ACECQA issues advice about safety in multi-storey buildings
The Sector > Quality > Compliance > ACECQA issues advice about safety in multi-storey buildings

ACECQA issues advice about safety in multi-storey buildings

by Freya Lucas

May 31, 2023

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has issued advice about the risks associated with emergency evacuation for services located in multi-storey buildings.


During emergencies in these types of buildings, young children are reliant on the preparedness, knowledge and ability of staff to ensure their safe exit. 


“It is critical that teachers, educators and service staff are supported in their roles by effective building safety features and emergency response equipment so the safety of children and staff is guaranteed in every situation,” ACECQA said.


To support in this space, ACECQA has led a joint working group on behalf of relevant state and Australian governments working with regulatory authorities and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) for a number of years to identify and develop additional safeguards to ensure relevant systems work together to protect and promote young children’s safety. 


This work and the ongoing collaborative partnership with the ABCB has recently resulted in achieving amendments to the National Construction Code (NCC) and the National Quality Framework (NQF). 


Construction Code Amendments


The NCC 2022 amendments commenced on 1 May and the 2019 NQF Review changes are due to come into effect later in 2023, with updates being provided through ACECQA’s newsletters, website and social media channels as well as on the 2019 NQF Review website.


Education Ministers have endorsed a Joint NCC and NQF Statement to explain respective roles and functions and how these key changes are complementary.  


What is ABCB responsible for? 


The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth and state and territory governments in Australia and is responsible for the National Construction Code (NCC). 


The ABCB develops and maintains minimum, proportionate and cost-effective technical requirements that provide for the health and safety, amenity and accessibility, and sustainability of buildings. The ABCB is accountable to Building Ministers. 


What is ACECQA responsible for? 


The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) is the independent national authority that assists governments in administering the NQF for children’s education and care. 


ACECQA works with the Australian and state and territory governments to implement changes that benefit children from birth to 13 years of age and their families. It also monitors and promotes the consistent application of the Education and Care Services National Law across all states and territories and supports the children’s education and care sector to improve quality outcomes for children. 


It is guided by a governing board whose members are nominated by each state and territory and the Commonwealth. The ACECQA Board is accountable to education ministers. 


In relation to regulation and approval of services, who is responsible? 


In relation to the regulation and approval of services the ABCB, through the NCC, prescribes minimum necessary requirements for matters such as structural and fire safety, accessibility and the thermal performance of buildings in which early childhood centres operate.


State and territory regulators are the entities with the statutory responsibility for approving providers and services under the NQF. 


Regulatory authorities (RAs) are responsible for:


  • granting all approvals, including provider and service approvals, including consideration of the suitability of the premises;  
  • assessing and rating services against the National Quality Standard;  
  • ensuring ongoing compliance with the NQF; and,   
  • working with ACECQA to promote continuous quality improvement and educating the sector and community about the NQF. 


State and territory regulators work with their regulator colleagues, such as building regulators, planning regulators, local councils and fire safety authorities.


To read the joint statement, please see here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button