Apply to become an accredited statutory out-of-home care or adoption service provider

Last update: 06 January 2023

Information about the process agencies must follow to become an accredited provider of statutory out-of-home care or adoption services in NSW.

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    Two types of accreditation

    There are 2 types of accreditation for providing statutory out-of-home care or adoption services in NSW. Agencies that are not already accredited must first apply for provisional accreditation before progressing to full accreditation.

    Provisional accreditation is for 3 years duration, full accreditation can be for 1, 3 or 5 years.

    Provisional accreditation

    Agencies apply for provisional accreditation if:

    • they are not currently accredited, or 
    • they haven’t made any arrangements to provide statutory out-of-home care or adoption services in the past 12 months or longer. 

    Before an agency can be accredited, it must provide us with indirect evidence to show how it will comply with each of the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care (PDF).

    After the agency is provisionally accredited and its first statutory out-of-home care placements or adoption work begins, it must notify us and demonstrate through its practice, how it complies with each of the standards, through direct evidence.

    Read more about the types of evidence we assess.

    Full accreditation

    An agency can apply for full accreditation if:

    • it is currently accredited and that accreditation is due for renewal, and
    • it has provided statutory out-of-home care or adoption services within the past 12 months.

    If an agency’s accreditation is due for renewal, but it hasn’t provided statutory out-of-home care or adoption services for more than 12 months, it is eligible to apply for provisional accreditation only.

    Direct evidence and compliance

    If your agency is applying for full accreditation, it must demonstrate how it is complying with the standards through direct evidence of its service delivery practice. However, you should keep any indirect evidence such as policies and procedures current in case assessors require it during assessments.

    Prior to assessment, your agency will need to prepare and submit an Evidence Index. The Evidence Index should detail the location of direct evidence which shows your agency’s compliance against each standard criteria. Information about how to complete the Evidence Index is available in the Accreditation Guide.

    During the assessment, you’ll be asked to detail how your agency regularly reviews its practice, policies and procedures, updating these to reflect changes in best practice and law.

    If non-compliance is identified during assessment, we’ll provide feedback outlining areas for improvement. It’s your agency’s responsibility to review feedback provided and to implement changes to practice, policies and procedures that demonstrate compliance with the standards.

    When there is evidence of consistent and compliant practice and systems, the agency will be assessed as meeting the standards.

    Applying for provisional accreditation

    The accreditation process requires significant commitment, both in time and resources. Before deciding to apply for provisional accreditation, you should first make sure you have a full understanding of the accreditation process and requirements to comply with the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care.

    We are experiencing a high volume of applications for accreditation and there may be delays in assessing applications from new providers seeking provisional accreditation. Applications from agencies providing services that meet a gap in the service system will be prioritised.

    If your agency is seeking provisional accreditation or making an application enquiry, you need to contact our Accreditation and Monitoring team. We’ll provide you with information about accreditation requirements, the application and assessment process and timeframes for these. You can contact the Accreditation and Monitoring team by email or call (02) 8219 3796. 

    The Accreditation Self Assessment Tool provides a guide for assessing your agency’s policies, procedures and practices against the NSW Child Safe Standards for Permanent Care, including identifying areas that will need significant improvement.

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