About the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI)

Information about the ACFI, its history and future directions.

Page last updated: 15 November 2007

The Australian Government spends more than $5 billion annually to support the care for older Australians living in aged care homes. The rate of government subsidy that homes receive is based on the aged care provider’s appraisal of each resident’s care needs. The ACFI will replace the Resident Classification Scale (RCS) as the mechanism to allocate this Government subsidy from 20 March 2008.

The ACFI has been developed in response to the Review of Pricing Arrangements in Residential Aged Care (Hogan 2004) and the RCS Review (2003). It has been designed to:

  • better match funding to the complex care needs of residents;
  • reduce the documentation created by aged care providers to justify funding; and
  • achieve higher levels of agreement between aged care staff and departmental review officers in review audits (known as validation).
The ACFI is based primarily on the resident’s dependency (need for care) rather than on care planning or care provided by an aged care home. Unlike the RCS, ACFI does not use ongoing care documentation as evidence to support funding claims.

The ACFI consists of twelve care need questions. Diagnostic information about mental and behavioural disorders and other medical conditions is also collected. This information is used to categorise residents as having low, medium or high care needs in each of the following care domains:
  • Activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Behaviour
  • Complex Health Care.

Structure of the ACFI Questions

Domain/ Funding


Specified Assessments

Checklist Items

What Does the Rating Measure?


Mental & Behavioural
  • List of disorders
Primarily for Minimum Data Set
  • List of medical conditions

Activities of Daily Living

1. Nutrition
  • Readiness to Eat
  • Eating
  • Independent
  • Supervision required
  • Physical Assistance required
2. Mobility
  • Transfers
  • Locomotion
3. Personal Hygiene
  • Dressing & Undressing
  • Washing & Drying
  • Grooming
4. Toileting
  • Use of Toilet
  • Toilet Completion
5. Continence
Continence Record
  • Urinary Continence
  • Faecal Continence
  • Scheduled Toileting
  • Self managed
  • Frequency of incontinence
  • Managed by scheduling

Behaviour Supplement

6. Cognitive Skills
Psychogeriatric Assessment Scale (PAS)
  • PAS Score

  • Minimal, Mild, Moderate, Severe Impairment Rating
  • Level of Impairment
7. Wandering
Behaviour Records
  • Type and frequency of behaviour
  • Frequency of problem behaviour
8. Verbal Behaviour
9. Physical Behaviour
10. Depression
Cornell Scale
for Depression (CSD)
  • CSD Score
  • Level of interference caused by symptoms
  • Degree of interference with regular activities
  • Diagnosis

Complex Health Supplement

11. Medication
  • Time
  • Specified procedures
  • Time
  • Procedures
12. Complex
Health Care
  • Specified procedures
  • Scores for procedures
For more information please follow this link: Using the ACFI

Development of the ACFI
Information about the background, reviews and the ACFI trial

Future Directions
Newsletters and information about possible future initiatives
Top of page