What Are The Changes To The Aged Care Quality Standards?

May 20, 2024

Most Australians aged 65+ use aged care services. In 2021 - 2022, 800,000 people used home support services, and 185,00 used residential aged care.

With an aging population, it is crucial for providers to offer quality care.

Not only that, but it is also a legal requirement to comply with The New Aged Care Act—set to come into effect on 1 July 2025—which will replace the Aged Care Act 1997, the Aged Care (Transitional Provisions) Act 1997, and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018.

The New Aged Care Act was slated for implementation on 1 July 2024; however, the 2024-25 Federal Budget confirmed the delay.

The changes in legislation aim to move to a more person-centred and rights-based approach, ensuring that older people are at the forefront of all decisions regarding their care.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will introduce the strengthened quality standards under this act. Let's take a closer look at what these standards mean.

What are the Aged Care Quality Standards?

The Aged Care Quality Standards (the Quality Standards) ensure that aged care providers deliver services that are:

  • Safe
  • High-quality, and
  • Meet the needs and preferences of the people under their care.

The current Standards consist of eight standards (note: these will be phased out):

  • Standard 1. Consumer dignity and choice
  • Standard 2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  • Standard 3. Personal care and clinical care
  • Standard 4. Services and supports for daily living
  • Standard 5. Organisation's service environment
  • Standard 6. Feedback and complaints
  • Standard 7. Human resources
  • Standard 8. Organisational governance

Why do the new aged care quality standards exist?

The Aged Care Quality Standards offer guidelines for aged care providers and care workers. Each Standard details key outcomes that older people should expect from their service providers/support team and what expectations and requirements providers must meet.

Specifically, the Standards ensure service providers and care workers support older people with:

  • Setting goals
  • Being involved in decisions about their care
  • Understanding what matters most to them (or is important to them)
  • Supporting them to live the life they choose

Aged care providers and workers must comply with the Standards and be assessed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to ensure they meet them. Failure to do so could lead to severe consequences, such as poor quality care, non-compliance, or even abuse (due to failures to comply with best practices).

What are the changes to the new aged care quality standards?

The most significant change will be that the Standards decrease from eight to seven. The strengthened Standards will include the following:

  • Standard 1: The Strengthened Standards
  • Standard 2: The Person
  • Standard 3: The Organisation
  • Standard 4: The Care and Services
  • Standard 5: The Environment
  • Standard 6: Clinical Care
  • Standard 7: Food and Nutrition
  • Standard 7: The Residential Community

The eight Standards were consolidated into seven to make them easier to understand so providers and workers could be clearer about their obligations.

They will also be more relevant, moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a more person-centred and focused approach. The Standards and their requirements will then differ from aged provider to provider based on the nature of the services provided and registration levels.

Finally, the strengthened Standards will have measurable outcomes with a series of suggested actions to support these outcomes, making them easier to implement.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission intended to implement the strengthened Aged Care Standards on 1 July 2024. However, this date has been delayed to 1 July2025.

We suggest keeping up-to-date with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website for the latest information.

etrainu has also released our new Aged Care Fundamentals eLibary, developed in partnership with Carers Qld, to support providers and workers with the changes.

Alternatively, you can access our free course, Preparing for the Strengthened Quality Standards. It unpacks the key changes and what that means for aged care professionals. 

Access the free course here.

Final thoughts

Older people deserve person-centred care and support. The strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards seek to ensure that older people receive person-centred care that upholds their dignity and rights.

To do so, aged care service providers and workers must comply with the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards and understand them.

Aalia Hussein
Instructional Designer and Writer
Imaginative and inventive, Aalia is etrainu’s resident writer. She has a passion for weaving words together and storytelling. She’s in charge of etrainu’s content, creating engaging and immersive experiences across learning and marketing.

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