February | 2020
The Education Standards Board has an important role in monitoring that education and care services comply with the law. This role is set out in the Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (SA) (the National Law).
This means our authorised officers regularly visit services to monitor them. These visits can be booked or unannounced. We also provide information and guidance about issues of concern.
We try to monitor services in a way that isn’t too much of a burden. We always try to consider the circumstances of each service.
Purpose of visits
Visits are a learning opportunity for service staff and authorised officers.
Visits provide an opportunity for an authorised officer to:
- monitor a service’s continuous improvement
- address risks associated with the health, safety and wellbeing of children
- provide information and guidance about requirements of the law and regulations
- discuss best practice, with a view to improved outcomes for children
- monitor areas of concern that have arisen from an incident report
- check procedures and documents, e.g. qualifications, that there is a nominated supervisor, etc.
- share information in response to specific questions a service has
- follow up services rated at Working Towards the National Quality Standard and monitor their progress toward Meeting the National Quality Standard before their next assessment
- investigate any complaints we have received.
Our booked and unannounced visits are carried out to:
- ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of children
- improve children’s educational and development outcomes
- promote continuous quality improvement in education and care services.
Connection between monitoring and compliance visits and assessment and rating
An authorised officer will make notes during a monitoring and compliance visit. This will assist us with the next assessment visit or subsequent monitoring visits.
Security and authorisation
All authorised officers:
- have current working with children checks though the Department of Human Services
- have completed authorised officer training
- carry Authority Cards.
An authorised officer will introduce him/herself upon arrival at a service. He/she will ask that the site leader is advised of his/her presence and will have his/her Authority Card available to show you.
An authorised officer can legally:
- enter the service
- obtain information and documents
- observe and inspect any matters relating to the law.
What happens during a monitoring and compliance visit?
Most monitoring and compliance visits are unannounced—unless a person is required for an interview or particular information is required.
Each monitoring and compliance visit may vary. It depends on the purpose of the visit. For example, a visit to provide education and information may provide an opportunity to discuss a planned playground upgrade. A follow-up visit from an assessment and rating may focus on outcomes and improvements since the assessment and rating visit.
What are the responsibilities of services during an unscheduled visit?
During unannounced visits, service educators and providers are asked to:
- focus on their responsibilities for children as the first priority
- cooperate with authorised officers
- respond to questions that are asked
- provide documents as requested, e.g. evidence of staff training or qualifications
- take the opportunity to ask questions about aspects of the National Quality Framework.
If unable to attend to questions/requests of authorised officers at the time of the visit, nominated supervisors are asked to explain this to the authorised officers. They should make alternative arrangements to meet visit requirements so that there is minimal impact to service delivery.
What happens after the visit?
Depending on the type of monitoring and compliance visit, services can expect a letter after the visit. This will include a summary of the conversations and observations of any matters requiring attention. Matters of non-compliance will be managed and recorded as a breach on our IT system.
The Guide to the NQF is available on the ACECQA website. It contains clear and detailed information about compliance monitoring.
Education Standards Board
Phone: (08) 8226 0077 or 1800 882 413
Email: educationstandardsboard [at] sa.gov.au
This fact sheet provides guidance for approved providers of education and care services to help them operate in line with the National Quality Framework. We also recommend referring directly to the legislation:
- Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Act 2011 (SA), incorporating the Education and Care Services National Law (South Australia)
- Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
- Education and Early Childhood Services (Registration and Standards) Regulations 2011 (SA).