Transition to the new Aged Care Quality Standards (the Standards) has begun. The Standards will apply to all aged care services including residential care, home care, flexible care and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program. Assessment and monitoring against the new Standards will commence from 1 July 2019.

This transition period gives the aged care sector time to identify and address areas where outcomes for consumers can be improved in order to meet the new Standards. Over the next 12 months, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Quality Agency) will continue to provide an education program for providers on the new requirements and release a range of consumer resources. More information about the transition to the Standards is available on the Quality Agency’s website.

As you may be aware, the Aged Care (Single Quality Framework) Reform Bill 2018 is currently before Parliament. This Bill lays the foundation for the introduction of the Standards. On 20 June 2018 the Bill passed through the House of Representatives and it is anticipated the Bill will progress when Parliament resumes for the 2018 Spring Sitting. Following the completion of parliamentary processes and approval by the Minister, the Standards will be set out in legislation.

A copy of an exposure draft of the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Single Quality Framework) Principles 2018, which contains the new Standards, is available on the department’s website. Minor changes to the final draft Standards were made during the legislative drafting process to ensure consistency with the Aged Care Act 1997 and current legislative drafting practices, and to improve the clarity of intent of the new Standards.

On 15 June 2018 the department conducted a webinar that included an update on the Standards. A recording of the webinar is also available.

LASA will be assisting Members with the roll-out of these new standards with measures including communications and Master Classes.  Any inquiries on the standards may be directed to LASA’s Principal Advisor Residential Care Sharyn McIlwain at SharynM@lasa.asn.au