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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 (Commission 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 Commission 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 are the changes from the previous regulatory arrangements?

The Rules look quite different to the previous Principles due to the combined functions under the Commission 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 now align more closely to site audit arrangements and requirements. This assists 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. For example, if the Commissioner considers on reasonable grounds the provider of a home service is not complying with the Quality Standards prior notification is not required to visit the service.

The Commission Act and Rules have also introduced a number of changes to previous terminology and include terms that providers are likely to see and hear used by the Commission. For an overview of Commission 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:

Other information is available on the Commission and Department of Health websites.

Communications updates will be provided via the Commission’s website and newsletter.  

Regulatory Policy Helpdesk

For support in understanding the Rules and their operational implications, please contact the Regulatory Policy team at or speak with your local Regional office.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 - 1:36pm