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    Guidance on the draft Aged Care Quality Standards

    The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is working with consumers, providers and other key stakeholders to develop guidance material for the new single set of Aged Care Quality Standards (Aged Care Quality Standards).  The new Aged Care Quality Standards have been co-designed with the sector by the Department of Health.  

    The guidance material will assist service providers to comply with the new Aged Care Quality Standards, and will form a new framework for quality surveyors to assess compliance. We are also developing resources to help consumers understand the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

    About the Aged Care Quality Standards

    The Department of Health has drafted the Aged Care Quality Standards in consultation with the aged care sector and members of the public.

    The Aged Care Quality Standards will replace the: Accreditation Standards; Home Care Standards; National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Framework Standards; and Transition Care Standards. The Aged Care Quality Standards will apply to all aged care services including residential care, home care and flexible care. For more about the Aged Care Quality Standards see the Department of Health website.

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    Developing standards guidance material – for providers

    The Quality Agency is working to produce guidance material to support the implementation of the new Aged Care Quality Standards and to assist organisations to comply with them. This guidance material will include information for service providers about how the new standards will be measured. We are also developing information for consumers (see Developing standards information resources – for consumers) to help them to understand the new standards, know what to expect, and what to do if their expectations are not being met. 

    The guidance material will set clear expectations about the quality of care and services required of service providers. It will assist service providers to understand the intent of each standard supporting strategies for action, some reflective questions and examples of evidence that could be used to demonstrate their performance against the standards.

    The guidance material will also include sections that provide case-studies, relationship to other standards, references for service types, and additional information, such as consumer resources.

    The Quality Agency engages with providers, industry experts and specific subject-matter experts to review the content of guidance materials.  Since the release of the draft Standards by the Department of Health in January 2018, we have broadened this consultation. For more details on our consultation arrangements, including the Standards Guidance Reference Group, see Consultation Process below.

    The guidance material is also being edited by professional writers to ensure readability, measurability and clarity.

    Developing standards information resources – for consumers

    The Quality Agency is working with consumers to develop appropriate, accessible and consumer-driven information to support the implementation of the new Aged Care Quality Standards. This includes conducting consumer workshops and consulting with the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) Consumer Forum and their constituent networks, and other key stakeholders.

    The consumer resources will provide information about the practical application of the quality standards, accreditation process, guidance material and required consumer outcomes. They will help consumers understand the new standards for aged care services, how they can participate in quality assessment of their service, and what they can do if expected outcomes of care are not being met.

    Consultations are being undertaken in two phases: 

    • Phase 1 - Learning about the information channels and key themes that consumers find most helpful
    • Phase 2 - Piloting information resources

    Phase 1

    Consultations for this phase have been completed. The findings are available in

    Phase 1 Report - New single quality standards: consumer information resources (PDF)

    Phase 1 Report - New single quality standards: consumer information resources (Word)

    These built on existing knowledge of consumers’ priorities around quality in care. They were conducted in a range of forums across different regions, and included consumers living with dementia, consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, consumers from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities, and vulnerable consumers and their advocates.

    Phase 2

    The findings of Phase 1 have informed the development of draft consumer resources, and key messages and formats are now being tested with consumers.

    Indigenous consultations:

    Work has also commenced on developing Indigenous-specific consumer resources. Further to advice from NACA Consumer Forum Indigenous representatives, the Quality Agency is seeking to undertake guided consultations within local Indigenous communities regarding their information needs regarding the new standards.

    To stay up to date with the latest news, subscribe to our monthly Quality Standard newsletter.

    If you would like further information, please email

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    Standards Guidance Development and Implementation Phases

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    Consultation Process

    The Quality Agency is consulting with stakeholders to develop and refine material to support the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

    Recent consultations included:

    • Pilot  testing of the draft Aged Care Quality Standards and guidance materials with providers, quality surveyors and consumers
    • Public consultation on the draft guidance material
    • Consumer consultations to develop consumer resources with information about the practical application of the new Aged Care Quality Standards

     

    Ongoing consultations have been conducted via:

    • Standards Guidance Reference Group (link for more information and meeting communiques)
    • the Quality Advisory Group (a subcommittee of NACA)
    • the Quality Agency Liaison Group
    • Health-related specialists, and other subject matter and academic experts
    • Quality Agency events such as Better Practice Conferences and provider workshops 

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    How you can be involved

    Our section Consultation process details some of the groups and forums where the aged care sector has been involved in consultations on the draft guidance material.

    You can also register for updates/announcements about the development of guidance material related to the Aged Care Quality Standards via our Subscribe to Quality Agency policy updates form.

    If you would like further information on how to be involved, please email qualityagencypolicy@aacqa.gov.au.

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    More information

    For more information about the Aged Care Quality Standards see the Department of Health website.

    To stay up to date with the latest news, subscribe to our monthly Quality Standard newsletter.

    You are also welcome to email your inquiries to qualityagencypolicy@aacqa.gov.au

    Link back to top to peruse our main menu relating to the draft standards guidance material for providers, and consumer resources.

     

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