NQF Snapshot – South Australian trends

Childhood educator working with children

NQF Snapshot – South Australian trends

28 June 2024

Every quarter, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) releases a snapshot on how the sector is tracking against the National Quality Framework (NQF), including quality ratings awarded to services approved under the framework.

The NQF Quarter 1 snapshot South Australia summary shows of the NQS Quality Areas: Assessment and planning (1.3); Leadership (7.2); Health (2.1) and Safety (2.2), continue to be the areas most often achieving Working Towards NQS.

Within these Quality Areas, the elements most frequently assessed as ‘not met’ by services are: 

  • Assessment and planning cycle (1.3.1)
  • Program learning opportunities (1.1.3)
  • Critical reflection (1.3.2)
  • Management systems (7.1.2)
  • Development of professionals (7.2.3)
  • Health practices and procedures (2.1.2) and 
  • Supervision (2.2.1)

The ESB will use the monthly newsletter to provide information and guidance on each of these elements over the coming months. This month’s focus is on the Development of Professionals (NQS Element 7.2.3).  

The importance of supporting and developing educators and other staff in their roles as part of a service’s governance and leadership is highlighted in element 7.2.3 of the NQS.  

Approved Providers are responsible for ensuring that each team member’s role and responsibilities are clearly defined, performance is regularly evaluated, and that individualised learning and development plans are in place.  

Performance planning and review ensures that the knowledge, skills and practices of educators and other staff members are current, and that areas requiring further development are addressed.  

Tips for effective performance review include:

  • Provide teams members with up-to-date position descriptions which reflect their role and responsibilities. 
  • Reflect on how effectively the service philosophy, code of conduct, and principles and practices of the Approved Learning Framework align with the position description and performance review system.
  • Document regular performance review discussions, for example: identified strengths, areas for improvement, ongoing feedback provided, individual learning goals and professional development plans for continuous improvement. 
  • Ensure time is given for regular and ongoing communication and reflection with team members, including opportunities to engage in ongoing critical reflection of practice and to receive regular unbiased feedback on performance. 
  • Support educators and staff to play an active role in the process of developing their goals and professional learning plans, this encourages them to take ownership of, and be accountable for their professional development.  
  • Ensure team members are involved in all stages of performance review and there is transparent communication about the process.
  • Provide opportunities for educators to assess their own work performance against their job description, relevant code of ethics and the service’s code of conduct.
  • Address areas that require improvement using a supportive and professional approach by assisting educators and staff members to access opportunities to engage in ongoing learning.  
  • Collect evidence of educators, educational leaders, co-ordinators and staff members participation in professional development activities.

The Guide to the NQF has further information and resources on element 7.2.3 and ACECQA has a relevant factsheet: Quality Area 7: Supporting performance and the development of professionals