Quality Improvement & the Accreditation Journey
A story from this year’s annual report…
September 2013 saw Anglicare NT embark on a journey towards developing a quality improvement culture with the recruitment of Quality Manager Bronwyn Phillips.
Bronwyn’s focus is to facilitate the process of gaining accreditation in accordance with the requirements of the Quality Improvement Council (QIC) Health and Community Services Standards. The work undertaken through this process will see the completion of foundational work on Anglicare NT’s Quality Management System that will position the organisation for future development and continuous improvement in quality of our services and operations.
“My role is to facilitate the process, which includes working out the logistics, liaising with the accreditation body and spreading the word amongst the staff,” says Bronwyn.
“Quality standards provide a framework for a holistic and planned approach to quality management across the organisation. They also guide us in developing our Quality Management System, which describes how our organisation is run. That system is the sum of all the organisational systems, such as Human Resources, Finance and Client Practices, which guide us in the work we do on a daily basis.”
“Every organisation has a management system, but what we are aiming for is a Quality Management System – one which is focused on achieving positive outcomes for clients and continuously improving how we do our work,” says Bronwyn.
The QIC standards are grouped into three sections: building quality organisations, providing quality services and programs, and sustaining quality external relationships.
Across the organisation, many of the programs are required to comply with various national and Northern Territory standards. The accreditation project will provide an overarching system which will help demonstrate the programs’ compliance with specific standards.
In June 2015, Anglicare NT is set to undergo a quality accreditation review. A team from Quality Improvement Performance (QIP) will visit selected Anglicare NT sites in Darwin and Alice Springs. The team will review how work is done and compare it with the requirements of the QIC Standards.
“I am a great believer in quality management systems and quality standards,” says Bronwyn.
“The accreditation project is a good opportunity to strengthen these systems in Anglicare NT. Developing a quality management system contributes to the quality of client outcomes, which I find very rewarding. Accreditation also gives us an outward symbol of the good work we do and gives staff, clients, funding bodies and the community confidence in our work and the sustainability of the organisation.”
“I’m looking forward to being able to look back in five years’ time and saying ‘look what we all did’.”
Bronwyn has also implemented the “Quality Duck Initiative” which includes quality updates, quality awards and information sessions for staff. The initiative started from the idea that quality means ‘getting your ducks in a row’, and will help raise the profile of quality improvement and the accreditation project and get people thinking about it, in a fun way. Quality Duck Awards will be given to staff that contribute to building Anglicare NT’s quality culture.
Anglicare NT is also working towards accreditation to the Australian Childhood Foundation Safeguarding Children Program, a voluntary accreditation scheme for organisations working with children and young people. This program has seven standards: commitment to safeguarding children, personnel roles and conduct, recruitment and screening, personnel induction and training, involving children and parents, child abuse reports and allegations, and supporting a child-safe culture.
The accreditation comes in a three year cycle with a quality improvement review every twelve months. All staff members are now required to complete the Safeguarding Children online training within six weeks of starting with Anglicare NT, and the organisation is working towards goals to comply with each of the seven standards.