Prudential and Approved Provider Regulation Client Service Charter

Page last updated: 29 November 2016

The Prudential and Approved Provider Regulation Branch within the  Aged Care Quality and Compliance Group administers national programs relating to the prudential regulation of approved providers charging accommodation payments and also the approval of providers of aged care.

Note that ‘accommodation payments’ includes refundable deposits and contributions, accommodation bonds, entry contributions and unregulated lump sums.

A Client Service Charter has been developed for prudential and approved provider regulation. The Charter sets out the standards of service that regulated entities and aged care consumers can expect to receive in relation to prudential and approved provider regulation.

Prudential and Approved Provider Regulation - Client Service Charter 2011

Our aim

The Prudential and Approved Provider Regulation Branch has been established within the Aged Care Quality and Compliance Group to manage national programs in relation to prudential regulation of approved providers charging accommodation payments and the approval of providers of aged care.

Our aims, in line with our legislative responsibilities, are to:

  • establish, promote and enforce prudential regulations protecting accommodation payments paid by residents to approved providers; and
  • determine and monitor the appropriateness of entities, including their key personnel, approved to provide Australian Government-subsidised aged care.

In protecting the interests of people who have paid accommodation payments and regulating entities providing aged care, we seek to balance the regulatory burden on approved providers with achieving the desired policy outcomes.

Our supervisory approach

Our supervisory approach is risk-based, consultative, consistent and seeks to achieve best practice. This approach recognises that management and boards of approved aged care organisations hold the responsibility to ensure their financial soundness and to meet their obligations to residents.

When developing or revising regulatory policy we will:

  • act in accordance with the Government’s policy on best practice regulation;
  • consult widely and comprehensively to make sure that all relevant views are properly considered; and
  • continue to review our requirements to ensure they remain relevant and effective in the context of industry and regulatory developments.

We comply with the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct in all aspects of our business.

Our service commitment

You can expect we will:

  • be helpful and treat you with courtesy;
  • provide you with background and reasons for our decisions or concerns and, where compliance action is taken, approved providers will be accorded procedural fairness and given opportunity to respond to those concerns;
  • promote and encourage a high level of compliance through informing approved providers of their responsibilities and providing feedback on regulatory outcomes through our publications and interactions with approved providers;
  • respect your right to privacy and confidentiality, subject to our obligations to inform other parties, including government agencies;
  • acknowledge your letters and emails within five working days and phone messages within two working days. Where a full response cannot be provided within this time we will advise you when a response can be expected and keep you informed on progress if the issue is complex;
  • make decisions in a timely way and ensure our actions are taken within the legislated timeframes;
  • be clear on the information we need in order to consider your applications; and
  • publish the results of our annual performance against this Charter in the Department of Social Service’s Annual Report and the Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997.

Aged care providers

If you are, or seek to become, an approved provider of Australian Government-subsidised aged care services, we expect your governing body and senior management to:

  • be aware, and ensure key personnel are aware, of the legislative requirements under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) and the Aged Care Principles (the Principles);
  • be responsible for complying with your statutory responsibilities and for ensuring your financial soundness;
  • provide information required under the Act and the Principles in a timely and accurate manner;
  • engage in processes in an open, honest and professional manner; and
  • treat our staff with courtesy and respect.

Aged care consumers

If you are a person accessing, or intending to access, Australian Government-subsidised aged care services, we will assist you to access and understand information on your rights to regulatory and financial information relating to the protection of accommodation payments. To make an informed decision about your personal circumstances, particularly regarding your financial affairs, you may have to seek independent professional advice.

In the event that the Accommodation Payment Guarantee Scheme (Guarantee Scheme) is required to refund your accommodation bond, we will help you understand how the Guarantee Scheme operates and keep you informed about the progress of your refund. We will aim to refund 95% or more of accommodation payments within 14 days of the making of the refund declarations. To assist you to get the information you need about your approved provider and their management of accommodation payments, we will monitor approved providers’ compliance with their obligations to give you this information and take action to address any failures.

You may find the information you need is on the My Aged Care website or you may call the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 500 853. We can also respond to your enquiries by email at prudential@dss.gov.au.

Feedback and complaints

We will review this Service Charter for relevancy and effectiveness one year after implementation and every three years thereafter.

You can also assist us by providing feedback on our performance and procedures or this Charter at any stage by calling My Aged Care line on 1800 200 422, by email at prudential@dss.gov.au or writing to:

Branch Manager
Prudential and Approved Provider Regulation Branch
Department of Social Services
GPO Box 9820
your capital city, state or territory, postcode

If you feel we have failed to meet our service commitment:

  • first try to resolve the problem with the person you are dealing with; and
  • if you are still not satisfied, talk to that person’s manager.

If these approaches are not satisfactory or appropriate, please contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman on 1300 362 072, by fax on (02) 6276 0123, by email at ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au or by writing to:

Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
Canberra ACT 2601

Complaints against approved providers, including concerns about the late refund of accommodation payments, should in the first instance be directed to the Complaints Scheme on 1800 550 552 or by writing to:

The Aged Care Complaints Scheme
Australian Department of Social Services
GPO Box 9820
In your Capital City, state or territory, postcode

You can also submit an on-line complaint.