The Aged Care Quality Standards

Learn about how we're improving the Aged Care Quality Standards to ensure older Australians are treated with respect, care and dignity.

The Aged Care Quality Standards

The Aged Care Quality Standards were introduced in 2019. They reflect the level of care and services the community can expect from organisations that provide Australian Government subsidised aged care services.

Find out more about the current Quality Standards on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) website.

The strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards

We have completed a review of the Quality Standards, which included extensive public and sector consultations. We developed a strengthened set of Quality Standards that address recommendations 19 to 21 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

See the final draft of the strengthened Quality Standards.

The 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*
  • Standard 6: Food and Nutrition 
  • Standard 7: The Residential Community 

* The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) set the clinical care components, working closely with us.

Each Quality Standard includes the:

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

These Quality Standards in this document are not yet in operation. They will come into effect with the new Aged Care Act. 

This draft is for information only.

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.

The Royal Commission identified several areas of focus for the urgent review including:

  • governance
  • diversity
  • dementia
  • food and nutrition
  • clinical care

We led the review, working with the ACQSC and the 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 included:

  • oral care, medication management
  • pressure injury prevention
  • wound management
  • continence care
  • falls prevention and mobility and,
  • infection control.

Public consultation

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:

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

From April to October 2023, the ACQSC conducted a pilot program to test the strengthened Quality Standards. We worked with the ACQSC and ACSQHC to support the pilot.

The findings of the pilot helped us to understand how the strengthened Quality Standards work in practice.

The pilot involved a sample of 40 providers with diverse:

  • service types
  • sizes
  • locations
  • people receiving aged care.

The pilot helped us to understand if further changes were 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

Working with the sector

As part of the review of the Quality Standards and the pilot, we engaged with stakeholders including peak bodies, providers, and older people to make sure the strengthened Quality Standards were robust and fit for purpose.

We also engaged 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.

Independent evaluation of the Aged Care Quality Standards

To inform 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.

Aged care reforms

The review of the Quality Standards also considered broader aged care reforms, including:

Resources

Date last updated:

Help us improve health.gov.au

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.