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Working for a better future and outcomes for our children

HSQF – Human Services Quality Framework MAY UPDATE

Your organisation holds existing accreditation for other industry standards and/or quality systems - what does this mean for your HSQF and is there any options for streamlining?

We hope you enjoyed the three previous articles in the Human Services Quality Framework series:

In this article, we will discuss what options may be available if your organisation is already certified under another industry standards and/or quality systems.

The development of the HSQF took into consideration the possibility that organisations may already have accreditation for other industry standards / quality standards and that this could provide opportunities to reduce duplication. Where your organisation's existing accreditation aligns well with the Human Services Quality Standards and is appropriate for the types of services funded, your organisation may be able to request recognition of that existing accreditation to demonstrate compliance with the HSQF.

For example, ISO 9001 has been recognised as meeting the requirements of the Human Services Quality Standards for organisations providing peak body services.

Does my organisation’s existing accreditation align well with the Human Services Quality Standards?

You can obtain information about the extent to which the following standards align with the Human Services Quality Standards from the HSQF website at

  • National Standards for Disability Services
  • RACGP Standards for General Practice
  • National Regulatory Code for Community Housing
  • Residential Aged Care Quality Standards
  • Home Care Standards (Australian Government)
  • Standard on Culturally Secure Practice (Alcohol and other Drug Sector)
  • Attendant Care Industry Standards
  • QIC Health and Community Service Standards

How can my organisation apply for recognition of our existing accreditation?

Applications for recognition of alternative accreditation are considered on a case by case basis.

An organisation that wishes to demonstrate its compliance with HSQF through recognition of an alternative form of accreditation should apply by:

Step 1    
Completing an application form which can be found at

Step 2    
Collating evidence of all relevant accreditation documents for example copies of current certificates, audit reports, corrective actions plans.

Step 3    
Submitting the completed application form and the evidence to support that application to

What factors will be considered when assessing an organisation’s application for recognition of alternative accreditation?

The following factors will be taken into consideration when assessing an application for recognition of alternative accreditation:

  • degree of alignment between the alternative standards/accreditation with the Human Services Quality Standards
  • relevance of the accreditation to the type of services the organisation is funded to provide
  • the type and complexity of the services provided
  • vulnerability of people using services
  • level of funding investment
  • any service specific mandatory evidence requirements that may apply to the services provided under the HSQF.

As a general rule, an alternative accreditation will not be recognised where it has been assessed as having limited alignment with the HSQF (less than a 60% match), and/or has no direct application to services in Queensland of a similar type and/or where mandatory service specific requirements apply under the HSQF.

For example, alternative accreditation will not be accepted where an organisation is funded to provide child protection placement services in-scope of licensing.

Please note also that services types funded by Queensland Health will not generally be included in a decision to recognise alternative accreditation as meeting the requirements of the HSQF.

What are the possible outcomes if we apply for our existing accreditation to be recognised as meeting our requirements under the HSQF?

Your organisation will receive written advice of the outcome of the assessment. There are 3 possible outcomes:

Outcome What does this mean for my organisation?

Your organisation will need to maintain the alternative accreditation for the term of any service agreement with a Queensland Government department requiring compliance with the HSQF. When the alternative accreditation expires, your organisation will need to provide a copy of the new accreditation and related audit/review report to the relevant departmental contract officer

Note: Where an organisation receives new funding for service types different to those currently provided, a reassessment of the approved alternative accreditation will be required.

Partial acceptance Your organisation will need to undertake and submit a 'gap' self-assessment and related continuous improvement plan against specified key requirements within a specified timeframe.
Not accepted Your organisation will need to comply with a prescribed demonstration method under HSQF (either self-assessment or certification) and will be advised a timeframe to meet those requirements

If your organisation is not accepted for alternative accreditation, you may find you can align HSQF audit activities with other audit/review activities. For example, the HSQF JAS-ANZ auditing scheme makes it simpler for organisations to undergo concurrent audits, which allows relevant evidence to be considered once rather than on two separate occasions.

Further information about streamlining audits can be found in the HSQF Scheme Rules available on the JAS-ANZ website.

  • Child Protection Environment


    of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were placed with a kinship or Indigenous carer.
  • Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak


    There are 69,200 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander children / young people in Queensland.