Department of Human Services

About the program

The Australian Service Excellence Standards program is owned and administered by the Department of Human Services (South Australia) and is available nationally to all non-government organisations of any size, type, and sector.

ASES adopts an incremental approach to achieving accreditation.

The first phase is a STARservice health Check with an optional recognition process.

The second phase covers practice and system fundamentals in the ASES Certificate level.

The third phase is the ASES Award level, which is designed for organisations seeking leadership in their sector.

Both STARservice and ASES accreditation is a ‘whole of organisation’ assessment where the STARservice Recognition and ASES Accreditation last for three years.

On this page

Our Purpose

Our Key Partners

Our Code of Ethics

Our Principles

The Service Excellence Star

International accreditation with the International Society for Quality in Health Care External Evaluation Association (IEEA)

More information

How Standards are Developed

ASES Development Process

ASES Governance Structure


Our Purpose

Helping organisations:

  • to deliver better services to improve consumer outcomes.
  • to support the commissioning process.
  • to provide a vehicle for sector development initiatives and
  • to mitigate risks.

Our Key Partners

Our key partners are:

  • the thirteen panel members on the Department of Human Services Quality Assurance External Assessor Panel.
  • The New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice
  • South Australian Housing Authority and Department of Child Protection.
  • New South Wales Industry partner for Homelessness
  • South Australian peak bodies.

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Our Code of Ethics

ASES follows a strict code of ethics.

We respect a service user’s right to be or not to be involved, their right to confidentiality and privacy regarding their decisions.

We promote feedback mechanisms to service providers and participating service users.

We consider service users’ needs by

  • Ensuring that people with disability and their support persons receive timely, detailed information about the External Assessment process
  • Promoting their participation and authority in roles where their input and feedback is valued and used in a positive and constructive manner
  • Encouraging genuine participation - External Assessment methods rely on this.

During the External Assessment

  • Selection procedures appropriately address the different requirements of each organisation
  • All service users have the right and opportunity to be involved and consulted
  • Service users have the right not to be involved
  • Service users’ confidentiality and privacy are respected, and
  • Service users have the right to advocacy and support

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Our Principles

ASES is based on the following organisational principles:

  1. Customer and outcome focus
  2. Clear direction with accountability
  3. Continuous learning and innovation
  4. Valuing people and diversity
  5. Working collaboratively
  6. Sound governance
  7. Strong financial and contractual stewardship
  8. Data and knowledge management inform evidence-based decision making
  9. Social, environmental, and ethical responsibility.

ASES is founded on a set of principles to ensure our focus is to improve outcomes for our most vulnerable children, youth, families, and remote communities.

How Standards are Developed

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The Service Excellence Star

Where you see this star, you can be confident:

  1. In the services being centred on consumers achieving outcomes and where people are listened to, respected and are supported, and where they feel informed, included and have choices to suit their needs and improve the quality of their lives.
  2. In the accountability and sound governance from the leadership team to ensure the best services are delivered and for long term viability.
  3. The organisation values people and diversity and does this by supporting staff, clients and families and providing a flexible environment and working towards everyone's capability strengths.
  4. There are collaborative work practices in place to strengthen relationships between families, employees, and other stakeholders.
  5. The organisation fosters continuous learning and innovation as this key value supports continuous service quality improvement.
  6. The organisation uses data to make evidence-based decision making and to inform practices for service improvement leading to long term viability.
  7. The organisation is committed to Corporate Social Responsibility by being ethically, socially, and environmentally responsible.

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International accreditation with the International Society for Quality in Health Care External Evaluation Association (IEEA)

ASES has achieved international accreditation.

The Australian Service Excellence Standards’ maintains its international accreditation with the International Society for Quality in Health Care External Evaluation Association (IEEA). The IEEA accreditation is valid to 2025.

IEEA (formerly known as ISQUA) is an international accrediting body dedicated to promoting quality improvement in health and social care. It is widely recognised as the ‘accreditor of accreditors.’ IEEA accreditation provides assurances that ASES meets the highest international benchmarks for accrediting bodies and best practices for community service standards.

Owned by DHS and a flagship of the South Australian Government, ASES has maintained international accreditation since 2006. According to the surveyors, ASES is exemplary in driving the key principles of person-centred care, risk management and cultivating positive outcomes and consumer engagement.

ASES is filling an affordable gap in the Australian accreditation landscape with a focus on enhancing culture and self-determination for vulnerable people.

Community services can be confident adopting an internationally accredited outcome and a human rights and evidenced-based framework for community services that fosters sustainable business practices and person-centred care.

ASES was developed for the community sector with a mutual expectation to demonstrate and meet the highest level of regulatory requirements and standards. It is important we fulfil this expectation by obtaining international accreditation for our organisations.

Obtaining international accreditation is important to us as it:

  • endorses our credibility at every level, from colleagues to business partners, the sector and other clients
  • demonstrates integrity of processes and ability to work at an international level
  • creates a benchmark for our program to adhere to and organisations to work towards
  • ensures our community services are quality based and accountable
  • provides a platform for continuous improvement.

Most importantly accreditation reinforces client confidence in the integrity, applicability, and regulation of our standards. This has been a major part of the success of ASES.

If you would like to know more please email serviceexcellence@sa.gov.au

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Page last updated : 23 Jun 2021

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