About the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards

The strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards are designed to improve outcomes for older people and set clear expectations for providers in delivering quality aged care.

Why we are strengthening the Quality Standards

In 2021, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended an urgent review of the Aged Care Quality Standards and to amend them where appropriate. The recommendations included:

  • Recommendation 18: using the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s expertise in clinical and standards development 
  • Recommendation 19: calling for an urgent review to include specific areas of focus
  • Recommendation 20: relating to periodic reviews of the Quality Standards on an ongoing basis
  • Recommendation 21: identifying priority issues for review.

We led the urgent review, working closely with the:

Read about the consultation to strengthen the Quality Standards.

Final draft strengthened Quality Standards

Feedback we heard during public consultation and through the ACQSC’s pilot was used to develop the final draft strengthened Quality Standards. The strengthened Quality Standards are more detailed, clearer, and measurable.

The final draft strengthened Quality Standards are:

  • Standard 1: The person 
  • Standard 2: The organisation 
  • Standard 3: The care and services 
  • Standard 4: The environment 
  • Standard 5: Clinical care (ACSQHC set the clinical care components)
  • Standard 6: Food and nutrition 
  • Standard 7: The Residential community.

Each of the strengthened Quality Standard includes:

  • an expectation statement for older people
  • an intent of each standard
  • outcomes that providers will be assessed against 
  • actions which are how providers might demonstrate achievement of the outcome.

As the aged care regulator, the ACQSC has developed some draft guidance for providers to help them understand and implement the strengthened Quality Standards. The ACQSC is consulting on its draft guidance material until 19 May 2024. 

What’s different

The strengthened Quality Standards have been streamlined from 8 to 7 Standards and:

  • are more robust and detailed 
  • place older people at the centre of aged care
  • increase protections for older people
  • support people living with dementia
  • better include people from diverse backgrounds
  • provide stronger requirements for clinical care and food and nutrition 
  • use clear language 
  • minimise duplication
  • reflect the new Statement of Rights, which will be included in the new Aged Care Act.

Implementing the strengthened Quality Standards

The strengthened Quality Standards will come into effect when the new Aged Care Act and the new aged care regulatory model start. 

Guidance material

We will work with the ACQSC, ACSQHC and aged care sector to prepare for, and manage, the implementation of the strengthened Quality Standards. 

We’re supporting the ACQSC’s development of guidance material to help providers understand: 

  • their responsibilities 
  • how to conform to the strengthened Quality Standards.

Ongoing review

Once introduced as part of the new Aged Care Act, the strengthened Quality Standards will then be reviewed every 5 years so that they continue to improve with best practice.

Related information

Read more about: 

Contact

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) protects and enhances the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of people receiving aged care.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) works in partnership with patients, consumers, clinicians, managers, policy makers and healthcare organisations to achieve a sustainable, safe and high-quality health system.
General enquiries
Quality Use of Medicines Program

Aged Care Quality Standards contact

Email us for more information about the Aged Care Quality Standards.
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