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Disability Employment Services Performance to Be Rated on Scorecards

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The Australian government will today unveil new scorecards for disability employment services to increase the chances of employment.

Labor is set up to unveil a new scorecard system for disability employment services.

The Disability Employment Services (DES) Performance Framework and Scorecards will come into effect across the nation, with standards set for disability employment service providers.

There are 5.5 million Australians with disability—2.7 million of whom are of working age.

The framework will monitor, measure, and drive continuous improvement of DES providers against an agreed set of key performance measures.

It will be supported by scorecards, which will report provider performance against all measures of the framework every quarter.

Providers will be given a score out of three for each domain and measure of the framework.

The system will help DES participants, their families, and carers to make more informed choices on employment services.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the Performance Framework will help drive a high-performing DES program that delivers real and meaningful employment outcomes for Australians with disability.

“The new performance framework and scorecards will give providers, employers and participants, as well as the general public, a very clear picture of what is expected of DES services and how providers are stacking up,” Ms. Rishworth said.

“We want DES providers to be striving to ensure jobseekers with disability are informed, supported and getting the best services possible.”

Ms. Rishworth said the scorecards would improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of DES providers.

“By publicly releasing performance scorecards and working with providers, we will enhance transparency and accountability in the program, and ensure providers are delivering high quality, effective services and are committed to continual improvement,” she said.

“Participants will be able to check accessible scorecards that will show what services DES providers offer and how they rate for quality and effectiveness, helping them make an informed choice when selecting their provider.”

The new performance framework is firmly outcomes-focused, measuring not only the quality of services but also how successfully providers support participants to find and stay in employment or complete training and education.

The performance framework will replace the previous systems of evaluation for DES providers—the 2018 DES Performance Framework, Star Ratings and the current Interim Performance Measures.

Guiding Principles of the Framework

Nine categories will comprise the framework that will determine DES providers’ scores.

They include being “person-centred,” transparent and accurate, inclusive and responsive.

There will also be requirements for support services to promote providers that fall into those categories.

Services are expected to be equitable and accessible, ensuring timely provision, and meeting goals and needs.

Providers will also be required to be focused on sustained outcomes and continuous improvement.

Accountability will be required from DES providers and they must work on being flexible and collaborative.

Administrative burdens will also be relieved as part of the plan, according to the government.

Industry With an Embattled Past

In February 2022, the disability royal commission examined the effectiveness of the DES program after witnesses told the enquiry they were often placed in meaningless work with poor resources.

A scheduled performance review in the same year led to 52 DES providers being dumped by the government.

A review of the DES program was extended until 2025.

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