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. Read more about the terms:
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 during the NDIS transition period. By 30 June 2019, most organisations will have a significantly smaller QCC service agreement.
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.
Since June 2017 the notification is available through a suite of reports on the OASIS portal. Accessing these reports will serve as your service agreement variation. Further information on how to access the reports and the details of the reports is available on the OASIS website.
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.
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).
Information, education and training
Providers of Information, Education and Training (IET) services do not report client consumption information so a different funding reduction methodology will be applied.
Statewide IET funding will be reduced in the service agreement in three stages between 1 October 2017 and 1 April 2019.
Funding for Regional IET services will be reduced in the service agreement near or at the end of the period in which the service outlet’s region phased into the NDIS. If a service outlet is contracted to deliver services across more than one NDIS phasing region, the funding adjustment will occur at the end of the latter period. Information about the NDIS phasing in Queensland is available at www.ndis.gov.au.
Where an organisation’s IET service model includes related outputs (e.g. counselling/support, information and advocacy), those outputs will be reduced using the same methodology.
Each organisation funded for IET received specific information about the amount and timing of its funding reduction in the offer of contract extension sent in May 2017.
Major and minor home modifications
Funding for major and minor home modifications will be reduced during the transition period at a rate equating to the level of overall contribution from the QCC budget to the NDIS.
Major and minor home modifications outputs will reduce in the service agreement near or at the end of the period in which the home modification service outlet’s region phased into the NDIS. If the service outlet is contracted to deliver services across more than one NDIS phasing region, the funding reduction will occur at the end of the latter period. Information about the NDIS phasing in Queensland is available at www.ndis.gov.au.
Each organisation funded for major and minor home modifications received specific information about the amount and timing of its funding reduction in the offer of contract extension sent in May 2017.
Meals on wheels
Meals on Wheels short-form agreements will not be reduced during the transition.
Contractual requirements during the NDIS transition period
Although the level of contracted outputs will in most cases reduce over the period of the service agreement, organisations continue to be required to deliver the remaining outputs they are contracted for. We will monitor any unused capacity and may adjust service agreements if required.
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 by 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 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 guidance 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.
Organisations wishing to enter into subcontracting arrangements must first seek our approval by completing a Subcontract Request form and submitting it by email to email@example.com.
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) 3097 0106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 , 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 email@example.com.