- Affordable Living
- Australian Service Excellence Standards
- LGBTIQ Inclusion
- Metropolitan Aboriginal Youth and Family Services
- Northern Connections
- Results-Based Accountability
- STARservice Development Program
- Stronger Together Commitment
- Thriving Communities
- Concessions and Support Services
- Volunteer with DCSI
- Grants for organisations
- Southern Connections
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Australian Service Excellence Standards (ASES)?
ASES is a quality improvement program that aims to assist non-government organisations to improve their business systems, management practices and service delivery. It is a set of standards owned and administered by the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion and available nationally. ASES is internationally accredited in the International Society for Quality in Health and Social Care.
Why change from Service Excellence Program (SEP) to ASES?
This reflects legislative, departmental and industry changes that were not incorporated in the Service Excellence Program.
Are there gaps between SEP and ASES?
Some gaps exist. Organisations that commenced their self-assessment in the SEP and wish to transition to the ASES program can complete a transition document (available upon request) that clearly identifies differences between the two frameworks. At Certificate level, the key changes are the inclusion of Data and Knowledge Management, Asset Management, Cultural Inclusion, and a stronger Customer Outcome focus. Many of the elements previously covered in the SEP Award level have now been integrated into the new ASES Certificate level. The new Award level has a stronger leadership, organisational learning focus.
Are the standards regularly reviewed?
In the past, the standards were reviewed every 5 years. Now they are reviewed on an ongoing basis to maintain relevancy in a changing environment. Key stakeholders, focus groups and ASES external assessors develop the key indicators and evidence required to meet new requirements.
How do we transition from the Service Excellence Program to the new Australian Service Excellence Standards?
If you achieved accreditation at Certificate level in the SEP, you can maintain this level in the new framework. However, we do not recommend organisations at SEP Certificate level undertake the Award level in ASES. Organisations at SEP Certificate level considering pursuing an Award level accreditation should undertake ASES at Certificate level first to ensure that your accreditation includes all the new elements found in ASES. You could consider doing the Award level concurrently or at a later date.
Can we commence self-assessment for both Standards (Certificate and Award level) at the same time?
Yes. If you do so, we recommend that you complete both self-assessment workbooks and send them to the External Assessor prior to the assessment. The assessor will advise you on your readiness for assessment at both levels and make recommendations if needed.
How long does it take to do the assessments?
On average, it takes 13 months for organisations to work through their self-assessment, undertake their external assessment and address outstanding requirements before achieving accreditation.
Is there a time limit for completing a self-assessment workbook?
There is no time limit – your self-assessment needs to be current and accurate. To maintain accreditation, we recommended you restart the process around 18 months after your accreditation.
When do we submit the workbooks?
Your external assessor will wish to see your workbooks and other documentation required 6 weeks prior to assessment.
How do we submit the workbooks?
Electronic submission is recommended, but feel free to contact your External Assessor to discuss options.
Do we need to complete every part of the workbook before assessment?
Yes – you must respond to all requirements in the self-assessment workbook. To be eligible for accreditation, organisations must be Fully In Plan (FIP).
What is the time limit for achieving the elements of the Quality Action Plan (QAP)?
Quality Action Plans should be completed within 6 months. A Quality Action Plan contains identified gap areas recorded as Recommendations in your external assessment. The External Assessor will work with you to develop your Quality Action Plan, provide suggestions and negotiate timeframes.
How much does an external assessment cost?
Service providers that undertake the external assessments charge fees depending on an organisation’s size and complexity. See this information sheet on external assessment costs.
How will we know we have achieved accreditation?
Your External Assessor will advise the Service Excellence Team if your organisation achieves accreditation. You will receive a congratulatory letter and certificate.
Can we market or advertise our accreditation or achievements?
Once you have achieved accreditation, we will provide stickers, explanatory “Where You See This Star” brochures, and the ASES graphic to incorporate into your promotional materials or website. Use of the device in promotional material is subject to approval from the Service Excellence Team.