About the aged care assessment programs
The Australian Government funds 2 assessment programs to provide aged care assessment services — Regional Assessment Services and the Aged Care Assessment Program. Trained assessors carry out aged care assessments to work out whether an older person is eligible for government-subsidised aged care.
What are the aged care assessment programs?
There are 2 assessment programs that provide aged care assessment services. These programs manage, train and support aged care assessors.
Regional Assessment Services (RAS)
Under the RAS program, assessors carry out home support assessments.
Home support assessments are for people who may need entry-level support to help them stay at home. The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) provides this type of support.
Home support assessments usually take place in the older person’s home.
The Australian Government funds organisations across Australia to provide RAS services.
Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP)
Under the ACAP program, Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) carry out comprehensive assessments. ACATs are teams of medical, nursing and allied health professionals.
Comprehensive assessments are for people with more complex needs. These assessments are for people who may need:
- a higher level of home care through the Home Care Packages Program
- residential aged care including respite
- transition care
- short-term restorative care
Comprehensive assessments usually take place in the older person’s home. They can also take place in a hospital.
The Australian Government funds the state and territory governments to deliver ACAP.
What are aged care assessments?
Assessments work out whether an older person is eligible for government-subsidised aged care. Assessors visit the older person’s home or hospital to:
- understand the person’s care needs
- decide on the types of services they may be eligible for
- create a support plan based on their care needs
During an assessment, the older person can also find out more about aged care services.
If you’re an older person and want to find out more about assessments, call My Aged Care.
What are the aims of the programs?
The RAS and ACAP aim to:
- provide timely and consistent assessments
- ensure special needs groups have access to assessment services
- ensure assessments are holistic and look at physical, medical, mental, cultural, social, and wellness needs
- involve older people, their carers, representatives, service providers and others in assessment and care planning
- create support plans based on a person’s goals and care needs
- use wellness and reablement approaches
- help older people access aged care services that best meet their needs
- prevent an early or unsuitable move to residential aged care
- refer vulnerable older people to other services to help address barriers to aged care
How do you become an assessor?
You can apply directly to:
- RAS organisations to become a RAS assessor
- state or territory governments to become an ACAT assessor
How do aged care assessments work?
All My Aged Care contact centre staff and assessors use the National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF). This means the way we screen and assess older people for aged care is consistent across the country.
All assessors use the NSAF and the My Aged Care assessor portal to:
- access referrals for assessment
- do the assessments
- develop support plans
- refer clients to services
- update client records
- conduct support plan reviews
For more about screening and assessments, read the NSAF factsheet.
Who’s involved in the programs?
The Department of Health oversees and develops policy for RAS and ACAP. We also:
- manage RAS and ACAP funding
- review ACAP assessment decisions as needed
RAS organisations and state and territory governments manage the day-to-day work of the programs. In some cases, we approve RAS organisations to provide assessment services through subcontracting.
If you have questions about the aged care assessor programs, contact us through our general enquiries form.