Specialist Service Standards for ORS

The Ministry’s Specialist Service Standards ensure that the specialists who work with students through the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme provide high quality services.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Educators, Teachers and Kaiako
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • All Early Learning Services
  • Early Intervention Specialist Providers
  • Learning Support Coordinators and SENCOs
  • Learning Support Specialist Staff
  • Parents, Caregivers and Whānau
  • Boards
  • Non-Government Agencies
  • Disability Sector

All specialists working with children and young people receiving support through the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) must meet the Ministry’s Specialist Service Standards. 

Requirements for specialists

Specialists should:

  • deliver high quality services to students in ORS
  • understand school environments and work effectively in them
  • have appropriate qualifications or professional registration and abide by their professional Code of Conduct.

All specialists must maintain standards through ongoing supervision and professional development.

The Specialist Service Standards for ORS

The Ministry’s specialist service standards for ORS require the following:

  1. The public are able to get accurate information about the range of services and service providers.
  2. Specialists and providers welcome families and whānau and work with them as partners.
  3. The assessment of children and young people is used to plan programmes and guide educational decisions.
  4. Each child or young person has a record of the progress they are expected to make, and how they will be helped to achieve it.
  5. Individual programmes are carried out during a child or young person's regular daily activities.
  6. Individual programmes fit with the age of the child or young person, are motivating and have meaning for them.
  7. Programmes are regularly reviewed and changed when necessary.
  8. Transitions from early childhood to school, and from school to tertiary or work environments, are well planned, coordinated and carried out.
  9. Families and whānau participate fully in the completion or closure of programmes. This includes them giving feedback to specialists.
  10. Specialists record and take note of feedback and use it to make changes to their practice.

Specialists will use effective strategies

Using effective strategies means that specialists will:

  • provide more support to students with greater needs
  • adjust levels of service when student's needs change, for example, more support during transitions
  • have direct contact with students at school
  • plan interventions for typical education settings, for example, classroom, small groups, playground rather than withdrawal settings
  • help students learn new skills during day-to-day education activities and routines
  • ensure equipment for students, for example, augmentative communication devices, wheelchairs, Braille machines as appropriate for their needs, available when required and maintained on a regular basis
  • keep thorough records on a frequent basis about student achievement, learning styles and programme implementation.

Specialists will use effective interactions

Using effective interactions means that specialists will:

  • help students take normal risks appropriate to their ages while keeping safe
  • give students opportunities to make choices and have input to their programme
  • recognise the message communicated by challenging behaviour and help a student to learn and practise appropriate behaviours
  • prepare students in advance for each task and change in activity through planning, explanations and/or the use of non-verbal cues (for example, visual schedules)
  • position students physically according to their individual needs.

Specialists will use effective communication with schools and family and whānau

Using effective communication means that specialists will:

  • communicate regularly with home and school about all aspects of the specialist's involvement with the student
  • provide information to follow up face-to-face discussions.

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