To obtain Commonwealth Government residential care funding, residential services must receive accreditation. Accreditation is granted for a certain length of time, and re-accreditation requires a full site audit.
Accreditation programs include both compliance and quality aspects that work together to improve quality and safety. These programs put emphasis on the importance of continuous quality improvement. They generally consist of a procedure that includes self-evaluation, an external independent body’s review or assessment of performance against established standards, and the accrediting body’s continued monitoring of performance against the standards.
Accreditation is for services that are just being started, whereas reaccreditation for existing service providers consists of periodic full audits to assess compliance with the Quality Standards, which are usually for a three-year period. According to the Sector Performance data the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) reaccredited 166 services for three years or more and 20 services for less than three years between October and December 2021.
The following are the most important aspects of the accreditation process:
- Self-assessment based on accreditation criteria based on the Quality Standards
- Submission of the application for accreditation
- Assessment by a team of registered aged care quality evaluators in a site audit
- Development of a site audit report based on the audit and a performance assessment report highlighting the compliance with Quality Standards
- Decision regarding accreditation by decision-makers (not part of the assessment team)
- Issuance of certification certificate
- Publishing decision on this website along with the performance report
- Monitoring the ongoing performance, and managing any non-compliance in accordance with the Quality Standards
The Commission at times responds to serious non-compliance by revoking the accreditation of residential aged care services and/or revoking provider approval to provide aged care in cases where:
- the risk to consumers is severe,
- a provider has failed to remedy non-compliance, or
- the provider is no longer suitable to provide aged care
This degree of regulation demonstrates a total lack of confidence in the provider’s capacity to deliver care. The termination of Commonwealth funding for the provision of care and services is the result of the revocation. If a provider’s non-compliance is exceptionally substantial, such as systematic, persistent, wilful, or criminal, the Commission may issue a revocation sanction to hasten the provider’s removal from the sector.
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