The 1st of December, otherwise known as Aged Care Reform Day, marked the commencement of a significant number of new requirements and obligations, in addition to balancing the day-to-day organisational requirements. We understand the difficult challenges posed by keeping up with these reforms. To help you better understand the new changes, and your obligations as providers, we have prepared this Alert and ways in which we can help you respond to these changes.

1. Key Personnel and suitability requirements

From 1 December 2022, providers must be clear about which roles and personnel constitute key personnel, this includes:

  • Consider the new suitability criteria before engaging the person; and
  • Notify the Commission of any changes in key personnel or any suitability matters within 14 days. This is a shorter timeframe than previously required.

It is an offence for providers and their key personnel not to comply with the legislation.

2. Code of Conduct for approved providers

As at 1 December 2022, providers are now governed by the Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct applies to providers as well as their governing persons and aged care workers (including subcontracted workers). Providers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure aged care workers and governing persons comply with the Code. According to the Commission’s Guidance for Providers, reasonable steps include ensuring aged care workers and governing persons:

  • read and understand the Code and relevant guidance including the Code of conduct – Guidance for aged care workers and governing persons
  • undergo regular training and professional development that helps them understand, apply and uphold the behaviours expected under the Code
  • understand the consequences of failing to act in accordance with the Code for the organisation and for them personally
  • are supported to resolve issues where concerns are identified with their compliance with the Code (for example, through training, guidance and supervision to build skills and capability).

3. Dual Registration (NDIS and Aged Care)

On 1 December 2020, residential aged care (RAC) providers delivering services to NDIS participants in their facilities automatically became registered NDIS providers. The time has now come for these providers to decide whether to renew registration or cease providing services to NDIS participants.

Regardless of whether you are a transitioned NDIS provider or a RAC provider that has not previously been registered with the NDIS Commission, it is now a requirement for providers to either renew or register as a registered NDIS provider where you have a resident who is an NDIS participant and:

  • the services delivered by the RAC provider are managed by the NDIA under the participant’s plan;
  • the NDIS participant is in Specialist Disability Accommodation provided by the RAC provider;
  • there is, or is likely to be, an interim or ongoing need to use an Regulated Restrictive Practice in relation to the NDIS participant in the care provided by the RAC provider; or
  • the RAC provider must undertake a behaviour support assessment (including a functional behavioural assessment) or develop a Behaviour Support Plan for the NDIS participant as part of the provision of its services