The Aged Care Quality Standards
The Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards) were introduced in 2019. They reflect the level of care and services the community can expect from organisations that provide Commonwealth subsidised aged care services.
To find out more about the current Quality Standards you can visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) website.
About the Aged Care Quality Standards urgent review
In March 2021, the Australian Government announced an urgent review of Quality Standards. This was in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report: Care, Dignity and Respect (Royal Commission).
The Royal Commission identified several areas of focus for the urgent review including:
- food and nutrition
- clinical care
We are leading the review, working with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care assumed responsibility for setting clinical care components of the Quality Standards from
1 July 2021.
The review of clinical issues includes:
- oral care, medication management
- pressure injury prevention
- wound management
- continence care
- falls prevention and mobility and,
- infection control.
We updated the Quality Standards as part of the urgent review. These draft standards (commonly referred to as the strengthened Quality Standards) were tested with a broad range of stakeholders through a public consultation.
The public consultation took place over a 6-week period from 17 October to 25 November 2022. It included:
- 18 online focus groups
- an introductory webinar
- a survey.
To support feedback, we provided:
- the consultation Paper(s) – a summary or a more detailed version
- the revised Quality Standards – a summary or a more detailed version.
After public consultation, we analysed feedback and made changes to improve the Quality Standards.
To learn more, see the:
Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards pilot program
Since April 2023, the ACQSC has been conducting a pilot program to test the strengthened Quality Standards. We are working with the ACQSC and ACSQHC to support the pilot.
The findings of the pilot will help us to understand how the strengthened Quality Standards work in practice.
The pilot involves a sample of 40 providers with diverse:
- service types
- people receiving aged care.
The pilot will help the department to understand if further changes are needed to ensure the strengthened Quality Standards are fit for purpose before they are implemented.
To learn more, see the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Independent evaluation of the Aged Care Quality Standards
As part of the review of the Quality Standards, in May 2021, KPMG was engaged to complete an independent evaluation of the current Quality Standards. The evaluation looked at:
- the clarity of wording and intent of the Quality Standards
- the relevance of the Quality Standards to each aged care service
- whether the Quality Standards are achievable and measurable
- the impact of the Quality Standards on older people, providers and other key stakeholders, and
- factors that have impacted the implementation of the Quality Standards.
As part of the evaluation:
- 1,377 people completed an online survey,
- 323 took part across 35 focus groups,
People taking part included older people, aged care providers and peak organisations.
Read the Independent Evaluation Report or the Independent Evaluation Summary Report.
Working with the sector
As part of the review of the Quality Standards, which has now progressed to the pilot, we engage with stakeholders from peak bodies, providers, and older people to make sure the strengthened standards are robust and fit for purpose.
We also engage with the Council of Elders and the National Aged Care Advisory Council. These groups form part of the new governance arrangements to support the aged care reforms.
To find out more about the aged care reforms and how you can get involved, visit the Aged Care Engagement Hub.
Aged Care reforms
To review of the Quality Standards, we are also considering broader aged care reforms. This includes:
- a new aged care Act
- a new regulatory model for aged care
- changes to provider responsibilities
- Support At-Home Program
- Star Ratings
- expanding the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program.