Human Services Quality Standards

This is the quality assurance framework used by several Queensland Departments’ for assessing and promoting improvement in the quality of human services.

human services quality standards


The Human Services Quality Standards apply to organisations funded for delivering community services, child safety services and mental health services across Queensland.

Certification against the Human Services Quality Standards (HSQS) is a three-year cycle involving an initial two-stage certification process and a mid-cycle maintenance audit and a recertification audit at three years. The process also includes:


Stage 1
Stage 2
Certification Audit
18 months
Maintenance Audits


The Stage 1 audit involves a review of documentation by the Audit Team 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 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 comprise auditors who verify 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 of participants’ files and by observing the conduct of activities onsite.

Maintenance Audits

A maintenance audit will be undertaken at least every 18 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 final 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.
  • 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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