Key changes for providers: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission legislation
Part of a fact sheet series related to Key changes under the new Commission Act and Rules.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 (the Act) provides for the establishment of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission). The Commission is responsible for assisting the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner (Commissioner) with functions that include:
- protecting and enhancing the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers
- promoting the provision of quality care and services by approved providers of aged care services and service providers of Commonwealth-funded aged care services
- consumer engagement
- complaints handling
- regulatory responsibilities
- providing information and education.
The Act enables the Minister to make Rules prescribing matters for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Rules 2018 (the Rules) give operational effect to the processes of the Commission. The Rules replace a number of Principles including the Quality Agency Principles 2013.
Who do the Act and Rules apply to?
- Approved providers of residential aged care services, home care services and short-term restorative care services.
- Service providers of Commonwealth-funded aged care services (this includes Commonwealth Home Support Programme and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Care Program (NATSIFACP) services).
What changes can services and providers expect?
The new Rules look quite different due to the combined functions under the Act. However, while the Rules have combined a number of previously separate legislative instruments, the core processes are preserved.
There are some improvements such as bringing together into one section the Commission’s monitoring functions including assessment contacts, review audits of residential aged care services and maintenance by providers of plans for continuous improvement, and all aspects of non-compliance.
Consistency of regulatory process has been achieved where possible. For example, review audit processes have been changed to align more closely to site audit arrangements and requirements. This will assist approved providers by having consistency of regulatory process for residential services.
Concepts around requirements for consent to access a service have been clarified and applied to every form of a visit to the premises of a service, whether for the purposes of re-accreditation, a quality review, a review audit or an assessment contact.
The responsiveness of the Commission to instances of poor care and service delivery has been enhanced for home services by providing greater discretion in determining the notice period of the date or dates of the site visit. If the Commissioner considers on reasonable grounds the provider of the home service is not complying with the standards prior notification is not required to visit the service.
The Act and Rules also introduce a number of changes to previous terminology and introduce new terminology that providers are likely to see and hear used by the Commission. For an overview of the new terminology see the Language Glossary.
Where can I find out more?
You can read the new Rules here.
You can also read the fact sheets on key changes to:
- accreditation and re-accreditation
- quality review
- assessment contacts
- review audits
- requests for specified information
- Commonwealth Home Support Programme
- consent to access premises
- transitional arrangements
Communications updates will be provided via the Commission’s website and newsletter.