Alcohol and other Drug and Human Services Standard

This standard is for organisations providing human services in the alcohol and other drug sector to ensure that their services are safe, quality, evidence informed and culturally responsive.

Certification against the Alcohol and other Drug and Human Services Standard is a three-year cycle involving an initial two-stage certification process and a mid-cycle audit activity.

The Standard comprises six Performance Expectations which contain twenty-four Performance Objectives and 102 criteria. Criteria that do not apply to your organisation will not be assessed.

The Performance Expectations address:

    • Understanding and responding to community needs and expectations
    • Rights and responsibilities and inclusive practice
    • Evidence informed practice
    • Human resource management
    • Service management
    • Organisational governance.
human services quality standards



The Stage 1 audit involves a review of documentation to determine your organisation’s readiness to proceed to the Stage 2 certification assessment. Your organisation will be provided with advice on areas of potential nonconformity with the standards. These should be addressed prior to the Stage 2 audit. The process may be conducted on or off-site; IHCA Certification will discuss this with you.


The onsite certification audit will be conducted according to a documented audit plan, which will be developed in consultation with your organisation.

The Audit Team will comprise Auditor(s) who verify evidence of conformity:

    • with all requirements of the Standard
    • of your policies, procedures and self-assessment findings against your organisation’s work practices.

The Audit Team will conduct interviews with board, management, staff, service users and other stakeholders as appropriate; will review service user files; and observe the conduct of activities onsite.

Surveillance Assessment

The mid-cycle assessment is undertaken eighteen months after the certification audit. It includes review of your self-assessment to the Standard, and any declared changes that represent risk to continuing safety and quality. The Auditor will review this information and recommend if ongoing certification is appropriate.

An onsite maintenance audit will occur at your organisation’s request, or if IHCA Certification determines it necessary to maintain confidence of continuing conformity to the Standard.

A report will be provided to you with feedback regarding the results of these audits.

Corrective action planning

If any criteria are found to be ‘not met’, your organisation will need to develop a corrective action plan which then needs to be approved by IHCA Certification. The Lead Auditor will advise you on the timeframes for completion of corrective actions at the closing meeting.

Any ‘not met’ criteria that pose health and/or safety risks must be addressed prior to the award of certification.

Formal certification decision and registration

IHCA Certification will provide a written report to your organisation outlining the outcome of the audit.

Your organisation will be formally certified against the Standard if there are no findings of ‘not met’, or where corrective action requirements have been met. Upon certification, your organisation will be issued with a Certificate of Registration confirming your organisation’s conformity to the Standard and the right to use IHCA Certification’s distinctive symbol.

IHCA Certification will also add your organisation’s name to the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JASANZ) Register of Certified Organisations, which is publicly accessible on the JASANZ website:


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