Is your organisation interested in becoming an approved aged care provider? We’re here to help and answer your questions.
Contact us via phone or email.
We assess applications from organisations wanting to become approved providers.
Approved providers can receive an Australian Government subsidy under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
This subsidy helps approved providers to give more affordable and accessible care and services to eligible care recipients. The information on this page tells you what you need to know before applying to become an approved aged care provider.
It’s expected that you have, and can clearly explain, a practical understanding of an approved provider’s legal requirements and obligations.
This is because we need to know what you’ll do daily to ensure you deliver high-quality aged care.
Types of care
There are 3 care types that you can apply for.
Residential aged care is for eligible older Australians who can no longer live in their home. Even after approval, you can’t receive residential care subsidies for delivering residential aged care unless accredited by us.
The Home Care Packages (HCP) program supports older Australians with complex care needs to live independently in their own homes. It uses a consumer-directed care approach to ensure the support suits their needs and goals.
Different types of flexible care depend on the person’s needs. The Short-term Restorative Care (STRC) Programme is early intervention to reverse or slow functional decline in older people. The program provides services to older people for up to 8 weeks (56 days) to help delay or avoid long-term care. A client can access 2 episodes of STRC within a 12-month period. The support can take place in the person’s home, an aged care home, or a combination of both.
Consultants and advisers
When we receive applications from organisations with help from a consultant or aged care adviser, it’s expected that applicants are significantly involved in preparing the application form and the documents submitted. This is because:
- it must be an accurate representation of the applicant organisation and its key personnel
- it’s not okay to rely on the expertise of the consultant to demonstrate your suitability to deliver residential, home or flexible care
- most consultants are unlikely to be significantly involved in the delivery of aged care for your organisation. Their engagement is time-limited and specific to certain services, such as the provision of advice and or a suite of policies and procedures.
If you purchased a suite of policies and procedures from a consultant, we expect that:
- you know what they contain, and you can speak with us about their contents if required
- your application responses are not a direct copy and paste from purchased documents
- they accurately describe your organisation’s methods for care delivery and compliance with aged care-approved provider responsibilities
- personnel described in the documents align with your organisation
- they accurately reflect how aged care should be delivered so that care recipients receive high-quality care and there is no risk to their safety, health and well-being
- they don't contain 'catch all' legislative references
- you are familiar with and have engaged with all documents you intend to submit for our consideration.
You’re responsible for the information in your application form and its attachments, not your consultant. Please review all the information your consultant has given you and make sure it’s accurate. Applications or content that don’t reflect how you have described your organisation may not be approved.
You can’t be approved, and your application will be invalid if:
- you’re not an incorporated organisation
- you’re a sole trader.
Providing compliant aged care services
You must give us enough information in your application and any attachments that tell us what you’ll put in place to operate a new aged care service. This means:
- explaining your activities so that we can clearly understand what you, your executive staff and your care delivery staff will do daily
- ensuring your care is delivered in a way that meets the legal responsibilities of an approved provider
- knowing what’s expected under Division 54, Division 56 and Division 63 of the Aged Care Act, as well as the Aged Care Principles and Quality Standards
- your key personnel must have experience in delivering aged care or other forms of care - including at an executive decision-making level
- obtaining police check certificates from an accredited body and insolvency checks for each key personnel.
All these items are mandatory.
Mandatory documents for key personnel
You must provide one of the following documents with your application for all your key personnel:
1. Documents confirming whether each key personnel has, at any time, been convicted of an indictable offence
- National Police Certificate (NPC) — from a police agency, or
- National Criminal History Check (NCHC) — from an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission-accredited agency, or
- NDIS Worker Screening Check.
The date of each NPC or NCHC must be less than 90 days before the day you send us your application. Go to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission website for more information about the National Police Checking Service.
An indictable offence is an offence against:
- a law of the Commonwealth or a state or territory, and/or
- the law of a foreign country that corresponds to an offence
- a law of the Commonwealth or a state or territory.
2. An insolvency check
This must confirm whether each key personnel is, or has ever been, insolvent under administration.
3. A statutory declaration
Your key personnel must complete a statutory declaration. This must declare:
- any former or current names that aren’t shown on the NPC, NCHC and NDIS Worker Screening Check
- if they were a citizen or permanent resident of a country other than Australia after turning 16
- they’ve never been convicted of murder or sexual assault or convicted of and sentenced to imprisonment for any other form of assault
- their suitability as key personnel.
Your key personnel must understand the key personnel suitability matters. This is because key personnel have a responsibility for reporting suitability changes to an approved provider.
There’s a legal definition for key personnel, which includes individuals in your organisation, either employed, contracted or volunteers, who are:
- employees who make executive decisions about an organisation. This includes members, shareholders/owners and directors of a board.
- employees who have authority over or are responsible for planning, directing or controlling an organisation’s activities.
- any person responsible for providing nursing services to an organisation. This includes contractors and outside professionals not employed by the organisation.
- any employee who is, or is likely to be, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organisation’s service.
- a director of the body corporate if your organisation is a body corporate.
- a member of your governing body.
Funding and financial viability
- You must show how you will fund the establishment and operation of your care service, including evidence of commitment for any relevant capital investments or loans.
- You must show evidence that organisations or individuals funding loans or capital investments have the necessary funds.
- If applicable, you must be able to show the method you use to set prices.
- If delivering in-home or community care services, you must show the controls you have to monitor and manage your cash flow, noting that government subsidy payments are made in arrears.
- If establishing or intending to take ownership of a residential aged care service that will, or has previously used, the refundable accommodation deposit as a funding stream, you must show how you will manage liquidity, governance, record keeping and disclosure obligations following the Prudential Standards.
- You must demonstrate that you maintain a financial management system that captures the data you need to regularly report to the Department of Health and Aged Care and consumers.
- You’re legally accountable for the delivery of care services through subcontractors. Your contractual arrangements must show that these services meet aged care regulations, including the Aged Care Quality Standards.
- You must provide a copy of the service agreement with subcontractors, demonstrating how all care services will be delivered following the Quality Standards.
- If you can’t provide a copy of the service agreement, you must tell us in detail what terms and conditions will be included.
We update our application forms to ensure they include the latest information and legislative requirements. You must ensure that the application form you submit is current on our website at the time you apply. Otherwise, it’s not a valid application, and we can’t accept it.
Before you apply
Aged care legislation is often updated. If you’re approved to provide aged care, you’ll be expected to:
- monitor any changes to aged care legislation
- update your governance systems.
All applicants must read and understand the following information:
- Guidance and Resources for Providers to support the Aged Care Quality Standards
- Commission Act and Rules
- National aged care reforms
You must also read and understand relevant aged care legislation and associated principles, including but not limited to:
- Aged Care Act 1997
- Quality of Care Principles 2014
- User Rights Principles 2014
- Accountability Principles 2014
- Fees and Payments Principles 2014.
If you’re applying to provide home care, you must also read and understand:
- HCP program support material developed by the Department of Health and Aged Care
- Serious Incident Response Scheme for home care
- Home services.
If you’re applying to provide residential care, you must also read and understand:
It’s also recommended that you review information from the following organisations to help you with the application process. Use these search words on each website to take you to relevant information:
- your business
- directors and financial reporting requirements
- record-keeping for small business
- responsibilities of company office holders.
- business plan template and guide
- work health and safety industry, state or territory requirements.
- state and territory privacy regulation
- details on accessing documents held by Australian Government ministers and most agencies.
- Spent Convictions Scheme
- Crimes Act 1994, Criminal Code Act 1995.
Fair Work Ombudsman (previously Fair Work Australia)
- awards and agreements
- National Employment Standards.
- AHPRA legislation.
- professional services
- franchising code of conduct.