This section outlines the accreditation process for commencing services including how to apply for accreditation, the decision process and outcomes.
Commencing services include residential services and flexible care services through which short-term restorative care is provided in a residential care setting (STRC service). If your service was previously accredited but is no longer an accredited service see our re-accreditation page.
Key changes for aged care providers
Commencement of the Aged Care Quality Standards
On 1 July 2019, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission) began assessing and monitoring the quality and care of services against the Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards).
The Application for Accreditation form (more information below) has been updated to reference the Quality Standards. Applications submitted to the Commission from 1 July 2019 should be made using the new form. This includes a self-assessment tool measuring planning and performance against the Quality Standards.
Where an approved provider has submitted an application for accreditation before 1 July 2019, and a decision has not yet been made regarding accreditation, the approved provider can expect the decision to be made against the Accreditation Standards (old Standards).
Please see our Transitioning to the new Standards page to access a transitional arrangements fact sheet about the key changes for approved providers.
Commission Act and Rules
For information about changes for approved providers when the Commission was established on 1 January 2019, please see our Commission Act and Rules page. You can use this page to access fact sheets that include:
- Accreditation and reaccreditation key changes fact sheet; and
- Request for specified information key changes fact sheet.
What is a commencing service?
A residential service is a commencing service if:
- An approved provider has been allocated places for the service;
- Residential care has not been provided for those places through the service; and
- The service is not an accredited or previously accredited service.
A Short Term Restorative Care (STRC) service is a commencing service if:
- The STRC is provided in a facility where residential care is provided through a residential service
- That residential service is a commencing service.
A service is not a commencing service if there is a change in the approved provider, a change in the location of the service, or where the service has been closed for a period due to renovations or rebuild.
Applying for accreditation
An approved provider of a commencing service may apply to the Commission for accreditation of the service.
To apply for accreditation of a commencing service, an approved provider must complete the Application for Accreditation form as approved by the Commission and include:
- A commitment to undertaking continuous improvement in relation to the relevant service;
- The application fee (see details on our accreditation fees page); and
Contact the Commission at least three months before aged care consumers (consumers) move into your commencing service to discuss the accreditation process and obtain the application form. See contact us for details of your regional Commission office.
The Commission will not accept an application for accreditation if it does not comply with these requirements.
The decision process
The Commission will decide whether to accredit or not accredit a commencing service within 16 days of receiving a valid application. In making a decision, the Commission must take into account:
- the application;
- any relevant information about the approved provider of the service given to the Commission by the Department of Health;
- whether the Commission is satisfied that the approved provider of the service will undertake continuous improvement in relation to the service, measured against the Quality Standards if the service is accredited; and
- any other relevant matter.
Decision to accredit a commencing service
If the Commission decides to accredit a commencing service the period of accreditation will be for one year.
The approved provider will be notified of the decision and:
- the reasons for the decision;
- any areas in which improvements in relation to the service must be made to ensure compliance with the Quality Standards and the timetable for making improvements (TFI);
- circumstances in which a review audit may be conducted; and
- how to apply for re-accreditation.
A Certificate of Accreditation for the service is provided with information on the period of accreditation.
The decision is published on the Commission’s website. See the Find a report section for examples.
Decision not to accredit a commencing service
If the Commission decides not to accredit a commencing service, the approved provider is notified of the decision and the reasons for the decision.
An approved provider can apply for reconsideration of a decision not to accredit a commencing service.
An application for reconsideration of the decision not to accredit must be submitted to the Commission within 14 calendar days of the approved provider being notified of the decision.
See Reconsideration and review of decisions for details on the application process.
Monitoring your accredited service
The Commission monitors the compliance of accredited services through assessment contacts and, if required, review audits.
Commencing services accredited by the Commission will usually have an assessment contact within one to two months of consumers moving into the service.
An unannounced assessment contact is also conducted prior to the expiry of the initial 12 months accreditation period.
More information is available in the Assessment Contacts and Review Audits section.
Application for re-accreditation
The Commission will forward a reminder notice to an approved provider before the end of the period of accreditation of the service.
The reminder notice will include a date by which the approved provider needs to make the application for re-accreditation.
See Re-accreditation of residential services for more details.