Responsibilities of aged care providers
Approved providers have responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) about:
- the quality of care they provide
- the user rights of people receiving care
- being accountable for the care provided
If providers don’t comply with these responsibilities, they can have their approved provider status revoked and sanctions may be imposed.
Each program has specific responsibilities.
Read more about aged care services and the different programs.
Quality of care
Approved provider responsibilities in the Quality of Care Principles 2014 include:
- the specified care and services to be provided
- complying with the Aged Care Quality Standards
- minimising the use of restraint
- influenza vaccination schemes for service staff
Read about quality in aged care services.
Approved provider responsibilities in the Act and the User Rights Principles 2014 include:
- deciding how much to charge care recipients for services
- complying with requirements relating to fees, costs and charges
- ensuring security of tenure (for residential aged care)
- enabling a person acting for a care recipient, or an advocate or community visitor (for residential aged care), access to services
- meeting requirements for resident, home care and flexible care agreements
- managing and solving complaints
- complying with the Charter of Aged Care Rights
An approved provider must not act in a way that is inconsistent with the legal and consumer rights of a care recipient.
Approved providers are accountable for their services. Approved provider responsibilities are to:
- comply with record-keeping requirements
- cooperate with any person exercising powers under the Act or the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018
- appraise and reappraise people’s care requirements, in relation to classifying care recipients
- make sure staff and volunteers have police checks or criminal history checks
- make sure key personnel aren’t disqualified individuals
- meet any circumstances we specify in the approval — you must notify us of any material changes and get our agreement before making them
- complete annual reporting, including the annual Aged Care Financial Report
- participate in an aged care workforce census, if asked
- report alleged and suspected assaults
Record keeping in aged care
Approved providers must record certain information, including records about:
- care recipients
- allegations or suspicions of reportable assaults
- the Charter of Aged Care Rights given to care recipients
- service staff influenza vaccinations
- staff members and volunteers
- service staff
Full requirements are in the Records Principles 2014.
Financial transparency and operational monitoring
Aged care providers must report on mandatory requirements to receive Australian Government operational approval and funding:
Aged care financial data and operation information enables us to:
- identify providers at risk of not meeting their debt obligations
- monitor providers’ ability to deliver high quality, safe care.
The new Financial and Prudential Monitoring, Compliance and Intervention Framework will help approved providers build financial sustainability, capability and resilience.
Notification of changes
All approved providers must notify the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission of any material changes. You must do this within 28 days of the change occurring.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has material change examples and information on how to notify them.
Some aged care services have specific times when they must notify the Government. See what they are for:
Privacy and confidentiality
The Australian Government and approved providers can only use personal information about a care recipient for a purpose:
- connected with the provision of care to the care recipient
- for which the care recipient gives personal information
Approved providers must:
- protect the care recipient’s privacy and comply with all applicable laws relating to the use of personal information
- implement security safeguards to protect care recipients’ personal information against loss or misuse
- meet the Australian Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act 1988 and obligations in state or territory privacy laws
Use of protected information
Protected information is information that was acquired under or for the purposes of the Act and:
- is personal information, as defined in the Privacy Act 1988
- relates to an approved provider’s affairs
- relates to an applicant’s affairs for approval under Part 2.1 of the Act
- relates to an applicant’s affairs for a grant under Chapter 5 of the Act
Any unauthorised release or misuse of protected information is a breach of the Act and can result in personal penalties of up to 2 years imprisonment.
To help protect care recipients, you have compulsory reporting requirements under the
Aged Care Act 1997. This means that you or another person in the service where you work have the responsibility for making compulsory reports to the Government and the local police.
For information on what and how to report, go to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Care recipients should feel supported to give feedback and make complaints. Their feedback and complaints should be addressed in a reasonable timeframe.
Under the Aged Care Quality Standards, you are required to:
- encourage care recipients, their family, friends, carers and others to provide feedback and make complaints
- make care recipients aware of, and facilitate access to, advocates, language services and other methods for complaint
- take action to respond to complaints and use an open disclosure process if things go wrong
- review feedback and complaints to improve quality of care and services
How to handle a complaint
Read about handling complaints in the Commission’s Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling in Aged Care Services.
List of relevant aged care legislation
Approved aged care providers work within the legislative framework for the aged care system.
The framework includes the Act and its principles:
- Accountability Principles 2014
- Allocation Principles 2014
- Approval of Care Recipients Principles 2014
- Approved Provider Principles 2014
- Classification Principles 2014
- Committee Principles 2014
- Extra Service Principles 2014
- Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No 2)
- Grant Principles 2014
- Information Principles 2014
- Prioritised Home Care Recipients Principles 2016
- Quality of Care Principles 2014
- Records Principles 2014
- Sanctions Principles 2014
- Subsidy Principles 2014
- User Rights Principles 2014