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New Quality Standards for Better Aged Care

The Morrison Government has implemented the most significant changes to quality standards in two decades. The new Single Aged Care Quality Standards will empower senior Australians and ensure responsibility and accountability for their care.

Aged care providers, including their boards and governing bodies will be clearly accountable for every one of their consumers’ safety and quality of care.

Providers delivering clinical care will be mandated to maintain quality clinical frameworks including infection control, open disclosure to consumers, their families and representatives, and minimising the use of restraint.

Quality care provision will be paramount, with aged care providers required to prove their care and services are safe, effective and focussed on their consumers, including through unannounced visits.

Providers must work hand-in-hand with consumers, their families, and representatives on the delivery of quality services and the management of their day-to-day care.

The new Aged Care Quality Standards cover:

  • Consumer dignity and choice
  • Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  • Personal care and clinical care
  • Services and supports for daily living
  • Organisation’s service environment
  • Feedback and complaints
  • Human resources
  • Organisational governance.


Adherence to each Standard requires:

  • A statement of outcome for the consumer
  • A statement of expectation for the organisation
  • Requirements to demonstrate the standard has been met.


Transition to the new single set of Aged Care Quality Standards is already underway, with full implementation from 1 July 2019.

The new Standards build on our Government’s wide-ranging reforms and highlight our determination to put aged care consumer’s needs at the forefront, at all times.

The Standards will promote further competition and market-focussed improvements, where consumers drive quality and red tape is reduced for consumers, families and providers.

The single Aged Care Quality Standards replaces the four previous sets of aged care standards. The new Standards have been developed through significant consultation and co design with the aged care sector.


The new Standards will be enforced by the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which promises a new era of aged care quality and confidence when it comes into force on 1 January 2019.

Our Government is currently distributing $50 million to residential aged care providers to support them in transitioning to the new Standards.

The new Standards will apply to all aged care services including residential care, home care, flexible care, and services delivered under the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

Implementation of the new Standards is a critical part of our Government’s aged care reforms, which will continue at full pace, while the Royal Commission undertakes its important and comprehensive inquiry into the aged care sector.

Further information on the new Standards is available from the Department of Health’s website.


Yesterday, the Government announced the Powerful New Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, beginning a new era in Australian aged care. With legislation passing Parliament to establish the nation’s first, independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, it will be underpinned by a new aged care Charter of Rights set to enforce a new, single set of Quality Standards, the first upgrade of standards in 20 years.

The unified new Commission will begin operations on 1 January 2019, with funding of almost $300 million over four years, including an additional $48.2 million to expand monitoring, secure aged care quality and employ a network of dozens of additional senior compliance officers.

The Commission will integrate and streamline the governance roles of the current Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency creating a new one stop shop. From January 2020, it will also enforce the Department of Health’s aged care licensing responsibilities.

Senior Australians are at the heart of this reform. The role of the Commission will be to implement a strong but fair regulatory framework that will protect and enhance senior Australians’ quality of life, safety, health and wellbeing.

Led by independent Commissioner Janet Anderson the Commission will better target aged care homes that provide sub-standard care and will be a single, trusted point of contact for aged care recipients, their families and loved ones, and aged care providers.

The Commission will oversee a tripling of unannounced reaccreditation audits of residential aged care homes in 2019, compared with 2018, and a significant increase in unannounced inspections, to more than 3,000 next year.

It will also work with the aged care sector to establish a Serious Incident Response Scheme to improve risk management and prevent and quickly resolve care challenges.

Through this integrated and responsive agency, the more than 1.3 million Australians who receive various forms of Commonwealth aged care support and the 366,000 aged care staff who care for them will have increased confidence in aged care regulation and the upholding of their rights.

The establishment of the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission highlights the Morrison Government’s determination to implement comprehensive aged care improvements, including stronger regulation, professional workforce development and sustainability.

As the aged care Royal Commission goes about its critical work, our Government’s aged care reform agenda will continue at full pace, providing senior Australians and their families with more certainty in quality care delivery.

The establishment of the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is part of our Government’s record aged care funding boost, with the 2018-19 Federal Budget increasing aged care spending by $5 billion over four years.

In the lead up to the launch of the new Commission on 1 January, anyone who has concerns over the quality of aged care or services should contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800 550 552 or go to

About the author

Tara Tyrrell

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