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Key regulatory changes in aged care services

On 1 January 2020, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) became responsible for approval of providers, aged care compliance and compulsory reporting which were previously the responsibility of the Secretary of the Department of Health. This includes monitoring of Prudential Standards. This transfer of statutory responsibilities from the Department provides the Commission with a broader range of regulatory functions and powers to oversee the provision of care by providers of Commonwealth-funded aged care services.

Centralising these regulatory functions and powers within the Commission provides greater clarity of the regulatory model for providers and consumers of care. It supports more effective triage of poor performance into voluntary and enforceable compliance pathways, allowing the Commission to shift to enforceable regulatory responses when risks are unresolved or escalate, rather than applying the same treatments. 

In line with the change, the Commission’s Regulatory Strategy has been updated. The strategy sets out the Commission’s approach to delivering regulatory functions under the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 (Commission Act) (as amended), in accordance with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 (Commission Rules). The strategy outlines the way in which the Commission will use a proportionate, risk-based approach to achieving its regulatory objectives. 

The Commission has prepared a summary of Key Changes to Commission Rules. Amendments to the Commission Rules were implemented in late 2019 to support the transition of regulatory functions. The amendments focus on the following key outcomes:

  • integrate and remove duplication in the management of non-compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards)  
  • establish a regulatory framework with graduated and escalating responses to non-compliance
  • streamline existing performance assessment processes, providing greater clarity to consumers and transparency of decision making for providers.

The Commission has also updated key information in the following Regulatory bulletins: 

  • Assessment contacts in residential and home services
  • Non-compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards 
  • Aged Care Quality Standards performance assessment methodology
  • Regulatory decision making

For more information see the Regulatory bulletins page on our website. The Commission will continue to listen to and actively seek feedback from stakeholders to ensure that we are clear in our communications, and that we understand how our regulation of aged care plays out across the system in provider organisations and in the day-to-day care experiences of consumers. 

Thursday, 6 February 2020 - 2:05pm