Becoming an Approved Provider
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- Before applying
- How to apply
- Criteria for approval
- What if I'm not approved?
- How to request a review of decision under section 85-5 of the Act
- How to request a review of decision under section 85-8 of the Act
- Application forms
- Displaying services on My Aged Care
- State, territory and local government authorities
- What are key personnel?
- What is a disqualified individual
- National police checks
- How long does it take to approve an application?
- Requests for further information
- Allocation of places
- Notifying a change of circumstance that materially affects the suitability of an approved provider
- Updating operational contact details
- Contact us
An approved provider of aged care is an organisation that has been approved to provide residential care, home care or flexible care under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act). To receive Australian Government aged care subsidies an organisation must be an approved provider.
An approved provider is responsible for the decisions about the delivery of care and financial management of subsidies and care recipient’s fees and payments. The approved provider has responsibilities and obligations to deliver the care in line with the standards that are specified in the Act and the Aged Care Principles.
- your organisation must be incorporated
- your organisation must be able to demonstrate how it is suitable to provide aged care
- your organisation must not have any disqualified individuals as key personnel
- you must apply using the approved form
If providing residential aged care, the organisation must also be accredited by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (the Quality Agency). Information about accreditation is located in the Quality Agency Principles 2013. Further information about the Quality Agency is available on its website AACQA.gov.au
Approved provider of home care may access information about the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency home care quality review process at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency website.
The approved provider is only eligible to receive a payment when care recipients are assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) as being eligible to receive that type of care.
To gain approval as a provider of aged care under the Act, the applicant must be assessed by the department as suitable to provide aged care.
Approval can be for one or more types of care:
- home care
- residential care
- flexible care
- and for one or more specified aged care services
Once approved, the approved provider can provide care in any number of services (subject to any limitations imposed).
Division 8 of the Act sets out the approval process requirements.
State, territory and local government authorities are taken to be approved providers unless the approval has been revoked or suspended (please refer to section 8-6 of the Act).
The Government is committed to increasing choice for all aged care consumers. As part of the Increasing Choices in Home Care reforms, from 27 February 2017 the suitability criteria for becoming an approved provider has been consolidated from 54 mandatory criteria to six key areas:
- an applicant’s experience;
- understanding of responsibilities as a provider;
- systems in place to meet its responsibilities;
- financial management and methods;
- conduct as a provider;
- any other matters.
The changes strengthen the focus on the capacity of the applicant as a whole, including its systems and processes, to deliver quality care and services. There is also less focus on an organisation’s key personnel, who may change regularly. In the near future an online smart form will be made available to make it even easier to apply to become an approved provider of aged care.
When a decision is made by the Department about an application to become an approved provider of aged care, the applicant can ask for reconsideration under section 85-5 of the Act.
Additionally, section 85-4 of the Act allows the Secretary to reconsider a decision made under section 8-1 of the Act if he/she is satisfied that there is sufficient reason to do so.
Under section 85-5 of the Act, the applicant may request the Secretary to reconsider the decision by submitting a notice in writing within 28 days of receiving the decision letter.
- Such a request must set out the reasons for making the request and should be submitted to the Department by emailing email@example.com.
- A different decision maker within the Department will reconsider the decision, and decides to either confirm, or vary the decision, or set the decision aside and substitute a new decision.
- If the Secretary does not give notice of a decision within 90 days after receiving the request, the Secretary is taken to have confirmed the original decision. If the applicant wishes to appeal a decision after review by the Secretary, the applicant may make an application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Under section 85-8 of the Act, the applicant may make an applicant to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for review of the decision.
The applicant must:
- apply in writing
- apply within 28 days of receiving the decision
- pay the application fee.
For further information, please review the Administrative Appeals Tribunal’s website or call 1800 228 333.
To support Increasing Choices in Home Care (from 27 February 2017) there are three new application forms for becoming an approved provider of aged care:
- New applicant form:
This form enables organisations that are not approved providers of aged care to apply for approval to provide home care, residential care and/or flexible care under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
- Existing approved provider form:
This form enables approved providers to apply for approval to provide another care type including home care, residential care and/or flexible care under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
- Government organisation form:
This form enables state, territory governments and local government authorities to register to provide home care, residential care and/or flexible care under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
Note: If you are currently only providing services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and would like to apply to become an approved provider, you should complete the ‘New Applicants’ paper based form.
Do not complete an application form if your organisation would simply like to display its service(s) on My Aged Care.
The Guidance for Applicants Seeking Approval to Provide Aged Care (the Guidance) should be read in conjunction with the above application forms.
Support for home care provider applicants - A fact sheet to assist organisations seeking to become approved providers of home care under the Aged Care Act 1997.
Home Care Service Notification form
Home Care Service Notification form - is for approved providers of home care to notify the Secretary of the home care service(s) that you intend to provide.
Notice of this information must be provided before any care for which home care subsidy is to be claimed and a separate form must be completed for each home care service.
This form should also be used if you are an existing provider looking to change the name and/or address of an existing service that you are operating.
Note: You must be an approved provider of home care under the Act before you submit this form.
Information about registering with My Aged Care, including fact sheets, FAQs, user guides, quick reference guides and videos are available on the department’s website.
If your organisation is already a Commonwealth-funded approved provider and does not currently appear on the My Aged Care website, please send an email to MyAgedCare@health.gov.au and provide details of your organisation and a contact person. Once we receive your email, we will contact you to progress the request.
Non-Commonwealth funded providers
If your organisation is an aged care service provider that doesn’t receive Australian Government subsidies, you can list your service on My Aged Care through the National Health Services Directory.
State, Territory and local government authorities are taken to be approved providers unless the approval has been revoked or suspended (section 8-6 of the Act).
Please note: Providing your details to the Department in the Government Organisation form enables a record to be created and the payment of subsidies.
Key personnel are defined in section 8-3A of the Act as:
- people responsible for the executive decisions of the applicant (this includes directors and board members)
- people having authority or responsibility for (or significant influence over) planning, directing or controlling the activities of the applicant
- any person responsible for nursing services provided, or to be provided, by the applicant, whether or not the person is employed by the applicant and
- any person who is, or likely to be, responsible for the day-to-day operation of an aged care service conducted, or proposed to be conducted, by the applicant, whether or not the person is employed by the applicant.
- key personnel cannot be a disqualified individual.
A disqualified individual is defined under section 10A-1 of the Act as someone who:
- has been convicted of an indictable offence
- is an insolvent under administration (bankrupt)
- is of unsound mind.
When an organisation seeks to be approved to provide aged care, and after being approved, it must demonstrate that it satisfies strict requirements set out in the legislative provisions under the Act. In particular, its experience, suitability, and that none of the proposed key personnel is a disqualified individual.
To demonstrate this, the applicant is required to provide evidence that none of the proposed key personnel have been convicted of an indictable offence. Each state and territory law identifies different types of offences as being indictable. These may include more serious offences, such as:
- aggravated assault
- the intentional and unlawful administration of drugs or poisons
- committing fraudulent or dishonest activities.
The department may conduct a search of records held by the Australian Financial Security Authority, specifically the National Personal Insolvency Index, for all proposed key personnel of the applicant.
The applicant and each of its proposed key personnel must provide scanned copies of either a National Police Check (NPC) obtained through a police agency or a National Police History Check (NPHC) obtained thought an Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) accredited agency with their application. Each NPC must be dated no more than 90 days before the police check is submitted to the department.
Note: If all your former or current names are not shown on the police check obtained or if you have been at any time after turning 16, a resident of a country other than Australia, you must complete a statutory declaration and declare whether you have been convicted of an indictable offence.
Please use the Statutory Declaration form (if required only) available on the Attorney-General's website.
Under section 8-5 of the Act, an applicant must be notified within 90 days of receiving the application, whether or not they are approved as a provider of aged care. Accurate, clear and complete information must be provided. If you are required to provide further information, it will delay the decision on your application.
If further information is required to assess your application a request will be made under section 8-4 of the Act. Information must be given within 28 days otherwise the application is taken to be withdrawn. If further information is provided within the 28 day timeframe, a further 90 day timeframe applies.
It is no longer necessary that approved providers of home care be allocated home care places. An allocation of places is still, however, required for residential and/or flexible care.
There are two ways that approved providers of residential and/or flexible care can acquire ‘places':
- be successful in an application for places in an Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) or
- acquire places from an approved provider and apply to the department for approval to transfer places from the transferor to the transferee.
The department is responsible for the allocation of aged care places. The planning system aims to ensure that all communities have a fair and equitable level of aged care services. Aged care places are allocated annually through a highly competitive selection process, the ACAR, which takes into account the:
- number of places made available
- identified needs of an aged care planning region
- relative merits of the proposals received.
The ACAR is advertised in major newspapers and on the department’s website. Information about the ACAR can be found in the Aged Care Funding section of the department's website.
Approved providers are required to notify the department of changes that materially affect the suitability of an approved provider to provide aged care within 28 days after the change occurs.
A material change is one that is substantial or considerable in nature. For example, the approved provider:
- is no longer an incorporated organisation
- is unable to meet any of the home, flexible or residential care standards
- is unable to manage its financial responsibilities including subsidies and care recipient’s fees and payments
- makes a change which may affect the rights of aged care recipients
- makes substantial changes to its organisational or governance structure such as
- entering into a brokerage arrangement for delivery of clinical care
- use of a management company.
These are examples only and approved providers should consider each situation individually.
Approved providers should contact their local state or territory office to update operational contact details such as email, postal addresses or other relevant contact information.
Questions relating to approved provider applications should be emailed to ApprovedProviderApplications@health.gov.au