Systematic continuous quality improvement underpins the Standards Development and Accreditation Programme and the Standards. Quality is viewed as the result of a way of thinking and working rather than a single event or set of events leading to accreditation. There is an expectation, therefore, that all participating organisations will have embedded, or be in the process of embedding quality into their everyday work practices.
Te Wana has a constitutional commitment to actively engage in and promote a partnership model. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is the “whariki” (woven mat) upon which true partnership which implies full participation and active protection is developed, therefore Te Wana has specific treaty standards to be used with the programme.
A standard is defined as a desirable and achievable goal against which actual performance is measured. The Standards in both the QIC and AAA-NZ Core Modules relate to the infrastructure and functions of an organisation – its leadership and governance, workplace environment, approach to planning and relationships with stakeholders and service users.
The themes and wording of the standards are designed to facilitate a culture of reflection and learning, a systems approach to self assessment, continuous improvement, consultation with individuals and communities, a shared strategic vision and effective communication processes.
The standards are written with an outcomes orientation and a specific focus on systems. That means that there is a stronger emphasis on the actual results gained than on structure and procedures. Definitions of the key terms and concepts in each of the standards are provided.
A systems approach is used to determine whether Standards are met. A system is defined as a comprehensive and integrated approach to fulfilling an organisational function, that is, it covers all major related elements, and uses a consistent and linked way of organising those elements.
The Core Modules are applicable to most organisations but especially so for those with health and/or community based service delivery. Other Standards Modules specific to sectors, such as primary health care, mental health and non government service and advocacy agencies complement the Core Module.
Why use Standards?
Standards aim to promote quality outcomes for service providers and their consumers and to enable evaluation, accountability and quality improvement. Whilst their purpose is to develop a consistent, high level of quality care across the sector, they do not seek to impose uniformity, discourage innovation or set a minimal level of acceptable quality.
Standards may be used in a number of ways including:
- To develop the culture of a learning organisation
- To establish a quality programme for the service
- To give guidance for service development
- To provide a detailed assessment of the operations of the organisation and its services
- As a management tool to plan and evaluate services
- As a pathway to external accreditation
The Standards Modules (QIC and AAA-NZ)
The QIC module is organised into the following manner:
There are two perspectives represented in Section 1. There is a choice within the section for organisations that specifically identify as Kaupapa Māori Services and another for all other organisations.
CORE Section 1: Te Tiriti o Waitangi
CORE Section 1: The Treaty of Waitangi
CORE Section 2: Building Quality Organisations
CORE Section 3: Delivering Quality Services and Programmes
CORE Section 4: Sustaining Quality Relationships
These four sections are generic to all organisations regardless of the core business or service type.
There is a statement of intention for each section designed to illustrate the underlying principles for the section.
Each section has a number of standards with a list of evidence questions for the standard. The evidence questions are not meant to define the extent of assessment for the standard, but to guide the organisation towards reflective thinking about their process and outcomes.
The AAA-NZ module is organised into the following manner:
The foundation set of standards is the Quality Strategies for Success Module, covering organisational infrastructure and the relationship between the organisation, its services and programmes and community.
They are based on universal quality characteristics that are common to the many and varied types of quality and accreditation programmes. These are:
Stakeholder Focus: That organisations base their activities on understanding, meeting and even exceeding the requirements and expectations of customers and other stakeholders.
Leadership: That organisations demonstrate vision and leadership by developing a strategic vision and direction that encourages innovation, explicitly meets service requirements and models collaborative relationships.
Teamwork: That organisations create a culture which encourages staff involvement in improvement initiatives and decision-making, and that delegates responsibility and authority appropriately.
Informed Decisions: That decisions on all processes and activities are based on knowledge gained through the collection and analysis of meaningful data.
Systems Focus: That consistent and high quality services come from processes that are understood, documented, measured and known to be able to deliver the desired result.
Continuous Improvement: That the organisational culture and systems supports the monitoring and improvement of performance including the maintenance of professional standards and competence.