Step 1 is about getting started with the assessment process. It is where you put in place the foundations needed for change. It occurs in a number of stages, which may overlap.
The relationship between consumers and staff is perhaps the greatest influence on how your service is experienced and is the culmination of efforts of those providing services in the home, administrative and front-of-office workers and leaders across your organisation.
Meeting the needs of people living in the community relies on the performance of all your staff all working together with consumers and their carers.
The assessment will gauge the degree to which your consumers and their carers, staff and organisational leaders believe you are engaging in person-centred practice. Having quality information from these different perspectives will ensure you capture a range of experiences to help you better understand the needs of the people using the service and your staff.
It is a process of diagnosis and reflection that will lead to action. The more the process is planned, the more likely that your organisation will act on the results.
- Confirm authorisation and commitment from management and/or Board
Such commitment provides the opportunity to build support, create awareness of the need for involvement and ensure required resources are available. It will start you thinking about what a person-centered approach will mean for your organisation.
- Understand the Framework and the assessment process
This is an important precursor to commencing the assessment. It will provide the staff members(s) responsible the information needed to stimulate interest, start discussions and secure commitment to the undertaking. You can review the Framework here and the assessment process here.
- Decide on your approach
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to conducting the assessment. It will depend on the size and structure of your organisation and the resources you have available. Determine a process that will best work for you. And remember to define a communication strategy that will be used to keep key people informed and harness support
- Identify key people, form a team and nominate a leader
Responsibility for managing the assessment can sit with one person (change champion/project leader), or supported by a team. They need to liaise with staff at different levels and would usually act as website administrator
- Decide on the sample size and composition
When it is impractical to include all staff and consumers in the assessment, it is appropriate to use a sample group. This should represent your population so inferences can be made. The larger your sample, the more sure you can be that the results reflect your population. Include different levels of your workforce, consumers and their carers, and other partners in care provision (including contracted agencies)
- Determine the time-frame for the assessment
Timing is an important consideration for planning the assessment. The results can assist with operational and organisational planning, so the timing of the assessment needs to be balanced with other commitments and resources available.
- Consider the needs of participants
Web-based surveys can save time, but limited response rates due to low computer skills or internet access may cause difficulties. It is important to ensure that people have choices in how they participate.
You have a responsibility to ensure the protection of the information that is being supplied to you. To help you to ensure confidentiality you might:
- Substitute codes for identifiers
- Remove face sheets (containing names and addresses) from survey instruments containing data
- Properly and promptly disposing of questionnaires and data sources
- Limit access to identified data
- Impress on the staff the importance of confidentiality
The best means of convincing participants that you will provide confidentiality is by describing exactly the procedures you will use to ensure confidentiality
Continue to find out more about the second step in the self-assessment process: Step 2: Conduct the assessment
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