Australia: Consumer Directed Care Update and brokerage arrangements

What is consumer directed care?

The requirement to provide home care packages on a consumer directed care basis (CDC) commenced on 1 July 2015.

The Home Care Packages Operations Manual9 states (at page 14) that the User Rights Principles 2014 and the Charter of care recipients' rights and responsibilities-homecare (the Charter), which recognise the rights and responsibilities of consumers and providers, explicitly acknowledge the key elements of CDC, emphasising the right of consumers to exercise choices in relation to the care provided to them.

Choice and flexibility

The Charter specifies consumers' right to:

  • be supported by the provider to set goals, determine the level of ongoing involvement that they wish to have, and make decisions relating to their own care and to maintain their independence as far as possible;
  • choose the care and services that best meet their goals, preferences and assessed needs, within the limits of the resources available;
  • have choice and flexibility in the way the care and services are provided at home;
  • participate in making decisions that affect them; and
  • have their representative participate in decisions relating to their care.

Care and services

Consumers have the right to:

  • receive care and services which are appropriate to meeting their goals, preferences and assessed needs;
  • be given a written plan of the care and services that they expect to receive;
  • receive care and services that take into account their preferences; and
  • ongoing review of the care and services they receive, as required.

The User Rights Principles sets out the rights and responsibilities in relation to home care.

Care Recipient Rights

Each care recipient has the following rights:


  1. to be treated and accepted as an individual, and to have his or her individual preferences respected;
  2. to be treated with dignity, with his or her privacy respected;
  3. to receive care that is respectful of him or her, and his or her family and home;
  4. to receive care without being obliged to feel grateful to those providing the care;
  5. to full and effective use of all human, legal and consumer rights, including the right to freedom of speech regarding his or her care;
  6. to have access to advocates and other avenues of redress;
  7. to be treated without exploitation, abuse, discrimination, harassment or neglect;

Consumer directed care—choice and flexibility

  1. to be supported by the Approved Provider:
    1. to set goals in relation to the outcomes he or she seeks from home care;
    2. to determine the level of ongoing involvement and control that he or she wishes to have in the provision of the home care;
    3. to make decisions relating to his or her own care; and
    4. to maintain his or her independence as far as possible;
  1. to choose the care and services that best meet his or her goals and assessed needs and preferences, within the limits of the resources available;
  2. to have choice and flexibility in the way the care and services are provided at home;
  3. to participate in making decisions that affect him or her;
  4. to have his or her representative participate in decisions relating to his or her care if he or she requests it or if he or she does not have capacity;

Consumer directed care—care and services

  1. to receive reliable, coordinated, safe, quality care and services which are appropriate to meeting his or her goals and assessed needs;
  2. to be given before, or within 14 days after, he or she commences receiving home care, a written plan of the care and services that he or she expects to receive;
  3. to receive care and services that take account of his or her other care arrangements and preferences;
  4. to ongoing review of the care and services he or she receives (both periodic and in response to changes in his or her personal circumstances), and modification of the care and services as required;

Individualised budget and monthly statement of available funds and expenditure

  1. to receive an individualised budget for the care and services to be provided;
  2. to have his or her individualised budget reviewed and, if necessary, revised if:
    1. the care and services to be provided, or the costs of providing the care and services, change; or
    2. he or she requests the approved provider to review and, if necessary, revise the individualised budget;
  1. to receive a monthly statement of the funds available and the expenditure in respect of the care and services provided during the month;

Personal information

  1. to privacy and confidentiality of his or her personal information;
  2. to access his or her personal information;


  1. to be helped to understand any information he or she is given;
  2. to be given a copy of the Charter;
  3. to be offered a written agreement that includes all agreed matters;
  4. to choose a person to speak on his or her behalf for any purpose;

Comments and complaints

  1. to be given information on how to make comments and complaints about the care and services he or she receives;
  2. to complain about the care and services he or she receives, without fear of losing the care or being disadvantaged in any other way;
  3. to have complaints investigated fairly and confidentially, and to have appropriate steps taken to resolve issues of concern;


  1. to have his or her fees determined in a way that is transparent, accessible and fair;
  2. to receive invoices that are clear and in a format that is understandable;
  3. to have his or her fees reviewed periodically and on request when there are changes to his or her financial circumstances;
  4. not to be denied care and services because of his or her inability to pay a fee for reasons beyond his or her control.

Care Recipient Responsibilities

Care recipients also have a number of responsibilities including


  1. to respect the rights of care workers to their human, legal and workplace rights including the right to work in a safe environment;
  2. to treat care workers without exploitation, abuse, discrimination or harassment;

Care and services

  1. to abide by the terms of the written home care agreement;
  2. to acknowledge that his or her needs may change and to negotiate modifications of care and service if his or her care needs change;
  3. (to accept responsibility for his or her own actions and choices even though some actions and choices may involve an element of risk;


  1. to give enough information to assist the approved provider to develop, deliver and review a care plan;
  2. to tell the approved provider and their staff about any problems with the care and services;


  1. to allow safe and reasonable access for care workers at the times specified in his or her care plan or otherwise by agreement;
  2. to provide reasonable notice if he or she does not require home care to be provided on a particular day.


Each care recipient has the responsibility to pay any fees as specified in the agreement or to negotiate an alternative arrangement with the provider if any changes occur in his or her financial circumstances.

Challenges with CDC

Recent challenges with CDC include:

  • management of the workforce as consumer demand will ebb and flow and possible redundancy of staff;
  • compliance with the administrative requirements including to provide an individualised budget and monthly statements, particularly if the aged care pension changes mid-year;
  • disagreements between the consumer and the Approved Provider – refer to our previous article on Consumer Directed Care - Want vs Need in the February 2015 edition of the Health Law Bulletin, available on our website; and
  • ensuring that the Home Care Agreements (with the care recipient/consumer) are compliant with the Aged Care Legislation and all other laws, including the Australian Consumer Law.

Please refer to the article on Unfair Contracts in this Health Law Bulletin.

Subcontracted or brokered arrangements

Services may be provided directly by the provider, sub-contracted to another service provider (individual or organisation), or brokered through another organisation.

Regardless of how services are delivered and by whom, the Approved Provider remains responsible for service quality and meeting all regulatory responsibilities.

Subcontracting service provision to informal carers, family members or friends is not encouraged under the Home Care Packages Programme. However, it is recognised there may be no workable alternative in some areas (for example, remote parts of Australia).

With consumers choosing services, the need has arisen for Approved Providers to put in place subcontracts or brokerage agreements with subcontractors with whom they may not have a prior relationship.

Approved Providers should put a written contract in place with its subcontractors to clearly set out each party's obligation and to ensure compliance all relevant obligations under the Aged Care legislation and other legal requirements, including work, health and safety.

The Accountability Principles require an approved provider to ensure that all staff and any other person likely to have contact with care recipients have been issued with a Compliant Police Certificate or a statutory declaration which meets the requirements of the Accountability Principles.

Approved Providers will be required to manage other legal requirements, issues and risks such as privacy and work, health and safety, (including dealing with aggression), bullying and stress. Acts of aggression can occur in the home environment not only by the care recipient, but also other people living or attending the premises. The duties of an employer for work health and safety apply to subcontractors in the same way as they apply to employees. As the workers are working in a home environment (often without supervision), orientation, training, hand-over, reporting and insurance are very important.



The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.