Evidence Guide for Business Services Workbook
What evidence do you need to collect?
Evidence should always have a purpose – there must be a reason why it's being collected. For example, you may need evidence to:
- support financial claims in your budget
- demonstrate compliance with a required process, such as the Disability Services Standards
- support a decision or assessment you've made, such as the DMI, a workplace assessment, or a wage assessment.
Collecting evidence that has no purpose wastes time and resources. It also increases the risk of breaching client rights.
Business services sometimes collect personal information about clients and their needs, such as toileting needs, so they can receive appropriate support in the workplace. This has to be carefully balanced with a client's right to privacy and dignity. Organisations should only collect evidence that's required, and nothing more.
There are two types of evidence requirements:
Internal requirements include all evidence or information that's collected for the organisation's own use. Examples may include general administration information, day-to-day operational information, training assessments, and equipment adjustment data.
External requirements include all evidence or information that's collected to meet requirements coming from outside the organisation. Examples include the evidence required to show compliance with the 12 Disability Services Standards, and evidence for the DMI.
You should be very clear about what evidence you need to collect, for both internal and external requirements. It's important for two reasons:
- you can ensure there are systems and procedures in place to effectively capture all evidence required
- evidence is collected as efficiently as possible – in other words, there's no unnecessary doubling up, or evidence or information collected that's not relevant or required.
Business services collect and store lots of information to meet internal and external requirements. For example, in a client's file there may be:
- employment plans
- behaviour management plans
- DMI assessments
- training plans and assessments
- professional reports
- pro-rata wage assessment and pay slips.
All of these documents will contain recorded data that may be of use as evidence. But it's important not to consider each one in isolation. The evidence in one document may meet a number of internal or external requirements. In other words, one piece of evidence can be used for a number of purposes. Look at the example that follows.
A client has a behaviour management plan. The information in the plan is used as evidence for:
- KPI2.3 of the 12 Disability Services Standards, Services are delivered to meet each individual's employment goals through pathways and plans that do not have any unnecessary restrictions or constraints.
It is evidence that the organisation has:
- management strategies in place to support people with behavioural support needs
- given consideration to cultural/linguistic issues (the client is from a non-English speaking background), and their plan clearly identifies cultural issues that may have an impact on the plan.
- the Social and Behavioural Assistance domain of the client's DMI assessment. In particular, it provides evidence for the following assessment items:
Over the past 3 months, what level of assistance has this service provided to enable the worker to:
- (d) control anger and frustration appropriately
- (f) maintain a positive outlook and mood most of the time
- (h) display emotions appropriate to the situation
- (j) address attitudinal barriers, for example, difficulty in dealing with authority figures and difficulty accepting direction.
This is a good example of streamlining information. One piece of evidence is used to support a number of evidence requirements. This means efficiencies for the organisation, in terms of time and resources and you should streamline evidence collection and use, wherever possible. To assist this process, conduct a mapping exercise. This will identify current streamlining, as well as opportunities for additional streamlining. A mapping exercise will also produce a handy document for audits (it should be clear where evidence to meet audit requirements is located).
A mapping exercise is a four step process:
In a 'real' mapping exercise, you would map all the evidence you collect against all internal and external requirements. However, the following table is a snapshot of what a mapping exercise focused on the Disability Services Standards and DMI could look like.
|Evidence||Internal and external requirements||Match evidence with requirements||Further opportunities|
|Client training records||
||Disability Services Standards
||There is no recorded client feedback on the training they receive (KPI 10.1 – Consumer perceptions). |
Response: The trainer will collect feedback at the end of all training sessions, by using a simple questionnaire. The questionnaire will be signed by the client or their advocate, and placed in the client's training records.
NOTE: Training records could contain relevant evidence for all of the Domains (if training has been conducted in previous 3 months).