Breaking the bias on International Women's Day, interview with Sandi Grace CEO Grace Professional Services
International Women’s Day theme for 2022 #breakthebias resounded personally with Sandi Grace, CEO Grace Professional Services and she enjoyed joining the raw chat with other local Frankston city founders.
Co Squared Sue Anderson interviewed Sandi, Deb McQueen from You Group and Cyanna Negrea, owner of Miss Velvet Boutique about how they rose to business success during a pandemic and the impact this had on their businesses.
The collective focus for International Women’s Day this year is to imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
Sandi, Deb and Cynanna discuss candidly about their different experiences of bias and stereotyping.
‘I remember walking into a boardroom of experienced men, a 20-year-old female with blonde hair and having to tell them their concept was wrong. I was intimidated but I pushed through, and their decision was swayed in my favour, from that moment I knew that I needed to break the boundaries and it could be done’ Sandi said.
Cyanna who has started her retail fashion business, Miss Velvet Boutique said she has dealt with being stereotyped as she is a younger person owning her own business. Cyanna is often asked ‘Can I speak to the owner?’ and Deb from You Group has had similar experiences being a female business owner.
Courage and inspiration were paramount in beginning each of their business journeys.
Sandi talks honestly about her reason behind starting her NDIS Support Coordination business two years ago and the difficulties she has faced as a parent of a child with a disability. This has given her a unique perspective as a NDIS service provider, making her aim for excellence in the service that she offers to her participants.
Starting a successful business during lockdown has been a major achievement for all three women.
Sandi explains that having resilience and never giving up helped her survive the relentless lockdowns.
‘I just could not give up; it was not an option for us to not provide the services for our participants through lockdown. I had to redesign the business model and consider the safety for my participants and my employees. I started the business with one staff member and became a registered NDIS provider in February before lockdown began, now we have thirty employees, and we now support over 750 participants’
To learn more about the inspirational stories and journey of these three women, watch the full interview here courtesy of Invest Frankston…
At Grace Professional Services, we are serious about providing and surpassing all the NDIA requirements regarding qualifications, experience, and capacity for approved supports.
Clients can be reassured that we meet and exceed the NDIS quality and safety guidelines, we have implemented quality management systems which are audited by an independent third party regularly to maintain high standards.
As a service provider, we are required to meet the NDIS Practice Standards to ensure that we are delivering qualitative, safe, and fair services to all participants with a disability. All service providers that are registered with the NDIS are audited within 12 to 18 months of registering.
The NDIS mid-term audit is conducted by an independent auditor, the auditor reviews all provider policies and investigates to ensure they are implemented correctly and meet the basic quality standards.
Grace Professional Services has recently received a perfect score on our NDIS midterm audit. We had no non-conformities and three best practice awards. The best practice awards indicate that we are going above and beyond by not only providing the minimum requirements but also implementing innovative supports that exceed service delivery expectations.
We were thrilled to receive such an incredible outcome from the audit. To further ensure our systems and processes are of the highest possible standard, we recently undertook an ISO audit on our quality management systems, we are honoured to advise that we achieved ISO certification to the 9001 Standard with no non-conformities.
The ISO 9001 Certification ensures that an organisation demonstrates its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer expectations in addition to applicable regulatory requirements.
This video from the auditing body JAS-ANZ explains how the certification can provide you with assurance.
What are the benefits of being ISO 9001 Certified, being a registered NDIA provider, and offering a quality NDIS service?
Provide an improved participant experience
By making sure we follow and maintain the quality standards and processes set forth by the NDIA and the ISO international standards guarantees that we provide an enhanced service experience. We are consistently analysing how we can improve our services based on participants' expectations and needs. Each process within our company can then be aligned to maintain consistent quality.
As a participant, who would you rather work with? A provider which provides consistent quality of service, or a provider who is unorganised or too busy to assist you.
Provide the NDIS support that you can trust and have confidence in.
As a registered NDIS service provider, you can take confidence that Grace Professional Services is independently audited by the NDIA and has met all practice standards. The ISO 9001 Certification further confirms that we have implemented quality management systems for our service.
By meeting these guidelines, it allows you peace of mind and confidence that we will provide a safe, respectful service and offer you the support you need to enable you to live the life you choose.
We are committed to providing quality support to our participants and aim to be a leader in the disability support sector by ensuring our team are industry leaders and enhancing the support offered to our participants. Achieving these two important certifications means we can continue to provide the best possible outcome for all our participants
To check any ISO certification details of an organisation, visit the JAS-ANZ certified organisation directory.
Our Quality Policy Statement outlines our commitment to quality services for all our participants.
Please contact us with any enquiries or questions you might have regarding the services we offer.
When you first receive a plan from the NDIS it can be very overwhelming. A Support Coordinator will help you to understand what is in the plan, and what services you can access to best spend the funding to meet your goals.
Support Coordination is separate funding within an NDIS plan and must be requested when you have your initial plan meeting or during a review of the plan. Like all NDIS funding, Support Coordination must be deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’ by an NDIS planner.
Support Coordination is often considered for NDIS participants who:
For those who receive Support Coordination as part of their plan, Grace Professional Services have experienced Support Coordinators who will work with you to help you to access the supports you need to enable you to live the life you choose.
Your Support Coordinator will advise you about what your plan means and how you can implement it. They will be able to recommend service providers such as Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, etc. They will also be there to monitor your budget and track your spending. Overall, they will become a valuable member of your support team and can be there with you at NDIS review meetings to help support you.
At Grace Professional Services we have a team of dedicated and experienced Support Coordinators and Recovery Coaches who are ready to help and support you to obtain the services you need to get the most out of our NDIS plan.
To get started, get in touch with our friendly team, send through your NDIS plan and we will start working with you and your family and do everything we can to support you.
Call us on 0429 430 806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you love most about your job?
I love people. And I love making a difference.
If you weren’t doing this job what would you be doing?
Lying on a beach with a cocktail!
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
I don’t have a favourite. I like to try new things and explore. However I am most relaxed near a beach with palm trees.
What do you love doing in your down time?
Spending time with family and friends, volunteering in the local community.
What’s your favourite inspirational quote?
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead.
Once approved you will be asked to attend a meeting with and NDIS Local Area Coordinator (LAC) to discuss the supports you require. This can be stressful for many, however the reward, once you get your plan is worth it.
Not all plans will have Support Coordination as part of the funding, however, if you get a chance to request for Support Coordination during your meeting with a LAC, by all means ask, and hopefully you’ll have that request supported.
A Support Coordinator is often invaluable to helping you understand your plan and supporting you to use the funds you’ve been allocated to access quality services and supports.
Your Support Coordinator can link you with services that you may have not previously considered, and will help you build a care team for yourself or the person you are caring for. All the while, you get to exercise choice and control, choosing what supports you’d like and when you’d like them.
At Grace Professional Services our core business is to provide Support Coordination to NDIS participants. We’re also registered to provide Specialist Support Coordination for more complex circumstances, and our Auslan Support Coordinator specialises in supporting those who are deaf or hearing impaired.
If you need a Support Coordinator, or would like to know more about how we can help you please reach out and speak to one of our friendly team members today.
For more information about Support Coordination click here or visit the NDIS website.