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    The quality review process

    Information sheet

    Want to know more? Our Understanding Quality Review two-day course is now taking bookings. 

    Participating services and programs:

    • Home Care Packages Programme.
    • Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

    Services delivering National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flexible care program transitioned to the Quality Agency for their quality review cycle under the Quality framework.

    The quality review process includes the following steps:

    1.    Self-assessment

    Conducting ongoing self-assessment assists home care services to ensure they maintain and improve their performance. Providers must provide self-assessment information during quality reviews that demonstrates their performance against the Home Care Standards. Providers may use their own self-assessment tools and methods or they may choose to use our template.

    Information for providers 
    Self-assessment tool
    Continuous improvement

    There is no requirement to submit self-assessment information to us prior to the quality review but you may do so if you wish. 

    2.    Service details

    We will contact you prior to a quality review to confirm the details of your service, the location and the packages or programs facilitated by your service.

    3.    Notification

    During our planning, we will consult with you about proposed dates for your quality review.
    We will then send you a notification at least 28 days before the proposed site visit date.
    Our notification includes a letter to be sent to each care recipient or their representative and an information sheet about the quality review.

    4.    Informing care recipients and representatives

    Home care letter and poster. These letters and posters are available in 21 community languages.

    Providers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each care recipient or their representative is made aware of the quality review in writing. This information must be provided to care recipients or representatives at least 21 days before the quality review. (Refer to Quality Agency Principles 2013).

    Some providers may choose to inform care recipients or representatives through their regular correspondence. Home care services must use the form of words that we provide.

    Depending on the type of program you are delivering, the care recipients or representatives you inform should be those who are currently receiving services.

    5.    Site visit schedule

    A team leader from the quality review team will contact your service’s nominated person prior to the quality review. This is to develop a site visit schedule in consultation with service management. The schedule sets out interview times and key focus areas for the review. The input from service management will assist in setting appropriate times for interviews with staff (this may be over the telephone) and access to records. The schedule is flexible to your needs and any planned appointments for interviews with care recipients or representatives.

    6.    Quality review

    Our reviewers assess the performance of the home care service against the Home Care Standards. Quality reviewers use the following process to gather and corroborate information:

    • interview staff and management about your systems, processes and practices
    • sample care recipient records
    • review documents such as policies, procedures, agreements and registers
    • interview available care recipients or representatives
    • observe the environment, any activities in progress and any interaction with care recipients or representatives

    The quality review commences with an Entry meeting and concludes with an Exit meeting.

    Interviews with care recipients or representatives

    Care recipients or representatives may contact us and provide feedback about the care and services they receive prior to the quality review.

    Care recipients or representatives are welcome to arrange a time with you to speak to a quality reviewer during the quality review. This may be over the phone or a confidential appointment at the service. Information given to quality reviewers by a care recipient or representative is confidential.

    Some providers may choose to arrange for care recipients or representatives to be available at the service for the quality review and participate in a focus group interview. This is entirely optional for the provider.

    7.    Interim quality review report

    The quality review team prepares an interim quality review report setting out the interim assessment of the performance of the service against the home care standards. You are invited to respond to the information in the interim quality review report before a final report is prepared.

    8.    Final quality review report

    An independent decision-maker from the Quality Agency considers the information from the quality review team, any response from the provider and any other information we may have about the provider and the service. A decision is then made about the provider’s performance against the Standards. A final quality review report is then provided to you that sets out the results of the decision and any areas for improvement should there be any failure to meet the standards.

    9.    Failure to meet the standards 

    When an assessment team identifies that an approved provider of a service may not meet one or more expected outcomes of the Standards (a failure to meet the Home Care Standards), they provide a report to the Quality Agency. When the Quality Agency make a finding that an approved provider of a service has failed to meet the Home Care Standards they are required to consider the evidence for the purposes of understanding whether the failure has placed or may place a care recipient at serious risk.

    Detailed information about responding to a decision of failure to meet the standards is included in an information sheet sent to the approved provider. 

    Home care assessment contacts

    Assessment contacts for home care services were introduced in legislation in the Quality Agency Principles 2013.

    Assessment contacts may be in the form of a site visit or a telephone call (Assessment contact – desk). Quality reviewers assess the performance of the service against the Standards and may review the service’s plan for continuous improvement.

    We must notify you of an assessment contact in the form of a visit at least 14 days prior to the planned date.