If you are eligible to use a Disability Employment Service (DES provider) then you get to choose which one you want to go to. It is your right to choose and change DES providers if they do not meet your expectation. This right is protected by the National Standards for Disability Services.
Many people report that their DES provider was selected for them, usually by someone from a support service, but you need not let other people decide for you.
You can make an informed choice by researching the providers in your area. Below are some tips on how to assess the suitability of DES providers. Finding a job has a big impact on your life and if you choose a provider that does not suit your unique needs, you are potentially missing out on a life-changing opportunity!
Things to consider when choosing a DES provider:
Find out who the providers are in your area
All DES providers are contracted by the Federal Government of Australia. The government lists all providers for your area on the jobsearch website.
You can access a list of local providers by visiting the ‘Find a Provider’ page at jobsearch.
Check the Star Rating of potential providers
“The Star Ratings measure provider sites’ relative success in achieving employment or education outcomes for their job seekers and are updated every three months. Sites with 5-Stars are the best performing while sites with 1-Star are the lowest. The ratings methodology allows for differences in job seeker and labour market characteristics across the country that influences outcomes. “
Star Ratings vary dramatically in some cases. For example, the same provider might have a one star site and a five star site. Remember to occasionally check-up on the ratings as these can change and are updated regularly.
Search their name and see the results
Type the name of your potential provider into an internet search engine. Not only will you be able to look through their website, you can also find insights, such as community involvement, press coverage, reviews or awards for innovative programs.
Ask for an in-person meeting
Asking to meet with a representative from the DES provider will give you a good insight into how the organisation operates. You will be able to see if they are they professional, timely and supportive. Most providers tend to specialise in a certain area but this may not be evident on their promotional material or website. Find out if they do specialise and if that suits your circumstances. They might have a focus on education but you are after employment, or they might focus on youth but you are older. It can be worth asking how the team at that site is structured, the roles of team members, and their qualifications.
Try out a trial period.
Give your provider a trial period, for example, maybe six months or even a year. This way you can get a good feel for the suitability of the service, if it meets your needs and helps you reach your employment goals.
How to change providers
All you have to do is to tell the staff of your current DES provider you wish to change and they are required to facilitate a transfer to your newly chosen provider.
For over 20 years CHESS Connect have been supporting local jobseekers into work. With offices in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour region and the Clarence Valley, we are the regional specialists in disability employment, with strong connections with community and industry. Our staff are committed to supporting your goals in achieving sustainable and fulfilling employment.
To find out more