About IPC Leads
An IPC Lead:
- must be a nurse who has completed – or initially is in the process of completing – the required specialist infection prevention and control training
- must be employed by and report to the aged care provider
- must work on site and be dedicated to a residential aged care home
- observes, assesses and reports to the provider the IPC measures the aged care home has in place
- helps develop IPC procedures
- provides advice in the home about IPC
- is the key infection control contact for the aged care provider
- may have a broader role in the home.
Who this applies to
All residential aged care homes must have an IPC Lead. This includes providers of the:
- the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care (NATSIFAC) Program
- the Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) Program.
For the IPC Lead requirement, each home must be identified by a single Residential Aged Care Service Identifier number (RAC ID).
As NATSIFAC providers do not generally have a RAC ID, they should define each residential home by a different location.
Residential aged care homes decide what level of engagement or workload the IPC Lead has. They may have:
- a full-time IPC Lead
- a number of IPC Leads with shared responsibilities
- more than one individual with the IPC who shares the on-site clinical lead responsibilities.
IPC Leads must be based on site, to provide advice and oversight as part of ongoing, day-to-day operations, including the:
- resident mix
- staff mix
- services offered
- physical aspects of a home.
The IPC Lead is an ongoing role and a function that residential aged care homes must incorporate into regular operations to build enduring IPC capability.
The IPC Lead must complete:
- specialist IPC training
- COVID-19 Aged Care Infection Control Online Training Modules.
IPC Leads must keep a copy of their completion certificates as proof.
IPC specialist courses are suitable for the IPC Lead role, if they:
- focus on IPC
- are specified at the level of AQF8
- are delivered by a recognised education or training provider
- require students to pass assessments to complete the course.
The following training courses meet the requirements:
- Foundations of Infection Prevention and Control for Aged Care Staff
- Graduate Certificate in Infection Prevention and Control, Griffith University
- Master in Infection Prevention and Control, Griffith University
- Graduate Certificate of Infection Control, James Cook University
- Graduate Certificate in Nursing Science (Infection Control Nursing), University of Adelaide.
Where IPC Leads need extra training, providers should support them to take the training as soon as possible, and provide study leave.
Residential aged care and MPS providers need to report details of IPC Leads for each home through the My Aged Care service and support portal.
NATSIFAC providers are required to report the details of IPC Leads for each home using the IPC Lead notification form.
Reporting should include the:
- name of the IPC Lead
- IPC Lead’s position in the residential aged care home
- nursing registration status
- completion status of COVID-19 online training modules
- details of specialist qualification or training course.
Aged care providers must report any changes, including:
- removal of previous IPC Lead
- addition of newly appointed IPC Lead
- enrolment and completion of IPC training
- the name, contact and qualification details of the IPC Lead.
Residential aged care providers must keep evidence of and report on IPC Lead expenditure, including engagement and training, as part of the Aged Care Financial Report (ACFR).
Residential aged care providers have responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 on the quality of care they provide.
The IPC Lead role is intended to:
- support providers to meet their IPC responsibilities
- be supported by other staff and/or external consultants as a part of their IPC work program.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will consider how providers have met their IPC responsibilities by monitoring and auditing in line with the Aged Care Quality Standards. This includes how a provider:
- implements the IPC Lead requirements, such as qualifications and expertise
- provides and records ongoing IPC training.
For more information, see the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Infection Prevention and Control Leads: updates for providers.