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Quality and safety in home services

Guidance and risk checklist tool

The Commission has developed the Quality and safety in home services – 5 key areas of risk guidance resource for governing bodies to consider risks in the delivery of home services. The governing body of a home service provider is ultimately responsible for delivering quality care and services to consumers and for ensuring that their organisation has effective governance, systems and processes in place to identify and manage risks and continuously improve.

The guidance identifies five key risk areas for governing bodies to be aware of and address in the delivery of home services. Accompanying the guidance is a performance reflection tool – the risk checklist tool – which has been developed to assist with measuring and monitoring the key risks identified in the guidance.

What is the risk checklist tool?

For a provider and their governing body to effectively self-assure their practices, they need to have systems and processes in place to critically examine their performance and consumer outcomes on an ongoing basis.

Self-assurance forms an important part of managing risk in an aged care organisation. An organisation employing effective self-assurance practices demonstrate a commitment and capability to delivering quality care and services.

A governing body who is applying effective self-assurance practices will:

  • identify and fix issues as they arise
  • manage risks to quality outcomes and, in doing so, ensure quality consumer outcomes
  • have confidence that they meet regulatory requirements (including meeting the Aged Care Quality Standards) – now and into the future.

The risk checklist tool found at Attachment A in the resource can be used to critically examine an organisation’s performance against key areas of risk and identify areas for improvement. 

Download the Quality and safety in home services – 5 key areas of risk guidance resource

Identifying risks to consumers

Through analysis of complaints, performance assessments, compliance outcomes and other data and intelligence, the Commission has identified the following key areas of risk in home services.


Key areas of risk What is the problem or risk to be addressed?
Organisational governance A lack of oversight or inadequate organisational governance means that providers are less able to identify deficiencies and continuously improve.
Care planning and assessment Failure to undertake appropriate assessment and care planning can deprive consumers of the care and services they need.
Clinical care Poor clinical governance can result in poor outcomes for consumers (even where clinical care is not being delivered).
Vulnerable consumers Failure to identify (and appropriately support and monitor) vulnerable consumers can lead to particularly poor outcomes for consumers who are already at risk.
Management of package funds Inappropriate use of Home Care Package funds or failure to consult with consumers regarding fees and charges can result in consumers receiving care and services that do not meet their assessed care needs.

Assessment contact – monitoring

The Commission will shortly commence an assessment contact (monitoring) process to monitor the governance systems of home service providers. The assessment contact seeks to understand risks at the governing body level, which may then influence further assessment and monitoring activity at the service level. More information on this process will be available soon.


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