Exceeding themes workshops

Children interacting with an activity in a childcare center

Exceeding themes workshops

28 May 2024

This month, in partnership with ACECQA, the ESB delivered four workshops to explore Exceeding themes within the National Quality Framework and outlined the impact of the 2018 changes to the Exceeding methodology.

The face-to-face workshops were tailored specifically to services that received an Exceeding rating under the 2012 National Quality Standards (NQS) and provided detail on Exceeding themes to help increase understanding of Exceeding practices and explain the methodology behind each of the NQS quality areas to achieve an Exceeding rating.

ACECQA presenters Rhonda Livingstone (National Education Leader and General Manager, Leadership, Quality and Regulatory Support) and Vanessa Knox-McKay (Manager of Educational Programs and Projects) shared strategies to help services feel empowered in their continuous improvement path towards Exceeding ratings and to confidently articulate and demonstrate high quality practices during an assessment and rating visit.

One strategy discussed was to increase familiarity with the Guide to the National Quality Framework (NQF) and to engage with the number of Exceeding theme guidance resources available on the ACECQA website, located by searching ‘Exceeding’ and also provided below.

ACECQA emphasised that the Guide provides a shared language and source of information for discussing evidence and practice that is authentic and reflects the service context.  

Another tip was that Regulatory Officers use questions from the Guide’s ‘Exceeding NQS guidance’ section to establish Exceeding practice. These questions can also support services in their self-assessment as well as build confidence among staff within services to be able to articulate their ‘why’ and the ‘how’ ahead of Assessment and Rating (A&R) visits. 

ACECQA also presented an overview of the evidence gathering methods ‘Observe, Discuss and Sight’ that Regulatory Officers use, so services can consider how and what they might showcase or share during an A&R visit to demonstrate how the service is Exceeding the standards. 

The workshops included valuable opportunities for interactive group activities unpacking how each of the Exceeding themes is assessed and prompting useful discussion, using case studies to highlight practices that may or may not be Exceeding.