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NQF Review proposes to increase fees and allow use of Excellent ratings for 5 years

On page 137 of the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS), the Review of the NQF is proposing to “amend section 155(5) to extend the validity of an ‘Excellent’ rating from a period of 3 calendar years to 5 calendar years”.

The CRIS suggests that this impact “will allow services who achieve this rating to trade on the goodwill associated with the “Excellent” rating for a further 2 years. There will be a reduction in the administrative burden associated with applying for, and producing evidence as part of the ‘Excellent’ assessment process.”

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW is concerned about this proposal and the corresponding increases in fees. It is somewhat ironic that out of 16,414 services across Australia, 33 are rated Excellent as of April 2021, yet there are 1,589 services who are rated Exceeding in all 7 Quality Areas and they are not rated Excellent.

With such a significant disparity, ACECQA’s fees and process to consider applications for Excellent rating appear to have become instead a barrier. It is our proposal that should any service achieve Exceeding in all 7 Quality Areas, then such a service should be automatically rated Excellent without the need for fees or application to ACECQA, and that such a rating be held by the service for a period of no less than 3 years.

ACA NSW has published the following documents that will help Approved Providers and services understand all the issues and assist them with their responses via the NQF Review’s via survey and written submission:

By copying-and-pasting some or all of the Template Response’s content, or developing your own responses, it is nonetheless ACA NSW’s most fervent recommendation that Approved Providers and services submit responses to BOTH channels (ie via the survey as well as the written submission).

Please note that all responses are due by 30 April 2021.

The last two live and interactive sessions where the Review of the NQF can still be discussed are:

And if you require any further information/clarification, please contact ACA NSW via 1300 556 330 or

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