What is a quality management system?

Implementing quality standards

A ‘quality management system’ is any structured and coordinated approach to managing and monitoring quality within an organisation. It is made up of the various processes the organisation has in place to manage, monitor and review the quality of service. And it is the way that these processes are linked to one another to drive performance improvement, that makes them a ‘system’.

Quality management systems can be large, complex and electronic, or small, simple and manual. It all depends on the needs of the organisation – how many services and programs are being run, the level of risk in the types of services provided, and the level of external regulation.

Unfortunately, in many organisations, quality management is often reduced to checking off compliance with external quality standards or requirements. It becomes an administrative chore and may, ironically, even impact negatively on the quality of service provided.

Our take

Quality management is more than just compliance activity. Managing quality should really be about setting up continuous improvement cycles within the organisation that give the governance body and managers a way of:

  • Collecting feedback and other evidence of how well the organisation is performing its role
  • Using external regulations, standards and requirements as guides to good practice
  • Engaging frontline staff in identifying where and how improvements can be made
  • Taking action to improve practice and outcomes
  • Monitoring the impact of improvements

The challenge for community services and health NGOs is to develop and manage the process of quality compliance in a way that really contributes to organisational improvement and service excellence, rather than adding further burden on the administrative infrastructure of the organisation.

Well-designed resources, information and training, as well as a streamlined approach to external requirements, can really support NGOs in meeting this challenge.

People with laptops for quality management system
Blocks with arrows for quality management system

Time to level up your quality management?

We used SPP to prepare for our recent NDIS audit across a range of service areas and it was extremely helpful – to the degree that our auditor said we “exceeded” in several areas! As part of that process, we worked with BNG to build a bespoke internal “Vinnies NDIS” module, to ensure consistency of practices across our many services. We are thrilled with the results and are now using SPP across our whole organisation.
St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW)
Just wanted to let you know we really appreciated your extra effort to get us up-do-date with the new NDIS practice standards. We’ve already received some feedback from our audit, and they were really pleased that we already had a draft guideline to cover High Intensity Daily Personal Activities. Thanks again for your ongoing support – it is appreciated and is making a difference!!
Large multi-service provider, WA
SPP has been a great resource for understanding and mapping Standards, preparing for Audits and also sourcing resources for policy development. I would recommend it to other organisations to complement their quality and compliance work. Information can be easily shared, and evidence gathered to support all work done.
Community mental health service provider, Victoria
I like the speed and ease of SPP, I love how it maps multiple standards. It’s so convenient, I couldn’t imagine the nightmare to do the work manually. The templates are great for gap analysis. SPP resource templates are great for implementing new policies in the office and for what we do day to day.
Large provider of settlement services to immigrants, New South Wales
I have found the SPP system amazing. It provides a structured way to work through the standards and then provide a succinct report on the evidence being provided for a surveyor to view how we meet the standard. I used this in our recent accreditation survey, the auditor was very impressed, AND we are now accredited for ISO 9001. Thanks again. A great system.
Provider of diverse range of health programs, Queensland
We really like SPP. We use the resources in the Reading Room and couldn't have passed our accreditation with flying colours without SPP.
Advocacy, support and education provider, Australian Capital Territory
Everything is going well with SPP. It’s helped us through three lots of accreditation over the past nine months plus some internal auditing, so I’m very glad to have had it to assist us through the processes.
Large regional multi-service provider, Victoria
Thanks Claire, I just wanted to pass on the compliments we received from the NDIS auditors. We gave them access to SPP to audit our documents and they were amazed and thrilled with the platform. It made their job so easy and they were not aware that a platform like this exists. Just wanted to share this feedback. We've been using SPP now for six years, and we are very happy with it.
Home Care and Disability Services Provider, New South Wales
Hi BNG, I love you guys! Thanks for all the updates, they are great!!! I am madly getting ready for audit and couldn’t do it without you.
Community transport provider, New South Wales
Hi James, I'd just like to say that working with you and your colleagues at BNG/SPP has been nothing short of excellent. Your professionalism, the quality of your product and your amazing customer service have been so completely refreshing!
Large provider of homelessness services, Victoria
The portal has really improved our ability to conduct self-assessments, and helped to reduce risk through greater visibility against other accreditation standards. Another terrific benefit is access to all of the templates and evidence guides in the Reading Room, as well as the regular alerts about new resources or industry changes, to make sure we keep up to date.
Baptcare, Victoria
We just had our first certification audit under NDIS Quality Safeguards Standard last week, the auditor loved the portal. Keep up the excellent work!
Large provider of supports to adults with a disability, Victoria
Thanks again for all the amazing support you and the team offer – makes our job so easy having such a stable tool to work on with our clients.
Provider of accreditation and governance services