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Change in renewal process – indirect evidence

26 July 2021

The NSW Children’s Guardian accredits agencies for the provision of services for children and young people in statutory out-of-home care and adoption. Agencies that are accredited by the Children’s Guardian are referred to as designated agencies or adoption service providers.

In July 2020, the Office of the Children’s Guardian commenced a change in process for agencies seeking accreditation renewal. Designated agencies and accredited adoption service providers in accreditation renewal are now assessed for compliance against the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care (the Standards) in agency practice (direct evidence) only.

How has the accreditation renewal process changed?

  • Designated agencies and accredited adoption service providers are no longer required to submit indirect evidence for review during the accreditation renewal process
  • It remains the responsibility of all accredited agencies to ensure that policies and procedures are routinely reviewed and updated to ensure they are compliant with the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care and relevant legislation; and align with the current practices applied in the agency’s operational service provision
  • Indirect evidence should be current and made available to assessors during onsite assessments if requested
  • Assessment of direct evidence will include discussions with agencies about how they ensure policies and procedures are reviewed and updated to reflect changes in practice and legislation. Evidence to demonstrate this will be reviewed in accordance with Standards 22 and 23.
  • Agencies are required to provide assessors with a completed Evidence Index for direct evidence, on the first day of assessment
  • Where non-compliant practice is identified through the review of direct evidence, feedback will be provided to the agency outlining any gaps in practice or areas for improvement. It is the agency’s responsibility to consider this feedback and implement any required changes to practice, as well as in its policies and procedures
  • Where consistent and compliant practice and systems are identified through the review of direct evidence during onsite assessments, including how policies and procedures are kept up to date, the agency will be assessed as meeting the Standards

When does the above renewal assessment process apply?

The above renewal assessment process applies only to agencies that are:

  • Fully accredited agencies applying to renew existing accreditation OR
  • Provisionally accredited agencies applying for full accreditation

When does it not apply?

The above renewal assessment process does not apply when:

  • Provisionally accredited agencies applying for a further period of provisional accreditation. This includes provisionally accredited agencies which have not arranged statutory out-of-home care/provided adoption services (as applicable) within the 12 months prior to the date that provisional accreditation is due to expire (and are therefore not eligible to apply for full accreditation)
  • Fully accredited agencies applying for provisional accreditation. This includes fully accredited agencies which have not arranged statutory out-of-home care/provided adoption services (as applicable) within the 12 months prior to the date that full accreditation is due to expire (and are therefore not eligible to apply for full accreditation)
  • Organisations that are not accredited and are applying for provisional accreditation for the first time
  • Accredited agencies applying to add a service type to their current accreditation (foster care, residential care, adoption services).

All agencies that are provisionally accredited based on assessment of indirect evidence are required to commence a Direct Evidence Program when service provision commences.

Agencies that are provisionally accredited to provide adoption services and are applying for full accreditation will have their policies and procedures assessed as part of the Direct Evidence Program. The outcome of an agency's Direct Evidence Program informs the accreditation renewal decision.

Legislation and regulatory changes

Our website contains information about legislative and regulatory changes to assist agencies review and update their policies and procedures. Relevant changes and updates can be found here:

More Information

If you have any questions regarding accreditation renewal, please speak with the Accreditation and Monitoring assessors currently working with your agency. Alternatively, you can email the Accreditation and Monitoring team at accreditation@ocg.nsw.gov.au