Assessment and rating visit

Assessment and rating fact sheet series

The Department has developed a series of four fact sheets to provide education and care services with information about the assessment and rating process. These fact sheets mirror the stages of the process: the first provides background information about the process, the second provides guidance to the education and care services that will be assessed and rated against the National Quality Standard, the third focuses on the visit to the education and care service and the final fact sheet outlines what happens after the assessment and rating visit has been completed.

  1. Assessment and rating process
  2. Preparing for the assessment and rating visit
  3. Assessment and rating v​isit
  4. After an assessment and rating visit

Who is responsible for the assessment and rating process?

Responsibility for administering the National Quality Framework (NQF) is shared between Regulatory Authorities and the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA). In Victoria the Department of Education and Training (the Department) is the Regulatory Authority.

Authorised officers are responsible for the completion of assessment and rating visits. During an assessment and rating visit, authorised officers assess and rate each education and care service against the National Quality Standard, the National Law and the National Regulations.

These officers have completed a comprehensive national training program and training delivered by the Department to enable them to complete the assessment and rating process in a consistent and reliable manner.

On most occasions authorised officers will conduct assessment and rating visits within their region. There may be occasions where authorised officers will work across regions to ensure assessment and rating of services occurs within nationally-agreed timeframes and targets. In most instances, one authorised officer will complete the assessment and rating visit. Sometimes more than one authorised officer will conduct an assessment and rating visit. This may occur for a range of reasons, including to assist in managing the assessment and rating of large or complex services, or to support the professional learning of authorised officers.

Assessment and rating visit (weeks 5-8)

At the agreed time the authorised officer will arrive at the service. An initial discussion may occur at this time providing an opportunity for the authorised officer to outline the assessment and rating visit process. This discussion provides an opportunity for the key contact person to highlight what is happening in the service, including any unusual events, such as changes to staffing arrangements. If there are any exceptional circumstances that may affect the usual operation of the service, it is a good idea to share this information to assist the authorised officers to understand the circumstances of the service. The authorised officer will inform the key contact of the hours they expect to be at the service and will inform them when they are taking breaks.

During the visit the authorised officer will follow a standard process to gather the evidence required to assess and rate the service. The authorised officer will:

Observe – watch what children, families, educators, co-ordinators and staff members are doing.

Discuss – talk with the key contact person, educators, co-ordinators, family day care educator assistants or staff members about the practices within the service

Sight – look at documentation required by the National Law and National Regulations and other documentation as evidence to support particular practices at the service

At the end of the visit the authorised officer will discuss the next part of the assessment and rating process. At this stage it is not possible to provide an indication of the service's rating.

In a small number of cases, the authorised officer may inform the service of identified issues that the service may be able to address during the visit or shortly after under the minor adjustment policy. The authorised officer may provide a visit summary sheet to outline the identified issue(s). In some instances, the service will be able to address these issues and provide evidence which will be considered in the development of the draft assessment and rating report. For further information on the minor adjustments policy refer to the Guide to Assessment and Rating for Regulatory Authorities available at: ACECQA - Assessment and rating resources.

Draft report

Around three to five weeks after the visit, the approved provider will receive the draft assessment and rating report. Following receipt of the draft assessment and rating report, the approved provider has the opportunity to provide formal feedback to the Department if there are any factual inaccuracies or specific concerns that the approved provider believes would significantly impact on the service's rating. This feedback must be received within 10 working days of the service receiving the draft assessment and rating report and should be completed using the template for Providing feedback on the draft assessment and rating report available on the ACECQA website at ACECQA - Assessment and rating resources.

Note: Evidence can only be considered if it existed at the time of the assessment and rating visit.

Final report

If feedback has been provided, this will be considered in finalising the assessment and rating report and rating; in some instances the service rating may change. In this case the Department will send the final report and final notice of rating around eight weeks after the assessment and rating visit date.

If the approved provider does not have any feedback, the assessment and rating report is automatically considered to be final and the final notice of rating will be sent confirming that the process is complete.

Once received, a 14 day period for requesting a formal review begins. Information about the review process, is provided with the final report. Further information is available on the ACECQA website at: ACECQA - review of rating.

Further information

The Department of Education and Training

Phone: 1300 307 415
Email: licensed.childrens.services@edumail.vic.gov.au
Web: Regulation and Quality Assessment

The Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the national statutory authority governing the National Quality Framework.

Phone: 1300 422 327
Email: enquiries@acecqa.gov.au
Web: Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)