Unannounced aged care quality and safety audits

From 20 March 2018, spot audits will come into force across all Australian residential aged care homes.


The Aged Care Minister, Ken Wyatt AM, said enactment of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Legislation Amendment (Unannounced Reaccreditation Audits) Principles 2018 means homes will no longer be given notice of the date of their re-accreditation audit.


“These changes will strengthen the oversight of aged care services to provide greater assurance that standards of care are consistently maintained, not just at re-accreditation times,” said Mr Wyatt.


“The introduction of unannounced accreditation audits builds on existing unannounced compliance monitoring by the Quality Agency,” Mr Wyatt said.


“Since October, the Agency has conducted over 1,500 unannounced assessment visits on homes, targeting specific quality standard requirements.


“The Quality Agency has also increased its focus on broader areas of risk, conducting unannounced review audits of all 44 required quality outcomes at 22 homes. Since July 2017, five homes have had their accreditation revoked.”


To maintain their approval to receive Commonwealth funding, aged care homes must comply with four standards comprising 44 required outcomes, ranging from clinical care, nutrition and hygiene to dignity, privacy and security.


The new reforms to re-accreditation audits also include:

  • Improved avenues for resident and family feedback
  • Tighter profiling of homes to identify potential care and safety risks
  • Self- assessment of performance prior to the audit


The audit reform amendments relate to functions established under the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Act 2013.


More information on unannounced re-accreditation audits can be found on the Department of Health website at https://agedcare.health.gov.au/ensuring-quality


Information can also be found at the Quality Agency website https://www.aacqa.gov.au/providers/news-and-resources/moving-to-unannounced-audits


The Quality Agency publishes accreditation and compliance decisions and resident feedback results on its website www.aacqa.gov.au.


The report on the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes can be found at https://agedcare.health.gov.au/quality/review-of-national-aged-care-quality-regulatory-processes-report


20 March 2018.