Approvals under the Education and Care Services Act 2013

Version Number

1.3

Implementation Date

8/11/2016

Scope

All Early Years

Purpose

This procedure outlines the responsibilities of delegated officers and other departmental staff in relation to determining applications for provider approvals, service approvals and waivers under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (Qld) (ECS Act).​

Overview

​The ECS Act requires the chief executive of the Department of Education and Training (the department) to approve, regulate and monitor Queensland education and care services.

This procedure outlines processes undertaken in the determination of the following: 

  • ​Application for a Queensland provider approval (Part 2 of the ECS Act): which, when granted, enables an approved provider to apply for a service approval to operate one or more Queensland education and care services.  
  • Application for a service approval (Part 3 of the ECS Act): which, when granted, authorises a Queensland approved provider to operate a Queensland approved service.  
  • Application for an exceptional circumstances service approval (Part 3 of the ECS Act): enables a Queensland approved provider who holds a service approval for premises, to apply for a new service approval, with an accelerated approval process, because exceptional circumstances have caused the original service premises to be unsuitable for the provision of regulated education and care (e.g. the premises have been flooded).
  • Applications for service or temporary waivers (Part 3 of the ECS Act): enable an approved provider for a Queensland education and care service to apply to the chief executive for a waiver of a requirement applying to the service under the ECS Act and/or the Education and Care Services Regulation. Waivers may be granted on a temporary (temporary waiver) or permanent (service waiver) basis.
The department assesses applications for provider approval, service approval, exceptional circumstances service approval and service or temporary waivers and examines whether applicants meet the legislative requirements to have the application approved. Prescribed information must be provided to the department by the applicant, along with payment of an application fee (if applicable).  Based on the information provided by the applicant, the department will either approve or refuse the application.

Responsibilities

​Chief Executive
Under the ECS Act the chief executive of the department is responsible for approving, regulating and monitoring Queensland education and care services.  The chief executive’s powers under the ECS Act are delegated to appropriately qualified officers within the department as detailed in the Director-General’s Delegations under the Education and Care Services Act 2013.

Delegated Officers
Delegated officers approve, regulate and monitor Queensland education and care services in accordance with their delegated powers in the Director-General’s Delegations under the Education and Care Services Act 2013.  

A delegated officer must: 
  • Manage applications for provider approval, service approval and/or waivers in accordance with this procedure and the legislation
  • Determine an application after all prescribed material is provided by the applicant 
  • Ensure an applicant is provided procedural fairness before a decision is made
  • Ensure that the safety, health and wellbeing of children is the primary consideration throughout the assessment of the application 
  • Seek legal advice from the Legal and Administrative Law Branch  prior to making a decision, if considered necessary
  • Determine applications within prescribed legislative timeframes by either approving or refusing the application
  • Maintain accurate records of all applications and decisions
Regulation, Assessment and Service Quality, Department of Education and Training
Regulation, Assessment and Service Quality (RASQ) must:
  • Provide information, advice and training sessions to Authorised Officers and delegated officers.

Process

To start this process, an applicant must submit a relevant application in writing to the chief executive.  The applicant should do this by submitting a Queensland education and care service application form.
 
1) Intake
Regional Offices* must:
a) process the application form (including fees where applicable)
b) review the application for completeness and confirm receipt of the application
c) forward to the relevant delegated officer to assess the complete application

*Except for applications related to provider approvals which are received by RASQ. Applications for service approval may also be received by RASQ, depending on the date of application and the region in which the service is located.

2) Assessment
The delegated officer must:

a) assess the application in accordance with the ECS Act, including inspecting a services premises when necessary)
b) request additional information if required to make the assessment
c) record the steps taken during the assessment of the application 
3) Decision
The delegated officer must:
a) approve or refuse the application, or make another decision as permitted by the ECS Act
b) inform the applicant of the decision, including avenues for review (see procedure Reviews under the Education and Care Services Act 2013).
Further guidance on the process for managing applications under the ECS Act is contained in the:
  • Guideline for Queensland provider approvals under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (Qld) 
  • Guideline for Queensland service approvals under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (Qld) 
  • Guideline for waivers under the Education and Care Services Act 2013 (Qld)

Online Resources

Forms

  • Queensland provider approval application and notification forms:
    • ECS01 Application for Queensland provider approval
    • ECS02 Suitability statement
    • ECS03 Application for amendment of Queensland provider approval
    • ECS04 Application for voluntary suspension of Queensland provider approval
    • ECS05 Application for revocation of voluntary suspension of Queensland provider approval
    • ECS06 Application by personal representative to extend transition approval period
    • ECS07 Notification of surrender of Queensland provider approval
    • ECS08 Notification of change to information about Queensland approved provider 
  • Service approval application forms:
    • ECS09 Application for Queensland service approval
    • ECS10 Application for exceptional circumstances Queensland service approval
    • ECS11 Application for amendment of Queensland service approval
    • ECS12 Application for transfer of Queensland service approval
    • ECS13 Application to lift suspension of Queensland service approval
    • ECS14 Application for voluntary suspension of Queensland service approval
    • ECS15 Application for revocation of voluntary suspension of Queensland service approval
    • ECS16 Notification of surrender of Queensland service approval
    • ECS17 Notification of change to information about Queensland approved service
    • ECS18 Application to cancel prohibition notice
  • ​​Waiver application forms:
    • ECS19 Application for service or temporary waiver
    • ECS20 Application for revocation of service waiver
    • ECS21 Application for extension of temporary waiver
  • Emergency notification forms:
    • ECS22 Serious incident notification
    • ECS23 Complaint and emergency care notification
  • Decision notice form​​
    • ECS24 Application for internal review of reviewable decision

Review Date

31/01/2018
Attribution CC BY
​Approvals
Approvals include:
  • ​Provider approvals issued under Part 2 of the ECS Act
  • Service approvals issued under Part 3 of the ECS Act
  • Service and temporary waivers issued under Part 3 of the ECS Act.
Delegated Officer
Delegated officer means an officer delegated powers to approve, regulate and monitor Queensland education and care services in accordance with the Director-General’s Delegations under the Education and Care Services Act 2013.
 
Authorised Officer
Authorised officer means an authorised officer under section 195 of the Education and Care Services National Law (Queensland) (section 138 ECS Act) authorised to exercise the powers, functions, authorities and duties, conferred or imposed on Authorised Officers.
 
Procedural Fairness
Procedural fairness means: ​
  1. the opportunity to review any relevant and adverse material which is before the decision-maker and the opportunity to present a case before a decision is made
  2. the decision-maker is not biased and does not have the appearance of bias
  3. the decision-maker relies upon credible evidence to make their decision.
Denial of procedural fairness is a ground for applying for a statutory order of review under the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld).