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Stronger Standards, Better Aged Care Program

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We are changing the way we work

Why we are changing

Older Australians deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They have the right to receive care and services that are safe, compassionate and of high quality.

To ensure that older Australians receive consistent quality care and services, Aged Care Quality Standards (the Standards) were developed. These Standards define the kind of aged care that providers need to deliver.

Our role is to make sure that aged care providers are providing care and services that meet these Standards. We regulate providers and take action when providers are not meeting their obligations.

In 2021, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended that the current Standards be strengthened. The Royal Commission recommended that the Standards include key areas such as food, dementia, governance and clinical care.

The Department of Health and Aged Care (the Department) is in the process of finalising its review and advising Government of the outcome including delivering a set of strengthened Quality Standards. Further information on the consultation program that is informing the review of the Standards is available on the Department’s website.

The Commission is contributing to the revision of the Quality Standards in our role as the national regulator of aged care services.

Our goal is work with providers to continuously improve the quality of care for all older Australians. 

We see the strengthened Standards as an opportunity to make an impact on the care received by older Australians and to improve how we work.

Regulating the strengthened Standards will be one way that we do this. But we will need to do more to make sure that we are working with providers and older Australians to improve services.

We will need to develop audit methodology, processes and systems to enhance our capability, effectiveness and accountability. We will also need to provide clear and accessible pathways for providers and older Australians to speak to us.

To achieve these aims, we are implementing the Stronger Standards, Better Aged Care Program.

Our program will be guided by the implementation of the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards (the Standards), expected to be introduced from 1 July 2024. We will also rely on contributions from older Australians, service providers and all our stakeholders.

Until the strengthened Standards are finalised, we will continue to use the existing Standards.

Our vision and end state

Our vision is to be a world-class regulator, strengthening our capability, effectiveness and accountability. We are committed to the goals of protecting and enhancing the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of every aged care consumer.

The strengthened Standards are designed to deliver a better aged care experience. The Strengthened Standards, Better Aged Care program will provide valued and effective support to the sector to prepare for the implementation of the strengthened Standards. The program will also help to position the Commission as a contemporary, connected, accessible regulator supporting continuous improvement, excellence and trust in the provision of aged care to older Australians.

Our end state goals relate to three groups – the Commission, providers and consumers. You can read our vision and end state here.

When we are changing

Although the strengthened Standards will not be introduced until 1 July 2024, we are making changes now.

We know that there is a lot of work to do to ensure our staff, providers and older Australians are prepared and ready for the strengthened Standards.

We also know that change does not happen quickly. We are investing time and resources to make sure that we have the right processes and systems in place.

What will change

As part of the Stronger Standards, Better Aged Care program, we will:

  • change the way we assess the quality of aged care provided
  • focus on building the awareness and capacity of the aged care sector
  • make our requirements, processes and resources easier to understand, transparent and consistent
  • continuously improve the way we interact with older Australians, families and carers, by adopting a strong consumer focus and service delivery mindset.

How we will achieve these

We will reach our end state by implementing new processes and continuing to test our assumptions.

We are conducting a pilot of the draft strengthened Standards to test how the strengthened Standards will apply in practice.

This will help us identify the supports and resources needed by our staff, aged care providers and consumers as we transition to the final standards by 1 July 2024.

We will engage with consumers to understand and improve their experience dealing with us.

We will continue to consult with providers and key stakeholders to make sure our resources and tools meet the needs of the diverse needs of the sector.​

Have your say

We value your questions, suggestions or any feedback as we work with you to reshape the future of the Commission.

You can submit comments to

Thursday, 6 April 2023 - 1:21pm

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