Disability Support Services’ contract streamlining and update of service specifications


In 2012 Cabinet directed the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to lead a programme of work to transition public service agencies’ contracts with NGOs to a new outcome-focused streamlined contract framework.

The Ministry of Health is moving its contracts with NGOs to the streamlined contract framework. For Disability Support Services, this includes an update of service specifications to align them with the outcome focus of the contracts. Where appropriate, the changes recommended in the Putting People First report are also included.

Read more about streamlined contracting.

Updating service specifications

During 2015 Disability Support Services updated the service specifications for the following services:

  • Community Residential,
  • Young Persons with Physical Disability (YPD)
  • Children’s Residential
  • Regional Intellectual Disability Supported Accommodation Services (RIDSAS)
  • Foster Care
  • Contract Board
  • Home and Community Services
  • Children’s Respite
  • Day Programmes.

Workshops were held in February and April with external stakeholders including disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, providers, carers and family/whānau, to develop the performance outcome measures for each service type and to identify changes needed to the previous service specifications. Some of these changes resulted from recommendations made in the Putting People First report of 2013.

The final draft DSS Outcome Agreement and service specifications for the 10 service lines were made available for online consultation from 27 May until 22 July. Providers, disabled people, their families and whānau, disabled people’s organisations and other interested parties were able to download the documents and give feedback via an online survey.

Feedback was received from a number of individuals and organisations. It was fully reviewed and further changes were made as needed to finalise the Disability Support Services Outcome Agreement and service specifications. A report on this feedback is posted on this web page.

The final Outcome Agreement (replacing the previous Head Agreement) and service specifications came into force on the following dates:

  • Community Residential Services – 1 December 2015
  • Children’s Residential Services – 1 December 2015
  • Regional Intellectual Disability Supported Accommodation Services (RIDSAS) - 1 December 2015
  • Foster Care - 1 December 2015
  • Contract Board - 1 December 2015
  • Home and Community Services – 1 November 2015
  • Day Activities – 1 October 2015

Updated service specifications for the following services will come into force from March 2016.

  • Young Persons with Physical Disability (YPD)
  • Respite
  • Children’s Respite.

The Ministry greatly appreciates the support and assistance provided by a large number of disabled people, their families/whānau, carers, and service providers in this significant piece of work. Our aim is to ensure that disability support services purchased by the Ministry achieve good outcomes for people with disabilities and their families / whānau.


For any queries about your contract, please contact your contract relationship manager.

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