The Commonwealth Government’s establishment of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission) from 1 January 2019 represents significant reform in the regulation of aged care providers. As part of its two-year agenda, the Commission’s objectives are to strengthen and enhance aged care regulation to assure the delivery of quality aged care.

In making the announcement, the Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP said the establishment of the Commission marks the first upgrade of standards in 20 years. The Commission will be led by a statutory appointed Commissioner, Janet Anderson, who will be assisted by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Advisory Council.

Why is it important?

An independent review of national aged care quality and regulatory processes (Review) examined the perceived systemic and longstanding failures of aged care and identified the necessary improvements to the regulatory system.

As the Commonwealth Government’s primary response to the Review, the Commission will combine all regulatory functions into one entity to provide a more accessible platform for information and to assist with identifying the failures in delivering quality aged care.

Key changes

  • The Commission replaces the existing Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and Aged Care Complaints Commissioner. The new Commission will provide a single regulatory agency for aged care consumers and providers in relation to their accreditation, quality monitoring and compliance requirements;
  • The Commission will implement the Aged Care Quality Standards from 1 July 2019 replacing the Accreditation Standards, Home Care Standards, Transition Care Standards and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Framework Standards; and
  • Providers will continue to be assessed against the current standards until 30 June 2019.

We encourage providers to use this transition period to identify and address areas where action needs to be taken to meet the new Standards, to assist staff, care recipients and their families to understand the changes, and to integrate and streamline their policies and practices in line with the Commission’s expectations.

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.