Terms of Reference for the Review of Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes

Page last updated: 01 January 2019

Terms of Reference were established for the review of the Commonwealth Government’s regulatory activities applying to quality of care in aged care residential facilities.

Terms of Reference

The review was not a review of the care provided at the Makk and McLeay wards but of the relevant Commonwealth aged care regulatory processes.

The review examined and provided advice on:

  • why, prior to its sanction on 17 March 2017, Commonwealth aged care regulatory processes did not adequately identify the systemic and longstanding failures of care at the Makk and McLeay wards documented in the Oakden Report
  • what improvements to the Commonwealth aged care regulatory system would increase the likelihood of immediate detection, and swift remediation by providers, of failures of care such as those identified in the Oakden Report

    The Terms of Reference allowed for changes to:
    • the legislative framework for the provision of aged care in Australia, including the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Act 2013
    • the administrative policies and approaches of the Department of Health, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency
    • reporting requirements, whether voluntary or mandatory, for residential aged care staff and any other care professionals involved in the provision of care in a residential setting
    • engagement between the Commonwealth aged care regulatory agencies and other relevant regulatory agencies including those administering healthcare standards.
  • Any other matter that the reviewers consider relevant to the purpose of the review, including any other measures in addition to current statutory arrangements that may strengthen the protection of residents.

Having regard to the findings in respect of the Makk and McLeay wards, the review examined the processes managed by all Commonwealth agencies involved in regulating the quality of care in residential aged care facilities, as follows:

  • the Department of Health
  • the Aged Care Complaints Scheme, managed by the Department of Health until 1 January 2016
  • the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
  • the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

The Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes Report was published in October 2017.