About Us

Who we are

About Qualcare

We provide twenty-four hour personal care and support to people at home, at work and in their local communities. We focus on excellence based on maximum flexibility and choice in the services we develop and deliver.

We are a quality accredited personal care service providing services to NDIS, TAC, DHHS and self-funded clients across Victoria.

Qualcare is a division of AQA Victoria Ltd – a member based not for profit public company, focusing on the issues of life for people living with Spinal Cord Injury and similar complex physical disabilities.

Spire – Our sister service

The Spinal Injury Resource and Support Network – Spire – is our sister service at AQA. Spire provides peer-facilitated supports, information and networking for people living with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI).

Our Service Values

We care about the quality and effectiveness of what we do.

We act fairly, honestly, openly.

We know how vital trust is in all our relationships.

We respect people’s lived experience, the choices they make, the aspirations they hold.

We work in partnership with people to support their life at home, at work and in their community to achieve their goals.

Our Philosophy

We believe everyone has the right to enjoy a life of their choosing. That is why our services are tailored to meet your individual needs. You are involved in all the key decisions about how our services are delivered, when they will happen and who will provide them.

We plan individualised services in partnership with you to ensure that you are at the centre of your program. We provide you with information to support decisions about what services will look like, when they will happen and who will provide them.

As part of our commitment to meeting your individual needs, our team ensures that you are able to involve anyone that you may choose; such as family members, medical or allied health professionals in your planning process.  Recognising that people come from diverse backgrounds, we are committed to addressing your cultural needs to ensure appropriate plans and clear communication.  Communication is provided in formats relevant to (and accessible to) individual circumstances.

We value your participation and feedback to resource our commitment to service excellence and continuous improvement.  We actively look for opportunities to hear from you and develop new and improved ways of providing quality support.

There are many ways in which you can participate and contribute such as; Advisory Groups, surveys, using our feedback & complaints process, service reviews, disability support worker appraisals, participation in the selection of new disability support workers and self rostering.

Our Team

HR Services

Disability Support Workers

Rostering Team

Service Partnership Coordinators

Your Rights

Find out more about your rights

Rights and Responsibilities

Qualcare is a state wide twenty-four hour service that provides personal care and support to people with a disability at home, at work and in local communities.

 

This charter:

  • outlines our service standards and what you can expect from us.
  • outlines what you need to know so you can help us help you.
  • explains how you can give us feedback on any aspect of our service.

 

Your Rights:

What you can expect as a client of Qualcare

 

Empowerment

  • You can choose a person to speak on your behalf for any purpose.
  • You can involve any party of your choice in planning and decision making relating to your care.
  • You can choose a representative to participate in decision making relating to your care if you do not have capacity to do so yourself.
  • We will obtain your permission to speak to other parties about matters relating to your care.
  • You can access your personal information by contacting our privacy officer.
  • We will take measures to prevent the occurrence of any type of abuse or neglect, including pre employment safety screening, induction and training of new employees.
  • We will contact you annually to review the performance of employees providing direct support services.
  • We will implement policies and processes that identify and manage issues relating to safe and healthy working environments.
  • We will complete an equipment and safety assessment in your home annually (minimum) to ensure that the working environment is safe.
  • Making a complaint will not disadvantage you or your family members or adversely affect the services you receive.
  • You can make a complaint by contacting any Qualcare team member who will take you through the complaints process.
  • Complaints will be investigated fairly and confidentially, and appropriate steps taken to resolve issues of concern.

 

Access and Engagement

  • Our respite services will be allocated based on individual circumstances including individual needs, urgency and availability of resources.
  • Decisions about allocation of resources will be non discriminatory.
  • We will provide you with a written service agreement that includes all agreed matters.
  • Invoices are clear and in a format that is understandable.
  • Changes to fees and charges are provided in writing.

 

Wellbeing

  • We will work in partnership with you to ensure that you are at the centre of planning a community-based care program that is most appropriate for your needs and supports you to achieve your goals.
  • We will provide reliable, coordinated, safe, quality care and services which are appropriate to your needs.
  • You will receive a written care plan prior to the commencement of services.
  • Care and services as described in your plan take account of your lifestyle, other care arrangements and cultural, linguistic and religious preferences.
  • We will work in partnership with you to review the care and services you receive and modify the care and services as required.
  • Your communication requirements will be met including appropriate format, use of interpreters and/or equipment.

 

Participation

  • Individual needs – planning and support is tailored, flexible, responsive and appropriate to the individual
  • You can request to have your services reviewed at any time.
  • You can be involved in the recruitment process and make the final decision about who will be employed to work with you.
  • Be part of the interview process for disability support workers and make the final decision about who will work with you.
  • You can choose the level of involvement you have in the management of your day to day program.

 

How you can help us to help you:

  • Work with us to provide a safe work environment for our disability support workers.
  • Treat our staff with courtesy and respect.
  • Abide by the terms of the written service agreement.
  • Acknowledge that your needs may change and negotiate modifications to care and services when your care needs do change.
  • Accept responsibility for your own actions and choices including any actions and choices may involve an element of risk.
  • Provide enough information to assist us to develop, deliver and review a care plan that is safe and tailored to your individual needs.
  • Tell us about any problems with your care and services.
  • Allow safe and reasonable access for care workers at the times specified in your care plan or otherwise by agreement.
  • Provide reasonable notice if you do not require a service.
  • Contact us as soon as possible if you are having difficulty paying any fee as outlined in the service agreement.

 

Feedback

We value your compliments, complaints and suggestions. These could be:

  • about a positive experience you have had
  • a comment or suggestion on how we can improve our services to you
  • a complaint if you are not satisfied with the service you have received, or feel you have not been treated fairly and reasonably by us or by someone delivering services on our behalf.

 

You can give us this feedback by:

 

Complaints:

Complaints will be acknowledged by telephone within 24 hours of receipt and responded to in writing within 10 business days.

If you are not satisfied with our resolution of your complaint you can contact the Disability Services Commissioner. The office of the Disability Services commissioner is independent of government, department of human services and service providers and has been created to assist people with a disability to resolve complaints. Contact details are:

 1800 677 342

 (03) 8608 5765

 complaints@odsc.vic.gov

 http://www.odsc.vic.gov.au/

If you would like to receive this charter in an accessible format please contact (03) 9482 4373 , using the national relay service on 133 677.

 

Accessibility

If you would like this information in your preferred language or an accessible format please contact your Service Coordinator who will arrange this on (03) 9482 4373 or admin@aqavic.org.au.

Privacy

Overview

AQA Victoria Ltd (AQA) is a not-for-profit organisation that provides:

  • information, peer support, mentoring and community development services to individuals with  Spinal Cord Injury through its Spire division; and
  • 24 hour in-home personal care and community access support for individuals affected by a physical disability, injury or illness through its Qualcare division.

AQA collects and administers a range of personal information for the purposes of delivering services to clients and members through its employees and volunteers. AQA is committed to handling personal information in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). These principles govern how we can collect, use, hold and disclose your personal information, as well as ensuring the quality and security of your personal information.

This policy sets out how AQA manages personal information (including sensitive information) collected through membership, client or employee applications, through the use of any of our services or by any other means.

 

What is Personal Information?

Personal information includes any information or opinion, about an identified individual or an individual who can be reasonably identified from their information. The information or opinion will still be personal information whether it is true or not and regardless of whether we have kept a record of it. The information that we seek to collect about you will depend on services that we provide. If you do not allow us to collect all of the information we request, we may not be able to deliver all of those services effectively. This information could include your name, address, contact details and date of birth.

 

What is sensitive information?

Sensitive information is personal information including, but is not limited to, health information regarding disability, injury or illness, religious beliefs and criminal records.

The collection of sensitive information is restricted by the Privacy Act. We will only collect sensitive information if you consent to its collection and if the sensitive information is reasonably necessary for us to carry out at least one of our functions or activities, or if the APPs otherwise permit such collection. For example, we may collect health information in order to supply you with home-care support services or peer support and mentoring.  AQA will assume consent to the collection of all sensitive information that is provided to it for use in accordance with this Privacy Policy, unless told otherwise.

 

Collection

AQA will only collect personal information necessary for the efficient delivery of services and to conduct business activities that support these functions. We collect most personal information directly from you. For example, we will collect your personal information when you apply for or use a service or talk to us in person or on the phone. We may directly collect personal information in the following circumstances:

  • If you apply become a member of AQA.
  • If you apply to become a client of AQA Qualcare.
  • If you apply for employment.
  • If you apply to become a volunteer of AQA.
  • If you agree to sponsor AQA or its members, or make a donation.
  • Intermittent collection of information may occur to ensure relevant and up-to-date information records.

AQA uses different means of collecting information, which includes either: electronic, face-to-face interaction, interaction with our website, requests for information / requests to update information, and the provision of products and services.

Sometimes we collect personal information about you from other people or organisations. This may happen without your direct involvement. For instance, we may collect personal information about you from: authorised third party representatives; funding bodies; through referral from other service providers / medical practitioners; or as a result of an informal referral made to support our community activities (i.e. candidate referrals for speakers, presenters, volunteers).

We also collect information from you electronically. Our web server collects the domain names (not the email / IP addresses) of visitors to our website. This information is aggregated to measure basic usage data (such as the number of visits, average time spent on the site; pages reviewed etc.) which is used by our organisation to improve our website content.

A cookie is a small data file stored on the user’s computer designed to retain small amounts of information about the user. It is updated from time to time as you access a site. AQA does not use cookies to trace or record personally identifiable information about you.

 

Use and Disclosure

AQA uses personal information to provide products and services. Generally, personal information will only be used for the primary purpose for which it was collected and for carrying on business processes, which includes:

  • Effectively running operating systems such as rostering, payroll and client management software;
  • Maintaining and managing our database of volunteers, members, subscribers, their families and carers and communicating with them;
  • To notify individuals of information and opportunities that might be of interest to them through newsletters or ad hoc updates;
  • Setting up of legal obligations as an employer, including but not limited to payments for tax and superannuation;
  • Delivery of in-home service, community access, mentoring or peer support;
  • Providing telephone or email support;
  • Raising and administering donations, sponsorships and membership payments; and
  • De-identified data may be used to meet reporting and regulatory requirements and assist with system improvements.

However, we may use or disclose your personal information for secondary purposes that relate to our functions and activities if we have your consent do so or without your consent if the APPs permit us to do so, for example if you would reasonably expect us to use your information for the secondary purpose. We will only use your personal information for a secondary purpose if it is related to the reason why we collected your personal information. In some circumstances we are permitted or authorised by or under an Australian law or a court/tribunal order to use or disclose your personal and sensitive information.  For example, if our disclosure of your information will reduce or prevent a serious threat to life, health or safety or our disclosure is in response to any unlawful activity.

The types of other entities we may share your information with include:

  • your authorised representatives, interpreter or legal advisors acting on your behalf;
  • entities who provide services on behalf of a funding body / health department and who will provide services to you, such as our community sector partners, community service organisations, contracted service providers or other health service providers;
  • organisations that provide archival, auditing, professional advisory, banking, in-house mail, delivery, information technology, building and property maintenance services; and
  • government and regulatory authorities such as Centrelink, government organisations dealing with welfare, child and family support, community support and law enforcement.

AQA may use, upon receiving explicit consent, photographs of members, clients, employees, volunteers, their families and carers for marketing, communication and community engagement purposes – such as social media, annual reports, internal and external newsletters, and websites.

Disclosure of personal information overseas will only occur where explicit request to do so is received from the person or an authorised representative, in order for an individual to receive services in that country. AQA may outsource technological or administrative projects to overseas providers where local services are unavailable or cost prohibitive. In such cases, AQA will take reasonable steps to ensure that the overseas recipient does not breach the APPs.

AQA will not otherwise disclose any personal information about a person unless required or permitted by law.

 

Use and disclosure of sensitive information

AQA may collect sensitive information about the health of and any disabilities and conditions (including physical and mental disabilities) experienced by our clients, members or peer support volunteer applicants. We may also seek medical clearance from a doctor (if required) in order to evaluate a person’s application for employment or service delivery. Where we are required to collect such information, AQA will only use that information with the person’s consent unless otherwise required or permitted by law. We will only use your sensitive information you for a secondary purpose if it is directly related to the reason why we collected the sensitive information about you.

 

Security of Personal Information

AQA will take reasonable steps to protect personal information from misuse, interference and loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. For example:

  • access to information systems is controlled through identity and access management;
  • employees are bound by internal information security policies and are required to keep information secure;
  • all employees are required to complete training about information security; and
  • we regularly monitor and review our compliance with internal policies and industry best practice.

Personal information held by AQA is stored electronically in secure databases located in Australia, or where retention of hard copy documents is required, in secure filing cabinets. Only authorised personnel are given access to individual’s personal information. We take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify any personal information after it can no longer be used.

 

Access and Correction

You can request access to the personal information we hold about you. You can also ask for corrections to be made. To do so, please contact us. AQA takes all reasonable steps to ensure the personal information collected, used or disclosed is accurate, complete and up-to-date. If we hold personal information about you we will generally provide you access to that information free of charge. Access to personal information will not be granted to an unauthorised third party, without express written authority granted by the individual.

There are some circumstances in which we are not required to give you access to your personal information. Where access to personal information has been denied, AQA will provide reasons for the refusal.

Corrections or updates to information must be made by the individual or their authorised representative. Corrections may occur where information is inaccurate, incomplete, misleading or not up-to-date. Where updates are made by an unauthorised third party, AQA will verify the information with the individual before any amendments are made.

 

Anonymity

Where practical, individuals may engage with AQA anonymously or using a pseudonym. You have the option of not identifying yourself during questionnaires, opinion surveys or evaluation forms however the collection of personal information is required to enable AQA to deliver efficient goods and services or a response to a complaint or concern.  If you do not wish to provide the personal or health information that we require in order to deliver a service to you, then we may not be able to provide you with that service.

 

Complaints about Privacy at AQA

AQA takes complaints or concerns about privacy very seriously. If you are concerned about the personal information which AQA might hold about you or wish to complain about how your personal information is handled please write to the AQA Privacy Officer either via post or email provided below.

 

Who else protects your privacy?

We take any privacy complaint seriously and will deal with your complaint fairly and promptly. However if you are not satisfied with our response or how we handled your complaint, you may complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (in writing) at:
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 1042
Phone: 1300 363 992
TTY: 1800 620 241
email: privacy@privacy.gov.au

Another source of privacy information is the Office of the Health Services Commissioner Ph: 1800 136 066 Web: www.health.vic.gov.au/hsc

 

More information about Privacy

AQA’s approach to privacy is reviewed for improvement and amended from time to time. Any changes or updates will be updated on the AQA, Qualcare and Spire websites. Individuals who would like more information about any aspects of privacy at AQA please can contact the AQA Privacy Officer on 03 9489 0777 or admin@aqavic.org.au.

For further information about privacy, your rights and legislation, the following may be helpful:

http://www.oaic.gov.au/

Department of Human Services www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-individuals/your-rights/your-privacy

Complaints

Making a Complaint

Qualcare values your feedback as it proivdes us with an opportunity to improve the way our services are delivered.  You can contact any member of the Qualcare team to make a complaint and they will support you with the process.

Complaints will be acknowledged by telephone within 24 hours of receipt and responded to in writing within 10 business days.  A complaints form can be obtained from any member of the Qualcare team by contacting:

(03) 9489 0777

(03) 9482 4373

admin@aqavic.org.au

 

If you are not satisfied with our resolution of your complaint you can contact the Disability Services Commissioner.  The office of the Disability Services commissioner is independent of government, department of human services and service providers and has been created to assist people with a disability to resolve complaints.  Contact details are:

1800 677 342

(03) 8608 5765

complaints@odsc.vic.gov

http://www.odsc.vic.gov.au/

Advocacy

DRU Disability Advocacy Resource Unit

Disability Advocacy ensures the human and legal rights of people with disabilities are promoted and protected so that people with disabilities can fully participate in the community.

An advocate in the disability sector works to ensure the rights of people with disabilities are upheld and supports people with disabilities to make decisions affecting their lives.

Find out more about advocacy and advocacy services on the DARU website or subscribed to their newsletter.

http://www.daru.org.au/


SARU Self Advocacy Resource Unit
It is the job of the Self Advocacy Resource Unit to resource and assist Victorian self advocacy groups in Victoria for people with an intellectual disability, people with an acquired brain injury, people with complex communication support needs.

http://www.saru.net.au/


Office of the Public Advocate
OPA is an independent statutory body established by the Victorian State Government. OPA works to protect and promote the interests, rights and dignity of people with a disability. They can also provide you with information about:

  • Powers of Attorney
  • Medical Consent
  • Administration and Guardianship

http://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/


Communication Rights Australia
Communication Rights Australia is an advocacy and information service for people with little or no speech.

http://www.caus.com.au/www/home/

Freedom of Information

Freedom of information – Can I have access to information about me?

The Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI) gives a person or their representative the right to request access to their file held by AQA Qualcare, subject to certain exemptions in the Act. It is possible to obtain copies of a file or view the original file under supervision.

 

How far does the information go back?

Qualcare is required to keep client files for a minimum of 7 years from the last date that services were delivered. Some types of records are kept for a longer period. If a client has not received services from Qualcare within this time frame, their file may have been destroyed. The FOI Officer will advise if this is the case. 

 

Who can apply?

A client, a relative, friend or a legal representative can apply for information under the FOI Act. If a person other than the patient applies, AQA Qualcare must have written authorisation from the client to release the information.

If the patient is deceased, the next of kin must sign the authorisation and provide evidence that they are the next of kin.

If the client is a child, the next of kin must sign the authorisation. If a Court Order is in place, a copy of this must be provided with the FOI application.

 

Am I guaranteed access?

Nearly all FOI requests are straightforward and no restrictions to information are applied. In some circumstances, some information may be restricted according to the Exemptions outlined in the FOI Act. If AQA Qualcare makes a decision to restrict access to some parts of the record, applicants will be advised of this in writing and may appeal the decision.

 

Contact the AQA FOI Officer:

(03) 9489 0777

(03) 9482 4373

admin@aqavic.org.au

We acknowledge the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.