The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Glossary can also be accessed in the following format:
AAT – See Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Accommodation bond – A lump sum payment for accommodation in an aged care home paid by a resident who first entered permanent residential care before 1 July 2014.
Accreditation decision – A decision about a residential service’s accreditation or re-accreditation by the Commissioner (or delegate) (not part of the Assessment Team). Residential services must be accredited to continue receiving residential care subsidies from the Commonwealth Government.
Accredited service – A service which has been approved by the Commission to provide care and services to aged care consumers.
As defined in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018:
- a residential care service, or a flexible care service, that has been accredited or re‑accredited under Part 3 for a particular period and that period has not ended; or
- a residential care service for which a determination under section 42‑5 of the Aged Care Act 1997 in force; or
- flexible care service that is a deemed accredited service.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) – Entity which conducts independent merits review of administrative decisions made under Commonwealth laws. The AAT reviews decisions made by Australian Government ministers, departments and agencies and, in limited circumstances, decisions made by state government and non-government bodies.
Advance care directive – A document completed and signed by a competent consumer who still has decision-making capacity regarding their future care and preferences for end-of-life care.
In Australia, advance care directives are recognised by specific legislation or common law. Advance care directives can record the person’s preferences for future care and/or appoint a substitute decision-maker to make decisions about the person’s health care.
Advance care planning – The process of planning for future health and personal care, whereby the person’s values, beliefs and preferences are made known so they guide decision-making at a future time when that person cannot make or communicate their decisions.
Adviser – An individual selected and contracted directly by the approved provider to assist the provider to ensure compliance in relation to care and services/governance and business operations.
The Commission expects that the adviser appointed have the skills, qualifications and experience to address the areas of non-compliance identified at the service, including experience in senior positions in managing or providing professional advice and support to an aged care service.
Advisers must not be a disqualified individual, or a Commonwealth officer or employee.
Advocate – A person who:
- publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy
- puts forth a case on someone else’s behalf.
Aged Care Act 1997 (the) – The overarching legislation which outlines the obligations and responsibilities that aged care providers must follow to received subsidies from the Australian Government. Aged Care Act 1997
Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) – A team of health professionals which can approve residential care, Home Care Packages and transition care. An ACAT assessor may include a doctor, nurse, social worker or other health professionals.
Aged care consumer (consumer) – As defined in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 means:
- a care recipient; or
- a person who is a recipient of a Commonwealth funded aged care service.
Aged Care Financial Report (ACFR) – An annual financial report completed by approved providers of aged care services to the Commonwealth Department of Health. The ACFR includes financial information, details of compliance with the Prudential Standards and legislative requirements, and investment and building activity.
Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) – The instrument used by residential aged care providers to determine the residential care subsidy for each resident who permanently enters their care. This calculation may determine how much an aged care consumer may pay in fees to the residential service provider.
Aged Care Learning Information System (Alis) – The Commission’s online learning system which provides access to Commission educational programs for providers and external stakeholders, with modules focusing on the Quality Standards. Alis can be accessed at learning.agedcarequality.gov.au
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) – The national end to end regulator of aged care services, and the primary point of contact for consumers and providers in relation to quality and safety in aged care in Australia.
The Commission’s primary purpose is to protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers; to promote aged care consumers’ confidence and trust in the provision of aged care services; and to promote engagement with aged care consumers about the quality of their care and services.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 (the Commission Act) – The Commission Act sets out the functions related to the Commission.
Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 (the Commission Rules) – The Commission Rules set out the process for how the Commission performs its functions as defined in the Commission Act.
Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards) – The Quality Standards with which the Commission requires organisations providing aged care services in Australia to comply. Refer to the Commission’s website for Quality Standards guidance and resources.
Annual Prudential Compliance Statement (APCS) – A statement by the approved provider on how it has met/not met the prudential requirements set in the Aged Care Act and the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2).
An approved provider that held one or more entry contributions, accommodation bonds or refundable accommodation deposits at any time during a financial year must submit an APCS. The approved provider must also submit an independent audit of the APCS.
Antimicrobial – A medicine that kills microorganisms, like bacteria, or stops them from growing. Antibiotics and antifungals are antimicrobials.
Antimicrobial resistance – When microorganisms such as bacteria become resistant to antimicrobial medicines such as antibiotics. This results in medications becoming less effective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others.
Antimicrobial stewardship – Efforts by an organisation to reduce the risks related to increasing antimicrobial resistance and to extend the effectiveness of antimicrobial treatments. It can include a broad range of strategies, such as monitoring and reviewing how antimicrobials are used.
Approvals, Compliance and Investigations Group – The Group within the Commission responsible for the:
- assessment and determination of applicants suitable to become an approved provider of home, flexible or residential care.
- management of material change notifications by approved providers
- revocation on request by approved providers
- determining non-compliance with provider aged care responsibilities and the regulatory response
- monitoring and management of non-compliance action with a provider
- review of prudential requirements of residential and financial operations of home care providers
- assessment of incidents reported under the Serious Incident Response Scheme.
Approved Health Practitioner – A medical professional who has day to day knowledge of the consumer.
Approved provider (AP) – As defined in the Commission Act, a person or body is an approved provider if:
As defined in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 a person or body is an approved provider if:
- the person or body:
- has been approved as a provider of aged care under section 63D of the Commission Act; or
- is taken, under paragraph 63F(2)(a), to be an approved provider; and
- the approval of the person or body is in effect.
Approved providers may also be referred to as service providers or providers or aged care providers.
Assessment – Regulatory activities undertaken by the Commission, including:
- provider approval assessment processes
- performance assessment of provider compliance with the Quality Standards (including site audits, assessment contacts, quality audits and review audits)
- assessment of incidents reported under the Serious Incident Response Scheme
- assessment of compliance with the Prudential Standards, as found within the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2).
- assessment of compliance with provider responsibilities in the Aged Care Act
Assessment contact – Any form of contact (other than a site audit, a review audit or a quality review) between a Commission regulatory official and the approved provider of an accredited service or a previously accredited service, or the home service providers of a home service, for either or both of the following purposes:
- to assess the provider’s performance, in relation to the service, against the Quality Standards;
- to monitor the quality of care and services provided by the provider through the service.
Assessment contact (performance assessment) – means an assessment contact for the purpose of assessing the provider’s performance against the Quality Standards.
Assessment contact (monitoring) – means an assessment contact for the purpose of monitoring the quality of care and services provided by the provider.
Assessment contact (targeted) – means an assessment contact targeted at a specific issue or area of care which has come to the attention of the Commission. These assessment contacts may be for either performance assessment or monitoring purposes.
May be either an on on-site or off-site activity, or a combination of both.
Assessment methodology – An internal Commission resource that provides a framework for, and systematic approach to, consistent assessment of provider performance against the Quality Standards.
Assessment Team – The team formed to conduct a performance assessment (site audit, review audit, quality review or assessment contact (performance assessment)); consists of one or more quality assessors.
Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) – The program which assists eligible financially disadvantaged older people who are homeless or have insecure accommodation and are at risk of becoming homeless remain in the community.
Authorised officer – An employee of the Australian Government who has been appointed by a delegate of the Commissioner under section 75A of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 to be an authorised officer for the purposes of the Commission Act or the Commission Rules..
Behaviour support plan – This is a plan for a consumer, made in accordance with the Quality of Care Principles 2014, that sets out information regarding any behaviours of concern for that consumer, including all alternative strategies which have been tried prior to the use of any restrictive practices for that consumer.
The Principles set out the responsibilities of the provider relating to behaviour support plans, including assessments and documentation which should be prepared and included as part of the plan. If restrictive practices are in place, provision of a behaviour support plan is mandatory, as from 1 September 2021.
Refer also to restrictive practices.
Best practice (for clinical care) – Diagnosis, treatment and care are timely and based on the best available evidence, which is used to achieve the best possible outcomes for consumers.
Campaign – A coordinated plan focused on a specific issue or issues which is organised to promote understanding of key regulatory matters, and to encourage change.
Care and services plan – The care and services plan required by the Quality Standards.
Carer – A person who provides personal care, support and help to a consumer. This does not include members of the organisation’s workforce, or people the organisation contracts or pays to provide those services, or people who provide the services as a volunteer. This definition is in line with the Carer Recognition Act 2010.
Care recipient – A person approved under Part 2.3 of the Aged Care Act 1997 as a recipient of aged care.
Refer also to consumer.
Case management – The term used by the Commission to describe its monitoring of a provider where there is non-compliance with aged care responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997.
Charter of Aged Care Rights – Describes the rights of consumers of Australian Government funded aged care services to be consulted and respected. Provides the same rights to all consumers, regardless of the type of subsidised care and services they receive.
Chemical restraint – A form of restrictive practice.
A practice or intervention that is, or that involves, the use of medication or a chemical substance for the primary purpose of influencing a care recipient’s behaviour, but does not include the use of medication prescribed for the treatment of, or to enable treatment of, a diagnosed mental disorder, a physical illness, a physical condition, or end of life care.
Refer also to restrictive practices.
Clinical care – Health care that encompasses the prevention, treatment and management of illness or injury, as well as the maintenance of psychosocial, mental and physical well-being. It includes care provided by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals and other regulated health practitioners. Organisations providing clinical care are expected to make sure it is best practice, meets the consumer’s needs, and optimises the consumer’s health and well-being.
Clinical governance – An integrated set of leadership behaviours, policies, procedures, responsibilities, relationships, planning, monitoring and improvement mechanisms that are implemented to support safe, quality clinical care and good clinical outcomes for each consumer.
The purpose of clinical governance in aged care is to support the workforce and visiting practitioners in a service to provide safe, quality clinical care as part of a holistic approach to aged care that is based on the needs, goals and preferences of consumers.
Clinical governance framework – Describes the organisational approach for ensuring the quality and safety of clinical care for consumers. organisational approach
Cognitive function or ability – Brain based skills and abilities which relate to carrying out tasks, memory and thinking processes, such as attention, language, decision making and learning.
Cognitive impairment – A description of someone’s condition which may include loss of some memory or thinking abilities. A person with cognitive impairment can find it difficult to learn new things, to concentrate, or make decisions.
Commencing service – A residential service is a commencing service if:
- an approved provider has been allocated places for the service
- residential care has not been provided for those places through the service
- the service is not an accredited or previously accredited service.
A Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) service is a commencing service if:
- the STRC is provided in a facility where residential care is provided through a residential service
- that residential service is a commencing service.
A service is not a commencing service if there is a change in the approved provider, a change in the location of the service, or where the service has been closed for a period due to renovations or rebuild.
Commission – The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Commissioner – The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner.
Commission Act – Refer to Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018.
Commission Rules– Refer to Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) – Australian Government consolidated program that provides entry-level home support for older people who need assistance to keep living independently at home and in their community.
CHSP Programme Manual – Sets out the operational and administrative requirements supporting the delivery and management of CHSP.
Provides an overview of CHSP including the types of services it funds and requirements for delivering those services.
Complainant – A person who contacts the Commission and provides information or raises a concern about the care or services being provided to a person receiving Australian Government funded aged care services.
Complaint – An expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of a provider’s responsibilities that requires the Commission to facilitate the resolution of the complaint.
Complaints management principles – A set of principles which encompass the Commission’s objectives, enablers and operational expectations.
Complaint Notices (Notice of Intention to Give Directions, and Directions) – When undertaking a complaints resolution process, if the Commission is concerned that a provider is not complying with its responsibilities, it will notify them through a Notice of Intention to Give Directions of the Commission’s concerns and provide them with an opportunity to respond to those concerns.
If a provider does not respond or does not satisfy the Commission that it is compliant with its responsibilities, the Commission may then issue the provider with directions.
Complaints manager – A complaints officer who has a supervisory role.
Complaints officer – A Commission staff member that deals with complaints made about Australian Government funded aged care services (residential care, flexible care and care in the home). Includes a complaints manager.
Compliance Notice – A formal regulatory notice from the Commissioner to a provider stating that the provider has been found non-compliant, or that the Commissioner is aware of information that suggests non-compliance with the incident management or restrictive practices responsibilities under the Aged Care Act.
There are two types of Compliance Notice:
- Incident Management Compliance Notice (IMCN)
- Restrictive Practices Compliance Notice (RPCN)
Compels the provider to address the actual or possible non-compliance and outlines any action that the provider must take, or refrain from taking, within a reasonable time period.
Failure to undertake actions as specified in the Compliance Notice may result in enforcement actions, including sanctions, Infringement Notices or civil penalties.
Comprehensive Grant Agreement – Terms and conditions which provide Government with maximum level of control over any grant.
Computer Assisted Auditing Tool (CAAT) – A tool used to capture structured evidence from interviews, observations and document reviews undertaken during performance assessments at aged care services.
Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) – A telephone survey technique in which the person interviewing follows a script generated by computer software. The software enables the questions to be customised, depending on the responses provided and supports timely data collection and editing.
Conciliation – A process where a complaints officer assists the complainant and provider to reach mutually agreeable outcomes to resolve the issues in complaint.
Conflict of interest – A serious incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests.
The Australian Public Service Commission defines two types of conflict of interest – real or actual, and apparent or perceived:
- A real or actual conflict of interest occurs where there is a direct conflict between the public duty and personal interests of an employee that improperly influences the employee in the performance of his or her duties.
- An apparent or perceived conflict of interest occurs where it appears that an employee’s personal interests could improperly influence the performance of his or her duties, but this is not in fact the case.
Consumer – A person approved under the Aged Care Act 1997 to receive aged care who has been assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team to receive Australian Government funded aged care services.
Also known as aged care consumer or care recipient.
Consumer-centred care – Care and services designed around an individual’s needs, preferences and background. It includes a partnership between consumers and providers.
Consumer Directed Care (CDC) – Gives people control when making choices about the types of care and services they wish to receive at home. All Home Care Packages are offered on a CDC basis.
Consumer Experience Interview– Interviews with random samples of consumers where a core set of consumer interview questions are used to collect data on the experiences of the quality of care and services from those living in the service.
The findings are reported in a Consumer Experience Report.
Consumer Experience Report– Provides information about consumers’ experiences regarding the quality of care and services they receive in each service, gathered through Consumer Experience Interviews.
Consumer representative – A nominated person given consent by an aged care consumer to speak and act on their behalf. Includes:
- a person appointed under relevant legislation to act or make decisions on behalf of a consumer
- a person the consumer nominates to be told about matters affecting the consumer.
Continuity of care – Processes that ensure that everyone who cares for a consumer knows, and has information about their care and service needs, choices and preferences.
Helps to ensure that there are no gaps when the responsibility for the delivery of care and services is transferred between individuals within an organisation or different organisations.
Continuous improvement – A systematic, ongoing effort to raise an organisation’s performance in achieving outcomes for consumers under the Quality Standards. Continuous improvement:
- responds to the needs and feedback of consumers
- supports the workforce to improve and innovate in providing safe and quality care and services
- can address practices, process or outputs to achieve a desired outcome.
Contractor and subcontractor – Any person who carries out care and services, or administration or maintenance for an organisation under contract.
Corroboration – Secondary evidence which confirms or supports an initial statement, theory or finding.
Cultural respect – When systems provide a safe environment and where cultural differences are respected and reflected in programs and policies.
Cultural safety – An environment, determined by a consumer or their family, which is spiritually, socially, emotionally and physically safe and respectful, and is a key principle in improving health outcomes.
Culturally safe care – Care and services that are planned and delivered in a way that is spiritually, socially, emotionally and physically safe and respectful for consumers. Culturally safe care and services also ensure that a person’s identity is respected so that who they are and what they need is not questioned or denied.
Day Therapy Centres (DTC) – Centres which offer allied health and other therapy services and activities to older people living in a community setting, retirement village or low care need facilities. Often funded under grants and administered according to a contract with the Australian Government.
Decision maker – Refer to delegate.
Decision making (supported) – The process of enabling a person who requires support to make, and/or communicate, decisions about their own life. The decision making is supported, but the decision is theirs.
Deemed accredited service – A flexible care service providing short-term restorative care in a residential setting may be a ‘deemed accredited service’ in circumstances where the provider of a flexible care service is allocated flexible care places under Division 14 of the Aged Care Act 1997, and the flexible care places are being provided in an accredited service.
Refer also to the definition of deemed accredited service provided in Section 7 of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018.
Delegate (decision maker) – An officer of the Commission who holds a position to which the Commissioner has delegated powers under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 or Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 to make decisions and exercise regulatory functions.
A delegate should exercise discretion according to their own judgment, consider any factors listed in the legislation, consider any other factors relevant to a decision, and take into account policy guidelines. A delegate must be impartial and without bias in their decision making.
Department (the) – The Australian Government Department of Health.
Detailed Resolution Report (DRR) – A record of the issues of a case, a summary of the resolution process adopted, the outcome recommended in relation to each issue and the rationale for recommending the proposed outcome in relation to each of the issues.
Dignity of risk – The concept that all adults have the right to make decisions that affect their lives and to have those decisions respected, even if there is some risk, perceived or actual, to themselves.
A balance between respect for an individual’s autonomy and the protection of their other rights (such as safety, shelter), unless it is unlawful or unreasonably impinges on the rights of others.
Direction – May be issued to a provider where the Commissioner is satisfied that the provider is not meeting its responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997.
Will describe the actions to be taken by the provider (and the timeframes within which those actions must be taken) in order to comply with the Aged Care Act 1997 and the the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules or the Comprehensive Grant Agreement.
If the provider fails to comply with this direction, enforceable regulatory action may be taken against the provider.
Disclosure Standard – Describes the disclosure obligations that an approved provider has to residents and potential residents and is set out in the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2).
Diversity – The varied needs, characteristics and life experiences, which may be social, cultural, linguistic, religious, spiritual, psychological, medical, or care needs of consumers.
Also refers to diverse gender and sexuality identities, experiences and relationships, including (but not limited to) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.
Early resolution of complaints – The complainant is supported to resolve their concerns quickly and directly with the provider without the Commission’s ongoing formal involvement. The assistance may include providing routine information and discussing the complainant’s concerns with the provider.
End of life care – The care provided to a consumer in the period when they are nearing the end of their life. It can include physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological support.
Entry contribution – Any payment, of money or other valuable contribution, made before 1 October 1997, as defined in the Aged Care Act 1997.
Enforceable regulatory action – The breach of approved provider responsibilities outlined in Chapter 4 of the Aged Care Act 1997 triggers the Commission’s compliance functions under Part 7B of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 and specified enforcement powers from the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014 under Part 8A.
Enforceable regulatory action is intended to oblige the provider to take action to address quality and safety risks and to comply with its responsibilities as quickly as possible. Enforceable regulatory action also acts to deter the provider from future non-compliance.
Environmental restraint – A form of restrictive practice.
A practice or intervention that restricts, or that involves restricting, a care recipient’s free access to all parts of the care recipient’s environment (including items and activities) for the primary purpose of influencing the care recipient’s behaviour.
Refer also to restrictive practices.
Evidence domain– Combination of related Quality Standards for the purpose of collecting evidence during a performance assessment with a residential service.
The four evidence domains will guide the way an assessment is conducted, who is selected for interview, the questions asked, the observations made, the documents reviewed, which types of evidence are pursued and lines of enquiry. Different pieces of evidence will answer different questions under each domain.
Flexible care – The type of care provided in a residential or community setting through an aged care service that addresses the needs of people receiving care in alternative ways to the care provided through residential care services and home care services, as defined in section 49-3 of the Aged Care Act 1997.
This includes services provided through Short-Term Restorative Care, Transition Care, Innovative Care or Multi-purpose services.
Freedom of information (FOI) – Requires that Government Agencies publish a broad range of information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). The aim is for the Commission to provide clarity and transparency to its approach to regulation.
General Purpose Financial Report – A report for a financial year for an approved provider, prepared by the provider as required by section 35A of the Accountability Principles 2014.
Governance – The rules, practices, processes and systems an organisation uses to direct and manage that organisation and its services
Governance Standard – The requirement for an approved provider that holds refundable deposit balances or accommodation bond balances to implement and maintain a governance system that ensures that the balances are only used for permitted uses and can be refunded as and when they fall due. Set out in the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2).
Governing body – The individual or group of people with overall responsibility and ultimate accountability for the organisation. This includes responsibility for the strategic and operational decisions that affect the safety and quality of care and services.
High-impact – A risk that can have a significant effect on a person’s safety, health or well-being.
High-prevalence – A large number of people in a particular group that are affected by the same condition or risk.
Home care – Care consisting of a package of care and services provided in a non-residential care setting.
Home Care Packages Program – An Australian Government funded co-ordinated package of services tailored to meet the person's specific care needs, with eligibility determined by an Aged Care Assessment Team.
Home service – means a:
- home care service; or
- flexible care service through which short-term restorative care is provided in a home care setting; or
- home support service.
Immediate and severe risk – When non-compliance is identified the Commission considers whether there is an immediate and severe risk to the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of consumers.
In these cases, 'immediate' means risk that has occurred recently or is likely to occur, or will continue into the future without actions to resolve, or indicates an ongoing risk that a provider has failed to resolve. 'Severe' means risk that has or may result in death, permanent loss of function, is life threatening or other significant adverse outcomes.
Findings of immediate and severe risk result in the Commission imposing sanctions and/or Notice to Agree.
Incident – An event or set of circumstances that resulted or could have resulted in unintended or unnecessary harm, loss or damage to a person
Incident Management Compliance Notice (IMCN) – Refer to Compliance Notice.
An IMCN identifies issues relating to the provider’s incident management and will outline any action that the provider must take, or refrain from taking, within a reasonable time period.
Incident management system (IMS) – Any system that helps an organisation to prevent incidents and to identify, respond to and manage any incidents that occur during the course of delivering care and services to consumers. An incident management system should apply to all incidents, including near misses, that are known, suspected or alleged to have occurred in connection with the delivery of care and services.
Infection prevention and control program – The plan and processes which an organisation uses to prevent and manage the spread of infection. The scope and complexity of a program will depend on the nature of the care the organisation provides, the context and risk.
Influenza infection control program) – The plan and processes that an organisation has in place to manage influenza infections. If an organisation provides residential aged care, their program includes workforce influenza vaccinations, as outlined in the Quality of Care Principles 2014.
Informed consent – A person’s decision, given voluntarily, to agree to a healthcare treatment, procedure or other intervention that is made:
- following the provision of accurate and relevant information about the healthcare intervention and alternative options available; and
- with adequate knowledge and understanding of the benefits and material risks of the proposed intervention relevant to the person who would be having the treatment, procedure or other intervention.
Intake and Complaints Resolution Group (CRG) – The group within the Commission responsible for the resolution of complaints related to Australian Government funded aged care.
Interested person – A person whose interests are affected by a decision.
Interested persons are specified under Section 98 of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018.
Investigation – A complaints resolution approach in which the Commission may gather evidence from different relevant sources including:
- the complainant
- the provider
- anyone else who can provide relevant information, and
- by conducting site visits.
The Commission may investigate a provider’s compliance with its aged care responsibilities such as those under the Quality of Care Principles 2014, for example, in relation to incident management or restrictive practices.
Key personnel – Defined under the Aged Care Act 1997, relating to an entity, as:
- a member of the group of persons who are responsible for the executive decisions of the entity at that time
- any other person who has authority or responsibility for (or significant influence over) planning, directing or controlling the activities of the entity at that time
if, at that time, the entity conducts an aged care service:
- any person who is responsible for the nursing services provided by the service (must hold a recognised qualification in nursing), and
- any person who is responsible for the day to day operations of the service
- whether or not the person is employed by the entity
if, at that time, the entity proposes to conduct an aged care service:
- any person who is likely to be responsible for the nursing services to be provided by the service (must hold a recognised qualification in nursing), and
- any person who is likely to be responsible for the day to day operations of the service
- whether or not the person is employed by the entity.
Liquidity Standard – Requires an approved provider that holds one or more refundable deposit balances, accommodation bond balances or entry contribution balances to develop, implement and maintain a Liquidity Management Strategy and maintain, in the form specified in the strategy, the minimum level of liquidity required to refund any balances that can be expected to fall due in the next 12 months. Set out in the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2).
Material change – A change that is substantial or considerable in nature and materially affects the suitability of an approved provider to provide aged care, notified to the Commission within 28 days of that change occurring.
Mechanical restraint – A form of restrictive practice.
A practice or intervention that is, or that involves, the use of a device to prevent, restrict or subdue a care recipient’s movement for the primary purpose of influencing the care recipient’s behaviour, but does not include the use of a device for therapeutic or non-behavioural purposes in relation to the care recipient.
Refer also to restrictive practices.
Mediation – A process where an independent mediator assists the complainant and provider to resolve the issues in a complaint.
Medication– A substance or combination of substances that is used to treat, prevent or cure disease, or relieve symptoms of a disease. Many medications are prescribed by a doctor; some can be accessed over the counter.
Medication contraindication – A situation when a medication should not be used because it may be harmful to the person.
Monitoring – Regulatory activities undertaken by the Commission to monitor:
- the quality of care and services provided by a provider of an aged care service
- whether a provider has complied with its aged care responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997
- a provider’s response to non-compliance.
Multi-purpose Service (MPS) – A joint initiative of the Australian Government and state and territory governments which aims to deliver flexible and integrated health and aged care facilities for small rural and remote communities.
Is generally established when the local population is not large enough to support separate services, such as a hospital and a residential aged care facility and where there is poor access to essential health and aged care facilities.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) – A program to provide quality, flexible and culturally appropriate aged care to older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people close to their home and community.
National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) – An independent statutory agency which implements the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) – Supports people with permanent and significant disability which may affect their ability to participate in everyday activities. The scheme provides funding directly to individuals.
National Disability Insurance Scheme Quality and Safeguards Commission – An independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and services.
National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP) – Provides funding to assist carers with information, respite care and other support.
Natural justice – A common law doctrine that provides procedural rights in administrative decision-making to support people being treated fairly and without bias.
Those who are affected by a decision that is made by the Commission have access to natural justice provisions through review processes such as reconsiderations. Or, may receive a notice of intent that sets out a decision that may be made in the absence of any response from the recipient.
The bias rule in administrative law requires that a decision-maker must approach a matter with an open mind that is free of prejudgment and prejudice.
No Immediate Action (NIA) (letter)– A notification to a provider may be issued in writing, when the provider demonstrates that its non compliance has been remedied.
The notification indicates to the provider that no immediate action will be taken in respect of that non-compliance. However, the provider’s record of non-compliance will continue to be considered by the Commission as part of the risk profiling of providers and services.
Non-Compliance Notice (NCN) – A Non-Compliance Notice is a formal regulatory notice from the Commissioner, issued under section 63S(2) of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018.
An NCN may be issued to the provider if the Commission is satisfied the provider is or has been non-compliant with one or more of its aged care responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997, but that the non-compliance does not pose an immediate and severe risk to the safety, health and well-being of consumers.
This notice signals to the provider the Commission’s intention to impose sanctions with respect to the non-compliance, sets out actions the provider is required to take to remedy the non-compliance, and gives the provider the opportunity to make submissions prior to the decision-maker deciding to impose one or more sanctions.
The Commission may, after considering submissions made by the provider, require the provider to give an undertaking about remedying the non-compliance, or decide to impose one or more sanctions on the provider.
Notice of Decision to Impose Sanctions (NDIS) – A notification to a provider, in writing, of the delegate’s decision to impose one or more sanctions on the provider.
The Commissioner may impose one or more sanctions of a kind mentioned in section 63R of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 on an approved provider if:
- the Commissioner is satisfied that the provider has not complied, or is not complying, with one or more of the aged care responsibilities of the provider; and,
- the Commissioner is satisfied that it is appropriate to impose those sanctions on the provider.
Notice of Decision to Lift Sanctions (NDLS) – A notification to a provider, in writing, that sanctions imposed on the provider have been lifted.
A provider may apply to the delegate for a sanction to be lifted at any time under section 63V of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018. The request may be to have one sanction lifted, or to have all sanctions that have been applied lifted.
If the Commissioner decides, under section 63X of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018, to lift a sanction imposed on an approved provider, the Commissioner must, within 14 days after making the decision, give written notice of the following to the provider:
Notice of Decision Not to Lift Sanctions (NDNLS) – A notification to a provider, in writing, that the Commissioner has decided not to lift imposed sanctions.
If the Commissioner decides, under section 63X of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018, not to lift a sanction imposed on an approved provider, the Commissioner must, within 14 days after making the decision, give written notice of the following to the provider:
Notice of Intention to Give Directions (NIGD) – A notice to a provider where the Commission sets out any concerns identified through a resolution process about the provider’s apparent failure to meet its responsibilities. The notice gives the provider the opportunity to respond to the concerns by identifying how the provider has, or will, address the issues identified.
Notice of Reconsideration of Decision to Impose Sanctions (NRDIS) – A notice sent to a provider when the Commission has decided to lift a sanction imposed after identified non-compliance, specifying a day on which the sanction is to cease to have effect.
Notice of Requirement to Agree to Certain Matters (NTA) – A notice sent to a provider when the Commission is considering revocation of its approval to deliver aged care, after identified non-compliance.
The notice requires the provider to agree to certain requirements, including time frames. If the provider fails to agree to the requirements set out in the notice, the Commissioner may revoke approval to provide aged care services.
Notice to Remedy (NTR) – Issued by the Commission delegate if they are satisfied with a provider’s response to a Non-Compliance Notice, a requiring the provider to remedy non-compliance within a certain period.
In response to a Notice to Remedy, the provider gives an Undertaking to Remedy committing to undertake the required actions within the specified timeframes.
Notifiable – Events, things or incidents, such as serious infectious diseases, that must be reported.
Notification of material changes for approved providers – Refer to material change.
Open disclosure – Open discussions with consumers, their family, carers and other support people of incidents that have caused harm or had the potential to cause harm to the consumer.
It involves an expression of regret and a factual explanation of what happened, the potential consequences and what steps are being taken to manage this and prevent it happening again.
Organisation – The provider of care and services.
Currently, aged care legislation uses the term ‘approved provider’; this term does not include providers that deliver Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and certain grant funded National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) services.
Other parties – People and organisations who the Commission consults with and keeps informed about a complaint process, but who are not the complainant or the service provider. Examples may include:
- the person receiving aged care
- an advocate nominated by the person receiving aged care
- a legally appointed representative of the person receiving aged care
- a person with a significant relationship to the person receiving aged care (such as a partner or close relative)
- organisations such as police and hospitals.
Outcomes – Describes the effect or result of a service or support, such as an improvement in an individual’s well-being. Can be short-term (such as a consumer being involved in service planning) through to long-term (such as a consumer being able to manage daily activities on their own after support and reablement).
Outputs – Describes the amount of something produced, or the delivery of services and supports, such as training.
Own initiative concern – A resolution process commenced by the Commission based on information received from a source other than a complainant.
Partnership – A working relationship between two or more people or groups. Refers to organisations finding ways to work with consumers and listening to their needs, goals and preferences, to plan their care and services.
Performance assessment – An assessment under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 of performance against the Quality Standards. Includes:
Performance Assessment Methodology – Refer to Assessment methodology.
Performance report – Prepared following a performance assessment.
Outlines assessment of performance against the Quality Standards and is given to the Commissioner and provider.
Will outline the delegate’s decisions regarding compliance against the Quality Standards (compliant/non-compliant at the Standard and requirement level). May also include areas for improvement.
Personal care – Services such as bathing, showering, dressing, feeding and toileting.
Personal information – Information or an opinion (including information or an opinion forming part of a database), whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.
Physical restraints – A form of restrictive practice.
A practice or intervention that:
- is or involves the use of physical force to prevent, restrict or subdue movement of a care recipient’s body, or part of a care recipient’s body, for the primary purpose of influencing the care recipient’s behaviour; but
- does not include the use of a hands-on technique in a reflexive way to guide or redirect the care recipient away from potential harm or injury if it is consistent with what could reasonably be considered to be the exercise of care towards the care recipient.
Refer also to restrictive practices.
Plan for Continuous Improvement (PCI) – A written plan for a service, required under Part 5, Division 4 of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018, that sets out:
- how the provider of the service will:
- assess the quality of care and services provided through the service against the Quality Standards; and
- monitor and improve the quality of care and services as measured against those Standards; and
- if there are any areas in which improvements in relation to the service are needed to ensure that the Quality Standards are complied with – how the provider of the service will make those improvements.
Read more information on continuous improvement cycle and development of PCIs.
Police report – A report about a person’s criminal conviction record that is issued by either the Australian Federal Police or a State or Territory police force or service.
Policies – Statements of intent, providing guidance related to expected standards to be achieved, based on regulatory and contemporary practice.
Previously accredited service – Services that were, but are no longer, an accredited service. Examples include:
- a service where accreditation expired as the service was closed for a period of time due to renovations or re-build
- following revocation of accreditation, a service was sold to a new approved provider. That approved provider is applying for re-accreditation of a previously accredited service.
Priority 1 reportable incident – An incident that caused, or could have caused, a consumer physical or psychological injury or discomfort that requires medical or psychological treatment to resolve, or an unexpected death or unexplained absence of a consumer (see subsection 15NE(2) of the Quality of Care Principles 2014).
Priority 2 reportable incident – An incident that does not meet the criteria for a Priority 1 incident.
Pro re nata (PRN) – In relation to medications; taken as needed.
Procedural fairness – The process followed by decision-makers to ensure decisions are fair by providing all interested parties to a complaint or a decision:
- the right to be heard
- the right to be treated without bias
- the right to be informed of and respond to allegations, and
- the right to information regarding the status of the complaint.
Provider – An entity which has been approved to provide residential care, home and/or flexible care. Approved providers receive government subsidies for the delivery of care to consumers.
A provider might also be referred to as:
- an approved provider
- a service provider
- an organisation.
Provider approval – The process by which an organisation applies in writing to the Commissioner in order to be approved to provide residential care, home care or flexible care and receive Government subsidies for that care.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 specifies who can apply, how applications are to be submitted and what matters are considered during the assessment process.
Provider resolution – A process where the Commission refers a complaint to a provider to resolve. The Commission requires the provider to provide a report about what action it has taken to resolve the complaint.
Provider responsibilities – The set of responsibilities approved providers have in relation to the aged care they provide through their services to aged care consumers/care recipients.
These responsibilities, under the Aged Care Act 1997 relate to:
- the quality of care they provide
- user rights for the people to whom the care is provided
- accountability for the care that is provided, and the basic suitability of their key personnel.
Prudential compliance – Compliance with prudential requirements set out in the Aged Care Act 1997, where a provider providing residential aged care holds accommodations deposits and entry contributions, in accordance with the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2).
Prudential review – On-site activities conducted with the approved providers consent intended to educate the provider on its prudential responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997, and the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2).
Prudential Standards – A set of four standards set out in the Fees and Payments Principles 2014 (No. 2) and made under Section 96-1 of the Aged Care Act 1997, which outline how providers must manage the refundable accommodation payments of their consumers.
Quality Assessment and Monitoring Group (QAMG) – The group within the Commission responsible for the accreditation and monitoring of residential aged care services, quality review of services provided in the home and community and assessment of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program services.
Quality assessor – A person registered by the Commissioner under Part 6 of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 to undertake a performance assessment against the Quality Standards or to monitor the quality of care and services.
Quality audit – The terminology used to describe the process for assessing the performance of a home service during a quality review (changed from ‘site visit’ to ‘quality audit’ from 1 January 2020).
Quality Bulletin – The Commission's regular newsletter for Australian aged care providers, sharing the latest information to support our vision of a world-class aged care service.
Quality management – The systems and processes an organisation has in place to monitor, review, plan, control and make sure it delivers quality services, supports or products.
Quality review – A comprehensive assessment of a home service provider, or a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program service’s performance against the Quality Standards, conducted under Part 4 of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 (or for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program services, conducted in accordance with the Quality Review Guidelines).
Quality Review Guidelines (in the context of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program) – Describes how quality reviews and monitoring of services under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program are undertaken.
Quality Standards – The Aged Care Quality Standards.
Reablement – A consumer-directed process to support restoration of function or adapt to some loss of day-to-day function and regain confidence and capacity for daily activities. It may promote consumer independence, capacity or social and community connections. Supports could include training in a new skill, modification to a consumer’s home environment or having access to equipment or assistive technology.
Recommencing service – Previously accredited services where care and services are not being provided for the allocated places at the time the re-accreditation application is made.
A previously accredited service is a recommencing service if:
- the approved provider of the service has made an application for re-accreditation as a previously accredited service
- the approved provider of the service has been allocated places for the services under Part 2.2 of the Aged Care Act 1997
- at the time the application was made, residential care was not being provided for those allocated places through the service.
An example is a service which has closed for several years for renovations, is recommencing operations but has not yet commenced providing care and services to consumers.
A recommencing service does not include services that have had their accreditation revoked; and are in the process of applying for re-accreditation.
Reconsideration of regulatory or complaints reviewable decision – Review, or reconsideration, of certain decisions (as reviewable decisions) made by the Commissioner or delegate, as provided for under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 and Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018, as requested by an interested person.
Reconsideration period – The time period (14 days) in which a person affected by a decision can request reconsideration of a reviewable decision. Allowable under Part 8B of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 and Part 7, Division 1 of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018.
Records Standard – Part of the Prudential Standards, as set out in Division 3, Part 5 of the Fees and Payment Principles 2014 (No. 2).
Referral – A process where specific issues raised in a complaint or during a performance assessment are referred to another organisation or agency for consideration or action.
Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) – A lump sum paid for accommodation in an aged care home by a consumer who entered permanent residential care on or after 1 July 2014. The payment does not accrue daily.
Refundable Deposit Register – A register, required under Division 3, Part 5 of the Fees and Payment Principles 2014 (No. 2), which a provider must maintain, and includes the information about refundable deposits, accommodation bonds and entry contributions.
Regulatory action – Any and all regulatory action and enforcement action undertaken by the Commission in response to non-compliance with a provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 or the Quality Standards.
Including but not limited to Directions, Non-compliance Notices, Undertaking to Remedy, sanctions.
Regulatory Bulletin – A targeted communication to assist providers in understanding how specific requirements and processes fit into the overarching aged care regulatory framework. It articulates expectations and underlying reasons for the Commission's approach.
Regulatory decision – A decision required to be made under the the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 or the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 which relates to the performance of the Commissioner’s regulatory functions.
Regulatory engagement – A risk-based approach to making an objective and informed judgement when engaging with organisations, providers or individuals regarding complaints or compliance actions.
In cases where the Initial Risk Assessment indicates that the risk to consumers is more than minor in nature or where a provider has failed to remedy non-compliance through an administrative action, it may be necessary for the Commission to respond with regulatory action.
Regulatory official – A Commission staff member whose position is linked to delegations which include regulatory powers. Officials include the Commissioner, their delegate or a quality assessor.
Note: Quality assessors are included for the purposes of assessment activities and the consequent exercise of powers, such as entry and search, which are separate to complaints officers powers under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018.
Regulatory Strategy – The Commission's strategy to delivering regulatory functions under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018, in accordance with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018.
Reportable incident notice – A notice lodged by a provider or other person regarding a reportable incident.
Representative – Defined in the Section 5 of the Records Principles 2014 as:
- a person nominated by the care recipient as a person to be told about matters affecting the care recipient; or
- a person:
- who nominates himself or herself as a person to be told about matters affecting a care recipient; and
- who the relevant approved provider is satisfied has a connection with the care recipient, and is concerned for the safety, health and wellbeing of the care recipient.
(2) Without limiting subparagraph (1)(b)(ii), a person has a connection with a care recipient if:
- the person is a partner, close relation or other relative of the care recipient; or
- the person holds an enduring power of attorney given by the care recipient; or
- the person has been appointed by a State or Territory guardianship board (however described) to deal with the care recipient’s affairs; or
- the person represents the care recipient in dealings with the approved provider.
Requirement – Legislated elements of the Quality Standards against which approved provider compliance is assessed.
Residential care – Defined under section 41-3 of the Aged Care Act 1997 as personal or nursing care, or both personal and nursing care, that:
- is provided to a person in a residential care facility in which the person is also provided with accommodation that includes:
- appropriate staffing to meet the nursing and personal care needs of the person
- meals and cleaning services, and
- furnishings, furniture and equipment for the provision of that care and accommodation, and
- meets any other requirements specified in the Subsidy Principles 2014.
Residential service – An accredited service, or a previously accredited service, for which an application to the Commission for accreditation or re-accreditation is made, and which supports older Australians who can no longer live independently at home.
Respectful – Understanding a person’s culture, acknowledging differences, and being actively aware of these differences. It is about understanding that each consumer is unique and has a right to be treated in an inclusive and respectful way.
Respite care – Residential care or flexible care (as the case requires) provided as an alternative care arrangement with the primary purpose of giving a carer or a consumer a short term break from their usual care arrangement.
Does not include residential care provided through a residential care service while the care recipient in question is on leave under section 42 2 of the Aged Care Act 1997 from another residential care service.
Restraint – Any practice, device or action that interferes with a consumer’s ability to make a decision or restricts a consumer’s free movement. (See the Quality of Care Principles 2014.)
Refer also to restrictive practices.
Restrictive practices – Any practice or intervention that has the effect of restricting the rights or freedom of movement of the care recipient.
Under legislation (subsection 54-9(2) of the Aged Care Act 1997), chemical restraint, environmental restraint, mechanical restraint, physical restraint and seclusion are all restrictive practices.
The Commission’s Quality Standards guidance adopts the general principle that restrictive practices:
- are only implemented as a last resort and after consideration of the likely impact of the restrictive practice on the care recipient
- to the extent possible, best practice alternative strategies are used prior to the restrictive practice being used on a care recipient
- the alternative strategies that have been considered or used have been documented
- the restrictive practice is used only to the extent that it is necessary and in proportion to the risk of harm to the care recipient or other persons
- the restrictive practice used is in the least restrictive form, and for the shortest time, necessary to prevent harm to the care recipient or other persons
- informed consent to the use of the care recipient has been given by the care recipient or, if the care recipient lacks the capacity to give consent, the informed consent of the substitute decision-maker
- the use of restrictive practice complies with any relevant provisions of the care recipient’s care and services plan
- use of restrictive practices complies with Aged Care Quality Standards
- use of restrictive practices is not inconsistent with the Charter of Aged Care Rights (set out in Schedule 1 to the User Rights Principles 2014)
- use of the restrictive practice meets the requirements (if any) of the law of the State or Territory in which the restrictive practice is used.
Restrictive Practices Compliance Notice (RPCN) – Refer to Compliance Notice.
A RPCN specifically identifies issues relating to the use of restrictive practices or emergency use of restrictive practices that need to be addressed by the provider to ensure they are compliant with the Quality Standards.
Restrictive practices substitute decision maker – A person or body that, under the law of the State or Territory in which that the care recipient with aged care, can give informed consent to:
- the use of restrictive practice in relation to the care recipient; and
- if the restrictive practice is chemical restraint – the prescribing of medication for the purpose of using the chemical restraint; if the care recipient lacks the capacity to give that consent.
Review audit – A comprehensive on-site assessment of a residential service provider’s performance against the Quality Standards and are most commonly used when the Commissioner considers the service may not be complying with the Quality Standards.
Results in a decision whether to revoke a service’s accreditation, and if accreditation is not revoked, whether to vary the period of accreditation.
Review delegate – The delegate responsible for undertaking a reconsideration following a request for review of a complaints or regulatory reviewable decision.
Reviewable decision – A decision made under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 or the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 Rules which can be reconsidered.
Refer to Section 74J of the Commission Act and Section 98 of the Rules for a list of regulatory and complaints reviewable decisions.
Revocation of approved provider status – A decision to remove approval of aged care provider status under section 63H or 63J of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018.
The Commissioner may make a decision to revoke the approval of an aged care provider (person or organisation) if:
Once revoked, the provider no longer remains an approved provider under the Commission Act and ceases providing care as a Commonwealth-funded provider of aged care.
Risk – The chance of something happening that will have a negative impact. It is measured by the consequences and likelihood.
In terms of the Commission’s regulatory functions, risk means the current or future risk of a provider’s non-compliance with their responsibilities, including the provision of quality care and services; and associated risks of harm to an aged care consumer or group of consumers.
The risk rating informs the regulatory treatment selected, including the timing, mode and frequency of the Commission's response.
More information can be found in the Regulatory Strategy.
Risk-based questions – A set of standard risk based questions that will be asked on commencement of a performance assessment.
Risk escalation – The identification and escalation of information regarding non-compliance with the Quality Standards or a provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 for risk assessment for the purpose of determining the appropriate regulatory response.
Rules – The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018.
Sanction or sanctions in place – A sanction is imposed by the Commission on a provider of aged care services for non-compliance with its aged care responsibilities. The decision to impose sanctions includes consideration of issues such as:
- whether non-compliance is minor or serious
- whether non-compliance has occurred before, and if so, how many times
- whether it threatens or would threaten the health, welfare or interests of the consumer(s)
- whether the provider has complied with an Undertaking to Remedy the non-compliance or a Notice to Agree (if relevant).
Different sanctions may be imposed depending on the circumstances of the non-compliance, which include revocation of approved provider status, loss of Australian Government subsidies for new persons receiving care, or revocation of allocated places.
Seclusion – A form of restrictive practice.
A practice or intervention that is, or that involves, the solitary confinement of a care recipient in a room or a physical space at any hour of the day or night where:
Refer also to restrictive practices.
Secretary (the) – Secretary of the Department of Health.
Self-assessment – The act or process of a provider analysing and evaluating its own performance and outcomes against the Quality Standards.
Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) – The scheme established to prevent, and reduce the risk of, incidents of abuse and neglect in Australian Government-subsidised residential aged care. It requires providers to have an effective incident management system in place and to identify, record, manage, resolve and report all serious incidents that occur, or are alleged or suspected to have occurred.
Serious offence – An offence under a law of the Commonwealth, or a State offence that has a federal aspect, punishable by a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life or five or more years. This includes murder or sexual assault.
Serious offence conviction – A conviction for a serious offence, as described in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018; relating to a conviction for murder or sexual assault, any other form of assault.
Service (in relation to approved provider) – The business run by an approved provider through which Commonwealth funded aged care services and supports are provided. An approved provider may have multiple services.
An approved provider can exist without a service however a service must be linked to an approved provider.
Services and supports for daily living – Services other than clinical and personal care that include but are not limited to: food services, domestic assistance, home maintenance, transport and recreational and social activities. Services and supports for daily living may also be services that support consumer emotional, spiritual and psychological well-being.
Service culture – The culture of an organisation which is characterised by how people behave, what is prioritised and how processes are owned and improved by the workforce. A culture of safety and quality will be consumer-centred, driven by information, and organised for quality and safety.
Service environment – The physical environment where care and services are delivered. Overall surroundings where aged care services are being delivered are included, such as the building, fixtures, fittings and factors such as lighting, air temperature and water supply.
It does not include a consumer’s private home where in-home services are provided.
Short notice visit – A visit to the premises of an aged care provider undertaken at short notice.
Short term restorative care (STRC) – A form of flexible care, as defined in the Subsidy Principles 2014, that:
- is aimed at reversing or slowing functional decline in older people through the provision of a package of care and services designed for, and approved by, the care recipient who is to receive the care and services; and
- depending on the needs of the care recipient, is provided in either or both of the following settings:
- a residential care setting;
- a home care setting; and
- can be characterised as:
- goal‑oriented; and
- multidisciplinary; and
Site audit – An unannounced comprehensive performance assessment against the Quality Standards undertaken for the purpose of informing a decision whether to re-accredit a residential service. Results in a decision of whether to re-accredit a service, and if re-accredited, the further period of accreditation.
Site audits are also defined in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 as being an audit of the service conducted under Subdivision D of Division 3, Part 3.
Site visit – A visit to a service or a consumer’s residence by regulatory officials or authorised complaints officers.
In the context of a complaint, will include complaints officers meeting at any place with complainants, providers and any party to a complaint.
Special needs groups – The groups of people defined in the Aged Care Act 1997 for whom there is additional consideration in the planning and delivery of appropriate aged care services. These are:
- people from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities
- people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- people who live in rural or remote areas
- people who are financially or socially disadvantaged
- people who are veterans of the Australian Defence Force or an allied defence force including the spouse, widow or widower of a veteran
- people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless
- people who are care leavers (which includes Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and Stolen Generations)
- parents separated from their children by forced adoption or removal
- people from lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans/transgender and intersex communities
- people of a kind specified in the Allocation Principles 2014.
Staff – People working in an organisation who are responsible for the care, administration and support of, or involvement with, consumers.
Subcontracting – Entering into an arrangement with a third party for delivery of care and/or services.
Subject of the allegation – A staff member, consumer or any other person who has been accused of being involved with a reportable incident that has occurred or was alleged or suspected to have occurred.
Targeted campaigns – Prudential and Home Care Compliance and Investigations sections – Sector education campaigns conducted on a biannual basis by the Prudential and Home Care Compliance and Investigations sections. Intended to educate the sector on a specific requirement, which is determined by undertaking a review of existing information such as trend analysis of section intelligence and other Commission intelligence.
Undertaking to Remedy (UTR) – A written undertaking given to, and accepted by, the Commission in response to a Notice to Remedy following a breach of a provider’s responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 and/or non-compliance with the Quality Standards.
Where a breach/finding of non-compliance is assessed as being high or severe risk, the Commission may require a provider to give a UTR committing to take the required actions within a certain period to address specific breaches/areas for improvement.
UTRs are enforceable in a court.
User Rights Principles 2014 – The User Rights Principles 2014 which set out the responsibilities of approved providers in providing residential or home care services, and deal with security of tenure for consumers, access for persons acting for consumers, and the information the provider must give consumers in particular situations.
Also describes the rights and responsibilities of consumers of both residential care and home care.
Workforce – People working in an organisation who are responsible for its maintenance or administration, or the care and services, support of, or involvement with, consumers.
A member of the workforce is anyone the organisation employs, hires, retains or contracts (directly or through an employment or recruitment agency) to provide maintenance or administration, or care and services under the control of the organisation. It also includes volunteers who provide care and services for the organisation.
For clarity, people in an organisation’s workforce include:
- employees and contractors (including all staff employed, hired, retained or contracted to provide services under the control of the organisation)
- allied health professionals the organisation contracts
- kitchen, cleaning, laundry, garden and office staff the organisation employs either directly or under contract.
People who are not part of an organisation’s workforce include:
- visiting medical practitioners, pharmacists and other allied health professionals and services a consumer has asked for, but the organisation doesn’t contract
- trades people who don’t work under the control of the organisation (such as independent contractors), for example, plumbers, electricians or delivery people who work on an as needs basis.
Writing, in writing – All references to writing to someone, or notifying someone in writing, including email.
Young people in residential aged care – People younger than 65 years who receive care in residential aged care services.