The NSQHS Standards were developed by the Commission in collaboration with the Australian Government, states and territories, private sector providers, clinical experts, patients and carers. The primary aims of the NSQHS Standards are to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health service provision. The eight NSQHS Standards provide a nationally consistent statement about the level of care consumers can expect from health services. You can find out more about the Standards at https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/standards/nsqhs-standards
Accreditation to the Standards is carried out by independent organisations. At least one of these (the Australian Council for Healthcare Standards – ACHS) recruits consumers to the position of assessors. If you are interested in being a consumer assessor the process involves:
- Completing the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care’s (ACSQHC) online orientation program covering:
- the National Standards 2nd Edition
- on-line training on the Colonoscopy Care Standard
- and the Core Cultural Learning – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia Foundation Course.
Information about this online training is on the ACSQHC website at https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/standards/national-safety-and-quality-health-service-nsqhs-standards/resources-nsqhs-standards/nsqhs-standards-orientation-course
To be considered for the next step in being an assessor, there are specific requirements when completing this online course. Information about these requirements are on the website above.
It is also possible to enrol in the course on a non-certificate basis – this might be of interest to anyone who would like to deepen their understanding of the Standards.
- For ACHS – it then normally involves a 3 day in person training in Sydney. In light of COVID-19 restrictions, they are in the process of reviewing their approach. If you are accepted on to the training (which involves an application process), ACHS would fund travel and accommodation costs to take part in the training, but there is no other payment.
- This training is hands-on and involves the practical application of the knowledge gained through the orientation program.
- Assessors may then apply to become paid (honorarium assessors) after they have completed 1 trainee and 2 probationary assessments, this application can only be made where there is no other income received for the assessment period. At the time of writing, upon approval the rate is $430 per day for assessment days only (exc travel days and report writing)
- Currently there are no agreed dates for this training. ACHS are accepting application on a rolling basis. To apply you must complete an application form with ACHS and provide certificates of completion for the three online modules (above).
- The Commission requires assessors employed in health services to undertake a minimum of 10 assessment days per annum and those not employed a minimum of 20 days. This would also apply to people registering as consumer assessors.