NASASV’s National Standards now live in SPP

The National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence (NASASV) is the peak body for specialist organisations who provide prevention and response services to people who are at risk of, or experience, sexual violence in Australia.

NASASV is committed to “addressing inequalities in society which perpetrate sexual violence whilst working collaboratively with service systems and communities to ensure that prevalence rates of sexual assault reduce”. NASASV’s vision is “to eliminate sexual violence and have a society free of all forms of oppression.”

In 2020-21, NASASV was engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to develop the third edition of the National Standards of Practice Manual for Services against Sexual Violence (the National Standards). The Third Edition supersedes the second, which was produced by NASASV in 2015.

About the specialist sexual violence sector

The National Standards apply to organisations that provide specialist sexual violence services. Working with victim-survivors of sexual violence requires complex and specialised knowledge and experience. Many victim-survivors have experienced multiple forms of abuse or multiple instances of abuse.

There is increasing understanding that the effect of multiple instances of abuse on an individual is cumulative, leading to victim-survivors often facing a range of physical and mental health difficulties. Specialist sexual violence services require knowledge of a range of associated issues, services and systems, some of which include:

  • mental health;
  • alcohol and other drugs;
  • domestic and family violence;
  • sexual health;
  • legal systems, particularly criminal and family law;
  • child protection;
  • relationship issues;
  • social security; and
  • homelessness and housing.

Structure of the Standards

The ten standards in the previous version have been condensed into seven standards in the Third Edition:

  • Valuing access for all clients;
  • Valuing client experience at the service;
  • Valuing sound clinical interventions;
  • Valuing advocacy, collaboration and community engagement;
  • Valuing staff;
  • Valuing a stable organisation, good governance and effective systems; and
  • Valuing innovation and quality improvement.

Each standard sets out the indicators of what needs to be in place for organisations to be “Meeting National Standards”, as well as additional indicators that demonstrate “Exceeding National Standards”.

All specialist sexual violence services should be meeting the National Standards, and organisations that want to work towards best practice can aim to exceed the National Standards. Responsibility for meeting each standard involves the organisation, as well as all staff, including clinical and counselling staff.

Each standard provides significant detail and context for the indicators that are required to demonstrate meeting and exceeding the standard.

Self-assessment now live in SPP!

We have developed seven self-assessments in SPP for NASASV’s National Standards, one for each standard. The seven self-assessments provide ease of management when following the National Standards, and allow you to provide qualitative comments about how you are meeting each standard at a more detailed level.

To take a closer look at the new self-assessments for the National Standards, log in to SPP.  

Want to access NASASV's National Standards?

Update on self-assessments for Victorian providers

Along with all of the national standards that are relevant to Victorian community and health services providers, our SPP platform contains a number of Victorian-specific self-assessments, including for the:

  • Human Services Standards,
  • Victorian Child Safe Standards, and
  • VRQA guidelines for VET providers. 

All of our self-assessments are designed to help organisations to:

  • understand their obligations as simply as possible,
  • monitor their compliance status, and automatically generate gap analysis and improvement plans, as well as
  • create compliance reports and evidence packs for reviewers.

In recent months, we’ve added a number of new Victorian self-assessments into SPP across a range of service areas. This blog post features several key Victorian standards which are new to SPP, and outlines some other Victorian standards that we plan to incorporate over the coming weeks.

Family Violence Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and Management (MARAM) Framework

The MARAM framework assists services to ensure that they are effectively identifying, assessing and managing family violence risk. The framework sets out key principles and elements that should be embedded into policies, procedures, service delivery and practice, and identifies the responsibilities of various organisational areas and staff across the system.

The MARAM framework is supported by a number of resources and tools to guide organisations through their relevant responsibilities under the Framework.

Our self-assessment contains links to the relevant guides, templates and tools, to assist your organisation with implementation of the framework.

Victorian Complaint Handling Standards

These standards are intended to strengthen and improve complaint handling across the health sector, as well as provide consistency for consumers, complainants, health service providers and other stakeholders.

Applies to all Victorian health services

All health services in Victoria are required to meet the complaint handling standards, which came into effect in June 2020.

Self-assessing in SPP

We have incorporated these standards into SPP to assist providers with understanding and meeting their requirements. Self-assessing against the standards will guide organisations through the steps to ensure an effective complaints management system is in place. 

Healthcare that counts framework

The Healthcare that counts framework articulates the role of health services in the early identification of, and effective response to, vulnerable children at risk of child abuse and neglect. 

It promotes collaborative partnerships across all sectors working with vulnerable children and families, to ensure that responsibility for ensuring children’s safety and wellbeing is shared.

Who does it apply to?

All Victorian health services are expected to embed the action areas and performance indicators outlined in the framework into their organisational governance and continuous quality improvement processes, and undertake an annual self-assessment to measure their progress against the framework.

How can SPP help?

We’ve add into SPP a self-assessment for the Healthcare that counts framework, which will enable providers to measure their implementation of, and progress against, the standards.

The self-assessment includes the five action areas to guide improvement, as well as indicators of best practice. Completing the self-assessment will assist health services to improve, sustain and monitor their responses to vulnerable children.

Domestic Violence Victoria Code of Practice

The DV Victoria Code of Practice is designed to enhance the safety of women and children in Victoria, with a model of best practice for services that provide a specialist response to women and children experiencing family violence. 

We are hoping to progress a self-assessment for the Domestic Violence Victoria Code of Practice shortly, so that this can be available in the coming weeks. 

Community Services Quality Governance Framework

The Community Services Quality Governance Framework outlines the principles, domains, roles and responsibilities of quality governance and includes measures of success, and indicators of poor performance.

It is designed for use across a wide range of community services.

We will be adding a self-assessment for these standards into SPP within the next couple of months.   

Need help in other areas?

Our sole focus is to continue to build self-assessments and resources that will simplify and streamline the standards compliance and quality improvement processes of community and health service providers.

Please get in touch if you have suggestions for other resources and self-assessments that could make your life easier!

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You can access these self-assessments and many more in the SPP platform.