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Accreditation standards

To make sure you’re receiving the best care possible, all aged care homes receiving government subsidies need to meet quality standards. These standards are called accreditation standards. They cover areas such as management, staffing, health and personal care, resident lifestyle, living environment, catering, cleaning, continuous improvement, and safety and security.

Find out about an aged care home’s accreditation

You can view a home’s accreditation status through the aged care homes find a service tool. Details appear next to the information about the home.

You can also go to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website to search by the name of the aged care home to see:

  • the most current publicly available accreditation audit report for each aged care home
  • a Consumer Experience Report for each aged care home where available. These reports include experiences of the quality of care and services from people living in the home.

Both of these reports include findings at the time of the audit, and should not be the only information about a home that you use.

Questions to ask an aged care home about their accreditation

Before you move into an aged care home, you or a family member or friend can ask the following questions:

  • How did the home perform in its Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission audit?
  • What is the home doing to address any concerns raised in the last audit?
  • How does the home involve residents in decisions or making improvements?
  • If I have concerns, who should I talk to, and how would the home handle this?

The following four standards apply to residential aged care homes (sometimes known as a nursing home).

Management systems, staffing and organisational development (standard 1)

Standard 1 is about making sure an aged care home has management systems in place that respond to your needs. Meeting this standard means that the aged care home:

  • is properly managed and has the right information to meet your needs
  • offers ways for you to make complaints
  • has staff with the right skills and qualifications to care for you
  • has the goods and equipment it needs to look after you.

Health and personal care (standard 2)

Standard 2 is about your health and personal care needs. Meeting this standard means that:

  • you are offered a varied, healthy and well-balanced diet
  • you are able to get the clinical care you need
  • you are referred to health specialists if needed
  • you are as free as possible from pain
  • your medication is managed safely and correctly
  • your oral and dental health is maintained
  • your continence is managed effectively
  • you sleep well.

Care recipient’s lifestyle (standard 3)

Standard 3 is about your lifestyle. Meeting this standard means that you are:

  • maintaining your independence
  • getting respect for your privacy, dignity and confidentiality
  • encouraged and supported to participate in leisure and lifestyle activities
  • encouraged to participate in decisions about services the home provides
  • supported to maintain your cultural and spiritual life
  • having your rights and responsibilities explained clearly to ensure you understand them.

Physical environment and safe systems (standard 4)

Standard 4 is about making sure you live in a safe and comfortable environment. Meeting this standard means that:

  • fire, security and emergency risks are minimised
  • programs are in place to ensure infections are controlled effectively
  • catering, cleaning and laundry services are provided.

How are aged care homes accredited?

Aged care homes are accredited and monitored by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. To make sure homes provide you with the best possible care, accreditation assessors visit each home and talk to staff, residents and their families about the home and how it meets the required standards.

Aged care homes can be accredited by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission for up to three years.

What happens when an aged care home does not comply with accreditation standards?

If the home does not meet the standards, it might lose its accreditation or its period of accreditation might be reduced. To find out more, read what options are available if your care or service needs aren’t met.

Better Practice in Aged Care Awards

Each year, the Better Practice in Aged Care Awards acknowledge aged care homes that give the best possible care and services to improve the lives of residents. Awards are given for doing something that acts as an example for other aged care homes to encourage them to improve their care and services.

Aged care homes can nominate their projects for the Better Practice in Aged Care Awards. To be eligible to apply, homes need to have met the accreditation standards for at least the past two years.

You can view recent winners of Better Practice in Aged Care Awards on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.

Related standards

There are similar standards for other types of aged care:

  • Home Care Common Standards
  • Flexible Aged Care Quality Program Standards for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Care Program

You can read more about these standards on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website.

Last reviewed: 31 December, 2018.