Australian Government - Department of Health - Office of Hearing Services
Hearing Services Program

Application for Accreditation Kit Manual

The Hearing Services Program (the program) is the largest of its kind in Australia. It provides unique opportunities for professionals working in the hearing industry to work with the Australian Government in promoting and delivering hearing rehabilitative services to eligible clients in the Australian community.

Overview

In this Section

Thank you for considering an opportunity to participate in the Australian Government Hearing Services Program (the program). The program is the largest of its kind in Australia. It provides unique opportunities for professionals working in the hearing industry to work with the Australian Government in promoting and delivering hearing rehabilitative services to eligible clients in the Australian community.

The Department of Health (the Department) has responsibility for the administration and regulation of the program under the Hearing Services Administration Act 1997 (the Act). The Act provides the legislative basis for the delivery of hearing rehabilitative services to voucher clients by contracted service providers.

Service Providers must comply with the Hearing Services Rules of Conduct (subsection 18(2) of the Act), and the Hearing Rehabilitation Outcomes in force at the time of your accreditation and as amended from time to time. 

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What is accreditation?

Accreditation is the process of approving a business to provide hearing rehabilitative services to program clients.

The Department has not entered into agreements with any other agency or authority for the accreditation of businesses outside of the purposes of the program.

As an applicant for accreditation, you are applying for accreditation approval to provide hearing services to program clients. It is a program requirement that contracted service providers are not to refuse services to program clients. The Department monitors contracted service providers and will investigate instances where contracted service providers do not appear to be complying with the regulations e.g. refusing service to program clients. 

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The Accreditation Scheme

The Hearing Service Providers Accreditation Scheme 1997 (the Scheme) establishes the criteria against which service providers are assessed for accreditation under the program.

For the Minister to make an informed decision, the following criteria are required to be considered

  1. experience in providing hearing services
  2. proposed staffing profile and qualifications of the staff
  3. the accessibility of the premises in which it is proposed to provide the services
  4. whether the proposed premises are of a satisfactory standard
  5. capacity to meet the rules of conduct
  6. financial viability, and
  7. any other matter that might affect the standard of service.

If accredited, service providers will be offered a contract under section 20 of the Act to provide hearing services according to the program. 

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The Application for Accreditation package

When submitting the Application for Accreditation, applicants must be able to demonstrate their ability to meet each of the accreditation criteria.

The Application for Accreditation package has been developed in accordance with the requirements of the Scheme. This manual provides applicants with essential background information and outlines the necessary information and supporting documentation required for the Minister’s consideration of a business’s application.

All applicants should read the manual carefully and consider each requirement before completing the Application for Accreditation Form package to ensure that the information provided is accurate and all supporting documentation substantiating their claims is included.

Once applicants are satisfied that all information requested has been provided, the completed application and supporting documentation should be mailed to

Hearing and Diagnostic Imaging Services Branch
Mail Drop Point 113
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601 

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How the manual is organised

The Application for Accreditation is designed to align with the criteria established in the Scheme. The forms package contains all the forms that applicants are required to complete when submitting their application. It is imperative that each section is completed and supporting documentation is provided to substantiate claims. If forms are not completed, or supporting documentation to substantiate claims is not provided, there will be delays in the processing of the application.

Section 1: Applicant details

Section 1 collects administrative details of the applicant entity, including primary and alternative contact details and business registration details.

Section 2: Applicant declaration

Section 2 requires applicants to declare their understanding that the application they provide is specifically for the provision of hearing rehabilitative services to program clients. This section requests consent to obtain information from other government agencies and credit reporting agencies. In addition, this section seeks consent to disclose personal information to other government organisations. This authorisation may be used to verify claims made in the application.

Section 3: Experience in the provision of hearing services

Section 3 asks the applicant to provide a statement about their experience in the provision of hearing services.

Section 4: Staffing profile

Section 4 requires information surrounding the staffing of clinics under the program and requests information about Qualified Practitioners and support staff arrangements.

Section 5: Sites

Section 5 requires information about the proposed site to be utilised in the program, including compliance requirements, key performance indicators, and site suitability.

Section 6: Financial viability

Section 6 requires detailed information for the assessment of financial viability according to the type of entity and its structure. It also provides a brief outline regarding how financial information is assessed.

Section 7: Additional information

Section 7 outlines additional information that is required from applicants that has not been covered in the preceding sections. 

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The accreditation process

The accreditation process is the first part of a two step process that allows for the provision of rehabilitative services under the program. The process is initiated by the submission of a complete application for accreditation to the Department. Once a preliminary assessment of the application is completed (with all details and supporting documentation attached), an officer will acknowledge receipt of the application and if necessary, request further information.

A detailed assessment of the claims made in the application against the accreditation criteria established in the Scheme will be undertaken, including a financial viability assessment. On completion of the detailed final assessment, the application and recommendations regarding the accreditation of the applicant is submitted to the Minister for consideration.

If successful, the applicant will be approved as an accredited service provider under Part 3 of the Scheme and be eligible to be engaged as a contracted service provider under section 20 of the Act.

Successful applicants receive a notification of accreditation offering them a service provider contract outlining the procedures for completing the contract process, the original signed copy of the Instrument of Accreditation and two copies of the Contract. 

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Timeframes

Estimated processing times of applications for accreditation are between six and eight weeks after receipt of a complete application by the Department. However, this benchmark is a conservative estimate of the length of time needed to conduct rigorous analysis of all information provided by applicants and delays may be experienced during certain periods of the year.

Applicants will be informed of the progress of their application. Please note we cannot guarantee that all applications will be processed within these estimated timeframes. These timeframes are estimates based on the average time taken to process complete applications.

The application has been structured to minimise the level of commitment made by applicants prior to the Minister’s decision about accreditation. Any business decisions the applicant makes in anticipation of accreditation approval are at the entity’s own risk, including ceasing prior employment and commencing operations 

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Privacy

The accreditation process may involve the disclosure of personal information to other government agencies, however, the privacy of applicants will be protected in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. Any information provided to the Department will be used for the purposes of processing your application for accreditation only. 

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False or misleading information

Please note that the decision to accredit an entity under the program is subject to the condition that applicants have not provided false or misleading information to the Commonwealth in connection with the Scheme or the provision of services to program clients. If false or misleading information has been provided to the Department, the Minister has the power to cancel the entity’s accreditation.

Contents

Section 1 Applicant details

  • 1.1 Entity name
  • 1.2 Entity type
  • 1.3 Registration
  • 1.4 Alternative contact details

Section 2 Applicant declaration and consent to use and disclose information

  • 2.1 Provision of services to program clients
  • 2.2 False or misleading information
  • 2.3 Consent

Section 3 Experience in the provision of hearing services

  • 3.1 Statement of experience

Section 4 Staffing profile

  • 4.1 Qualified staff
  • 4.2 Audiolink
  • 4.3 Support staff
  • 4.4 Shared staffing and subcontracting arrangements

Section 5 Sites

  • 5.1 Compliance requirements for sites
    • 5.1.1 Permanent sites
    • 5.1.2 Visiting sites
    • 5.1.3 Remote sites
  • 5.2 Site suitability
    • 5.2.1 Description of site suitability
  • 5.3 Equipment inventory
  • 5.4 Notification of site form

Section 6 Financial viability

  • 6.1 Corporate structure
    • 6.1.1 Diagram of business structure
    • 6.1.2 Important considerations for entities incorporating a trust
    • 6.1.3 Requirements for subsidiary entities
  • 6.2 Requirements for Established Entities
    • 6.2.1 Financial statements
    • 6.2.2 Profit and loss forecast
  • 6.3 Requirements for Newly Established Entities
    • 6.3.1 Business plan
    • 6.3.2 Supporting documentation
  • 6.4 Financial information and declaration

Section 7 Additional requirements

  • 7.1 Australia/New Zealand Standard for Auditory Assessment
    • 7.1.1 Ambient noise levels
    • 7.1.2 Equipment calibration
  • 7.2 Insurance
  • 7.3 e-Claiming
  • 7.4 Hearing Services Online (HSO) project and AUSkey

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Section 1 - Applicant details

The information provided in this section are the primary contact details for the applicant, and is considered in determining whether applicants are “entities” under the Act. All contact details provided, apart from alternative contact details, should be those of the principal address from which the applicant intends to operate their business (this may be different from site addresses).

All correspondence will be directed to the details provided in the Address for Service Details section.

The following information will provide background for the information requested in the Applicant Details Form (Section 1).

1.1 Entity name

The entity name refers to the legal entity linked to the business’ Australian Business Number (ABN) and/or Australian Company Number (ACN) under which accreditation is sought.  The legal entity name may be different to the business (or trading) name of the business.  It is not possible for an entity to be accredited or contracted using its trading name.

The ABN should also reflect the business name.

1.2 Entity type

The Commonwealth will accredit entities that comprise Individuals, Partnerships and Companies. The Commonwealth has the capacity to accredit a trustee, however a trust is not recognised as an entity under the Act, and cannot be accredited. If your business structure incorporates a trust, all information provided in the applicant details page will need to relate to the trustee. Additional information relating to the trust and trustee will need to be provided along with supplementary documentation requested in Section 6 of the Application Form.

1.3 Registration

All applicants must be registered with the Australian Business Registry (ABR) and hold a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) that has been registered for GST. Similarly, companies should also be registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Applicants are required to provide evidence of registration in the form of:

  • an Australian Business Registry extract
  • a Certificate of Registration of Company (if applicable), and
  • a Certificate of Registration of Business Name from ASIC.

As part of the preliminary application assessment, assessors will confirm the registration of the applicant’s ABN and ACN using the facilities available on the ABR and ASIC websites. Applicants must ensure that their ABN, ACN and business name are registered and details are accessible from the ABR and ASIC websites.

1.4 Alternative contact details

The Department may need to contact applicants in the event that more information is required to meet accreditation requirements. Alternative contact details will be used to contact applicants during the accreditation process only if contact fails to be made using the primary contact details.

1.5 Address for service details 

The address for service details will be used for all correspondence between the applicant and the Department for the purposes of accreditation.

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Section 2 - Applicant declaration and consent to use and disclose information

The Application for Accreditation can be signed only by those persons who are legally authorised to do so on behalf of the business entity. As an accreditation applicant, you are applying to provide hearing rehabilitation services to program clients.

2.1 Provision of services to clients under the program

The Department has not entered into agreements with any other agency or authority for the accreditation of businesses outside of the purposes of the program.

The applicant is applying for approval to provide hearing services to program clients only. It is a program requirement that contracted service providers not refuse services to program clients.

2.2 False and/or misleading information

Applicants must declare that they understand the purpose of their application and their commitment to provide services in accordance with program requirements should they be accredited and offered a Service Provider Contract.

Any applicant who provides false and/or misleading information in their application for accreditation may have their accreditation cancelled under subsection 6(5) of the Scheme.

2.3 Consent 

The Department may require information from other government organisations or credit reporting agencies to verify claims made in the Application for Accreditation. Consent is therefore sought from the applicant for the Department to obtain such information. The applicant is required to sign the Consent to Use and Disclose Information section of the application form.

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Section 3 - Experience in the provision of hearing services

The program is specifically tailored to the delivery of hearing rehabilitative services to program clients, including hearing assessments, fitting of hearing devices and delivery of other rehabilitative services such as communication strategies. It is essential when considering applications that the Minister has a good understanding about the applicant’s experience in the delivery of these or related services.

3.1 Statement of experience

Applicants must provide a statement of experience in the provision of hearing services from a business management and clinical expertise approach. Space for the provision of this information has been provided in Section 4 of the application form. The statement should provide an outline of the applicant’s

  • previous experiences related to business management
  • previous experience in the delivery of hearing services
  • clinical expertise, and
  • employment history.

Claims made in this statement should be supported by a current resume, complete with references.

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Section 4 - Staffing profile

This part of the application form requires details of all staff involved in the provision of clinical services and administration of the business. This section should be used as a reference in completing all forms relevant to staffing profile in the application form.

4.1 Qualified staff

The Hearing Services Rules of Conduct 2012 requires that clinical services are provided to program clients by a Qualified Practitioner (QP). Consequently, all applicants seeking accreditation must demonstrate that they employ a QP or are requesting a QP number concurrently with their Application for Accreditation.

Only staff members who are a QP, with an allocated QP number, are able to

  • provide services to clients under the program, and/or
  • supervise a student or provisional practitioner providing services to clients under the program.

4.1.1 What is a QP?

A QP Audiologist is a person who has

  • Full membership with Audiology Australia and a Certificate of Clinical Practice (CCP) and/or
  • Ordinary membership with the Australian College of Audiology (ACAud) with competency in Hearing Aid Dispensary.

A QP Audiometrist is a person who has

  • Ordinary membership with ACAud with competency in Hearing Aid Dispensary and/or
  • Full membership A with the Hearing Aid Audiometrist Society of Australia (HAASA).

A provisional practitioner must be supervised by a QP when providing services under the program.

A Provisional Audiologist is a person who has

  • Full membership with Audiology Australia and/or
  • Associate membership with ACAud.

A Provisional Audiometrist is a person who has:

  • Associate membership with ACAud and/or
  • Associate membership with HAASA.

4.1.2 How to become a QP

To become a QP you will need to submit a Request for Qualified Practitioner Number form. The Department will allocate you a unique number which must be used on all claims for payment for any hearing services up have provided to voucher-holders.

This QP number will remain allocated to you at all times, even if you change employers. However it can only be used when working for an employer who has a current service provider contract with the program.

4.1.3 Employ a QP

Complete the form in the application for each practitioner employed by the applicant, supported by evidence of each practitioner’s current membership of a Practitioner Professional Body (PPB). Audiologists should also include a current Certificate of Clinical Practice (CCP).

4.2 Audiolink

Entities that employ only Audiometrist practitioners to provide hearing services are required to seek advice from a QP Audiologist for particular test results.

Where the applicant for accreditation is not, or does not employ a QP Audiologist, they must enter into a formal arrangement with a QP Audiologist to provide additional advice about particular test results.

These arrangements are known as an Audiolink. Applicants that require an Audiolink must provide a copy of the written agreement between the entity and QP Audiologist providing this service.

4.3 Support staff

This section of the application form requires you to provide information about the intended support staff arrangements for the entity.

Applicants are requested to provide job titles, descriptions of duties and responsibilities, and required skill sets for any support staff they intend to employ. If these positions have been filled, the names of those support staff should also be provided.

4.4 Shared staffing  

In instances where applicants use shared facilities and intend to share support staff, for instance within a medical facility, the applicant should enter into a written agreement with the other party outlining the shared arrangements and attach this to the application.

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Section 5 - Sites

Site suitability is determined in accordance with program requirements for sites established in the Service Provider Contract.

To meet the requirements for accreditation, applicants must nominate at least one Permanent Site from which they intend to provide services. The Department must be notified of each proposed site before clinical services can be provided to program clients at that site. A New Site Notification form must be provided for all sites providing services under the program.

5.1 Compliance requirements for sites

There are three categories of sites approved under the program.

  1. Permanent Sites

At a permanent site, the full range of services must be available. All permanent sites must display the Client Rights and Responsibilities poster.

  1. Visiting Sites
  2. Remote Sites

Under the Australian Standards Geographical Classification - Remote Area (ASGC-RA), a Remote Site is one that is situated in a locality that has very restricted access to goods and services.

5.2 Site suitability

All contracted service providers are obligated to ensure that the facilities and equipment used to provide hearing services are suitable for meeting the needs of program clients. The service provider must, for each of its sites

  1. Ensure the site has appropriate facilities, including audiometric testing equipment for assessment, fitting and rehabilitation
  2. Ensure the audiometric testing equipment is suitable for providing the services
  3. Ensure the site is fully accessible for people with disabilities
  4. Ensure that consulting and test rooms meet the required ambient noise levels in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1269.4.2014 (as amended or replaced from time to time), and
  5. Ensure the audiometric testing equipment at the site is calibrated in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1269.4.2014 (as amended or replaced from time to time).

5.2.1 Description of site suitability

To ensure that sites are suitable for the provision of hearing services, applicants must provide a brief description of the suitability of the sites from which they intend to provide services. This description should broadly cover the key performance indicators in the HROs and be supplemented by a site plan that clearly illustrates all facilities. In particular the description should outline how you propose to store and retain client records (stored securely), ensuring client confidentiality is maintained at all times.

5.3 Equipment inventory

To further demonstrate that facilities and equipment used to provide hearing services are suitable to meet the needs of clients, applicants are requested to provide details of all equipment acquired or intended to be acquired to evaluate hearing aids electroacoustically at each permanent and visiting site, including the type of earphone/cushion or earphone/enclosure combination connected to the audiometer/s.

5.4 Notification of Site form 

This form is used to notify the Department of a new site/s where services will be provided to Hearing Services Program clients. Applicants are required to ensure that each site meets the needs of program requirements. Once a service provider's initial site has been registered, additional sites can be registered through the online portal. 

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Section 6 - Financial viability

It is a requirement under the Scheme that the Minister consider the financial viability of the entity seeking accreditation. To assess this criteria we take into consideration the consequences and impact of any financial viability issues on an applicant’s ability to fulfil the obligations of the Contract and the provision of services to clients.

Accordingly, the financial viability section of this application is comprehensive and all information provided will be subject to assessment by a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA). The information requested in this portion of the application kit is required to inform the CPA’s consideration of financial viability and their recommendation to the Minister. It is imperative in addressing this criterion that applicants provide up to date financial information certified by an accountant. Supporting documentation to substantiate the claims made is required in the application.

The requirements for the financial viability section differ according to the type of entity seeking accreditation and its length of operation. Applicants are encouraged to engage a qualified accountant to assist in the preparation of financial information and provide independent verification that the figures used are accurate and the financial projections (including assumptions) are sound.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please read the information contained in this section carefully and ensure that all supporting documentation to substantiate your claims is provided.

6.1 Corporate structure

It is important that the Department has a clear understanding about the structure of the entity applying for accreditation to ensure financial viability assessment can be effectively undertaken.

For those entities that incorporate trusts or are part of a larger subsidiary group, applicants will need to provide additional information to allow adequate assessment of financial viability.

6.1.1 Diagram of business structure

Applicants must provide an accurate diagram of the business structure. This diagram should clearly depict the applicant entity’s position in relation to trust structures or within business groups and include all other affiliated entities and/or trusts.

The diagram should also clearly show where directors, shareholders and beneficiaries are found in relation to the business structure.

6.1.2 Important considerations for entities incorporating a Trust

Trusts are not considered an entity under the Act. For this reason, the Minister cannot approve the accreditation of a trust. However, the Minister may accredit the trustee as an individual, partnership or company.

If the applicant’s business structure incorporates a trust, the Department requires audited financial statements for the trust and a copy of the Trust Deed in addition to the standard requirements for entities outlined below.

6.1.3 Requirements for subsidiary entities

If the entity is a wholly or partly owned subsidiary of a group, applicants must provide audited financial statements for both the subsidiary and parent companies in addition to the standard requirements for entities outlined below. Furthermore, applicants must also provide evidence that any support from the parent entity, financial or otherwise, is sustainable and guaranteed.

6.2 Requirements for Established Entities

Established entities are defined as those that have been in operation for at least 12 months. The assessment of financial viability for these entities will focus on prior financial performance, expected performance and the applicant’s financial capacity.

In determining the financial viability of established entities seeking accreditation, the CPA will consider

  1. short term viability or liquidity
  2. medium term viability or financing, and
  3. long term viability or profitability.

This will be assessed by conducting a quantitative review of the applicant’s financial position using ratio and trend analysis. In addition, consideration will also be given to any contingent liabilities disclosed in the financial statements.

6.2.1 Financial statements

Audited financial statements provide an independent view of an entity’s financial position. For this reason, all established entities seeking accreditation will need to submit complete audited financial statements for the three financial years prior to submitting their application or since the start of operation if less than three years. Please note: if the most recent of these statements are more than six months old, interim financial statements must also be included.

6.2.2 Profit and Loss forecast

Established entities are also required to provide a projected profit and loss forecast for the first 12 months of operation under the program.

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6.3 Requirements for newly Established Entities

Newly established entities are defined as those that have been in operation for less than 12 months. The Department understands that these entities will have little or no historical financial information on which to base a full financial viability risk assessment.

Therefore, the financial assessment of these applicants will focus on their prior performance (based on interim financial statements if the entity has operated for more than six months), their expected performance as outlined in the business plan and profit and loss forecast, and the adequacy of start-up capital.

It is essential that applicants who fall into this category adequately demonstrate through an evidenced based approach, that they have sufficient financial capacity and start-up capital to support strategies outlined in the business plan and financial projections.

It may be of use to applicants to access the resources available on the Australian Government Business website at (www.business.gov.au). This site provides information for people who are considering starting their own business including links to templates and tutorials related to the planning and development of a business.

6.3.1 Business plan

The business plan is the blueprint for how applicants intend to run their business and outlines what future direction the business will take. Below is a detailed list of what are considered pertinent elements in a business plan and can be used to guide applicants in preparing their business plan

Operations
  • Business structure and ownership
  • Key personnel
  • Details of products and services to be offered (including anticipated demand and pricing strategy)
  • Insurance (workers compensation, public liability, professional indemnity, business insurance)
  • Risk management plan
  • Operations (suppliers, plant and equipment, inventory)
Market and product analysis
  • Target market
  • Marketing strategy
  • Customer analysis
  • SWOT analysis that evaluates the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in the business venture.
The future
  • Vision statement
  • Goals and objectives
Financial management
  • Financial projections (profit and loss forecast) for the first 12 months of operation under the program
  • Capital injection required
  • Source of funds
  • Financial assumptions
Declaration

The business plan should include a signed declaration by the applicant and their accountant to the effect that the initial capital injection is adequate and available, and the assumptions made in the business plan are reasonable.

Applicants should note that in preparing the business plan, attention should be given to explaining how the projected income and expenditure estimates have been derived. Particular care should also be given to explaining how the assumptions made in the profit and loss forecast were reached and how they are supported (e.g. as a result of market/industry analysis).

6.3.2 Supporting documentation

The provision of supporting documentation to substantiate claims made in the business plan will determine the level of surety in the applicant’s expected financial performance. Supporting documentation should provide evidence of the financial support available to applicants and credibility in the accuracy and reasonableness of start-up capital.

The types of documentary evidence that will substantiate claims may include, but are not limited to, the following examples

  • confirmation of bank loan (e.g. letter or loan statement from financial institution) if the applicant intends to finance the start-up capital via debt
  • evidence of access to other means of financial support such as from personal and associated business sources (applicants should also provide the financial statements of the guarantor or other evidence that honours the guarantee)
  • evidence of equipment loan and the terms of the agreement
  • details of private assets the business intends to use as collateral, and
  • a supporting statement from an accountant and/or bank.

6.4 Financial Information and Declaration

Applicants are required to complete the Financial Information and Financial Declaration Section in support of the financial information provided. This form collects information necessary to determine whether the applicant or key office holders of the applicant entity are disqualified persons under section 19 of the Act.

This part of the application requires the details of all relevant persons who have direct or indirect interest in the business, with the potential to exert significant influence over its management or operation. This refers to all directors, partners, office bearers, chief executive officers or other relevant persons in the organisation. Applicants will be required to provide information related to convictions, pending or otherwise, of fraud and dishonesty and information related to breaches under the Corporations Act 2001. 

The second part of this section requires applicants to make a declaration that the information provided in the financial viability section of the application is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and that applicants are aware that the Department will be forming an opinion of financial viability based on the information they provide.

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Section 7 - Additional requirements

This section provides information about requirements under the Service Provider Contract. It is not necessary for the assessment of an Application for Accreditation to satisfy these requirements.

If accredited, applicants will need to provide evidence that they meet these requirements prior to execution of the Contract by the Department.

7.1 Australian/New Zealand Standard for Auditory Assessment

All sites and equipment must meet requirements as specified in the latest Australian/New Zealand Standard for Auditory Assessment (AS/NZS 1269.4:2014) (the Standard).

7.1.1 Ambient Noise Levels

The Standard sets benchmarks for the measurement and testing of ambient noise levels and provides advice on procedures for conducting pure tone air conduction threshold audiometry. Amongst other things, the Standard prescribes the conditions under which audiometry should be carried out, the form of the tests, and by whom the tests should be performed. The Department will use the Standard to measure the suitability of sites for the provision of hearing rehabilitation services and can request that Service Providers supply measurement readings at any time. These measurements must be conducted by a qualified consultant and should be carried out at least once every 3 years.

Applicants will need to ensure tests are carried out during normal business hours. Testing that is conducted on a weekend or outside of business hours will not be accepted. Certification should include the following details about the test environment

  • octave band level measurements
  • date, time and location that the measurements took place
  • headsets and enclosures used for testing at the site
  • equipment used to conduct testing, and
  • contact details of the technician/consultant who conducted the assessment.

7.1.2 Equipment calibration

Similar to the requirements for ambient noise level measurements, the Standard recommends that equipment used for audiometric assessment should undergo calibration at least once every 12 months.

In line with the Standards’ recommendations, applicants are requested to provide calibration certification for all audiometric equipment they intend to use. Calibration should be carried out independently within 12 months prior to application and certificates must include the following information

  • contact details for the calibration laboratory
  • the date the calibration was undertaken, and
  • information related to each calibrated piece of equipment.

7.2 Insurance

The Contract requires that service providers maintain, at their own expense, public liability and professional indemnity insurance policies as well as workers’ compensation insurance. The term of the coverage should begin on or before the commencement date of the Contract and end no less than 12 months after the termination of the contract or the expiry of services. Applicants must provide evidence that they hold a policy for

  • public liability insurance to an amount not less than $10 million
  • professional indemnity insurance to an amount not less than $1 million per claim for each QP employed by the service provider, and
  • Workers’ Compensation insurance as required by law.

To meet this requirement, applicants will need to provide copies of the certificate of currency issued by their insurer.

7.3 e-Claiming

Clause 13.2 of the Contract requires that all Claim Forms (except those under Clause 13.6 and 13.7) must be submitted to the Department of Human Services electronically. To gain access to the Department’s e-Claiming system, you will need to obtain e-Claiming software.

It will not be possible to set up e-claiming until a contract has been executed by the Commonwealth.

Whilst it is not recommended that you purchase your software before a decision regarding accreditation is made, it may be beneficial for you to make contact with a software developer in advance.

Should your application be successful you will need to e-mail hearing@health.gov.au, for information regarding the requirements for utilising the e-claiming facility.

7.4 Hearing Services Online (HSO) and AUSkey

The hearing services online portal supports the administration of the voucher component of the program.  The online portal is part of the Hearing Services Online (HSO) Project.  The portal aims to reduce red tape and record keeping requirements, improve access to the program by providing quicker eligibility and application processing for clients, reducing the waiting time and number of paper forms needed to access hearing services.  Service Providers and clients are able to interact with the Department allowing clients to apply for services and service providers to manage their sites and clients online.

You will need an AUSkey to access the portal.  To register for an AUSkey you need to go to the website www.abr.gov.au/auskey and complete the process.

More information about the online portal is available on the program's website (including Minimum System Requirements, fact sheets and user guides).

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Application for Accreditation Kit Manual (PDF 387 KB)

Application for Accreditation Forms Package (PDF 181 KB)

Application for Accreditation Forms Package (DOC 532 KB)

How to set up for electronic claiming

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