The Aged Care Quality Standards Explained


Published: 24 August 2022

The eight Aged Care Quality Standards came into effect on 1 July 2019 (ACQSC 2022).

All Australian government-funded aged care providers need to meet these standards, regardless of what type of aged care service they are offering (My Aged Care 2022).

The Aged Care Quality Standards help clients understand what ‘good care’ looks and feels like, and helps providers understand how to achieve it.

Note: The Standards refer to clients and residents as ‘consumers’. This Article will adopt the same terminology.

What are the Eight Aged Care Quality Standards?

1. Consumer Dignity and Choice

A consumer is to be treated with dignity and respect, and is able to maintain their identity. They are able to make informed choices about their care and services, and live the life they choose.

standard 1 planning notebook

To meet this Standard, an organisation must pledge to cultivate and maintain a culture of inclusion and respect for consumers and create a space in which consumers can exercise choice and independence. The organisation also pledges to respect the consumer’s privacy.

This Standard acknowledges the importance of an individual’s ability to maintain their sense of self in the healthcare system. This means consumers should feel that their identity, culture and diversity is valued by the facility and staff.

Standard 1 also encompasses:

  • The importance of culturally safe care and services
  • Facilitating a consumer’s ability to make and maintain relationships of their choice (including intimate relationships)
  • Allowing consumers to feel supported to take risks that enable them to live their best life.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 1:

2. Ongoing Assessment and Planning with Consumers

A consumer is a partner in ongoing assessment and planning that helps them get the care and services they need for their own health and wellbeing.

standard 2 hand writing notes

Under this Standard, an organisation pledges to undertake initial and continuous assessment and planning for care and services in close collaboration with the consumer. The consumer’s needs, goals and preferences are the cornerstone of care provision, assessment and planning.

This Standard outlines what organisations need to do to plan care and services with consumers, which, in essence, is to listen to what the consumer wants and work out a way to achieve that (within reason).

This Standard also includes:

  • Engaging with other organisations, individuals and providers of care/services as a way of providing comprehensive care
  • Ensuring that the outcome of health assessments are communicated and documented in a way that allows a consumer to access it readily.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 2:

3. Personal Care and Clinical Care

A consumer receives personal care, clinical care, or both, that is safe and right for them.

standard 3 holding patient's hand

To meet this Standard, an organisation promises to provide safe and effective personal care, clinical care, or both, in accordance with a consumer’s needs, goals and preferences.

The purpose of this Standard is to ensure that consumers and the community receive a safe, effective and quality provision of personal and clinical care aligned with their values.

  • This care is best practice, tailored to the needs of the consumer, and optimises their health and wellbeing
  • Any deterioration or change witnessed in the consumer’s health, function, capacity or condition is recognised and responded to promptly.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 3:

4. Services and Supports for Daily Living

A consumer gets the services and supports for daily living that are important for their health and wellbeing, and that enable them to do the things they want to do.

standard 4 holding dog

The organisation promises to provide safe and effective services and supports for daily living that facilitates a consumer’s independence, health, wellbeing and overall quality of life.

This Standard recognises that a consumer is entitled to services and supports for daily living covering a wide range of options that aim to support consumers to live as independently as possible and enjoy life. This includes but is not limited to food services, domestic assistance and recreational and social activities.

This Standard encompasses:

  • The need for an organisation to address the emotional, spiritual and psychological needs of a consumer
  • Enablement of the consumer to participate in their community, have and maintain social relationships, and engage with activities that are of interest to them.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 4:

5. Organisation’s Service Environment

A consumer feels they belong and are safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment.

standard 5 trees outside

The organisation commits to providing a safe and comfortable service environment that facilitates the consumer’s independence, function and enjoyment.

This Standard is designed to ensure that the service environment of an organisation is clean, comfortable, welcoming and well-maintained.

It also requires the service environment to:

  • Be easy to navigate and understand; ignite feelings of belonging, independence, interaction and function
  • Be safe, clean, well-maintained, comfortable and allow consumers to be able to move freely
  • Have furniture, fittings and equipment that are safe, clean, well-maintained and suitable.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 5:

6. Feedback and Complaints

A consumer feels safe, encouraged and supported to give feedback and make complaints. They are engaged in processes to address their feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken as a result.

standard 6 feedback and complaints

The organisation is committed to not only listening to, but seeking input and feedback from parties including consumers, carers and the workforce, among others. This feedback is then integral to future improvement on an organisation-wide scale.

This Standard is in place to ensure that an organisation has a system in place to resolve complaints. This system must be fair, accessible, prompt and confidential.

This Standard also incorporates:

  • The ability for friends, family and carers of the consumer to make complaints and provide feedback
  • Ensuring access to advocates and language services are brought to the attention of consumers
  • An open disclosure process is used when things go awry.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 6:

7. Human Resources

A consumer receives quality care and services when they need them from people who are knowledgeable, capable, and caring.

standard 7 diverse people

An organisation is committed to a workforce that is sufficient, skilled and qualified to provide effective, safe, respectful and quality care.

This Standard also analyses the following:

  • The sufficiency of the workforce
  • The attributes, attitudes and performance of the workforce
  • Organisational support for the workforce
  • Assessment, monitoring and review.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 7:

8. Organisational Governance

A consumer is confident the organisation is well run. They feel it is possible to partner in improving the provision of care and services.

standard 8 organisational governance

The governing body of the organisation is held accountable for the provision of safe and quality care and services.

The governing body, which outlines the strategic aims of the organisation, should encourage a culture of safety and quality. Government systems such as the following are in place:

  • Information management
  • Continuous management
  • Financial governance
  • Workforce governance
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Feedback
  • Complaints.

An organisation must also be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Consumers are engaged in the provision of care
  • A culture of safe, inclusive and quality care is promoted
  • Effective risk-management systems are in place.

(My Aged Care 2022; ACQSC 2021)

Relevant Ausmed resources for Standard 8:

How are These Standards Assessed?

The following material is supplied by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to provide a clear explanation about the accreditation evaluation process:


Test Your Knowledge

Question 1 of 3

True or false: Best practice care tailored to the specific needs of a consumer is integral to Standard 3.


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