Consumer and Client Participation
The human services and disability standards we audit, require consumer involvement in the audit process. Consumer feedback is an essential part of the audit process and is one source of evidence used to assess our client's performance to the standards being audited.
A consumer is a person who is receiving a service and support from a service provider. Consumer may also mean family members, carers or an advocate of that person using the service. Other terms used to describe consumer include client, NDIS participant, service user or person with disability.
Individual consumer participation in audits is voluntary. Their involvement can occur in the following ways:
- Participation in opening and closing meetings
- Audit interviews
- Casual and incidental engagement with the audit team
- File reviews
Providers are required to inform consumers about the audit and how they can be engaged in the audit itself. Providers must also ensure consumers are informed of their choice to utilise an independent support person or advocate prior to their consent being obtained.
It is desirable to obtain the consumer’s consent and agreement for their participation in the audit in writing. An independent advocate should be involved to determine the consumer’s capacity to provide consent; and to support an appropriate level of involvement by the consumer where required. Where written consent is not obtained, the reason for this is recorded by the audit team and evidence supporting the assumption that consent was sought and has been obtained e.g. verbal and active participation in the audit.