Feedback on the Code of Conduct for Aged Care legislation

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The Code of Conduct for Aged Care (the Code) commences on 1 December 2022.

The Code has been developed to address recommendations 77 and 103 of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

It sets out standards of behaviour for approved providers, their aged care workers and governing persons, helping to build confidence in the safety and quality of care for Older people.

An exposure draft of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Amendment (Code of Conduct and Banning Orders) Rules 2022 legislation was published on the department’s website and was available for public consultation between 4-18 October 2022.

What we heard

We received 35 submissions during the consultation period, with 25 submissions relevant to the Code.

The department values this input and would like to thank those who made submissions for their time and commitment during this process.

The key themes in the feedback were:

Operational guidance and support – Stakeholders told us that guidance material and resources explaining how the Code will operate in practice should be provided in plain English as well as translated in several languages.

Scope of application – Clarification about who the Code applies to is required, as well as definitions for the terms “approved provider”, “aged care worker” and “governing persons”.

Duplication of the Code – Stakeholders queried how the Code will interact with existing codes of conduct across the care and support sectors, and whether it would cause duplication for those workers already operating under a different code of conduct.

Procedural fairness principles – Legislation should have an explicit clause or provision for procedural fairness regarding the conduct of investigations or actions taken by the Aged Care Commissioner.

Register of banning orders – Submissions showed that there is support for the publication of the register of banning orders, although there are concerns about the Aged Care Commissioner’s discretionary power in publishing it.

What we’re doing

We have heard your feedback and in response we made changes to the final legislation to include:

(a) reference to the definitions of the terms “approved provider”, “aged care workers” and “governing persons”, and

(b) a new provision requiring the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to give due regard to the rules of procedural fairness.

The final legislation and an accompanying explanatory statement to help interpret the Code are available to view on the Federal Register of Legislation.

Find more information and the summary report on the department’s Code of Conduct for Aged Care webpage.

Read about What We Heard during previous consultation for the Code of Conduct.

Let's change aged care, together

Every Australian should feel confident about accessing high quality and safe aged care, when and where they need it.

The changes mean Older people will have greater choice and control, services that respect and meet their needs, and support to stay independent as they age.

To find out more and help design the changes, visit the Get Involved page or call 1800 318 209.

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The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to elders both past and present.