What is the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission?
The Commission’s job is to protect the rights and interests of people who use Commonwealth-funded aged care services.
If you receive aged care services at home, or live in an aged care home, you have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. You also have the right to care that is safe, high quality, meets your needs, and helps you to live the best life you can.
We make sure that aged care services provide the best care possible and respect your rights, in line with the Charter of Aged Care Rights.
We do this by:
- checking aged care services to make sure they meet the Aged Care Quality Standards
- looking into complaints about services made by people receiving care, their families and others
- requiring aged care providers to make changes when they are not meeting the standards or respecting the rights of aged care consumers
- making sure that aged care providers manage your fees and contributions properly, as well as the government funding they receive
- making sure that new organisations that want to provide aged care services are suitable
- investigating serious incidents that happen in aged care services
- publishing information about our findings when we check on services
- explaining what good quality care is, and what you can expect from services.
We look into the quality of residential aged care or home services funded by the Australian Government. This covers most aged care services but does not include retirement villages.
If you were assessed and approved for services through My Aged Care, then we can help you.
How do we work?
We check if aged care homes and services are providing high quality care in different ways.
Our staff visit homes and services to:
- talk to people receiving care to find out if they are happy with their care
- interview managers and staff at aged care services
- watch how care is being provided by staff
- review evidence such as care records
- write reports on their standard of care and publish these on our website.
We also collect evidence in other ways, such as:
- listening to people who make complaints and finding out what has gone wrong (and requiring providers to fix problems)
- requiring services to tell us when a serious incident happens, and what they have done to make sure it doesn’t happen again
- requiring services to send us evidence such as care records
- phoning people to see if they are happy with their care
- surveying people about their care.
If we find that a service is not providing high quality care, we make them take action. This can include requiring them to:
- give us a plan about how they are going to improve their care
- do certain things such as training or employing more staff
- employ an expert advisor to help them fix problems
- not take on any new residents or care recipients until the problems have been fixed.
We also publish information on My Aged Care when we find a service is not meeting the Standards. If a service doesn’t fix the problems, we can take serious action such as taking away their approval to provide aged care.
How can we help you?
If you have a concern or problem with your care, you have the right to ask your aged care service to work with you to fix it. They must have a process for responding to feedback and complaints and should tell you what they are doing about your concern.
Your service must not treat you differently because you have raised a concern or complaint about your care. Your right to raise a complaint is protected by the Charter of Aged Care Rights.
If you are not happy with how your service deals with your concern or you have a question about your aged care service or your rights, you can talk to us. We will listen to you, give you information and work with you and your service to resolve your concern. A family member, friend or advocate can contact us for you, with your permission. You can talk to us confidentially or anonymously if you prefer.
Our complaints service is free.
You can contact us by phone, online form, email or post.
Where else can you get help?
You can ask an aged care advocate to help you sort out a problem with your service. An advocate is an independent person who helps you understand your rights and supports you to sort out your aged care problems. They can help you talk to your service about a problem or raise a complaint with us.
You can get free and confidential help from the Older Persons Advocacy Network by calling 1800 700 600 or visiting their website.
Our work with consumers
Consumers and Families panel
We have established a panel of people who use or are thinking of using Australian government funded aged care services, their carers and family members.
We want to know what is important to you, so we can improve how we regulate aged care, and make sure the information we produce is useful and easy to understand.
For more information about the panel, or to register your interest in joining, visit our Consumers and Families panel page.
Information and resources
We have developed resources to help you understand the quality of care and services you can expect to receive.
These resources provide you with information about:
- how you can raise complaints or concerns about the delivery of Australian government subsidised aged care services
- the advocacy services offered by the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) to support you
- the Quality Standards which apply to your service provider.
New resources have recently been added to support you during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- COVID-19 consumer resources
- COVID-19 Etiquette storyboards and user guides
- COVID-19 Staying Safe storyboards and user guides
Other information and resources
- Charter of Aged Care Rights
- Services available to help you, including advocacy, interpreter and relay services
- Finding an aged care service and view the Service Compliance Rating
- Service Compliance Ratings Fact Sheet
- Quality Standards consumer resources
- Medication. It’s your choice.
If you would like to make an enquiry, provide feedback, order a publication, or lodge a concern or complaint, please contact us.