human services quality standards

Disability Employment and Supported Employment Services

This standard applies to organisations that receive Commonwealth funding for programs administered by the Department of Social Services for disability employment and supported employment services.

Certification against the National Standards for Disability Services – Disability Employment / Supported Employment Services (DES/SES) is a three-year cycle involving an initial two-stage audit process and two annual surveillance audits.

An Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) is a form of Supported Employment Service (SES); Disability Management Services (DMS) and Employment Support Services (ESS) are both forms of Disability Employment Service (DES).

DMS are services for job seekers with disability, injury or health conditions who require the assistance of a disability employment/enterprise service but are not expected to need long-term support in the workplace.

ESS is a service for job seekers with permanent disability, and with an assessed need for more long-term, regular support in the workplace.



The initial certification is conducted as a two-stage process.

The Stage 1 audit involves a review of documentation to determine your organisation’s readiness to proceed to the Stage 2 certification audit.

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.

Certification Audit

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

The audit team will involve a lead auditor and a consumer technical expert. They will assess your organisational work practices by reviewing your policies, procedures and records; conducting interviews with board, management, staff, service participants and other stakeholders as appropriate; review participants’ files; and observe the conduct of activities onsite.

Surveillance Audits

Surveillance audits will be undertaken every 12 months to ensure that your organisation’s work practices are being maintained and that they are being periodically monitored and reviewed to ensure continuous improvement. A report will be provided to you with feedback regarding the results of these audits.

Corrective action planning

Where a nonconformity is identified, your organisation will need to develop a corrective action plan before being eligible for certification. The lead auditor will advise your organisation on the timeframes for corrective action at the closing meeting.

Formal certification decision and registration

IHCA Certification will provide a written report to your organisation, which will be formally certified against the Standard if there are no nonconformities or where corrective action requirements have been met. Upon certification, your organisation will be issued with a certificate confirming your organisation’s conformance to the standards and the right to use IHCA Certification’s distinctive symbol in promotional activities. Your report will be uploaded to the Department of Social Services online funding management system.

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:

Quality and safeguarding arrangements for SES have now transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


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