Visit the Code of Conduct workers page for information for aged care workers.
Visit the Code of Conduct consumers page for information for aged care consumers.
What is the Code of Conduct for Aged Care?
From 1 December 2022, a Code of Conduct for Aged Care (the Code) will be introduced to improve safety and wellbeing for aged care recipients and to boost trust in services.
The Code aims to build confidence and trust in aged care, empower consumers and will bring a strong focus to a person’s right to receive safe and quality services.
The Code has been developed based on the existing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Code of Conduct.
Who will be covered by the Code?
The Code will set out standards of expected behaviours and applies equally to:
- approved aged care providers
- their governing persons (e.g. board members and Chief Executive Officers)
- aged care workers who are:
- employed or otherwise engaged (including on a voluntary basis) by the provider
- employed or otherwise engaged (including on a voluntary basis) by a contractor or subcontractor of the provider to provide care or other services to consumers.
The Code will apply to approved providers of residential, home care and flexible care services. Flexible care includes the Transition Care Program, Multi-Purpose Services Program and Short-Term Restorative Care Program.
The Code will not apply to the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP).
What are your responsibilities?
Approved providers will have responsibilities under the Act to comply with the Code and to take reasonable steps to ensure aged care workers and governing persons comply with the Code.
The Commission’s role
When the Code takes effect, the Commission will be responsible for enforcing compliance with the Code, including through risk-based and proportionate enforcement action. For example, in severe risk cases where a worker has been non-compliant with the Code, they may be issued with a banning order that prevents them from working in aged care. A court-imposed civil penalty is also available under the Act.
The Commission will support the aged care sector with communications, education and engagement activities to prepare for the Code before the new requirements come into effect.
Further detail on the new requirements, including the draft Code, will be released by the Department of Health and Aged Care when available.
The Commission will be consulting with the sector on draft guidance resources to support their understanding of the new requirements.
What you can do now
You can start preparing for the introduction of the Code by reviewing a range of existing Commission resources relating to topics such as the Aged Care Quality Standards and the Charter of Aged Care Rights.
This will ensure you are aware of your broader responsibilities ahead of the introduction of the Code. More information will be shared when it becomes available, as the Government’s legislative process progresses.
Aged care reform and the Code
The Australian government’s Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Act 2022 implements 9 measures to improve accountability and transparency in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
The Code of Conduct is one of these measures, addressing recommendations 77 and 103.
The Royal Commission’s Final Report Care Dignity and Respect recommended increased protections for consumers from workers who pose an unacceptable risk of harm.
To make an enquiry, submit feedback, a concern or a complaint, you can: