National Standards for Mental Health Services

IHCA Certification is committed to working closely with Mental Health Services in planning the audit, the audit processes, the timing of the audit cycle.

The National Standards for Mental Health Services (NSMHS) accreditation program operates over a three-year cycle including a self-assessment, accreditation audit and mid-point maintenance audit.

human services quality standards


Accreditation decision and registration

IHCA Certification will provide a written report to your organisation, which will be formally accredited against the Standard if there are no ‘not met’ or where corrective action requirements have been met. Upon accreditation, 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.

Corrective Action Planning

The Lead Auditor will explain what follow-up action is required to develop a corrective action plan and ‘close out’ on any not ’not met’ standards. In some instances, we may need to come back on-site to verify completion of your action plan.

Other Standards

Should your organisation hold certification against ISO 9001:2015 or any other standards, you may be able to align your audits which could reduce audit costs and/or impact on the timing of on-site assessments.

 More Information

For more information about the NSMHS, please visit the Commonwealth Department of Health website.


In this process you complete a self-assessment against the National Standards for Mental Health Services (NSMHS) in advance of your on-site audit. We provide you with the self-assessment tool and implementation guidelines. The tool will assist you in developing an improvement plan to address any criteria which are not met. Your completed self-assessment and development plans are provided to us prior to commencement of the on-site audit.

Accreditation Assessment

Along with the self-assessment tool, we require access to your relevant policies and procedures, your organisational structure and staff profile prior to the audit. The Audit Team consists of auditors and technical experts who will review your policies, procedures and records, conduct interviews with board, management, staff, service users and other stakeholders as appropriate and observe the conduct of activities onsite. Where you deliver across a number of sites, the audit team will select a random sample of sites.

At the conclusion of the on-site audit the findings will be presented to your organisation’s management and other interested parties (e.g. staff and service users), in relation to conformity with the Standard’s requirements.

Once the audit is complete the auditors will prepare an accreditation report, which details your performance against the Standards and issue you this report along with an accreditation certificate.

Maintenance Audits

An on-site maintenance audit will be held 18 months after the accreditation audit to ensure accreditation levels are being maintained and the quality of services remain consistent with the Standards. A report will be provided to you with feedback regarding the results of these audits.


We are here to help. Talk to us today about how we can support your organisation in achieving excellence in quality standards and service delivery.