Understanding the 8 Aged Care Quality Standards and Their Importance

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If you are starting to think about aged care for you or your loved ones, then your main concern will be the quality of care that the providers offer and how well your needs will be met. You may also wonder, “What does quality care in residential aged care look like, and what can I expect from an aged care provider?” 

Well, no need to worry as aged care providers across Australia must follow the Aged Care Quality Standards. These Standards are available to the public, and it shows the kind of care and assistance the community can expect from aged care providers.


What do Aged Care Quality Standards mean?

The Aged Care Quality Standards serve as the guiding framework for determining the standard of care that aged care facilities must offer.  All government-funded aged care providers, whether they provide residential care or home care, must adhere to the Aged Care Quality Standards. They were developed by the Australian government in collaboration with the aged care industry and came into effect on July 1st, 2019.

These Standards reflect the level of care and services that are expected from aged care providers. Finally, the standards serve as a framework for the government to monitor whether our elderly are being cared for and whether their specific needs are being met. 

Its importance: 

  • The Aged Care Quality Standards are essential to make sure that consumers have access to person-centred care. 
  • They ensure that aged care providers provide quality care to Australians over the age of 65. 
  • These Standards can help older people determine whether their provider is meeting their care needs. 

There are eight standards, each with a different focus, but the overall goal is for providers to provide more consumer-focused services and quality care to the people they care for and their families. 

When providing care to older Australians, all organisations that offer aged care services like Wise Choice must apply and meet these eight Standards. 


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What is the role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission? 

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission oversees accrediting, assessing, and monitoring government-subsidized aged care services on an independent basis. 

They collaborate with providers to promote best practices and assist them in meeting Quality Standards. In terms of safety and quality, they are also the primary point of contact for both consumers and providers of aged care.

The regulatory role of the commission is to protect and improve the health, well-being, safety, and quality of life of those receiving aged care. 


The 8 Aged Cared Quality Standards

As we mentioned earlier that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is in charge of assessing and monitoring the Quality Standards for government-funded aged care services. And here are the eight aged care quality standards and what they mean for you. 


Standard 1: Consumer Dignity and Choice 

The first standard is foundational. It recognizes the significance of a consumer’s sense of self. It ensures that elderly people are treated with dignity and respect, that they retain a strong sense of identity, and that they can make informed, autonomous decisions whenever possible. 

Aged care providers must cultivate and maintain an inclusive and respectful culture, encourage people to exercise choice and independence, and protect people’s privacy. Residents and customers are encouraged to make decisions about their own care, to take risks, and to exercise their right to choose. 

This first standard includes the following seven main concepts: 

  • Dignity and respect—This involves recognizing the individuality of the consumers and always treating them with dignity at all times. 
  • Identity, culture, and diversity— This involves sensitive and friendly care that recognizes and respects their cultural identity. 
  • Cultural Safety– It entails understanding and respecting the culture of the consumer. 
  • Choice– It allows them the freedom to understand and choose their care options. 
  • Risk dignity—It allows them the freedom of choice while protecting them from making decisions that may be harmful to themselves. 
  • Information— This standard involves conveying information to customers in an understandable manner. 

The Consumer Dignity and Choice Standard assures your independence and control over how you live your life. 

What this means for you: You are treated with dignity and respect and are given assistance in maintaining your identity. You can live the life you want by making informed decisions about your care and services. 



Standard 2: Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers 

This standard ensures that the consumer is involved in their assessment and planning so that they can receive the best services possible in the future. The resident or customer must be involved in the initial and ongoing assessment and planning for care and services. Their needs, goals, and preferences should guide the assessment, planning, and delivery of care.

Following the guidelines below will help you make wise decisions: 

  • Considering the consumer’s health and well-being in order to meet their care needs. 
  • Addressing the consumer’s needs, goals, and preferences so that decisions reflect their wishes and identity. 
  • Always involve the consumer in their assessment and future plans and thoroughly explain the outcomes. 
  • Reviewing and changing the consumer’s care and services on a regular basis to ensure that they remain effective. 

What this means for you: You participate in ongoing planning and assessment to ensure that you receive the services and care necessary for your health and well-being. 


Standard 3: Personal care and clinical care 

This standard assists in providing safe and appropriate personal and clinical care for the consumer. Bathing, dressing, mobility aids, nursing services, activities that promote independence, and specialized therapy services are all included. 

The following requirements are used to implement the standard: 

  • Assuring that the consumer receives the best practical care tailored to their specific needs and designed to improve their health and well-being. 
  • Keeping them safe from common dangers and risks. 
  • Meeting the needs, goals, and preferences of consumers nearing the end of their lives in order to make them feel as at ease and respected as possible. 
  • Addressing any deterioration or change in their mental or physical health as soon as possible. 
  • Maintaining accurate documentation of the consumer’s condition, needs, and preferences, as well as keeping any other relevant carers up to date. 
  • Referring them to other care providers as soon as possible if necessary. 
  • Reducing infection risks through proper infection control practices and antibiotic prescriptions. 

What this means for you: You get safe and appropriate personal care, clinical care, or both. 


Standard 4. Services and support for daily living 

This standard ensures that consumers receive daily living services and support to keep them healthy, happy, and in control of their lives. Despite their health challenges, it enables them to continue achieving their goals in meaningful and health-promoting roles. 

Standard four includes the following requirements: 

  • Consumers receive safe, efficient services that cater to their needs, preferences, and goals while also fostering their independence, well-being, and quality of life.
  • Daily living services and supports improve their emotional, spiritual, and psychological health. 
  • Services and supports that encourage consumer participation in the community, social and personal relationships, and doing things that interest them. 
  • Informing other carers about the consumer’s condition, needs, and preferences. 
  • Providing nutritious and diverse meals. 
  • Assuring that the equipment is appropriate, safe, well-maintained, and clean. 

What this means for you: You receive daily living services and support that are important for your health and well-being and allow you to do the things you want to do. 


Standard 5: Organisation’s service environment 

The aim of standard five is to create a sense of belonging for the customer by making them feel safe, at ease, and at home in the service environment. This applies primarily to the physical environment for consumer care and is achieved through the following requirements: 

  • Creating a warm, simple environment that fosters a sense of belonging. It also encourages independence by being easy to interact with. 
  • Keep the environment safe, clean, and well-maintained, and make the consumer as comfortable and mobile as possible. 
  • Ensure that all furniture, fixtures, and equipment are secure, clean, and in good working order. 

What this means for you: With the care you are receiving and the environment you are in, you feel like you belong and are safe and at ease. 


Standard 6: Complaints and feedback 

Standard six makes the consumer feel secure, supported, and capable of providing feedback on their care (including complaints). They are also involved in the feedback and actions that result from it. 

This standard is used in conjunction with the following requirements: 

  • Caregivers are encouraged to receive feedback from consumers. Their family, friends, and other carers are encouraged to do the same. 
  • Consumers have access to advocates, language services, and other avenues for feedback. 
  • Every complaint is handled, followed up on, and communicated to the consumer. 
  • Feedback and complaints are reviewed and used to help improve care quality. 

What this means for you: You feel secure, and you are encouraged and supported to provide feedback and lodge complaints. You are addressing your feedback and complaints through processes, and appropriate action is being taken. 


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Standard 7: Human resources 

The seventh standard focuses on the quality of care and services provided, ensuring that capable and caring individuals provide them. It is concerned with the qualifications, skills, and efficiency of carers and is accompanied by the following requirements: 

  • Staff must be qualified and skilled in order to provide an excellent level of care. 
  • The workforce must be large and diverse enough to provide safe and high-quality care to everyone under their care. 
  • Consumer interactions are kind, caring, and respectful of their identity, culture, and diversity. 
  • Staff is trained and equipped to provide high-quality care, and they are supported in doing so. 
  • Staff performance is regularly assessed, monitored, and reviewed in order to maintain high standards. 

What this means for you: You receive high-quality care and services when you need them from knowledgeable, competent, and compassionate individuals. 


Standard 8: Organisational governance 

The eighth and final standard focuses on how the organization is run to inspire consumer confidence and a sense of partnership in their own care. The governing bodies of the home should foster a culture of safety and inclusivity, and they should be fully accountable for the level of care and service provided. To ensure residents live the fullest, safest lives possible, strict risk management must be implemented. 

The following requirements apply to this standard: 

  • Consumers participate in their own care at all stages, including development, delivery, and evaluation. 
  • The organization promotes and is accountable for a culture of safety, inclusion, and quality care. 
  • Continuous improvement, workforce governance, compliance, feedback, and complaints are all part of effective governance systems. 
  • Risk management is in place, addressing issues like high impact and high prevalence risks, locating and resolving instances of abuse or neglect, and managing and preventing incidents. 

What this means for you: You have confidence in the organization’s management. You are a collaborator in the improvement of care and service delivery. 

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What can Wise Choice do for you? 

The standards of our people and our homes are something we at Wise Choice are extremely proud of. We made the conscious decision to provide homes that are smaller than those of most other aged care providers in order to provide our residents with a warm, intimate, and friendly environment. 

We deeply hold all the values enshrined in Australia’s Aged Care Quality Standards. We make an effort to make both our employees and residents feel safe, well-cared for, and respected because you’re family to us if you reside in or work at a Medical & Aged Care Group home.

To learn more or to schedule a tour of one of our homes, please contact us via our website or call us at 02 8704 6271. 

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