Design of a new regulatory framework for aged care

Get involved and be heard as we develop a regulatory framework for aged care that will deliver the reforms identified by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Webinar – Support at Home Program and regulation update

The webinar was held on 8 March 2022 regarding our new regulatory framework and the Support at Home program that will begin in July 2023.

A recording of the webinar is now available on the Departments website or directly via our YouTube channel.  

Background

In response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety the Australian Government is developing a new regulatory framework for aged care.

This framework supports and enables other reforms, including a new Support at Home Program and a new Aged Care Act to begin in July 2023.

Why a new framework is needed

The current regulatory framework has become dated and has several constraints in supporting the reforms arising from the Royal Commission.

Our aim

We aim to create an improved approach to regulating aged care that goes beyond just compliance. We want to support the sector to create a culture to continuously improve delivery of high quality and safe care for senior Australians. The new regulatory framework will be human rights based, people-centred, risk proportionate and informed by best practice principles.

Key features

The Royal Commission supported the development of a new contemporary approach to regulation that is safe and provides quality care for senior Australians.  A new contemporary approach to regulation will be:

  • Designed to improve safety and quality outcomes for consumers
  • Risk proportionate to enable regulation to be applied differently based on the risk connected with the care and services provided
  • Flexible to allow for the diverse and growing consumer needs for services
  • Aligned with regulation of other areas of care and support (where appropriate)
  • Clear and easily understood to ensure efficiency and effectiveness

Consultation approach

We will consult with stakeholders including the broader Australian community on the design of the new regulatory framework. We will seek your feedback to help us identify and build the key features of the framework and how best to implement the new framework in aged care for both consumers and the sector.

The consultation process aims to inform the:

  • design of the regulatory framework
  • operational arrangements
  • transition options
  • implementation plan.

We will be consulting on different aspects of the framework.

Topic

Description

Registration and obligations

The entry requirements placed on providers when entering the aged care system and the ongoing obligations and provider responsibilities of their registration.

Monitoring

The oversight of market practices to identify or anticipate risks that adversely impact senior Australians. These oversight activities can include monitoring the provision of services, observing for market failure and identifying financial and prudential risks.

Compliance

The demonstration or assessment of a provider’s adherence to the responsibilities and obligations established in the conditions of registration.

Enforcement

The proportionate and effective use of powers or action taken in response to breaches or non-compliance with the Aged Care Act. Enforcement powers range in the magnitude and responses will be proportionate to the breach of responsibility. Where appropriate, enforcement actions may also involve the referral of civil and criminal penalties.

Information sharing

Processes that allow a “tell us once, use multiple times” approach to information and data collection. This includes market trends, provider information and regulatory intelligence. These processes aim to reduce administrative burdens and inefficient practices, while also safeguarding privacy rights.

Provider reporting

The aspect of information sharing where providers show compliance with obligations and responsibilities of their registration.

Transition

The planning, processes and approach to help senior Australians, the aged care sector and the regulator move from the current to the future framework.

Get involved

We invite you to share your views and help develop a well-informed new regulatory framework. To get involved, sign up for alerts for future consultations at the Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub.

You can provide your views at multiple stages throughout the design process, including through:

  • online written submissions
  • online surveys
  • participation in workshops on topics of your interest or expertise.

We will publish more information about the timings of these activities shortly.

Consultation stages

We are taking a staged approach to our consultation. This ensures stakeholders can get involved throughout the whole design process from high level principles and approaches to the rollout of the new framework.

Your feedback helps inform the new regulatory framework proposed to Government. We will continue to update you on the consultation process and its results as the design of the framework progresses.

Stage 1 – Concepts for a new framework for regulating aged care

In February 2022 we released Concepts for a new framework for regulating aged care. The concept paper outlined the early thinking to develop a new regulatory framework to support our future aged care system. The paper provides advice about the need for a modern, risk proportionate framework as we roll out the aged care reforms.

For more information, read the paper or the plain English version.

The release of the concept paper is the first step in the public consultation process to design the new framework with stakeholders.

Stage 2 – Consultation Paper – Developing the details of the new framework - to be released soon

In March/April 2022 we will release a consultation paper. This paper will give you a high level, end to end picture of a proposed registration model of a regulatory framework. It will discuss the core regulatory elements that are the building blocks of a regulatory framework. These include:

  • registration (and re-registration)
  • audit
  • standards (and associated rules)
  • monitoring, compliance and enforcement
  • reporting and information sharing (including incident reporting)
  • complaints
  • consumer information
  • worker screening
  • codes of conduct

Stage 3 – Developing support structures for the new framework

From May to July 2022, we will consult with you on specific structures of the framework, through consultation papers on topics that may include:

  • registration and obligations (including audit and assessments)
  • monitoring, compliance and enforcement
  • information sharing and provider reporting

Stage 4 – How to implement the new framework

From August to September 2022 we will consult with you on what transition arrangements need to be in place to support implementation of the aged care reforms.

Related reform projects

A regulatory framework works like a blueprint or foundation to a regulatory system. To ensure that the new framework will be fit for this purpose and enable other reforms in the aged care sector, the Aged Care Regulatory Design work is undertaken concurrently and collaboratively with relevant reforms, including:

Design of a new Aged Care Act | Australian Government Department of Health

Support at Home Program Overview | Australian Government Department of Health

Aligning regulation across the care and support sectors | Australian Government Department of Health

Regulatory Strategy

Please contact us for information about the new Aged Care Regulatory Framework

Regulatory Strategy
QADRegDesignhealth [at] Health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
22 March 2022
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