A Comprehensive Guide to Aged Care Quality Standards

Explore the significance of aged care quality standards, their benefits, effective implementation, and how healthcare providers can enhance the quality of life of the elderly under their care.

What are Aged Care Quality Standards?

Aged care quality standards encompass a series of guidelines and criteria that guarantee top-tier care and support for elderly individuals within aged care facilities in Australia. By implementing and adhering to these standards, companies can uphold their commitment to providing quality healthcare, foster trust among residents and stakeholders, and achieve operational excellence in the industry.


Upholding the new aged care quality standards is essential for safeguarding the rights and meeting the needs of the elderly population. It should not be done for mere compliance because this endeavor cultivates a climate of continuous improvement, nurturing a secure, dignified, and individual-focused atmosphere. Here are specific reasons why the regulation exists:

  • Ensures Resident Well-being – The primary purpose of the standards is to safeguard the health, safety, and overall well-being of elderly individuals residing in aged care facilities.
  • Maintains Standards of Care – These standards aim to maintain consistent and high-quality care practices across all aged care facilities, regardless of size or location.
  • Fosters a Sense of Accountability – By establishing clear standards, the facilities are held accountable for the care they provide, promoting transparency and trust among residents, families, and regulatory authorities.

What are the 8 Standards in Aged Care?

The new aged care standards were introduced on July 1, 2019. This Australian regulation outlines the expectations for quality services provided in senior facilities and even for practitioners who work with elderly clients who choose to stay at home. Each standard plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of care provided to seniors. Here are the 8 standards of aged care:

Consumer Dignity and Choice

Respecting the uniqueness of each resident, acknowledging their preferences, and involving them in the decision-making process demonstrate adherence to this criterion. Aside from offering a variety of meals or arranging personalized activities, here are other ways to show commitment to honoring their decisions:

Ongoing Assessment and Planning

Individualized care involves creating care plans for each client and regularly evaluating their impact, taking into account changes over time. Here are some specifics:

  • Provide comprehensive care by engaging with the senior’s family, care providers, and other organizations.
  • Focus on the ability of older adults to regain their autonomy for as long as they can. 
  • Aside from explaining the care directives to everyone involved, uphold aged care documentation standards so the consumers can review it when needed.  

Personal Care and Clinical Care

Preserving the health and well-being of residents entails providing competent clinical care alongside attentive personal assistance. By following the prescribed protocols, medical professionals can promptly address their aged ward’s needs. More importantly, these should all align with their cultural beliefs and personal preferences. 

  • Reduce restrictive practices and provide alternative strategies.
  • Teach and assist them in basic self-care (e.g., foot and nail care, hand hygiene, skin tear prevention, oral health, etc.)
  • Efficiently respond to any form of deterioration observed (physical, cognitive, emotional, or functional)

Services and Supports for Daily Living

The fourth criterion ensures that residents receive support with daily tasks such as grooming, mobility, and nutrition. It underscores the importance of creating an environment that fosters independence and improves their overall quality of life.

  • Always consider the emotional, spiritual, and psychological needs of the client.
  • Plan and prepare their meals. If assistance is required, provide that as well.
  • Equipment like wheelchairs, hearing aids, and remote monitoring devices should also be available, whether the client is in a facility or at home. 

Organisation’s Service Environment

Creating a positive and secure setting enhances residents’ well-being significantly. Here are some measures that cultivate a safe and comforting environment:

  • Clean and maintain furniture, fittings, and equipment. Regularly laundering towels, bedding, and clothes prevents infections, something aged individuals are prone to. 
  • Report and document any clinical incidents (e.g., falls, medication errors, infections), sentinel events (i.e., that which could lead to serious harm), and non-clinical incidents (e.g. hazard identification, security breaches, professional misconduct).

Feedback and Complaints

The sixth criterion is about promoting transparent communication and promptly addressing grievances from the clients, their families, and other advocates. By accomplishing these, the organization shows its dedication to continuous improvement and growth.

  • Acknowledge feedback, even if it is negative. By being receptive, practitioners can handle issues objectively and promptly resolve the matter. 
  • Create a system that allows the elderly to raise their concerns, especially those who may need extra assistance due to language, cultural, or financial barriers.  
  • Provide information sheets so the client and their family know who to contact when they have complaints, recommendations, or suggestions. 

Human Resources

Having adept and empathetic personnel is imperative for providing high-quality care. Organizations need to prioritize staff training because it ensures that their workforce can address the distinct requirements of their elderly clients. Offering continuous professional development opportunities is also crucial. On top of clinical topics, these are other subject matters to include in the aged care program:

  • LGBTQI Awareness 
  • Cultural Safety
  • Professional Boundaries
  • Documentation Processes
  • Handling and Providing Feedback

Organisational Governance

Effective governance structures and procedures are crucial for upholding compliance. Establishing transparent leadership, decision-making processes, and robust risk management practices does not just ensure adherence to quality standards. It also bolsters organizational stability. 

Challenges to Aged Care and How to Overcome Them 

Caring for senior citizens presents numerous challenges due to physical inabilities, emotional factors, financial constraints, and time-related aspects. The quality standards help companies and caregivers considerably, providing a framework they can follow. 

Even with the framework, it can still be a demanding task, so here are some industry best practices that can resolve the most pressing issues.

Promote a Positive Work Culture Resolves Staffing Shortages

Heavy workloads, stress, and low job satisfaction are some of the causes of increasing vacancy rates in retirement homes worldwide. Staffing insufficiency hinders the delivery of quality care, a consequential problem in the industry. 

Aside from incentivizing outstanding care, companies should acknowledge the obstacles their employees encounter. Providing consistent training, adequate resources, and full support can also help manage this issue. 

Encourage Resident Participation to Manage Elderly Autonomy and Safety

Allowing aged clients to be independent and take risks poses numerous problems for their clinical guardians. This is where communication and planning come in, enabling senior patients to voice their needs and the healthcare practitioners to work around them and find the right balance. 

Embrace Technology to Manage Budget Constraints

While there is access to publicly funded care for the aged population, many still consider it limited across the globe. This frustrates facilities, preventing them from accomplishing their tasks to ensure quality care. 

Software solutions streamline numerous workflows, including record keeping, scheduling, KPI evaluation, billing, and even adaptation to changing regulations.

Aveo Group is incredibly successful in providing quality care to its over 12,000 senior residents. With the help of a top-rated mobile-first platform, they get to manage their 90+ communities across Australia and show what operational excellence is like.

FAQs about Aged Care Quality Standards

Australia’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission developed the 8 aged care standards. They assess and monitor government-funded aged care services, ensuring compliance among service providers. Other countries have their own set of standards for senior care as well:

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulates nursing homes in the US. 
  • The Care Quality Commission is the agency responsible in the UK. 
  • Every province in Canada has an office handling matters in long-term care homes. 
  • Every member state in the EU also follows a specific set of criteria for quality elderly care in assisted living environments.

The commission responds to non-compliance with a risk-based approach and proportional measures. Notices are provided at first, giving companies time to address the issues. The facility cannot take on new care recipients when they undergo this process. 

Heavier sanctions are placed when a senior’s health and well-being are at immediate and severe risk.

Both aim to improve the quality of aged care services in Australia. The former defines quality care, while the latter collects indicator data that helps them improve their service. 

The Mandatory Quality Indicator Program usually asks for reports about pressure injuries, unplanned weight loss, falls and major injuries, and hospitalization, to name a few.

Yes. Home care services are also regulated under the Australian Aged Care Quality Standards. All government-funded aged care providers, regardless of whether they operate in residential or home environments, are required to comply with every single criterion discussed above.

Eunice Arcilla Caburao
Article by

Eunice Arcilla Caburao

SafetyCulture Content Contributor
Eunice Caburao is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. A registered nurse, theater stage manager, Ultimate Frisbee athlete, and mother, she has written a wide range of topics for over a decade. Eunice draws upon her rich, multidisciplinary background to create informative articles about emerging topics on health, safety, and workplace efficiency.