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 this is not their role.

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. “
– jobsearch

 

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 the government releases updated results every six months.

Search their name and see the results

Type the name of your potential provider into an internet search engine. You might be surprised by what you find. Not only will you be able to look through their website, you can also find insights, such as community involvement, positive or negative press, 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, or 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.

CHESS is one of the biggest Disability Employment Service providers in the Coffs Harbour and Clarence districts. You can check out the star ratings for our many agencies here.

If you would like more information on how we can assist you in reaching your employment goals, visit our website.

Ben is a valued CHESS employment consultant, based out of our Coffs Harbour agency. Ben has worked in community services since 2006 and has a keen interest in youth, mental health and mindfulness. He is a qualified yoga and meditation teacher specialising in scientifically validated techniques for depression and anxiety.