Frequently Used Terms

Continuous improvement – the ongoing effort to improve services, systems, processes or products to maximise individual outcomes. Evidence-based approaches are used the organisation adapts to changing needs of the community or people using services.


Cultural competency – an active and deliberate effort by individuals and organisations to learn behaviours, attitudes, knowledge, skills, practices and processes to be effective in cross-cultural settings.


Dignity of risk – autonomy and self-determination used by a person when making decisions, including the choice to take some risks in life.


Family, friends and carers – people who connection and care for another person. It includes partners or significant others as well as parents, siblings, children and other family members.


Individual – the person with disability accessing services or support. The National Standards uses the term ‘individual’ rather than ‘consumer’, ‘client’ or ‘service user’.


Outcomes – the result of a service or support, such as an improvement in an individual’s wellbeing. Outcomes are different from outputs which describe units of service delivery or supports. Outcomes can be short-term or long-term, such as, an individual finding employment after completing a course.


Quality – can mean a range of things including but not limited to service excellence, value for money, best practice, meeting and exceeding expectations or formal recognition a service meets particular standards. Each organisation needs to define what quality means in collaboration with people with disability and other stakeholders. The NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework defines quality the extent to which a support being delivered by a provider is able to meet or exceed a participant’s needs and expectations and the extent to that the provider is meeting or exceeding the relevant NDIS quality and safeguarding requirement.


Minimal restriction – the term recognises any restrictions on choice and control should be minimal and evidence based. Clear information should be provided to people with disability, their families and carers so that restrictions are transparent and easily understood.


Person-centred – an approach to designing and providing services and supports that centres on the strengths, needs, interests and goals of the individual. In person-centred service, people with disability lead and direct the services and supports they use.


Quality improvement – continual review of the organisation, its structures and functions of governance, management, engagement with people with disability and other stakeholders and its service delivery.


Quality management – systems and processes used to monitor, review, plan, control and ensure quality of services, supports or products. Sometimes referred to as quality assurance.


Reflection – activities that individuals, teams and organisations undertake to learn from practice and action. This can be undertaken formally or informally as part of professional development or quality management.


Safeguarding – actions designed to protects the rights of people to be safe from the risk of harm, abuse and neglect, while maximising the choice and control they have over their lives.


Definitions adapted from:

The National Standards for Disability Services

NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework