Visit the Code of Conduct providers page for information for aged care providers.
Visit the Code of Conduct workers page for information for aged care workers.
Aged care reform and a new Code of Conduct
Everyone has the right to receive safe and quality aged care services.
The Australian Government is making improvements to address the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. This includes better protections for older Australians to keep them safe from harm.
A new Code of Conduct for Aged Care (the Code) to be introduced on 1 December 2022 is one of these measures.
The Department of Health and Aged Care has released a draft of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Amendment (Code of Conduct and Banning Orders) Rules 2022 for public review and consultation.
The public consultation can be accessed from 4 October 2022 on the Department’s Get involved – Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub.
What is the Code of Conduct for Aged Care?
The Code will describe the behaviour expected of aged care providers, their governing persons (e.g. board members and Chief Executive Officers) and aged care workers.
The Code will describe how providers and the people who provide your care must behave and treat you.
The Code will give the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) the power to deal with behaviour that does not meet the Code.
The Code has been developed based on the existing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Code of Conduct.
Who will the Code apply to?
The Code will apply to:
- approved aged care providers of residential, home care and flexible care funded by the Australian Government
- governing persons (e.g. board members and CEOs)
- aged care workers.
Many aged care providers use contractors, volunteers or other people to provide aged care services. Most people involved in providing your care must comply with the Code.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) services will not be covered by the Code.
The CHSP and NATSIFACP providers will still be required to provide care that is safe and respectful and to behave in a way that aligns with the Code.
What can you expect under the Code?
You should always be treated well and feel safe. Your aged care provider and the people who provide your care must act in a way that is respectful, kind and consistent with the behaviours set out in the Code.
What if you have concerns about your care?
If you are concerned about the way your aged care provider or the people providing your care are behaving, it is important to speak up. Don’t wait until the Code is introduced. Tell someone about it so action can be taken now to protect you and other people.
Raising a concern
Your aged care provider should help you feel safe and supported to raise your concern, give feedback or make a complaint. If you feel uncomfortable speaking up or you would like some support, there are people who can help.
You could ask a friend or family member to help you raise a concern directly with the provider or you can get help from an independent advocate, at no cost. You can call the Older Person Advocacy Network (OPAN) on 1800 700 600 to be connected to a local, independent advocate who can help you to raise your issue with your provider.
If you are not comfortable raising a concern directly with your provider or are not happy with their response, you can contact us. We will listen to you, give you information and work with you and your provider to resolve the concern.
You can complete our online contact form, or free call 1800 951 822.
What can the Commission do?
Our role is to protect and enhance the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of people receiving aged care services.
When the Code is introduced, if we find that the aged care provider and/or the people who provide your care have behaved in a way that does not meet the Code, we can take action.
We have access to a range of compliance and enforcement actions to respond to different situations. In severe cases, our action may include banning a current or former aged care worker or governing person from working in aged care. In the case of approved providers, we may apply a sanction or revoke their approved provider status.