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Protecting consumers by improving professional standards.
Scheme application modernisation

The Professional Standards Councils are responsible for facilitating consumer protection by enabling the creation of statutory professional standards schemes. We do this by approving and supervising schemes applied for by occupational associations on behalf of their members.

We are modernising the scheme application process and want to keep you informed of progress. More detail is available in the Scheme Application Redesign Project summary (PDF).

 

We are moving into the testing phases of the redesigned scheme application framework

The Professional Standards Councils have approved an extension to the scheme application redesign project to incorporate feedback and allow for two phases of testing with current associations. The project will now complete in June 2021, after which the new application process will be used in professional standards scheme applications under professional standards legislation. 

The project is guided by a Reference Group consisting of representatives from associations together with experts in fields such as regulation, consumer protection and professional standards. Recent research and analysis conducted by the Reference Group has identified opportunities for the redesigned application to reflect the modern consideration of improved standards and a range of consumer protections in line with community expectations of the services provides by the members of an association with a professional standards scheme.  

The redesigned professional standard scheme application has eight new, self-contained modules for an association to complete and provide to the Councils. There will be a recommended order, designed to make progress easier to measure. Many application modules will also have additional guidance to assist with completing the application module. There may be a template or table to fill out, to assist with providing relevant information to the Councils. 

Associations that have experience in making a scheme application will be invited to test application modules. For each module the testing association will be asked 12 questions to provide feedback, which may be provided by video conference or in writing. The associations’ feedback will be incorporated into the redesigned application modules, ready for consideration by the Councils project steering group, and eventually the Councils in June 2021. 

 

What we have set out to achieve

The improvements we develop together will be aimed at making the application process:

  • Consumer oriented – with a strong focus on consumer protection through the improvement of occupational standards
  • Contemporary – by using digital technologies and making it easier to provide evidence to support an application
  • Certain – with simple and clear guidance on what information is required at the various stages of the application and how it will be used in analysing applications

Planned features of the new application design include:

  • Reporting – Alignment between the application and the Professional Standards Improvement Program reporting requirements to ensure consistency and efficiency
  • Scalable – Providing associations with an application process which is proportionate to their size and type
  • Modular – Enable associations to progress through the application process, completing modules sequentially and cumulatively
  • Measured – Providing the right guidance and assistance at the right time and in the most straightforward way
  • Data – Improved data gathering with better feedback from Councils on applications
  • Regulation – Helping associations to demonstrate in the best possible way how they are regulating their members to protect consumers and improve standards

 

Let us know if you want to be involved – in small ways or big ways

Help shape the scheme application process by nominating for participation in interviews, focussed online workshops or by providing structured feedback on consultation documents. To get involved:

We also welcome your feedback and ideas on the application process at any time.

 

Further information

We will provide updates on the work we are doing to modernise the application process on this engagement webpage. 

For more information, please contact us on 02 8315 0800, 1300 555 772 or by email at pscinfo@psc.gov.au.

 

References

Scheme Application Redesign Project - Reference Group Membership

Scheme Application Redesign Project - Reference Group Terms of Reference

Scheme Application Redesign Project summary

Current scheme application guideline and template

Research Library

Stakeholder Engagement Framework