The Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards Explained


Published: 01 July 2024

The Aged Care Quality Standards are set to be updated as part of a proposed new Aged Care Act and regulatory model, as recommended by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (ACQSC 2024a).

This Article will provide a brief overview of each of the strengthened Standards. For more comprehensive information on each Standard, see Ausmed’s Training Modules on this topic.

What are the Seven Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards?

  1. The Person
  2. The Organisation
  3. Care and Services
  4. The Environment
  5. Clinical Care
  6. Food and Nutrition
  7. The Residential Community.

Standard 1: The Person

Standard 1: The Person
For more information on Standard 1, see this Ausmed Training Module.

‘I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to live free from any form of discrimination. I make decisions about my care and services, with support when I want or need it. My identity, culture and diversity are valued and supported, and I have the right to live the life I choose. My provider understands who I am and what is important to me, and this determines the way my care and services are delivered.’

Standard 1: The Person recognises each older person as an individual and acknowledges the importance of maintaining their sense of self as they age.

Standard 1 comprises:

  • Outcome 1.1: Person-centred care
  • Outcome 1.2: Dignity, respect and privacy
  • Outcome 1.3: Choice, independence and quality of life
  • Outcome 1.4: Transparency and agreements.

(DoHaAC 2023)

Standard 2: The Organisation

Standard 2: The Organisation
For more information on Standard 2, see this Ausmed Training Module.

‘The organisation is well run. I can contribute to improvements to care and services. My provider and workers listen and respond to my feedback and concerns. I receive care and services from workers who are knowledgeable, competent, capable and caring.’

Standard 2: The Organisation outlines the responsibilities of a provider’s governing body to the older people in their care. Responsibilities like:

  • Fostering a culture centred on safety and quality
  • Overseeing and evaluating enhancements to care and services
  • Engaging with older people, their families, caregivers and staff, as well as collecting quality data to ensure continuous improvement
  • Establishing effective governance systems
  • Ensuring the workforce is skilled and equipped to meet the needs of older people in their care

Standard 2 comprises:

  • Outcome 2.1: Partnering with older people
  • Outcome 2.2: Quality and safety culture
  • Outcome 2.3: Accountability and quality systems
  • Outcome 2.4: Risk management
  • Outcome 2.5: Incident Management
  • Outcome 2.6: Feedback and complaints management
  • Outcome 2.7: Information management
  • Outcome 2.8: Workforce planning
  • Outcome 2.9: Human resource management
  • Outcome 2.10: Emergency and disaster management.

(DoHaAC 2023)

Standard 3: Clinical Care

Standard 3: The Care and Services
For more information on Standard 3, see this Ausmed Training Module.

‘The care and services I receive:

  • are safe and effective
  • optimise my quality of life, including through maximising independence and reablement
  • meet my current needs, goals and preferences
  • are well-planned and coordinated
  • respect my right to take risks.’

Standard 3: Care and Services focuses on the quality, safety and appropriateness of all types of care and services that older people receive. While other Standards focus on specific service requirements, Standard 3 emphasises the importance of effective assessment, planning, communication and coordination. Such measures are crucial for delivering high-quality care and services that cater to the individual needs and preferences of older people, empowering them to lead fulfilling lives.

Standard 3 comprises:

  • Outcome 3.1: Assessment and Planning
  • Outcome 3.2: Delivery of Care and Services
  • Outcome 3.3: Communicating for safety and quality
  • Outcome 3.4: Coordination of care and services.

(DoHaAC 2023)

Standard 4: The Environment

Standard 4: The Environment
For more information on Standard 4, see this Ausmed Training Module.

‘I feel safe when receiving care and services. Where I receive care and services through a service environment, the environment is clean, safe and comfortable and enables me to move around freely. Equipment is safe, appropriate and well-maintained and precautions are taken to prevent the spread of infections.’

Standard 4: The Environment focuses on fostering a safe and comfortable care environment for older people that encourages a sense of independence and belonging.

Standard 4 comprises:

  • Outcome 4.1a: Environment and equipment at home
  • Outcome 4.1b: Environment and equipment in a service environment
  • Outcome 4.2: Infection prevention and control.

(DoHaAC 2023)

Standard 5: Clinical Care

Standard 5: Clinical Care
For more information on Standard 5, see this Ausmed Training Module.

‘I receive person-centred, evidence-based, safe, effective, and coordinated clinical care by qualified health professionals and competent workers that meets my changing clinical needs and is in line with my goals and preferences.’

Clinical care encompasses:

  • Preventing, treating and managing health conditions
  • Preserving mental, physical, and social wellbeing
  • Interprofessional care.

(ACQSC 2024b)

Many older people have complex health needs, such as multiple chronic conditions, disability, frailty and/or cognitive challenges. Appropriate clinical care is crucial in properly addressing these needs and maximising the quality of life for older people while managing risks associated with their care.

Standard 5 comprises:

  • Outcome 5.1: Clinical Governance
  • Outcome 5.2: Preventing and controlling infections in clinical care
  • Outcome 5.3: Safe and quality use of medicines
  • Outcome 5.4: Comprehensive care
  • Outcome 5.5: Clinical Safety
  • Outcome 5.6: Cognitive Impairment
  • Outcome 5.7: Palliative and End-of-life care.

Note: Outcome 5.5: Clinical Safety seeks to strengthen and prioritise high-impact and high-prevalence clinical areas of risk identified by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. These areas include:

  • Choking and swallowing
  • Continence
  • Falls and mobility
  • Nutrition and hydration
  • Mental health
  • Oral health
  • Pain
  • Pressure injury and wounds
  • Sensory impairment.

(DoHaAC 2023)

Standard 6: Food and Nutrition

Standard 6: Food and Nutrition
For more information on Standard 6, see this Ausmed Training Module.

‘I receive plenty of food and drinks that I enjoy. Food and drinks are nutritious, appetising and safe, and meet my needs and preferences. The dining experience is enjoyable, includes variety and supports a sense of belonging.’

Standard 6: Food and Nutrition recognises that access to nutritionally appropriate food is a basic human right and acknowledges that mealtimes have cultural and social importance for many people. At the same time, older people’s ability to eat and drink might be affected by various health and age-related factors and must also be carefully considered and addressed.

Note: Standard 6 applies only to residential care services.

Standard 6 comprises:

  • Outcome 6.1: Partnering with older people on food and nutrition
  • Outcome 6.2: Assessment of nutritional needs and preferences
  • Outcome 6.3: Provision of food and drink
  • Outcome 6.4: Dining experience.

(DoHaAC 2023)

Standard 7: The Residential Community

Standard 7: The Residential Community
For more information on Standard 7, see this Ausmed Training Module.

‘I am supported to do the things I want and to maintain my relationships and connections with my community. I am confident in the continuity of my care and security of my accommodation.’

Standard 7: The Residential Community focuses on the importance of the residential community in the lives of older people who have moved into a residential care environment, and emphasises the necessity for older people to feel safe, comfortable and at home. This standard also highlights the significance of providing opportunities for older people to engage in meaningful activities and maintain connections with important people in their lives.

Note: Standard 7 applies only to residential care services.

Standard 7 comprises:

  • Outcome 7.1: Daily living
  • Outcome 7.2: Transitions.

(DoHaAC 2023)



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