Service agreements, standards and guidelines for Community Care
Service Agreements and Short Form Agreements
Most organisations delivering Community Care services enter into a Service Agreement with us, with a few exceptions entering into a Short Form Agreement. The Community Care Service Agreement comprises 2 parts:
- Service Agreement – Standard Terms
- Service Agreement – Funding and Service Details for Community Care.
The Service Agreement is part of the streamlined Standard Suite of Contracts developed by us to support our commitment to reducing red tape. The suite provides the standard terms and conditions for all social services funding across the Queensland Government.
The agreement is shorter and clearer than previous versions and is designed to simplify the contracting process for our service delivery partners and support improved service delivery.
Meals on Wheels providers enter into a Short Form Agreement, which comprises 2 parts:
Changes due to the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is progressively rolling out across Queensland. It is anticipated around 50% of current QCC service users will be eligible for the NDIS and transition to the new scheme, becoming ineligible for QCC-funded services in the process.
QCC services will continue for people who are not eligible for the NDIS.
Impacts on service funding
As QCC funding will be part of the Queensland Government’s contribution to the NDIS, funding in QCC service agreements will reduce.
From the date a current QCC service user – someone who received a QCC service in the previous quarter – receives an approved NDIS plan, the service agreement will in most cases reduce by the cost of the user’s service consumption over the previous 4 quarters. This amount is calculated by multiplying the service units the user has consumed (as reported in the MDS) by the contracted unit price. If an organisation is using the flexibility provisions in the service agreement to provide unfunded outputs, a state-wide average unit price will be applied.
The adjusted funding amount will continue to be paid in advance quarterly through the normal payment cycle.
Any unused, pre-paid quarterly funding associated with the user will be retrieved via deduction from the next quarterly payment (short-pay). This amount is calculated by dividing the cost of the user’s service consumption over the previous 4 quarters by 365 to give a daily rate, then multiplying by the number of days left in the quarter from the date of the approved NDIS plan.
Once a service user has transitioned to the NDIS, they cannot be replaced with a new QCC service user. If a service user exits a QCC service for another reason (e.g. moves away, turns 65), the provider may offer services to a new user.
If your organisation is funded through a Disability Services service agreement, funding through this agreement will also be reduced. Find out more.
Once the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has advised the department of new NDIS participants, the department will then notify organisations of any current service users who have transitioned to the NDIS and the resulting changes to their service agreement, including pre-paid amounts to be retrieved. This notification will occur monthly and serve as the service agreement variation.
The notification may be provided up to 8 weeks after the date on which a service user receives an approved NDIS plan, so it's crucial for service providers to communicate regularly with their clients.
In April 2017 we will be trialling a new notification process through the OASIS portal. Further information will be provided as the trial progresses.
We will soon provide information about a different reduction process that will apply to providers of Information, Education and Training (IET), Home Modifications, and Goods and equipment services.
For providers of Transport services, the funding reduction calculation uses the ‘actual’ rather than contracted unit price. The price is determined by dividing the provider’s total funding for transport by the number of trips delivered to all service users over the previous 4 quarters (as reported in the MDS).
Meals on Wheels short-form agreements will not be reduced.
Human Services Quality Framework
The Human Services Quality Framework (HSQF) is our quality system and contains the Human Services Quality Standards (HSQS). All Community Care services must be delivered in compliance with the HSQS unless we notify otherwise.
Community Care providers will usually be required to demonstrate or provide evidence that the Community Care services are being delivered in compliance with the HSQS. There are 2 main methods for this process:
- self-assessment using a template provided us, or
- provide evidence of other relevant current accreditation or certification e.g. accreditation against the Australian Government’s Home Care Standards.
Appendix 1 of the HSQF and Section 4 of the Service Agreement – Funding and Service Details for Community Care provide detail of the compliance requirements.
Meals on Wheels providers are not required to demonstrate compliance with quality standards.
Queensland Community Care Manual
The Queensland Community Care Services Manual (PDF, 834KB) (DOCX, 161KB) provides information about:
- the intent of the program
- guiding principles for Community Care service delivery
- eligibility and access criteria
- the assessment process
- services offered
- funding arrangements and reporting requirements
- organisations’ responsibilities.
The manual includes g0uidance on the interface between the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Queensland Community Care. A person who is assessed as eligible for the NDIS will not be eligible for Queensland Community Care Services.
Geographic Catchment Areas
Geographic Catchment Areas are generally used in service agreements to identify where funded services will be delivered.
The use of the ABS Statistical Areas (SAs) is the preferred way of describing the Geographic Catchment Area. Community Care Service Agreements no longer identify geographic catchment areas using Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Organisations may subcontract the delivery of Community Care services but we would generally expect such an arrangement to be in response to a short-term need and not a standard or long-term practice, with a few exceptions such as home maintenance services or for remote service delivery.
For more information about subcontracting, see section 5.1.6 of the Queensland Community Care Services Manual (PDF, 834KB) (DOCX, 161KB).
Under the Service Agreement – Standard Terms, organisations must notify us of any changes to the details listed in their Funding and Service Details. Some changes in corporate structure or entity status can affect contractual arrangements with us and may require our approval, so it is important to contact your Community Care Contract Manager before initiating any changes on phone (07) 3109 7003 or email.
Geographic catchment areas
Geographic catchment areas are generally used in service agreements to identify where funded services will be delivered. The use of the ABS Statistical Areas (SAs) is the preferred way of describing the Geographic Catchment Area. Community Care Service Agreements no longer identify geographic catchment areas using Local Government Areas (LGAs).
Asset management guidelines exist to ensure all assets provided to organisations for the delivery of Community Care services are properly identified, recorded, managed and protected from loss or damage.
Every Community Care service user has the right to lodge a complaint about the service they have received. In the first instance, complaints should be directed to the organisation providing the service, to give them a chance to fix the problem. If the client's complaint is not resolved to their satisfaction by the Community Care service provider, they may wish to have the complaint dealt with by the Central Complaints and Review Unit who can be contacted by phone 1800 080 464 or email.
A guide to making a complaint is a document that providers can give to their clients to explain the complaints process.