Question: In a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), what’s the difference between a strength and an exceeding theme?
A strength shows you have met the standard, while an exceeding theme shows you have gone above and beyond.
If you’re using the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) QIP template, there are designated spaces for both your service’s ‘strengths’ and ‘exceeding themes’.
Your strengths show how your practices are meeting the National Quality Standard (NQS). Highlighting your service’s strengths:
- Showcases how you are already meeting the NQS to provide a high-quality education and care setting
- Shares any practices that are unique or specific to your service
- Highlights any past improvement notes that have since been accomplished.
When highlighting your strengths, ask yourself: What practices does my service already have in place that reflect the standard? What does it look like? Who is involved?
Unlike strengths, exceeding practice goes above and beyond the requirements of the NQS. Although not a requirement, highlighting your exceeding practices under the relevant standards is an opportunity to:
- Showcase your ‘above and beyond’ practices
- Engage in self-assessment to understand which exceeding themes you’re missing
- Put your best foot forward for Assessment & Rating.
For examples of exceeding themes, visit: acecqa.gov.au/ assessment/exceeding-nqs
Consultant, Community Child Care Association
Still unsure how to approach exceeding themes? We offer a range of coaching tailored to your service’s needs, including A&R preparation, QIP training, unpacking the NQS and beyond. Get a quote for professional development!