Human Service Quality Framework (HSQF)

Implement a clear, well-developed quality improvement strategy, while improving care provided for your consumers in Queensland

What is HSQF certification?

The Queensland Government's Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS) commenced the development of the Human Services Quality Framework (the HSQF) in collaboration with the human services sector in 2009. In 2013 the HSQF was implemented as an inclusive system for assessing and improving the quality of all human services across the state.

The HSQF incorporates:

  • A set of quality standards that cover the core elements of human services delivery
  • An inclusive assessment process to measure the performance of service providers against the standards
  • An independent third-party certification, annual self-assessment or recognition of accreditation under another approved quality system, and
  • A continuous improvement framework that supports the participation of people who use services in quality improvement.

The HSQF allows organisations, striving to demonstrate continuous improvement, to focus their resources on service provision. The HSQF is designed to reduce duplication and red tape while maintaining the important safeguards for people who use services and provide public confidence to the whole community.

Looking to get started with your HSQF certification? View our article, or watch our free webinar!

"Micah Projects made the transition to QIP Certifications after many years of being with another certification body. Justin made this process seamless and supported us throughout the entire process from finalising our contract with our former certifier to leading the combined audits. We under underwent certification against ISO 9001:2015 and the Human Services Quality Framework Standards. Justin understood our organisational need to have minimal disruption to our services and provided solutions that allowed us to focus on continuing our operations and also undergoing an auditing process.

The transition for our organisation was seamless, the audit process was managed well with through planning, the portal for the self-assessment was easy to use, the process of selection of auditors allowed us to have a choice and the quality of the audit reports were of high value. Justin has been available to answer questions, provided a problem-solving approach and demonstrated a high level of knowledge of the standards with the ability to translate in our organisational language."

Jo Bennet, Quality and Risk Manager
Micah Projects

"We developed a great partnership with QIP Certifications and their dedication to providing us with support services was exemplary.

We appreciated their attention to detail, collaborative approach and their understanding of our unique client needs.

The QIP Certifications team has a wealth of knowledge, strong customer focus and was a pleasure to work with."

Claire Stokes, Director
Griffith Health Clinics

"QIP Certifications employees were helpful, in particular Justin Welfare who endeavoured to make the process as clear and easy as possible. He was prompt in responding to requests and always returned calls and was a pleasure to work with.

The auditor, Denise Skerry was also helpful and no question was too difficult for her to respond clearly. We enjoyed working with her.

The team's flexibility around two consecutive audits was appreciated and there was a clear process to address minor non-conformity."

Leonie Shawcross and Helga Biro
The Junction Cairns

Do you have question about the Human Services Quality Framework?
Ask a member of our team.

The Human Service Quality Framework (HSQF) is designed for the Queensland (QLD) human services sector, to assess and promote continuous quality improvement. They provide a clear, well-developed quality improvement strategy, while improving the care provided for consumers.

QIP Certifications is proudly accredited by JAS-ANZ as an HSQF certification body specialising in human service certification against the HSQF.

With the shared experience of our parent organisation QIP, QIP Certifications provides industry-leading software to manage your journey against the HSQF.

Our team believes that personal experience is crucial to the success of continuous quality improvement. With auditors tailored to each organisation, and a QIP Certifications Client Liaison Officer, your team is supported through your entire certification journey.

The Human Services Quality Standards (HSQS)

The standards set a benchmark for service provision and cover six core elements:


Governance and management

Sound governance and management systems that maximise outcomes for stakeholders.



Sound eligibility, entry and exit processes facilitate access to services on the basis of relative need and available resources.


Responding to individual need

The assessed needs of the individual are being appropriately addressed and responded to within resource capacity.


Safety, wellbeing
and rights

The safety, wellbeing and human and legal rights of people using services are protected and promoted.


Safety, wellbeing
and rights

Effective feedback, complaints and appeals processes that lead to improvements in service delivery.



Effective human resource management systems, including recruitment, induction and supervisory processes.

Is HSQF relevant to your organisation?

The HSQF applies to a range of human services organisations across Queensland including:

  • Organisations funded to deliver human services under service agreements, or other specified arrangements, with the Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors and the Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.
  • Organisations funded by Queensland Health who have been advised that they may use the Human Services Quality Standards to meet Queensland Health quality certification requirements.
  • Organisations funded to deliver child protection placement services in-scope of licensing under an Individual Client Service agreement with DCSYW Child Related Costs Placement and Support (CRC-PAS).
  • Other organisations who apply to and are approved by the HSQF team.
  • Organisations funded by the Queensland Government Department of Housing and Public Works who use a modified version of the standards for its Specialist Homelessness Services.

To achieve certification, organisations must demonstrate compliance with the standards.

QIP Certifications provides certification against the HSQF and is committed to creating a value adding experience for service providers throughout their certification process.

New HSQF client certification process

QIP Certifications specialise in HSQF across the  human services sector of QLD to all organisations and offer a transparent approach to certification. This consists of a three-year cyclic process of internally led self-assessment followed by independent external assessment aimed at facilitating quality service provision.

Step 1: Enquiry and Application

Make an enquiry and apply to become certified against the Human Services Quality Framework HSQF via our Client Application Form.

We will review your application and get in touch to determine any specific needs relevant to your organisation. Understanding your organisation and your approach to quality is essential in providing a personalised certification service which truly adds value to your organisation.

Following, we will provide a quotes detailing our approach to your certification and outline the cost and time involved in the formal assessment.

Step 2: Self-assessment

You’ll be provided with a self-assessment to complete. AccreditationPro is QIP Certifications' complimentary self-assessment tool and will assist in achieving audit readiness.

Step 3: Pre-Audit Planning

Pre-Audit Planning consists of:

  • Consultation with you to develop your Audit Programme, Audit Plan and choose your Audit Team
  • We work together to decide the Audit dates,
  • Our Audit Team come to you and evaluate your business.

We will ensure the auditors assigned have the relevant sector experience necessary to enable a thorough value-adding assessment. By doing so, our auditors will better identify improvement opportunities, including the development of a 'quality culture' and possible areas of risk/concern.

Step 4: Independent Evaluation

The independent evaluation is broken into two stages:

Stage 1 (Only for clients that have not been certified before)

The aim of the Stage 1 Audit is to ensure your organisation is ready for the Stage 2 certification audit. Our carefully matched sector-experienced auditors will conduct an Desktop or on-site review of how well your organisation meets the requirements of the Standards. This will involve an audit of your documentation associated with your service delivery under HSQF .

Following the Stage 1 Audit, you'll receive a report outlining the auditors’ feedback of what’s being done well and any areas of concern or opportunities for improvement.

From stage 1 you have Approx. 90 days to complete Stage 2.

Stage 2 Certification Audit

The Stage 2 Certification Audit involves an on-site assessment of your main office and a sample of your other sites, if applicable.

At this Audit we will interview your Executive (Governance) and other staff, your service delivery, and review customer feedback, compliments, and complaints.

After this Audit is conducted, the Auditors will prepare a Audit report for submission to QIP Certifications. You'll receive a draft report for review. The report outlines any opportunities for improvements or non-conformities found for your organisation to effectively comply with the standards.

Your organisation is then provided the opportunity to clarify and respond to the report or complete a corrective action plan for approval if required.

Step 5: Certification

Once we receive this feedback from you regarding your draft report, an impartial Decision Making Team review your report and decide on your certification.

We will provide your organisation with a certificate of registration, the QIP Certifications Mark and other tools to promote this achievement to your stakeholders.

Certification is for a period of three years from the date of the certification decision.

Step 6: Maintenance Audits

A Maintenance audit is required 18 months after certification.

Once every three years post the certification assessment, a full re-certification assessment is required.

At maintenance you will again receive a draft report for you to review that outlines any opportunities for improvements or non-conformities found for your organisation to effectively comply with the standards.

Your organisation is then provided the opportunity to clarify and respond to the report or complete a corrective action plan for approval if required.

How do I transfer my healthcare organisation's current HSQF certification?

Transferring your existing HSQF certification to QIP Certifications is a quick and straightforward process. If you've made the decision to transfer your HSQF certification from another provider, simply need to follow the steps below:

Interested in certifying with us?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.