A partnership between Homelessness NSW,
Domestic Violence NSW and Yfoundations

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs will be updated to share questions asked from within the sector.

We have a SHS Quality Portal account, does it cost to link to other standards?

No. There is no additional cost. There are over 40 community service and health standards in the portal. Assessments are cross mapped to most standards so when you complete assessments, you contribute to the completion of multiple sets of standards, avoiding duplication.

A small number of Standards, for example, QIC Health & Community Service Standards, require a paid subscription to the owning body. These Standards you will not have access to through your SHS subscription.

Is there a size limit on uploads?

There is no limit on the overall amount of information that may be uploaded and stored within your Documents section on the SHS Quality Portal. However, upload speeds vary depending on your organisation’s internet  capacity. Upload documents in manageable batches to reduce the risk of long uploads.

Upload once, link often. It is common for a single piece of evidence to be used to demonstrate compliance with more than one assessment. Upload the document once only and link to relevant assessments as needed. Only upload and link evidence that directly demonstrates compliance with the standard’s requirements. Upload evidence into your Documents library, link it wherever relevant and provide detail in the Notes section of the appropriate page or section number.

We have answered 'no' to some assessments? What now?

Include the gaps in your Quality Action Plan to be addressed after​ the self-assessment and guided self-assessment process. You will have until the end of May 2017 to implement your Quality Action Plan which is aimed at allowing you to achieve compliance with the Standards.

Does the SHS Quality Portal keep a record of completed actions?

Yes. For every assessment question answered in the negative, the SHS Quality Portal generates a Standards Action Plan collating all these questions into one document, which can be viewed and managed online and a copy downloaded into MS Excel. The Standards Action Plan section of the Portal also includes links to resources that may be useful in becoming compliant with a Standard. You may use this Standard Action Plan to develop your Quality Action Plan, which can take any style or format best suited to you and your service. You may want to request the advise of the consultant conducting your GSA as to how to structure your Quality Action Plan.

When an action is marked as completed in the online Standards Action Plan, it will be removed from online view, however, a record of the action and completion date is maintained and viewable in the downloaded format.

How can we report these actions to the Board?

You can download a copy of the Standards Action Plan which will show open and closed actions. You could also show them the Quality Action Plan you develop using the Standards Action Plan. You can also give Board members 'Reviewer' access to your portal account.

Do we need to be compliant by October 2016?

No. You have until June 30 2017 to fully meet the 8 SHS Standards. You need to complete your self-assessment process by October 31 2016.

Do we need to implement our quality action plan before October 2016? 

No. These are improvement projects that will vary in time and resourcing. Prioritise as appropriate. You will need to demonstrate that your service meets the 8 standards before the 2017 funding round so prirotise the areas you don't meet first.

Is MSO separate to the SHS Quality Portal?

Yes, there are there are two separate portals:

  • SHS Quality Portal - this is a simple online platform to follow the NSW SHS Standards. It also includes a Reading Room section that provides a number of resources specifically relating to the requirements of many standards in the platform.
  • SHS Management Support Portal - this is a resources repository with over 400 online resources/policies/tools/templates to assist with governance, management, operations and administration. It has a more comprehensive set of resources than the SHS Quality Portal, and is designed to assist sector development and overall quality assurance.

Send your questions to the Industry Partnership at project@shssectordev.org.au or phone 8354 7620.