can be changed during the period of the Grant Agreement following approval from the Department.

If in the future a provider wants to discuss possible site changes, they can contact the Department via the Community Grant Hub DES Transition Team on 1800 635 084 or email DESagreements@dss.gov.au

My organisation did not apply in the recent selections process. Is there still an opportunity to join the panel of providers?

Applications are now closed for organisations seeking to become DES providers. The Department has established the new DES panel of providers, which will run for an initial term of five years from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2023, with options to extend for up to an additional 10 years.

The Department has committed to periodically refresh the panel during the term of the five-year grant. This refresh process will remove under-performing providers from the panel, and will allow new providers an opportunity to apply for a DES Grant Agreement.

Please subscribe to the Community Grants Hub for notification of when there is another selections process for the DES program.

When can DES providers advertise they are a DES provider, including the use the DES branding?

While delivery of DES can only begin when the Grant Agreement commences on 1 July 2018, new providers will be able to promote their services before the new program starts on 1 July 2018.Further, instructions on use of the DES logo are in the DES Style Guide, which is available for providers to review on the Department’s Website.

What does the term exit mean, in reference to a provider during the DES transition?

The term exit refers to a provider who will cease to deliver services in an ESA on 30 June 2018.

Will the Department provide Transition Participants with advice on the transition arrangements before the start of the new program?

The Department will write to all participants who are with an exiting site/provider in mid-May. This letter will explain why their current provider is leaving the DES market, which provider they have nominally allocated to, and how to choose a new provider if they wish.

A copy of the letter will be made available to providers.

Is a list of confirmed providers in each ESA available to the public? Further, will the Department release a list of where any potential eligible job seekers can be found?

The Department has published a list of organisations that have received offers to deliver DES from 1 July 2018 on its website. This information is sorted by ESA, for your reference. However, it is not known when the Department will release further information regarding the potential eligible cohort of job seekers.

Following the release of the Industry Information Paper, the Department released data on Disability Support Pension (DSP) Recipients that are potentially eligible for DES.

Can a provider upload site details after the 30 April deadline? What will happen if site details are uploaded after this date?

Yes, it is possible to upload site details after the 30 April 2018 deadline as the Department can still execute the Grant Agreements with incomplete site details.

However if the site details are not provided to the Department by 30 April 2018, these sites will be excluded from the allocation of Transition Participants. Further, Transition Participants cannot choose to transfer to a site without an address.

Any requests to change the service delivery arrangements at any sites should be directed in writing to the provider's account manager in-line with any current advice issued by the Department.

Will all DES providers have ‘refreshed’ performance data, so everyone is starting exactly the same?

On 1 July 2018, performance for all providers will be refreshed for all services. Further information on the DES 2018 Performance Framework including changes to the 2018 DES Star Ratings model is likely to be released in mid-May 2018.

Are Community Development Programme (CDP) areas included in the DES Employment Service Areas (ESA)? Can organisations deliver DES in a CDP area?

The Community Development Programme (CDP) areas are considered to be remote. DES ESA boundaries do not cover remote areas of Australia, and therefore they are not serviceable by DES providers.

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