Responsibilities of approved aged care providers

Approved aged care providers have certain responsibilities. These are things like providing quality care and services, managing fees and charges and meeting Australian Government requirements.

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Responsibilities of aged care providers

Approved providers have responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) about:

  • the quality of care they provide
  • the user rights of people receiving care
  • being accountable for the care provided

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission monitors and assesses aged care service providers in accordance with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 and Rules.

If providers don’t comply with these responsibilities, they can have their approved provider status revoked and sanctions may be imposed.

Each program has specific responsibilities.

Read more about aged care services and the different programs.

Quality of care

Approved provider responsibilities in the Quality of Care Principles 2014 include:

Read about quality in aged care services.

User rights

Approved provider responsibilities in the Act and the User Rights Principles 2014 include:

  • deciding how much to charge care recipients for services
  • complying with requirements relating to fees, costs and charges
  • ensuring security of tenure (for residential aged care)
  • enabling a person acting for a care recipient, or an advocate or community visitor (for residential aged care), access to services 
  • meeting requirements for resident, home care and flexible care agreements
  • managing and solving complaints 
  • complying with the Charter of Aged Care Rights

An approved provider must not act in a way that is inconsistent with the legal and consumer rights of a care recipient.

Accountability

Approved providers are accountable for their services. Approved provider responsibilities are to:

  • comply with record-keeping requirements
  • cooperate with any person exercising powers under the Act or the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018
  • appraise and reappraise people’s care requirements, in relation to classifying care recipients
  • make sure staff and volunteers have police checks or criminal history checks
  • make sure key personnel aren’t disqualified individuals
  • meet any circumstances we specify in the approval — you must notify us of any material changes and get our agreement before making them
  • complete annual reporting
  • participate in an aged care workforce census, if asked
  • report alleged and suspected assaults

Record keeping in aged care

Approved providers must record certain information, including records about:

  • care recipients
  • allegations or suspicions of reportable assaults
  • the Charter of Aged Care Rights given to care recipients
  • service staff influenza vaccinations
  • staff members and volunteers
  • service staff

Full requirements are in the Records Principles 2014.

Notification of changes

All approved providers must notify the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission of any material changes. You must do this within 28 days of the change occurring.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has material change examples and information on how to notify them.

Some aged care services have specific times when they must notify the Government. See what they are for:

Privacy and confidentiality

The Australian Government and approved providers can only use personal information about a care recipient for a purpose:

  • connected with the provision of care to the care recipient
  • for which the care recipient gives personal information

Approved providers must:

  • protect the care recipient’s privacy and comply with all applicable laws relating to the use of personal information
  • implement security safeguards to protect care recipients’ personal information against loss or misuse
  • meet the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988 and obligations in state or territory privacy laws

Use of protected information

Protected information is information that was acquired under or for the purposes of the Act and:

  • is personal information, as defined in the Privacy Act 1988
  • relates to an approved provider’s affairs
  • relates to an applicant’s affairs for approval under Part 2.1 of the Act
  • relates to an applicant’s affairs for a grant under Chapter 5 of the Act

Any unauthorised release or misuse of protected information is a breach of the Act and can result in personal penalties of up to 2 years imprisonment.

Compulsory reporting

To help protect care recipients, you have compulsory reporting requirements under the
Aged Care Act 1997. This means that you or another person in the service where you work have the responsibility for making compulsory reports to the Government and the local police.

For information on what and how to report, go to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Handling complaints

Care recipients should feel supported to give feedback and make complaints. Their feedback and complaints should be addressed in a reasonable timeframe.

Under the Aged Care Quality Standards, you are required to:

  • encourage care recipients, their family, friends, carers and others to provide feedback and make complaints
  • make care recipients aware of, and facilitate access to, advocates, language services and other methods for complaint
  • take action to respond to complaints and use an open disclosure process if things go wrong
  • review feedback and complaints to improve quality of care and services

How to handle a complaint

Read about handling complaints in the Commission’s Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling in Aged Care Services.

List of relevant aged care legislation

Approved aged care providers work within the legislative framework for the aged care system.

The framework includes the Act and its principles:

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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