September 1, 2020

Assessment and Rating

Information Sheet 2020

The information on this page is also available in printable PDF format: Assessment and Rating Information Sheet 2020

 

The Education and Care Unit (ECU) is responsible for assessing and rating Tasmanian Education and Care services against the seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard (NQS).

A general overview of the Assessment and Rating process and information about Quality Ratings is available on the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) website.

From October 2020, the ECU is resuming its Assessment and Rating process with a new approach that reduces the time we physically spend in services.  This information sheet explains our planned approach in Tasmania from October 2020.

What will your A&R experience look like?

Before your A&R

Notification and preparation for the visit

Providers and services will be emailed advice 5 to 8 weeks prior to an upcoming Assessment and Rating visit.  Included in this advice will be a request to provide the ECU with a copy of their current Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), a staff list and details of enrolled children. The Authorised Officer (AO) who is conducting the Assessment and Rating will use this to inform their visit plan and ‘desktop review’ (the process of gathering information to gain an understanding of the service, prior to the visit).

Confirmation of the visit date

Approximately 10 business days before the visit, the AO will contact the service to notify the date of the onsite visit and negotiate dates and times for two virtual meetings.  Following this discussion, an email will be sent to confirm the dates and request service documentation to be submitted prior to the first virtual meeting. The AO can provide guidance to assist your service to submit the requested documentation in the required timeframe.

During your A&R

A&R structure

The new Tasmanian approach for the Assessment and Rating is made up of three components: Sight, Observe and Discuss. Most of the Sight and Discuss components will be conducted virtually, through Microsoft Teams, and the Observation component will be undertaken during an onsite visit. This format reduces the amount of time AOs are onsite at services to gather evidence, and supports the health, safety and wellbeing of children, educators, families and AOs.

Sight: virtual meeting – document review

This is a valuable opportunity for you to engage in collaborative discussions about your service’s documentation and to share information about your service.  It’s also an opportunity to become familiar with the AO conducting the A&R and ask any questions that you might have about the process. Providing your service’s requested documentation prior to this virtual meeting will support the AO to gain an understanding of your service’s processes and maximise their opportunities to ask questions during this meeting.  Documentation and discussion will also inform the AO planning for the onsite visit. Documents that may be requested and discussed during this meeting may include, but are not limited to: information about your service’s educational program and policies and procedures, emergency rehearsal information and the staff roster for the week of the A&R.

Observe: onsite visit

This visit provides an opportunity for the AO to observe how educators, service management and staff members support the provision of quality education and care for children and how practice reflects documentation and discussions.  The AO will look for examples of educator practice and interactions, which may include, educator engaging in caring, friendly and respectful conversations with children.  The AO may also request to sight a random sample of service documentation or records and engage in discussions with educators about their practice during this visit. By observing a variety of environments, interactions, practices and routines across the service, the AO will gather evidence across the seven Quality Areas of the NQS.

Discuss: virtual meeting

This meeting provides an additional opportunity for the approved provider and service management and personnel to engage in discussions with the AO about the services practices and procedures. The AO will discuss service processes, including those which may not be easily observable, such as community engagement, governance and leadership processes.

Evidence collection

During the Assessment and Rating process, the AO will record evidence in their instrument and during the onsite visit may take photographs of documents and environments, in keeping with guidelines in the Guide to the National Quality Framework.

Compliance concerns

If the AO notes any compliance concerns or practice within the service which does not meet the minimum requirements of the National Quality Framework (NQF), they will make the service aware of these issues prior to the end of the Assessment and Rating process. For minor concerns, or those which do not impact on children’s health, wellbeing and safety, the AO may offer the service a minor adjustment and/or issue a compliance caution. Further information about minor adjustments is available in the Guide to the National Quality Framework. 

Following your A&R

Rating recommendation

After completing the three components of your service’s A&R, the AO will analyse the evidence they have gathered and make a rating recommendation. As no ratings decisions are made until the moderation stage of the process, AOs are unable to provide information about rating outcomes during the A&R.

The draft Assessment and Rating Report

Following the rating recommendation, the AO will prepare a draft report.  Before reports are sent to providers, the ECU undertake a robust moderation process to review the draft report and confirm the evidence reflects practice at the service, supports the rating recommendations, and is consistent with the benchmarks for quality in the National Quality Standard.

Feedback

The provider can give feedback on any factual inaccuracies in the draft report and provide evidence to support feedback within 10 business days. Further guidance on providing feedback is available in the Feedback Information sheet and on the ACECQA website.

Final report and Ratings published

Any feedback is considered before the final report is finalised and issued. Once the review period has ended, the final ratings are published on the national registers.

The information on this page is also available in printable PDF format: Assessment and Rating Information Sheet 2020

 

If you have any questions, please contact the ECU on 6165 5425 or via ecu.comment@education.tas.gov.au or call your point of contact authorised officer directly.