For the past month, The Plug-in was involved in a project that will help ensure quality is maintained at all services (residential and home support). The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency developed guidance material to bring existing accreditation standards for residential, home, transition care and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Framework into a single set of the following eight quality standards:

  1. Consumer dignity and choice
  2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
  3. Personal care and clinical care
  4. Services and supports for daily living
  5. Organisation’s service environment
  6. Feedback and complaints
  7. Human resources
  8. Organisational governance

It was a very interesting and challenging project for The Plug-in. We recruited the interest of 50 people, 44 of which actively participated in a series of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and workshops to get their perspectives on the standards. We spoke to a range of people in metropolitan Adelaide suburbs and rural and regional areas from diverse socio and cultural backgrounds. We found insights to provide the Quality Agency with a concise report that reflected participants’ opinions and summarised our findings.

Our approach allowed us to listen consumers and family members express their experiences and expectations. Gayle, a family member mentioned to us that “these standards are much more targeted than its previous version”. Kent, on the other hand said, “the biggest issue I have seen from my experiences is what is in policy and procedures does not necessarily happen on the floor”.

Feedback sent to the Quality Agency will inform the final version of the guidance material and we feel very honoured to have worked alongside community to learn from and understand what quality means from their eyes and to shape guidance material on which service providers will be assessed in the near future. Thank you to everyone who expressed interest and participated in focus groups, interviews and providing written feedback.

The standards are expected to be legislated from July 2018 with a 12-month transition period for service providers until July 2019.

Want to learn more about this? We invite you to access the following online sources:

Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

Single set of quality standards – the Aged Care Quality Standards

If you have any questions about the transition period, or any of the key dates, please contact the Aged Care Quality Agency at