The New Aged Care Quality Standards Explained

The new aged care quality standards take affect July 2019! Are you prepared?

If you haven't heard about the new Aged Care Quality Standards by now, I would be worried. But if you have, and you are wondering what all this means? Especially if you are in HR or have some management over performance, learning or compliance, then this blog is a must read.

I'm going to outline everything you need to know about complying with the measures laid out in Standard 7 (Human Resources) of the Aged Care Quality Standards. All this information is direct from the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.I'll tell you how you can achieve 100% compliance with each requirement.

REQUIREMENT ONE: "The workforce is planned to enable, and the number and mix of members of the workforce deployed enables, the delivery and management of safe and quality care and services." Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Requirement Explained: What they are saying is you need to be able to calculate the workforce numbers,range of skills, age of your workforce, employee turnover and other metrics of your organisation, so you can properly assess and coordinate care and services to meet the needs of consumers.

Ask yourself, do you have the right mix of employees to meet consumer needs?

What they will measure you on

"Evidence to show your workforce numbers and mix deployment at the service in relation to the consumers’ care and services plans"

Solution: You need to have a system that can record relevant employee information and create a detailed report from the data you have entered.

PeopleStreme's HR Analytics &Metrics Software
"Proof that delivery of particular care and services is undertaken by suitably qualified members of the workforce consistent with safe and quality care"

Solution: Use a Learning Management System that reports on how compliant your workforce is via course completions. Ensure you are using courses that are relevant to the Aged Care industry so you can ensure policies and legislation is up to date.

Example of Aged Care Courses from leading learning provider GO1

REQUIREMENT TWO: "Workforce interactions with consumers are kind, caring and respectful of each consumer’s identity, culture and diversity" Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Requirement Explained: Employees need to have complete visibility of your organisation's expected behaviours and values, along with regular one on one catch ups and feedback from senior management and documented notes regarding staff performance. Proof of communication is key.

Ask yourself, If there is no documented evidence, how will you know staff are interacting appropriately?

What they will measure you on

"Evidence of communications that show the organisation is committed to respectful care and services."
"Feedback or records that show consumers have interactions with the workforce that are kind and caring. Interactions are also respectful of their identity, culture and diversity."

Solution: Ensure you have regular one on one catch up notes between managers and staff, ideally via a Performance Management System, not on paper.

Each month, note if an employee has achieved that behavioural value, get your managers to write notes to further add evidence.

High Frequency Reviews
"Evidence of the organisation’s recruitment processes that consider value based requirements such as a caring and compassionate nature."

Solution:Have your values outlined in your position descriptions, job ads, as well as, have them available at all times for employees to view.

REQUIREMENT THREE: "The workforce is competent and members of the workforce have the qualifications and knowledge to effectively perform their roles" Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Requirement Explained: This requirement is intended to make sure the workforce has the skills, qualifications and knowledge they need for their role. You need to be able to show how you regularly review the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of your workforce.

‍What they will measure you on

"Evidence of records that show the organisation assesses and checks that members of the workforce have the skills,qualifications and knowledge to be competent at their job."
"Evidence to identify if the workforce has the right mix of skills, qualifications, knowledge and competencies are operating and gaps identified are addressed."  
"Evidence that the organisation acts promptly on any workforce shortages."

Solution: Ensure you have a solid performance management process, where competency gaps are readily identified. Use in conjunction with an LMS to assign appropriate learning courses.

An example of evidence showing you are aware of the competencies gaps and working to up-skill appropriately

REQUIREMENT FOUR: "The workforce is recruited, trained, equipped and supported to deliver the outcomes required by these standards." Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Requirement Explained: Your recruitment process needs to be fair, reasonable and transparent. When a third party carries out recruitment and checks on new employees, make sure that your practices and checks are complete and satisfactory.

Secondly,your organisation needs to review the training, learning and development needs of employees regularly. It’s expected that organisations support members of the workforce to take up training, learning and development opportunities, so they can meet the needs of their role.

What they will measure you on

"Evidence of effective recruitment and selection processes and appropriate checks being undertaken for the workforce.This includes police and reference checks. Records of selection and interview processes that check the accuracy of applications."

Solution: Use a recruitment system to manage and report on the entire recruiting process to ensure nothing is missed. Create automatic reminders and checklists for both recruiters and new hires to make certain 100% of tasks are completed. Even have new hires complete compliance courses, police checks and other important items before they even start.

Keep on top of Recruitment Tasks
"Evidence of induction and other training and development programs for all members of the workforce relevant to these Standards."

Solution: Create specific learning and development plans for employees, include learning objectives that align with relevant standards. Use a Learning System to assign relevant aged care courses then track and manage employees learning completions.

GO1 course content in exact relation to each of the standards. Download the full brochure here.

REQUIREMENT FIVE: "Regular assessment, monitoring and review of the performance of each member of the workforce." Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission

Requirement Explained: All members of the workforce are expected to have an appropriate person regularly evaluate how they are performing their role. This requirement looks at how organisations need to regularly assess the performance and the capabilities of the workforce as a whole.

What they will measure you on

"Evidence that the organisation regularly assesses and monitors the performance of members of the workforce.This includes during probation periods."
"Evidence the organisation uses performance assessments to work out training needs. It also uses performance assessments to review duties and responsibilities, and maintain the workforce’s overall ability to provide safe and quality care and services."

Solution: Managers need to be having regular one on one performance reviews with their staff. Staff need to have good quality objectives for which their performance is assessed against. Evidence of these performance catch ups is vital. Ensure notes are taken and easily accessible via a Performance Management System. Paper does not work!

Examples of Objectives & Employees status on achieving them
"Records or schedules detail the percentage of staff with completed performance reviews and follow up of those who don’t take part."

Solution: Again, use a Performance Management system to show complete visibility of your entire workforce to see who and who hasn’t signed off on their objectives and have not completed a performance review. Follow up accordingly, send reminders to those who are not completing performance reviews.

An example of who has had a review in that particular month

What are the next steps?

So now you know how to solve these challenges. Our next recommended steps is to checkout our HR solutions and the GO1 learning brochure that outlines all relevant courses that are in alignment with each of the standards. You can download it here.

Otherwise we have a free eBook, "The Ultimate Human Capital Management Buyer's Guide", that shows you how to choose and implement the right HR software for your organisation's needs. Download by filling out the form below.

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