Program Manager, MOA Benchmarking
Stephanie Whearty is a Program Manager at MOA Benchmarking, managing the NDIS and Dual-Aligned Aged Care and NDIS programs. She received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care from Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland in 2010 and also completed a Bachelor of Behavioural Science at the University of Queensland in 2021. Stephanie worked as a Personal Support Worker in the disability sector for over 6 years. She uses her experiences of working in the sector and her knowledge of the NDIS Practice Standards and the Aged Care Quality Standards to ensure that MOA members receive audits that promote best practice under the relevant requirements.
Juggling Compliance with Multiple Sets of Standards – Challenges and Solutions
On top of significant aged care reform, providers are also juggling compliance with multiple sets of care standards and related regulations. Depending on the type of service, this can mean maintaining compliance with the NDIS Practice Standards, National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards, and Transition Care Programme Guidelines in addition to the Aged Care Quality Standards. While there are necessary differences between care standards, many requirements overlap. This can unnecessarily increase the cost and administrative burden of maintaining compliance, creating barriers to compliance and leaving less time and resources to focus on improving the safety and quality of care.
Using dual compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards and NDIS Practice Standards as a case study, in this presentation I outline the challenges providers face in maintaining compliance with multiple sets of standards in an environment of significant regulatory change. Drawing on data from MOA Benchmarking’s dual-aligned aged care and NDIS audit program, I analyse the differences in compliance levels between aged care-only providers and those delivering services under both the aged care system and the NDIS and outline the benefits to providers of harmonising their approach to compliance in the absence of harmonised care standards. For instance, for MOA’s 208 members on a dual-aligned program, the transition to a dual-aligned approach to aged care and NDIS compliance has meant 32% fewer self-assessment audits per year.
Following this, I provide some strategies management and boards can implement to streamline how they approach multi-standard compliance, whether they manage compliance internally or via third-party quality management systems. Given the upcoming introduction of Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards and anticipated changes to the NDIS Practice Standards following the conclusion of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, now is the opportune time for providers to reassess their approach.