Progress update on our Strategic Plan

Posted on 12 May 2016

We report every six months on progress against our Building a Better VCAT: Strategic Plan 2014-17. The latest update is now available. 

Highlights in the past six months include:

  • Delivered nine new online application forms, which are easier to understand and faster to complete. Feedback indicates more than 90 per cent of applicants agree the online forms are easy to use.
  • As part of a major rebuild of the VCAT website, completed and user-tested the skeleton designs (wireframes) to ensure the site is intuitive and user-friendly. Continued a concurrent project to re-write all web content into plain English for the new site.
  • Opened the VCAT Residential Tenancies Hub (formerly VCAT Online) to tenants and private landlords. Previously the system was only available to real estate agents and Department of Housing representatives. Tenants and landlords can use the Hub to create notices (for example, to give notice that repairs are needed), apply to VCAT, pay related fees, and search for previous notices and applications.
  • Trained customer service staff to communicate effectively with people who have limited English. The training covered the principles of cross-cultural communication, determining when an interpreter is required and strategies for effective communication with clients from a cultural and linguistically diverse background.
  • Introduced a revised VCAT media policy, including media accreditation, to make it easier for media to report accurately and more frequently on VCAT matters. Improved media coverage gives us more opportunities for the community to know and understand how VCAT works.
  • Implemented changes to how we publish decisions from 1 February 2016, including sending decisions by email to parties who have given us an email address. This helps parties get decisions faster and saves time and money. All VCAT decisions with written reasons are now promptly published on the Australasian Legal Information Institute website (Austlii), unless there is a legal reason not to do so.
  • Established the customer service improvement program to implement key recommendations from our customer service review and started work to simplify and standardise VCAT processes.  

Read about these and other achievements in the March 2016 Strategic Plan update.