Frequently Asked Questions - Request for Tender

Frequently Asked Questions Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 Employment Services Purchasing 12 December 2017 Commonwealth of Australia 2017 This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this Notice) for your personal, non-commercial use or use within your organisation. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, all other rights are reserved.

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 ii Document History Date Comments 13 November 2017 Initial Release 15 November 2017 Added FAQs—5.11 and 8.13 17 November 2017 Added FAQs—5.12, 8.14, 8.15 and 8.16 21 November 2017 Added FAQs—2.8, 2.9, 4.5, 5.13, 5.14, 5.15 and 8.17 21 November 2017 Updates to FAQs—7.6, 9.3, 9.4 and 10.1 29 November 2017 Updates to FAQs—2.9 and 5.12 29 November 2017 Added FAQs—2.10, 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, 2.14, 4.6, 4.7, 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 8.18, 8.19, 8.20, 8.21, 8.22, 8.23, 8.24 and 9.9 5 December 2017 Added FAQs—2.15, 2.16, 2.17, 2.18, 2.19, 2.20, 2.21, 2.22, 2.23, 2.24, 2.25, 3.4, 4.8, 4.9, 4.10, 5.16, 5.17, 5.18, 5.19, 5.20, 5.21, 5.22, 5.23, 5.24, 5.25, 6.10, 6.11, 7.9, 8.25, 8.26, 8.27, 8.28, 8.29, 8.30, 8.31, 9.10, 9.11, 9.12, 10.4 8 December 2017 Added FAQs—2.26, 2.27, 2.28, 2.29, 2.30, 2.31, 2.32, 2.33, 2.34, 5.26, 5.27, 5.28, 6.12, 7.10, 8.32, 8.33, 8.34, 8.35, 8.36, 8.37, 8.38, 9.13, 11.6 and 11.7 8 December 2017 Added duplicates of FAQs from Section 4—11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4 and 11.5 11 December 2017 Added FAQs—2.35, 4.11, 5.29, 6.13, 6.14, 6.15, 6.16, 7.11, 8.39, 9.14, 11.8, 11.9 and 11.10 12 December 2017 Added FAQs—7.12 and 7.13

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 iii Contact Details The Employment Services Purchasing Hotline (espurchasing@employment.gov.au) (the Hotline) is the primary means of contact during the Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 process. Questions and requests for clarification about this process can be provided by:  Phone: 1300 733 514, the Employment Services Purchasing Hotline (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Canberra time, excluding ACT and national public holidays)  Email: Employment Services Purchasing Hotline (espurchasing@employment.gov.au).

Requests for Information or Clarification All requests for information or clarification must be submitted to the Hotline before 5.00 pm (Canberra time) on 15 December 2017. There will be no obligation on the Department to answer questions received after this time.

Please note that any answer to a question or request for clarification about this process that is not available publicly will need to be submitted by email. The Department will determine what, if any, response should be given to a Respondent’s question or request for clarification and may publish responses on the Employment Services Purchasing Information website (www.employment.gov.au/purchasing). Responses will be published without disclosing the source of the questions or revealing any confidential information of a Respondent.

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 iv Table of Contents 1.

ParentsNext 2018–2021 ___ 4
2. Participant Eligibility and Referrals ___ 5
3. Locations ___ 14
4. Quality and Performance ___ 15
5. Provider Payments ___ 18
6. Eligibility to Apply ___ 26
7. General Questions ___ 31
8. Responding ___ 35
9. Evaluation Process ___ 46
10. Timing ___ 50
11. IT Requirements . 52

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 4 1. ParentsNext 2018–2021 1.1 What is ParentsNext? [Added 13 November 2017] ParentsNext is a pre-employment program that aims to help parents with young children to plan and prepare for employment once their youngest child reaches school age. It has been operating in ten locations across Australia since April 2016. It has engaged thousands of parents and had a positive impact on their lives and those of their young children.

Reference: RFT Section 2.1—Introduction 1.2 What are the objectives of ParentsNext? [Added 13 November 2017] The objectives of ParentsNext are to:  target early intervention assistance to parents at risk of long-term welfare dependency  help parents identify and reach their education and employment goals through participation in activities, and  connect parents to local services that can help them to prepare for employment.

Reference: RFT Section 2.2—Why the need for ParentsNext? 1.3 How does ParentsNext 2018-2021 differ from the current ParentsNext program? [Added 13 November 2017] ParentsNext is expanding to provide national coverage in all non-remote regions of Australia. While the program objectives will remain the same, it will be delivered in two streams, an Intensive Stream and a Targeted Stream. The Intensive Stream will operate in 30 locations identified as having a high level of disadvantage and/or a high proportion of Indigenous parents. The Targeted Stream will operate in all non-remote regions excluding any Intensive Stream locations in those non-remote regions.

The Intensive Stream includes the same services as the current program as well as access to employment-focussed support and incentives including a Participation Fund, Outcome Fees, Wage Subsidies and Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job. The Targeted Stream is similar to the current program with some changes to eligibility. Requirements to deliver ParentsNext 2018–2021 are set out in the draft ParentsNext 2018–2021 Deed, which is expected to be published on the Employment Services Purchasing Information website (http://www.employment.gov.au/purchasing) on 20 November 2017. Reference: RFT Chapter 2—About ParentsNext 1.4 When will ParentsNext commence? [Added 13 November 2017] ParentsNext will commence in all non-remote regions of Australia from the beginning of July 2018.

Reference: RFT Section 2.1—Introduction

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 5 2. Participant Eligibility and Referrals 2.1 Who is eligible to participate in ParentsNext 2018–2021? [Added 13 November 2017] ParentsNext 2018–2021 will assist Parenting Payment recipients with a youngest child aged under six years who have not been employed for the past six months. The eligibility criteria for ParentsNext vary between the Intensive and Targeted Streams. Reference: RFT Section 2.5—Eligible Parents 2.2 What are the eligibility criteria for Compulsory Participants? [Added 13 November 2017] Parents will be required to participate in ParentsNext as a Compulsory Participant if they meet all of the following base eligibility criteria:  have a child aged under six years  have been continuously receiving Parenting Payment for at least six months  have no reported earnings from employment in this six month period, and  meet one of the following additional Stream eligibility criteria: Intensive Stream Targeted Stream For those residing in an Intensive Stream Location, one of the following: o an Early School Leaver with a youngest child at least six months of age o assessed as being highly disadvantaged and has a youngest child at least six months of age, or o has a youngest child at least five years of age.

For those residing in a Targeted Stream Location, one of the following: o an Early School Leaver with a youngest child at least one year of age o assessed as being highly disadvantaged and has a youngest child at least three years of age, or o has a youngest child at least five years of age and is part of a jobless family 1 ___ 1
a jobless family is defined as the parent (for parenting payment single recipients) or the parent and their partner (for parenting payment partnered recipients) with no reported employment earnings in the previous six months. Reference: RFT Section 2.5.1—Compulsory Participants 2.3 How will Compulsory Participants be referred to ParentsNext 2018–2021? [Added 13 November 2017] Compulsory Participants will be referred to a ParentsNext Provider by the Department of Human Services (Centrelink).

Providers will be required to accept all referrals from the Department of Human Services and ensure sufficient appointments are available in the online diary system in the Department’s IT Systems.

Compulsory Participants in the current ParentsNext program as at 30 June 2018 will continue in ParentsNext as Compulsory Participants. Reference: RFT Section 2.5.1—Compulsory Participants

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 6 2.4 Are Volunteers able to participate in ParentsNext 2018–2021? [Added 13 November 2017] Parents will be eligible to participate in the Intensive Stream of ParentsNext as a Volunteer if they are in receipt of Parenting Payment, have a child aged under six years and reside in an Intensive Stream Location.

There will be no Volunteers in the Targeted Stream of ParentsNext. Volunteers can be referred by the Department of Human Services (Centrelink) or directly registered by a ParentsNext Provider. A Provider will need to check that a parent meets the ParentsNext eligibility criteria before directly registering them as a Volunteer. Volunteers in the current ParentsNext program will be exited if they are not receiving Parenting Payment as at 30 June 2018.

Reference: RFT Section 2.5.2—Volunteers 2.5 What happens if a Participant moves from a Targeted Stream Location to an Intensive Stream Location and vice versa? [Added 13 November 2017] If a Participant relocates, the Department of Human Services will automatically reassess a Participant’s eligibility when the Participant informs them of their new address. This may result in a referral to a ParentsNext Provider in the Participant’s new location or a Participant being informed that they are no longer able to participate in ParentsNext.

Reference: RFT Section 2.12.6—Movement between Streams 2.6 Will ParentsNext Providers have a caseload from Day 1? [Added 13 November 2017] Details on expected Day 1 caseloads will be provided to successful Respondents prior to 1 July 2018.

Reference: RFT Section 2.6.2—Start-up Caseload 2.7 Will there be a transition phase for current providers? [Added 13 November 2017] The current ParentsNext program will cease on 30 June 2018. The Department will provide advice on the transition period to current ParentsNext providers and participants in the lead up to 1 July 2018. 2.8 How many Participants are commenced in the current ParentsNext program? [Added 20 November 2017] As at the end of October 2017, there were approximately 13,600 Participants on the ParentsNext caseload. This comprises Participants who are commenced, suspended (exempt) or pending.

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 7 2.9 Of the current ParentsNext caseload, what is the average proportion that is exempt from participation requirements (i.e. suspended) at any point in time? [Added 20 November 2017] Approximately 20 per cent of the current ParentsNext caseload is exempt from participation requirements. The Suspension rate for the 10 Local Government Areas range from 12 per cent to 36 per cent. Exemption periods are granted for the duration appropriate to the exemption reason, up to a maximum period. Generally, they range from 2 weeks to 52 weeks.

For further details please refer to the Guide to Social Security Law (http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law). Update: Respondents are advised that the second sentence above has been added. [Updated 29 November 2017] 2.10 Are ParentsNext Participants able to undertake a PaTH internship? What incentives, if any, can ParentsNext Providers offer to employers? [Added 29 November 2017] ParentsNext Participants are not able to undertake a PaTH internship, even where concurrently commenced in jobactive as a Stream A volunteer.

ParentsNext Providers will have access to Wage Subsidies to help place Intensive Stream Participants in employment. See Section 2.17—Wage Subsidies—Intensive Stream Only of the Request for Tender for more information. Reference: RFT Section 2.17—Wage Subsidies—Intensive Stream Only 2.11 What is the definition of ‘highly disadvantaged’ in the context of Participant eligibility? [Added 29 November 2017] The Department of Human Services will use the Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI) to determine a Parenting Payment recipient’s level of disadvantage. A parent who is eligible for ParentsNext and is assessed as highly disadvantaged will be referred to a ParentsNext Provider.

The JSCI measures an individual’s relative level of disadvantage in the labour market based on their expected difficulty in finding employment due to their personal circumstances and labour market skills. Factors used by the JSCI to determine the level of disadvantage include: age and gender; educational attainment; job seeker history; work experience; geographic location; and proximity to a labour market.

Reference: RFT Section 2.5.1—Compulsory Participants 2.12 How is Participant eligibility determined for each Stream? [Added 29 November 2017] Participant eligibility will depend on whether a Participant resides in an Intensive Stream Location or a Targeted Stream Location. See Section 2.5.1—Compulsory Participants of the Request for Tender for ParentsNext base and Stream eligibility criteria. Reference: RFT Section 2.5.1—Compulsory Participants

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 8 2.13 Is ParentsNext available to culturally and linguistically diverse parents? [Added 29 November 2017] ParentsNext is available to all parents that meet the eligibility criteria, as set out in Section 2.5.1— Compulsory Participants of the Request for Tender.

Reference: RFT Section 2.5.1—Compulsory Participants 2.14 Noting that approximately 20 per cent of the current ParentsNext caseload is suspended at any point in time, can you advise if suspended Participants will count toward a Provider’s caseload and Business Share? [Added 29 November 2017] Suspended Participants will count towards a Provider’s Business Share. Provider Caseloads in ParentsNext will be based on the available Participants within the Employment Region, and the Business Share the Provider has been awarded. A Provider’s Business Share is determined by counting all Participants that the Provider has had an opportunity to provide services to, compared to all those in the Employment Region.

Therefore, all Participants who Commence on a Provider’s Caseload will be counted in calculating the Provider’s Business Share. Participants who are subsequently Suspended or Exited will still count towards the Provider’s Business Share calculation. Where a Provider has not exceeded their Business Share for the Employment Region, including the 30 per cent additional tolerance, Providers may still be referred Participants to their Caseload. 2.15 Are there any changes to the Reasonable Excuse definition that will apply to ParentsNext Participants? [Added 5 December 2017] The Reasonable Excuse provision will be consistent across the application of the Targeted Compliance Framework to Participants in jobactive, Disability Employment Services and ParentsNext.

Social Security legislation requires that, before any penalty can be imposed, it must be established if the Participant had a Reasonable Excuse for failing to meet their requirements. This is determined by the Department of Human Services.

There are two components in establishing if a Participant has a Reasonable Excuse: 1. if the reason the Participant gave for not complying was considered acceptable, and 2. where the reason they gave was acceptable, why the Participant did not give prior notice of their inability to meet the requirement (i.e. whether the nature of the reason meant they could not give prior notice). Following any Participant non-compliance with compulsory requirements, ParentsNext Providers will use the same principles as those used for Reasonable Excuse determinations in considering whether the Participant has an acceptable reason for non-compliance.

In considering this, the Provider will take into account the individual circumstances of the Participant and whether the reason would generally be accepted by a member of the public.

Reference: RFT Section 2.13.3—Valid Reason and Reasonable Excuse

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 9 2.16 Do Participants take part in ParentsNext for a set period of time? [Added 5 December 2017] No, participants are eligible to stay in ParentsNext until the youngest child turns six, or they meet other exit rules. The reasons for exit will be made available in the Program Guidelines, which will be published in the lead up to the commencement of ParentsNext. 2.17 Is there a maximum period that a Participant can receive ParentsNext services? [Added 5 December 2017] There is no maximum period of service in ParentsNext.

A Participant may continue to receive ParentsNext services while they meet eligibility requirements.

2.18 Will Participants be able to volunteer in jobactive while in ParentsNext, and for how long? [Added 5 December 2017] Compulsory ParentsNext Participants will be eligible to concurrently receive jobactive services as a Stream A volunteer for six months. Volunteer ParentsNext Participants will not be able to receive concurrent services. 2.19 If a Participant chooses to participate in jobactive while they are a Participant in ParentsNext, can they access the full range of services offered by jobactive? [Added 5 December 2017] Participants who choose to concurrently participate in ParentsNext and jobactive may receive the services and assistance available to jobactive Stream A Volunteer clients.

2.20 Will there be targeted Participants within an Intensive Local Government Area (LGA)? [Added 5 December 2017] No. Participant eligibility is based on their home address. A Participant’s address will be used to determine whether they are assessed for eligibility against the Targeted or Intensive Stream. 2.21 Will ParentsNext Providers be able to grant Participant Exemptions? [Added 5 December 2017] ParentsNext Providers will be able to grant a Compulsory Participant an Exemption from their Mutual Obligation Requirements where they experience a major personal crisis, personal disruption, or other circumstances which may warrant an Exemption.

More information about granting Exemptions is available in the draft Deed and will included in Program Guidelines, which will be published in the lead up to the commencement of ParentsNext.

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 10 2.22 If partnered parents are both receiving a Parenting Payment, can they each participate in the ParentsNext program? [Added 5 December 2017] Yes, as long as they meet the other program eligibility requirements to participate in ParentsNext. To participate in the program an individual will need to be in receipt of a Parenting Payment and have a child under six years.

Further information is in Section 2.5—Eligible Parents of the Request for Tender.

Reference: RFT Section 2.5—Eligible Parents 2.23 Are Participants required to exit the ParentsNext program if a Provider finds employment for them? [Added 5 December 2017] No, employment earnings are not an automatic exit from ParentsNext. 2.24 Does the Department of Human Services review a Participant's circumstances before applying an income support suspension? [Added 5 December 2017] The Department of Human Services does not review a participant's circumstances before applying an income suspension. Income suspension will be applied automatically in accordance with the Targeted Compliance Framework.

More information can be found in Section 2.13.1—Targeted Compliance Framework of the Request for Tender.

Reference: RFT Section 2.13.1—Targeted Compliance Framework 2.25 Can Parents in remote areas be Volunteers in ParentsNext? [Added 5 December 2017] No, ParentsNext will not be delivered in remote regions of Australia for Voluntary or Compulsory Participants. 2.26 Are parents only required to participate in ParentsNext if they meet eligibility criteria and reside in an Intensive Stream Location (e.g. Brighton, Burnie)? [Added 8 December 2017] No. All parents will be required to participate in ParentsNext if they meet the eligibility criteria and reside in an Intensive Stream Location or Targeted Stream Location.

Base eligibility for ParentsNext and eligibility for each Stream is in Section 2.5—Eligible Parents of the Request for Tender. Reference: RFT Section 2.5—Eligible Parents 2.27 Can all parents in Tasmania who meet Intensive Stream criteria participate in ParentsNext as a Volunteer? [Added 8 December 2017] No. Parents will only be eligible to participate in the Intensive Stream of ParentsNext as a Volunteer if they are in receipt of Parenting Payment, have a child aged under six and reside in an Intensive Stream Location. There will be no Volunteers in the Targeted Stream of ParentsNext. Reference: RFT Section 2.5.2—Volunteers

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 11 2.28 What ParentsNext services can parents receive outside Intensive Stream Locations? [Added 8 December 2017] Eligible parents residing outside the Intensive Stream Locations will receive services under the Targeted Stream of ParentsNext. Details of services to be provided under the Targeted Stream are in Section 2.4.1—Targeted Stream of the Request for Tender. Reference: Section 2.4.1—Targeted Stream 2.29 Will ParentsNext Participants who choose to volunteer in jobactive be eligible for the National Work Experience Programme (NWEP) or Youth Jobs PaTH? [Added 8 December 2017] ParentsNext Participants concurrently commenced in jobactive as a volunteer will not be eligible to participate in NWEP or Youth Jobs PaTH.

2.30 Can the Department provide any data on average duration for Participants in ParentsNext? [Added 8 December 2017] The Department is unable to provide projections of average durations of Participants in ParentsNext. Section 2.12.5—Transfers and Exits of the Request for Tender advises when Participants may be exited from the program. Reference: RFT Section 2.12.5—Transfers and Exits 2.31 Will ParentsNext Participants be eligible to receive Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance (JET Child Care Fee Assistance) once they have signed their Participation Plan? [Added 8 December 2017] From 2 July 2018, JET Child Care Fee Assistance will be replaced by measures in the New Child Care Package.

Information about the assistance available under the New Child Care Package is available from the Department of Education and Training’s New Child Care Package website (education.gov.au/ChildCarePackage).

2.32 Can you confirm what the expected caseload numbers at Appendix D—ParentsNext Maps of the Request for Tender are based on (i.e. is it the expected number of Participants that will commence annually or over the term of the contract)? [Added 8 December 2017] The expected caseload of Compulsory Participants at Appendix D—ParentsNext Maps of the Request for Tender represents the number of potentially eligible parents currently residing in each Employment Region. Reference: RFT Appendix D—ParentsNext Maps

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 12 2.33 If a Provider refers a ParentsNext Participant to the South Australian funded Building Family Opportunities program, would it be considered double dipping where the same organisation receives funding to deliver both programs? [Added 8 December 2017] Although the Department aims to minimise duplication of government funded programs of services, successful Respondents will be expected to work with local community and education organisations that offer Complementary Services to support Participants to work towards the goals in their Participation Plan.

Complementary Services generally include:  programs with funding to support participation in education and training  programs or intensive support services that support Participants to address a specific barrier or achieve a goal, and  programs that support employers to hire, train or sustain employment including wage subsidies, Vocational Training and Employment Centres and apprenticeship support. Where a successful Respondent also receives funding for a Complementary Service, the Department will allow the organisation to refer its ParentsNext Participants to its Complementary Service, where the Complementary Service is a good fit for the Participant’s individual circumstances and will help them achieve the goals in their Participation Plan.

Detailed information about Complementary Services will be in program Guidelines, which will be published in the lead up to July 2018. Respondents are requested to declare any actual or potential contractual relationships with public funding bodies (Australian, state, territory or local government) under which it may be entitled to a fee for the provision of the same or similar services, on the Double Funding form. References: RFT Section 3.4—Double Funding, and Appendix B—Glossary

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 13 2.34 If an organisation is contracted to deliver ParentsNext and is also a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for specific funding requirements, would referring Participants to the RTO constitute double funding (and therefore breach clause 18.3 of the ParentsNext 2018–2021 Deed)? [Added 8 December 2017] If a ParentsNext Provider is also an RTO, the Provider may refer a Participant, in accordance with the Deed, to a training course delivered by the Provider in its capacity as an RTO.

One of the main Deed obligations relating to the training of Participants is, “... the Provider must, for each Participant, as appropriate to their needs, and in accordance with any Guidelines, ... refer them, where appropriate, to Education courses that help them to complete a training course that is part of the SEE program, Year 12 or gain a Certificate III or higher qualification...” (clause 84.1(f) of the Deed). The Deed does not prohibit a Provider from referring a Participant to a training course that is delivered by the Provider in its capacity as an RTO, so long as the Provider complies with the Deed requirements when doing so.

Clause 18.3 applies to funding that is for ‘providing services to Participants that are the same as, or similar to, the [services that the Provider must provide under the Deed]’. If the Provider in its capacity as an RTO receives funding for delivering the training course the Participant is referred to, it is unlikely that this would be a breach of clause 18.3. This is because the RTO’s services (i.e. delivering the training course) differ from the services that the Provider must provide under the Deed. As outlined above, the key training related service that the Provider must provide under the Deed is referral of Participants to appropriate training.

This information is provided as guidance only. Please note that the Department cannot provide advice on the legal interpretation of the draft Deed to Providers. Providers are advised to seek their own professional (including legal) advice. 2.35 Can ParentsNext Participants participate in ParentsNext and Disability Employment Services (DES)? [Added 11 December 2017] ParentsNext Compulsory Participants will not be eligible to participate in DES. Participants in ParentsNext can be referred to jobactive, Transition to Work and the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme while participating in ParentsNext.

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 14 3. Locations 3.1 Where will ParentsNext be delivered? [Added 13 November 2017] From July 2018 ParentsNext will be delivered in all non-remote areas across Australia. The Intensive Stream will be delivered in the ten existing ParentsNext locations and 20 new locations where a higher proportion of Parenting Payment recipients are Indigenous. The Targeted Stream will be delivered in all 51 Employment Regions excluding Intensive Stream locations.

References: RFT Section 2.7—Service Areas, and Appendix D—ParentsNext Maps 3.2 Will ParentsNext be delivered in Norfolk Island? [Added 13 November 2017] No, ParentsNext will not be delivered in Norfolk Island.

3.3 What are the 30 Intensive Stream Locations? [Added 13 November 2017] The 30 Intensive Stream locations are:  NSW: Bankstown1 , Wyong1 , Shellharbour1 ,Dubbo, Inner Sydney, Mid Coast, Orange, North Coast and Tamworth  NT: Darwin-Palmerston and Alice Springs  SA: Port Augusta & Whyalla, Playford1 and Port Adelaide  QLD: Cairns, Logan1 , Rockhampton1 , Toowoomba, Mackay and Townsville  WA: Kwinana1 , Perth-South, Perth-East, Geraldton and Broome  TAS: Burnie1 and Brighton  VIC: Greater Shepparton1 , Hume1 and Mildura. Reference: RFT Appendix D—ParentsNext Maps 3.4 Will the Department release data on the proportion of Participants who are in each of the cohorts? [Added 5 December 2017] The Department is not planning to release data on the proportion of Participants who are in each of the cohorts.

The Department released data on the expected number of Indigenous Participants due to the national rollout’s emphasis on supporting Indigenous parents, and to inform bids by specialist Indigenous providers.

1 One of the current 10 ParentsNext locations.

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 15 4. Quality and Performance 4.1 How will ParentsNext Providers performance be monitored? [Added 13 November 2017] The Department will regularly monitor and assess Provider performance. Formal performance monitoring against a number of Key Performance Indicators will commence after July 2018. Key Performance Indicators will be included in the draft ParentsNext 2018–2021 Deed which is expected to be published on the Employment Services Purchasing Information website (http://www.employment.gov.au/purchasing) on 20 November 2017.

The Department will gather performance information from a variety of sources, including through the Department’s IT systems and monitoring surveys.

References: RFT Section 2.20—Performance Framework, and Section 2.20.1—ParentsNext Performance Measures 4.2 Will there be a data reporting and operational management system available to ParentsNext Providers? [Added 13 November 2017] The Department’s IT Systems will be used to provide ParentsNext services. It will interface with the Department of Human Services system. Some IT functionality will be available from March 2018 to enable ParentsNext Provider training and the booking of Participant appointments with all functionality being released just prior to July 2018. Functionality will include (but is not limited to) the ability:  to enable Participants to be referred to the service from Department of Human Services  to directly register a Volunteer Participant  for Providers to view their caseload and manage Participant appointments  to develop Participation Plans  record the granting of Exemptions from Mutual Obligation Requirements  to monitor and manage a Participant’s participation requirements and compliance with the program  to refer Participants to local activities including education, preemployment preparation, non-vocational and employment activities  to claim payments, including outcomes payments  to place Participants into vacancies  to upload Service Delivery Plans, and  for Participants to search for Providers on Australian JobSearch.

Reference: RFT Section 2.22—Use of the Department’s IT Systems 4.3 Will ParentsNext Providers need to be IT accredited? [Added 13 November 2017] All ParentsNext Providers will need to meet certain requirements in relation to IT accreditation. Further information regarding the accreditation process will be included in the draft ParentsNext 2018-2021 Deed which is expected to be published on the Employment Services Purchasing Information website (http://www.employment.gov.au/purchasing) on 20 November 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 16 4.4 Will ParentsNext Providers have access to training? [Added 13 November 2017] Yes, a range of training and resources on ParentsNext operational policy and the Department’s IT Systems will be available to ParentsNext Providers. Some training will be compulsory for Provider staff to complete, including training on Participation Plans, Exemptions and Compliance. The Department will provide more details on training to successful Respondents in the lead up to July 2018.

Reference: RFT Section 2.23—ParentsNext Provider Training 4.5 Will WorkStar™ be the compulsory work readiness tool for ParentsNext 2018–2021? Will Providers have a choice of work readiness tool? [Added 21 November 2017] The Department is determining the work readiness tool that will be utilised to measure the progress of Participants.

To enable the improvement in work readiness to be measured consistently across the ParentsNext program, the Department expects that one tool will be used by all Providers across the program. The Department will notify successful tenderers of the work readiness tool to be used for ParentsNext Participants prior to the commencement of the program. Reference: RFT Section 2.19—Work Readiness Assessments 4.6 Will Providers be required to undertake the IT Pathway to Accreditation process? [Added 29 November 2017] Providers that currently hold Deeds with the Department may already have begun the Pathway to Accreditation process.

For those Providers, if they successfully tender for ParentsNext 2018-2021, there may be reduced cost to include ParentsNext into their current IT accreditation pathway as the Department will acknowledge any progress already made by a Provider toward completing the Pathway to Accreditation process.

Other successful ParentsNext Providers will be required to undertake the Pathway to Accreditation process. The cost of accreditation is usually dependent on the size of the organisation, the complexity of its IT infrastructure, and how many sites it operates from. An independent Information Registered Assessor Program (IRAP) assessor will be required to complete and submit the following submissions on behalf of these Providers to the Department:  Phase 2 (18 months from commencement of service) and  Phase 3 (36 Months from commencement of service). Note: Organisations can self-assess Phase 1.

This does not need to be completed by an independent IRAP assessor.

Further information regarding the accreditation process is included in the draft ParentsNext 2018-2021 Deed, which is published on the Employment Services Purchasing Information website (http://www.employment.gov.au/purchasing).

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 17 4.7 Are the ParentsNext Performance Measures related to education and employment outcomes, designed to cause competition between Providers? [Added 29 November 2017] While the ParentsNext performance measures, as set out in Section 2.20.1—ParentsNext Performance Measures of the Request for Tender, include the proportion of Participants who achieved Education or Employment Outcomes, it is not yet decided if this will be measured at a Provider level.

The Department does not intend to create competition between Providers, but will need to measure Outcomes to evaluate the program's effectiveness. Reference: RFT Section 2.20.1—ParentsNext Performance Measures 4.8 What will happen if legislation for the new Targeted Compliance Framework is not passed? [Added 5 December 2017] If legislation for the new Targeted Compliance Framework is not passed by both houses of Parliament, the Department will need to reconsider the compliance policy for ParentsNext. In this event, ParentsNext compliance policy decisions will be made publicly available as soon as possible.

Reference: RFT Section 2.13.1—Targeted Compliance Framework 4.9 Will ParentsNext Providers be required to have or gain Quality Assurance Framework certification? [Added 5 December 2017] ParentsNext Providers will not be required to have or gain Quality Assurance Framework certification.

4.10 Will there be Indigenous Outcome Targets in ParentsNext? [Added 5 December 2017] Indigenous Outcome Targets will not form part of the ParentsNext performance framework. The Department may monitor Indigenous Outcomes as part of program management. 4.11 How will the Department provide training to Providers as outlined in the Request for Tender? Will training be online or at a specific location? [Added 11 December 2017] The Department is currently developing a Provider training strategy for the national rollout of ParentsNext. A range of training products and training methods will be made available.

Reference: RFT Section 2.23—ParentsNext Provider Training

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 18 5. Provider Payments 5.1 How will ParentsNext Providers be paid? [Added 13 November 2017] All payments will be made through the Department’s IT Systems. 5.2 How will ParentsNext Providers be paid? [Added 13 November 2017] ParentsNext Providers will be paid a Service Fee of $600 (GST inclusive) per Participant every six months. This will include a partial upfront payment of Service Fees at the start of each six month period based on the Provider’s expected or actual caseload. The upfront payment is designed to provide greater certainty around funding, and ensure ParentsNext Providers are able to fund services or activities that will support Participants.

The Department will offset the upfront payment against the Provider’s Service Fee entitlement for each Participant. Once a Provider’s upfront payment is fully offset, Providers will be entitled to a Service Fee for each Participant who commences or completes six months of continuous active service.

References: RFT Section 2.14—Provider Payments, and Section 2.14.1—Upfront Payment of Service Fees 5.3 How will the upfront Service Fees be calculated? [Added 13 November 2017] Upfront Service Fees will be calculated on the following basis: Expected/Actual Caseload Upfront Payment Proportion Upfront Payment Calculation 0-99 Participants 95% of expected/actual caseload Caseload x 95% x $600 100-249 Participants 85% of expected/actual caseload Caseload x 85% x $600 250-399 Participants 75% of expected/actual caseload Caseload x 75% x $600 400 or more Participants 65% of expected/actual caseload Caseload x 65% x $600 The upfront payment for the first six month period will be based on a Provider’s expected caseload.

Upfront payments for subsequent six month periods will be based on the Provider’s actual caseload on the last day of the previous six month period.

The first upfront payment will be paid to Providers from 1 July 2017. For each Participant that commences on a Provider’s caseload, a $600 (GST inclusive) Service Fee will be offset against the total amount paid upfront. Once the Provider has fully offset the upfront payment, the Provider will be entitled to a Service Fee for each additional Participant commenced in that six month period. In subsequent six monthly payment periods, a Provider’s upfront payment will be offset each time:  a new Participant commences on their caseload, and  a Participant completes six months of continuous active service.

The Department does not intend to recoup any of the partial upfront payment where a Provider’s caseload does not reach the expected/actual caseload for which the upfront payment was calculated.

References: RFT Section 2.14.1—Upfront Payment of Service Fees, and Section 2.14.2—How the Upfront Payment of Service Fees will work

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 19 5.4 How will a Provider’s actual caseload be calculated? [Added 13 November 2017] A Provider’s actual caseload is based on the number of Participants commenced on a Provider’s caseload. Any Participants who are exited, suspended or pending will be not included in the actual caseload count. 5.5 How will a Participant’s continuous active service be calculated? [Added 13 November 2017] Continuous active service relates to the length of time a Participant is commenced on a Provider’s caseload excluding any Suspension periods.

For example, a Participant commences on 2 July 2017 and receives five months of ParentsNext services before their Provider grants them a two month Exemption period, resulting in a Suspension on the Provider’s caseload. The Participant’s continuous active service will pause when the Suspension for the Participant’s Exemption period starts and will resume when the Suspension period for the Exemption ends. The Participant will complete their six months of continuous active service one month after the end of the Exemption period (eight calendar months after commencement), resulting in an offset against the Provider’s second upfront payment, or a new Service Fee if the second upfront payment is fully offset.

5.6 Will a ParentsNext Provider be paid additional Service Fees if their caseload has more Participants than what their upfront payment was calculated on? [Added 13 November 2017] Yes. If in a six monthly payment period a Provider’s caseload exceeds the number of Participants used to calculate the corresponding upfront payment, the Provider will be paid a Service Fee for each additional Participant that commences on their caseload or completes six months of continuous active service. Reference: RFT Section 2.14.2—How the Upfront Payment of Service Fees will work 5.7 What will happen to the Service Fee for a Participant who transfers to another ParentsNext Provider? [Added 13 November 2017] When a Participant transfers between ParentsNext Providers in either stream, a pro-rata Service Fee will be paid to the gaining Provider.

The Department will not recover any portion of the Service Fee from the former Provider. The pro-rata amount payable to the gaining Provider will be based on the period of time from the Commencement of the transferred Participant by the gaining Provider to the end of the six month period in which the date of transfer occurs in the Department's IT Systems. For example, a Participant commences with Provider A on 2 July 2017. After receiving five months of continuous active service the Participant transfers to Provider B. When Provider B commences the Participant, Provider B will be entitled to a pro-rata Service Fee for one month.

This Service Fee will either offset Provider B’s upfront payment or be paid to Provider B if their upfront payment is fully offset.

Reference: RFT Section 2.14.3—Pro-rata Service Fees

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 20 5.8 What other payments are available? [Added 13 November 2017] ParentsNext Providers delivering the Intensive Stream will also have access to Education and Employment Outcome Payments. A Provider will be eligible to receive an Employment Outcome when a Participant they place into employment sustains that employment for an average of at least 15 hours per week (30 hours per fortnight) over a period of 12 weeks. A Provider will be eligible for an Education Outcome when a Participant completes any of the following:  a Certificate III (or higher)  Year 12, or  the Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program.

Participants may achieve more than one Education Outcome provided the education attained is at a higher level than the Participant’s previous education, including any education attained prior to commencing in ParentsNext.

References: RFT Section 2.4.2—Intensive Stream, Section 2.15—Outcomes—Intensive Stream Only, and Section 2.15.1—Education Outcomes 5.9 What are the evidence requirements for Outcomes? [Added 13 November 2017] There are two ways in which Employment Outcomes will verified—through information from the Department of Human Services or documentary evidence, such as pay slips. To claim an Education Outcome for a Participant, Intensive Stream Providers will need to upload relevant documentary evidence in the Department’s IT Systems showing:  the Participant’s name  the qualification achieved  details of the institution or Registered Training provider that issued the qualification  the date of the qualification, and  the course code or unit code identified on the Department of Education and Training’s Training website (training.gov.au).

Detailed information on evidence requirements for Outcomes will be set out in program Guidelines. Reference: RFT Section 2.15.3—Verification of Outcomes 5.10 Can a ParentsNext Provider claim an Outcome Payment for a Participant who achieves an Employment Outcome while concurrently commenced in another program, such as jobactive or a Vocational Training & Employment Centre (VTEC)? [Added 13 November 2017] Where a Participant is connected to a ParentsNext Provider and a jobactive or VTEC provider and is placed in a job leading to an Employment Outcome, both the ParentsNext Provider and the other provider will be able to claim an Outcome Payment.

Reference: RFT Section 2.15.2—Employment Outcomes

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 21 5.11 Where a ParentsNext Provider is also a Participant’s jobactive provider, is it able to claim an Outcome Payment under each contract where the Participant achieves an Employment Outcome? [Added 15 November 2017] If a ParentsNext Provider places a Participant into employment leading to an Employment Outcome, it will receive an Outcome Payment even if it has received an outcome payment for the Participant’s employment under its jobactive service.

5.12 Will the Department publish Local Government Area (LGA) Participant numbers? [Added 17 November 2017] The Department will release hotspot maps to show where expected Compulsory Participants reside. These maps, along with the Expected Caseload numbers for each Employment Region, will assist Respondents in nominating service areas and site locations. The Department cannot guarantee that all Participants within the LGA will be serviced by Providers within the LGA, because Participants may elect to be serviced by their most accessible Site which may be in a neighbouring LGA or Employment Region.

If a Respondent is successful in winning business in an LGA, this does not necessarily mean that the Respondent will be the only Provider providing services in that LGA. Referrals to a Provider will be based on the Provider’s assigned Business share which is at the Employment Region level. Update: Respondents are advised that the first sentence in paragraph 1 of this response has been updated from, “The Department will publish expected Participant numbers for all LGAs shortly”. [Updated 29 November 2017] Update: The ParentsNext Hotspot Maps by Employment Region have been published on the Employment Services Purchasing Information website (https://www.employment.gov.au/employment-services-procurement-information) under the Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 link.

[Updated 5 December 2017] 5.13 What, if any, are the mandated rates or caps on each type of assistance available under the Participation Fund? [Added 20 November 2017] The Participation Fund is a pool of funds that can be accessed by ParentsNext Providers delivering the Intensive Stream to help Participants prepare for employment.

A one-off credit of $1,200 will be made to the Participation Fund when a Participant commences in the Intensive Stream of ParentsNext. The credits in the Participation Fund are not quarantined to any one Participant and can be used flexibly to provide services to any Participant in the Intensive Stream. The types of assistance for which Providers may seek reimbursement through the Participation Fund are identified in the Request for Tender in Section 2.16—Participation Fund—Intensive Stream Only. Details of any mandated rates or caps for each type of assistance will be included in Program Guidelines, which will be published in the lead up to the commencement of ParentsNext.

Reference: RFT Section 2.16—Participation Fund—Intensive Stream Only

Frequently Asked Questions—Request for Tender for ParentsNext 2018–2021 22 5.14 What are the Intensive Stream Participant outcome rates for the current ParentsNext program? [Added 20 November 2017] The current ParentsNext program does not have Outcome Payments. Outcome Payments will be available under the Intensive Stream of ParentsNext which commences from the beginning of July 2018. 5.15 What are the eligibility conditions relating to Employment Outcome Payments? [Added 20 November 2017] ParentsNext Providers are able to claim one 12 week Employment Outcome Payment per job placement per Intensive Stream Participant.

The 12 week Outcome is payable where the Participant is employed for 12 consecutive weeks, for an average of at least 15 hours per week (30 hours per fortnight). Multiple Employment Outcome Payments cannot be claimed for the same job placement. Further eligibility conditions will be included in the ParentsNext Deed and may also be included in Guidelines when released.

5.16 Are payments in the Request for Tender GST inclusive or exclusive of GST? [Added 5 December 2017] Unless otherwise stated in the Request for Tender, all payment amounts are GST inclusive. Reference: RFT Section 1.2—Scope 5.17 What is ‘continuous active service’? What is the impact of Employment on a Participant’s continuous active service? [Added 5 December 2017] Continuous active service: a) begins on commencement of a Participant in ParentsNext b) stops when the Participant is suspended and recommences when the Suspension ends, and c) ends when the Participant is exited.

A Participant’s continuous active service will not pause where employment is their activity in their Participation Plan.

However, where a Participant is in stable employment, their ParentsNext Provider will be required to exit the Participant from their caseload. Information on how to determine if a Participant is in stable employment will be set out in Program Guidelines, which will be published in the lead up to the commencement of ParentsNext.

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