Step 1.3

What is the government's role in aged care?

Government's role in aged care 

The Commonwealth government is responsible for the aged care system in Australia. Aged care falls under the Department of Health. The majority of aged care homes receive Federal government funding via subsidies.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency

Before they can receive Commonwealth funding, all aged care homes in Australia have to be accredited and approved by the Australian Government.  The government organisation responsible for managing both the accreditation process and the quality systems for government subsidised aged care homes is the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

Aged care homes must comply with all 44 expected outcomes against four broad accredition standards at all times.

The Agency publishes a report of every accreditation audit (including any notices of non-compliance or sanctions) on its website.

Monitoring the quality of aged care homes

To be accredited and to receive government funding, aged care homes MUST all go through the same process of accreditation on a regular and ongoing basis.

The length of time awarded to a home for its accreditation status is a reflection of the findings in the assessment process. Aged care homes with 3-year accreditation have met the standards effectively. Homes with 1-year or 2-year accreditation have met the standards but generally still need to make some changes or improvements.

Can I find out if an aged care home has failed to meet accreditation standards?

There are three ways of finding out if a home is fully accredited or has a problem with accreditation, including the nature of the problem.

1. The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency publishes the full report of every aged care home’s accreditation audit on its website.  If a home has been issued with a ‘notice of non-compliance’ or a ‘sanction’, that will be clearly stated of the front page of the report, including the reasons why.  It will also have a link to the sanctions page of the Department of Health’s website.
To read the current accreditation audit report of any Commonwealth subsidised aged care home, you can use the Quality Agency’s search function.

2. The Department of Health publishes the names of all aged care homes which have been issued with notices of ‘Non-Compliance’ or ‘Sanctions’ on its website at this Department of Health link.  Notifications remain on the website until the problems have been resolved.
The Department of health link also includes homes that have been non-compliant or sanctioned within the last two years.

3. The My Aged Care website also identifies aged care homes that have received a sanction in its Aged Care Home Finder.   When you click onto a home in the finder, the basic information provided includes a statement which will say if there are notices of sanctions or non-compliance for the home.

Aged care audits are incredibly thorough  down to interviewing not only the residents by the resident's family.  Most take several days with two inspectors on site.

Jill Donaldson

agedcare101 Physiotherapist

2 weeks
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Looking for aged care?

Did you know it could be 13 weeks or more to secure an aged care home?

agedcare101 makes aged care easy with 9 steps to an aged care home. You’re likely feeling the pressure to do something now but it’s equally important to invest the time to complete each of the steps and get the best result.

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A special thanks to our contributors

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.