The Human Services Standards represent a single set of service quality standards for human services funded, regulated or delivered by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
The Human Services Standards (Standards) were published in Victorian Government Gazette G21 (24 May 2012) as the Department of Human Services Standards (Disability) Determination 2012 and the Department of Human Services Standards (Children, Youth and Families) Determination 2012, respectively.
The Standards are administered by the Human Services Regulator within the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (the department) as part of its role to regulate human services to minimise harm and to protect the safety and rights of children, young people and adults.
The Human Services Regulator manages end-to-end regulation of organisations across the full suite of human services funded, regulated or delivered by the department. This includes registration, compliance, enforcement and regulatory policy under the Disability Act 2006, Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 and the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010.
Find out more about the Human Services Regulator’s role in administering legislation and standards on the Human Services Regulator page on the department website, or contact the Human Services Regulator via email: email@example.com.
Cessation of independent compliance certification and transition arrangements
The use of independent review bodies to certify service providers’ compliance with the Standards (including the four service delivery standards and the governance and management standards of the independent review body), will no longer be required under the new regulatory framework commencing on 1 July 2024. The independent certification process is being phased out during the 2023/24 financial year.
Service providers whose certification expires, or mid-cycle / surveillance review, (or self-assessment for relevant organisations) is due prior to 31 December 2023, are required to successfully complete the required review in line with existing policy arrangements.
Service providers whose certification expires, or mid-cycle / surveillance review is due after 31 December 2023 are not required to undertake any further independent reviews to achieve or maintain certification.
Service providers that are exempt from independent certification, and which are due to submit a self-assessment during the period 1 January 2024 to 30 June 2024, are not required to submit their self-assessment to the Human Services Regulator.
Service providers are required to continue to meet their legislative obligation to comply with the Standards and broader requirements of the Act/s under which they are registered, until the establishment of the new Social Services Standards on 1 July 2024. Service providers are encouraged to consider how they will monitor compliance with all relevant requirements both now and in the future.
What are the Human Services Standards?
The Standards comprise of five standards: the department’s four service delivery and governance and management standards of a department endorsed independent review body.
Service delivery standards
The Standards represents a single set of service quality standards for organisations delivering services to clients, summarised as:
- Empowerment: People's rights are promoted and upheld
- Access and Engagement: People’s right to access transparent, equitable and integrated services is promoted and upheld
- Wellbeing: People’s right to wellbeing and safety is promoted and upheld
- Participation: People’s right to choice, decision making and to actively participate as a valued member of their chosen community is promoted and upheld.
Governance and management
Organisations must be effectively governed and managed at all times and meet governance and management standards, as established by the Secretary to the department.
The Standards and independent review process seek to ensure that people experience the same quality of service no matter which service provider they access.
The Standards aim to:
- Embed and promote rights for people accessing services
- Assure the community that service providers are providing services that meet clients’ needs
- Develop a common and systemic approach to quality review processes
- Build greater transparency in quality requirements between the department, service providers, clients and the community
- Enable service providers to select an independent review body from an approved panel that meets their requirements and expectations
- Foster a culture of continuous quality improvement that is embedded in everyday practice and supports the meaningful participation of people in giving feedback about the services they require and the quality of services they receive
- Reduce red tape to help ensure service providers have more time and resources to provide services by reducing the number of quality reviews they are required to undertake.
The Standards have been developed in easy English as a word only version and an alternate version with pictures. The documents are titled Rules: We call them the Human Services Standards: