Quality obligations for providers

All Australian Government-funded aged care providers must protect the rights of older people through delivery of quality care in line with quality obligations. The aged care regulator, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC), monitors and accredits providers.

Charter of Aged Care Rights

The Charter of Aged Care Rights protects the rights of older people accessing Australian Government-funded aged care. The charter is set out in the User Rights Principles.

You must:

  • sign and provide a copy of the charter to each person accessing aged care
  • help each person to understand the charter
  • give them time to understand and sign the copy
  • comply with record keeping requirements relating to the charter.

Asking the person to sign the charter confirms they have received and understand it. They can choose not to sign the charter. Their services can still start or continue if they choose not to sign.

Everyone involved in the delivery of aged care must respect the rights of people receiving aged care.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) has resources to help you with your responsibilities to care recipients.

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has more information and resources on the Charter of Aged Care Rights.

Aged Care Quality Standards

The Aged Care Quality Standards set the standard for the safety and quality of aged care services. They set expectations for the level of care providers must deliver to ensure older people have access to high quality, safe and respectful care.

The Quality Standards were introduced in 2019 to define what good care looks like. They are set out in law in the Aged Care Act 1997.

Providers of Government-funded aged care must meet the requirements of the Quality Standards. The ACQSC monitors and assesses providers against each of the Quality Standards.

There are currently 8 Quality Standards:

  1. consumer dignity and choice
  2. ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  3. personal care and clinical care
  4. services and supports for daily living
  5. service environment
  6. feedback and complaints
  7. human resources
  8. organisational governance.

We have recently undertaken work to strengthen the Quality Standards following public consultation.

Who we work with

We are responsible for: 

  • drafting and revising the non-clinical parts of the Quality Standards 
  • establishing the overall architecture and format of the Quality Standards
  • ensuring the Quality Standards are clear, connected and easy to follow.

We work with:

  • ACQSC, which monitors, assesses and accredits providers against each of the Quality Standards
  • Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), which sets the clinical care components of the Quality Standards.

Mandatory Quality Indicator Program

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program records data on 11 quality indicators across critical areas of care that affect the health and wellbeing of aged care home residents.

Residential aged care providers must report to us on these 11 quality indicators every 3 months.

This provides an evidence base to support continuous quality improvement.

Star Ratings for residential aged care

Star Ratings for residential aged care provides a clear and transparent way to compare the quality of residential aged care homes via the My Aged Care, Find a provider tool. It enables:

  • older people, their families and carers to make more informed choices about their care, and
  • aged care providers to monitor, compare and improve the quality of their aged care home across nationally standardised benchmarks.

Star Ratings Compliance rating

Compliance ratings show whether a home has a regulatory notice, which are issued by the ACQSC if the home isn’t providing safe and high-quality care.

Compliance ratings are also based on:

  • what type of notice a home has been given
  • how long a home has no notices for
  • how long a home is granted accreditation for by the Commission.

Non-compliance with the Quality Standards affects Star Ratings for homes with sanctions or notices to improve.

Compliance ratings are updated daily for regulatory decisions and weekly for changes in accreditation decisions.

Find out more about Star Ratings and how they are calculated.

Restrictive practices in aged care – a last resort

Approved providers must minimise the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care. You must also meet specific requirements before you can use them.

Find out more about restrictive practices in aged care.

Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)

The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) helps to reduce abuse and neglect of older people receiving aged care services. It applies to residential aged care, home care and flexible care delivered in a home or community setting.

It sets requirements for providers about managing and taking reasonable action to prevent incidents to protect older people’s:

  • safety
  • health
  • wellbeing
  • quality of life.

It also requires providers to notify the ACQSC if specific incidents occur. You can use the ACQSC’s SIRS decision support tool to see whether you need to report an incident. 

Medication management

Electronic National Residential Medication Charts (eNRMC) facilitate safe and accountable medication management in services providing residential aged care. 

The ACQSC has resources to help you choose and use an appropriate system for your service.

How we assess quality

The aged care regulator – the ACQSC – monitors the quality of government-funded aged care services. 

The ACQSC independently assess all services and accredit residential aged care services against the Quality Standards, including: 

The ACQSC then publishes assessment details on its website

If the ACQSC finds that you are not meeting the Quality Standards, they can take action to ensure quality care is re-established.

Date last updated:

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