Prior to an assessment taking place, digital mental health service providers are encouraged to undertake a self-assessment of their safety and quality systems, using the Commission’s self-assessment tool. By conducting a self-assessment, providers can identify both areas where their organisation meets the standards and areas where improvement is required.
To find out more about conducting self-assessment against the NSQDMH Standards, please read this fact sheet:
Assessment to the NSQDMH Standards is conducted by an accrediting agency approved by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission). When a digital mental health service provider has entered into a contract for services with an accrediting agency of their choice, the assessment process will involve:
- Application – Service providers complete an application for an assessment with an approved accrediting agency.
- Preparation – Service providers implement the NSQDMH Standards and work with their accrediting agency to clarify dates, requirements and arrangements for an assessment.
- Application for not applicable actions – Where relevant, a service provider may apply to their accrediting agency for relevant actions to be rated ‘not applicable’ at assessment.
- Initial assessment – The accrediting agency conducts an initial assessment consisting of:
- Desktop review – A review of evidence submitted by the service provider to demonstrate conformance to the NSQDMH Standards.
- Verification – An assessment, either on-site or virtually, to verify the safety and quality systems described by service provider.
- Exceptions report – The accrediting agency provides a report to the service provider outlining the outcome of the initial assessment including specifying actions that are rated 'not met' or 'met with recommendations' and the reasons for these ratings within 5 business days of the initial assessment.
- Remediation period – Where required, a period of 60 business days is allowed for a service provider to address any areas where the service provider does not comply with the requirements in the NSQDMH Standards.
- Final assessment – For actions that were 'not met' or 'met with recommendations' at the desktop review and verification.
- Outcome and final report – The accrediting agency determines the accreditation outcome based on the final assessment. The agency will deliver a final assessment report within 30 days of completion of the final assessment detailing findings for each action assessed, including suggestions for improvement, and requirements to achieve full compliance on actions that are rated 'met with recommendations'.
- Submission of data – The Commission receives data on assessment outcomes from accrediting agency by the 10th day of each month.
- Registration – The Commission will enter the details of service providers who are Accredited or Working Towards Accreditation on a register of assessed digital mental health service providers. The service provider will receive an accreditation badge to display on the accredited service(s).
- Ongoing monitoring – Service providers continue their monitoring and quality improvement process working to fully implement or continue to comply with the NSQDMH Standards throughout the three-year accreditation cycle.
Detailed information about how assessments are conducted, and rules and policies that apply are outlined in the following section.
For questions and feedback on the NSQDMH Standards please contact the Safety and Quality Advice Centre via AdviceCentre@safetyandquality.gov.au or 1800 304 056.
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