188.8.131.52 Comprehensive compliance assessments
This section concerns information on comprehensive compliance assessments under the compliance arrangements set out in SS(Admin)Act Part 3 Division 3A. These arrangements only apply to job seekers on participation payments who are declared program participants (i.e. CDP participants) under the Social Security (Declared Program Participant) Determination 2018.
Services Australia will assess a job seeker who is having difficulty meeting their mutual obligation requirements to determine the reasons for this. This assessment is a CCA.
Initiating a CCA
A CCA will be automatically triggered after a job seeker has had EITHER 3 connection, non-attendance or reconnection failures applied OR 3 NSNP failures applied in a 6-month period. If, during the previous 6 months, the job seeker has already had a CCA or has had a serious failure period applied for persistent non-compliance, any failures that occurred before either of those things do not count.
Employment services providers or Services Australia may also initiate a CCA at any other time if they believe a job seeker's circumstances warrant it. (For example, if the job seeker is continually failing to comply with their requirements for no apparent reason.)
Once a CCA is triggered, no more NSNP, connection, non-attendance or reconnection failures should be applied, except for a connection or reconnection failure for not attending the CCA. Failure to attend a CCA may also result in immediate suspension of payment, pending contact with Services Australia and agreement to attend a rescheduled CCA.
Another CCA can be automatically triggered while the job seeker is undertaking a compliance activity following a serious failure for persistent non-compliance.
In addition, if a provider or Services Australia believe that another CCA is required during a compliance activity, they can also request one.
A job seeker undertaking a compliance activity following a failure for refusing a job offer will not generally have had a CCA prior to the application of the failure. These job seekers can therefore have a CCA automatically triggered during a compliance activity if they meet the normal criteria.
Conducting a CCA
During the CCA, a Services Australia specialist officer considers the job seeker's compliance history and looks at why the job seeker has been failing to meet their requirements.
Services Australia cannot apply a serious failure period for persistent non-compliance unless they have conducted and considered the findings of a CCA. However, the CCA is not just to determine whether a job seeker has been persistently non-compliant, it is also to identify whether the job seeker:
- has any barriers to participation or employment
- has been given appropriate mutual obligation requirements, and/or
- would benefit from additional or alternative assistance.
In some instances the Services Australia specialist officer may contact the job seeker's provider to give them the opportunity to provide any further information in relation to the CCA. It is not compulsory for providers to accept the offer to participate in CCA discussions.
Possible outcomes of a CCA include:
- a referral by Services Australia for an ESAt, where the job seeker does not have the capacity to comply with their requirements or the job seeker's capacity to comply with their requirements is in doubt
- a recommendation that the activities or requirements in the job seeker's Job Plan be amended if the CCA indicates that the job seeker is having difficulty meeting those requirements
- a recommendation by Services Australia that the job seeker be referred to another program or service to assist the job seeker with their personal circumstance, such as a referral to a social worker or a recommendation that the job seeker be referred to a specialist intervention such as a drug or alcohol dependency program
- no further action, where no barriers to participation have been identified but there is a reasonable explanation for the job seeker's past failures and/or the job seeker's recent compliance record is good, and
- the application of a serious failure for persistent non-compliance.
The findings of the CCA should be used to inform future decisions about the job seeker's mutual obligation requirements.
Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 42NA Comprehensive compliance assessment