Guiding you through the aged care reforms

Over the next few years, we’re going to see lots of positive changes in the way age care is delivered in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

We’ve put together a short video that will explain each of the reforms and what it means for you.

The Royal Commission identified the need for age care reforms that placed older Australians receiving support and services at the centre of their care, to ensure that the system remains relevant and responsive to their changing needs over time.

Click here to jump to the aged care reforms timeline.

The 5 categories of aged care reforms

Quality and Safety

To improve consumer understanding of the quality and safety of care of individual residential care homes, Star Ratings are being introduced.

Star Ratings provide information about quality of care in residential aged care services through an overall Quality Rating of five stars.

What do the stars mean?
Aged care homes receive Star Ratings between one and five stars.

★ – Significant improvement needed.
★★ – Improvement needed.
★★★ – An ‘acceptable’ quality of care.
★★★★ – A ‘good’ quality of care.
★★★★★ – An ‘excellent’ quality of care.

The sub-categories below contribute to the overall Quality Rating based on preferences of older Australians, residential aged care providers and expert opinion:

  • Residents’ Experience
  • Compliance
  • Staffing
  • Quality Measures

Star Ratings will help older Australians and their families make an informed choice about care. Star Ratings will be published on the ‘Find a Provider’ section of the My Aged Care website from December 2022.

Quality Standards
New quality standards have also been introduced for residential care and home care providers.

The National Aged Care Quality Indicators help residential and home care providers to measure and monitor their performance against the quality standards, ensuring providers focus on achieving quality care outcomes for aged care recipients. They describe what people can expect from their provider, and the actions their provider will take to support them to live a quality life they deserve.

The Aged Care Commission regularly assess provider performance against the Quality Standards.


Residential Care
A new funding model called the Australian National Age Care Classification, or AN-ACC, has been introduced, replacing the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI).

Each resident in residential aged care receives Government funding based on their assessed care needs. This can range anywhere from $200 a day up to $350 per day depending on care need.

The AN-ACC price includes additional funding to increase average care minutes to 200 minutes, including 40 minutes with a registered nurse.

Home Care
This year an additional 40,000 home care packages have been released by the Commonwealth meaning that more Australians will qualify to receive support and services to live at home for longer.


In order to improve access to aged care support that remains responsive to the changing needs of older Australians, a new ‘Support at Home Program’ has been introduced.

Using a single assessment tool, the new program will provide independently assessed support plans to older Australians based on their aged care needs and personal circumstances.

This means that people are more likely to remain living safely and independently in the comfort of their own homes for longer.


A workforce that is continually upskilled is critical to ensure the very best of care. That’s why the reforms are supporting and growing an improved, skilled workforce through the Home Care Workforce Plan.

At Southern Cross Care (WA) we are focused on the attraction, recruitment, retention and ongoing development of a highly skilled workforce that provides the very best of care.


Governance of all providers is being strengthened through new legislation and standards keeping all providers accountable to the same high standards that older people should expect.

See Timeline

Reform Timeline

Magnifying glassOctober 2018

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was established to look into the quality and safety of aged care in Australia.  


Magnifying glassMarch 2021

The Royal Commission tables its final report in Parliament, making 148 wide-ranging recommendations for the fundamental reform of the aged care system. 


Magnifying glassOctober 2022

The Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) replaces the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) in residential aged care. 

 A Star Rating system is introduced for residential aged care homes using data from quality and other consumer feedback.  


Magnifying glassDecember 2022

A New Code of Conduct for Aged Care is introduced and applies to all aged care workers, including governing body members.  

Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is extended from residential aged care to home care. Restrictive Practices Improved decision-making processes for consumers where no decision-maker is available introduced.  


 Magnifying glassJuly 2023 

Providers pass on the pay increase for aged care workers. 15% award wages increased for many aged care workers. 

The Australian Government releases a roadmap for all reform activity.  The roadmap runs through indicative timelines for reform elements from October 2022 to July 2025. Click here to find the roadmap. 


Magnifying glassOctober 2023 

Providers must lodge the new Operations Statement by 31 October 2023, which includes information about non-executive directors’ membership in governing bodies, the diversity of Board members, an overview of feedback, complaints, and continuous improvement, which will be available on My Aged Care. These changes are designed to improve leadership and culture. 


Magnifying glassDecember 2023 

Providers must have offered their consumers the opportunity to attend a Consumer Advisory Body meeting. 

Providers are required to have a consumer appointed to their Quality Care Advisory body. 

 A Bill for New Rights-Based Aged Care Act is intended to be released as a draft. 


Magnifying glassJune 2024 

The Elder Care Support Program will recruit and train a skilled workforce to provide face-to-face support to assist First Nations elders in navigating and accessing aged care services.  The initiative is in partnership with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). 


Magnifying glassJuly 2024 

Passage of the new rights-based Aged Care Act. 

New Aged Care Standards commence. 

Single assessment model commences. 

National Workers screening commences. 


Click here for in-home care reform information 

Click here for residential care reform information 



Home care

Magnifying glassJune 2022 

The Federal Government released the overview and proposed program for the Support at Home Program, initially scheduled to start in July 2023. 


Magnifying glassJuly 2022 

The original Support at Home Program is postponed by 12 months to start in July 2024 to allow for more consultation.  


Magnifying glassJune 2023 

The Australian Government releases an updated roadmap on all reform activity. 

The roadmap outlines an indicative timeline from October 2022 – July 2025 that includes consultation activities and events. 


What do we know about the Support at Home Program so far? 

  • The goal of reforms to Home Care is to address issues such as: 
  • Waiting times 
  • Better alignment of services to needs 
  • Access to high-quality and safe aged care 
  • Excessive administration costs 
  • Insufficient access to the support that older people need to stay independent 
  • There has been ongoing consultation, and key changes are currently indicated as follows: 
  • Assessments at home or in the hospital.  An independent assessor will meet with a client jointly to set an initial support plan, with a quarterly budget plus a 25% funding pool for additional requirements that occur. 
  • Clients can access short-term support for independence or ongoing support at home. 
  • Short-term support includes goods, assistive technology, home modifications, short-term allied health, specialised support services and equipment loan schemes. 
  • Ongoing support can be with one or more providers, and services can be adjusted within the quarterly budget.  Any unused funds will be returned to the government and not retained by the consumer for future use. 
  • Goods and equipment funding will be separate from home care funding. 
  • Client contributions will likely be set by capacity to pay. 
  • The ongoing support includes clinical care partners for those who need help to manage their plans, access to extra services for temporary needs, and regular reports on services and budgets. 
  • There is a recommendation for a flexible model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 


Transitioning to the new in-home aged care program – Older Australians Fact Sheet No. 1 


Magnifying glassJuly 2023  

The Support at Home program start date is postponed again by 12 months to July 2025 to allow for further advice, trials, and consultation.  


Magnifying glassSeptember 2023 

Draft pricing for Support at Home is expected to be released by an independent health and aged care pricing authority. 


Magnifying glassJuly 2024 

New initiatives come into effect: 

  1. New Aged Care Regulatory Model 
  1. The new National Worker Screening for Aged Care requirements 
  1. The new Right-Based Aged Care Act 
  1. The strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards 
  1. Single Assessment Aged Care System commences 


The Federal Government Department of Health and Aged Care has released a discussion paper outlining the issues the sector and consumers raised regarding the design of reforms to in-home aged care.  The focus areas include process design and an indicative model of what the new program could look like. 

A new program for in-home aged care – Discussion paper  


Magnifying glassJuly 1, 2025 

Reformed and improved in-home aged care program introduced by the Federal Government.  



Residential Care

Magnifying glassJuly 2023  

A new ‘care minutes’ requirement is introduced in residential aged care.  A sector-wide average of 200 minutes of care time (with an average of 40 minutes of registered nurse time) from 1 October 2023. 


24/7 Registered Nurses in all residential aged care homes commences.  This information is published on the ‘Find a Provider’ information page on My Aged Care. 


The Australian Government releases a roadmap for all reform activity.  The roadmap runs through indicative timelines for reform elements from October 2022 to July 2025. Click here to find the roadmap.


Magnifying glassAugust 2023 

The new food complaints and advice “hotline” is established. 


Magnifying glassOctober 2023 

A new ‘care minutes’ requirement is introduced to residential aged care.  A sector-wide average of 200 minutes of care time (with an average of 40 minutes of registered nurse time) from 1 October 2023. 


The Department’s discussion paper outlines the issues raised, the areas of focus for process design, and an indicative model of the new program. Read the in-home aged care discussion paper here.

Magnifying glassJuly 2024 

A new accommodation framework, “Places to People’ commences.  This will provide more individual choice and control over which provider delivers care. The reform will also provide design principles and guidelines for creating more home-like environments that better meet the needs of residents in residential aged care. 


Magnifying glassOctober 2024 

Improved access to direct clinical care for older people in residential aged care. 



You can get involved in the Aged Care Reforms. 

Get involved with consultations by emailing 

 Enrol at the Aged Care Engagement Hub

Star ratings

Assessment categories

The star ratings are all about supporting older Australians and their families to make an informed choice about their care. They are based on four assessment categories and provide a rating of a provider’s:

1. Consumer Experience

20% of residents in every residential aged care home have been surveyed to give a rating on the overall client experience of the home.

2. Service Compliance with Accreditation

Care and services of residential aged care homes are then assessed by an independent assessor from the Aged Care Quality Commission according to the Aged Care Safety and Quality Indicators.

3. Care Minutes

Care minutes are assessed by measuring an aged care providers ability to provide an average of 200 minutes of nursing from a registered nurse to each resident per day.

Care minutes are reported by the residential aged care home each quarter and assessed.

4. Quality Indicator Program

The mandatory Quality Indicator Program measures an aged care provider’s ability to deliver quality and safe care to its residents.

The program requires providers to report on a set of quality indicators every three months. This can provide useful information to consumers on the delivery of quality aged care.

New quality indicators

From 1 April 2023 it will include the following new quality indicators:

  • Activities of daily living: Percentage of care recipients who experienced a decline in activities of daily living.
  • Incontinence care: Percentage of care recipients who experienced incontinence associated dermatitis.
  • Hospitalisation: Percentage of care recipients who had one or more emergency department presentations.
  • Workforce: Percentage of staff turnover.
  • Consumer experience: Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ experience of the service.
  • Quality of life: Percentage of care recipients who report ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ quality of life.

How are the star ratings calculated?

An aged care provider’s total score of the four assessment categories is used to determine their Star Rating.

We’ve put together a short video that will explain the Star Ratings and what it means for you.

The Star Ratings

Home care reforms

About the Home Care Reform Packages Program

We know how important it is for older people to receive quality care and support to live independently in their own home for as long as possible.

That’s why reforms to the Home Care Packages Program are so important.

The Australian Government is working with providers to implement the full suite of Home Care reforms. However, one of the biggest changes this year is to the way providers charge for supports and services. This came into effect on 1 January 2023.

These changes include, capping how much a provider can charge for care and package management, getting rid of exit fees and charging separately for costs associated with third party service providers.

Operational manual

The updated version of the Home Care Packages Program Operational Manual outlines the care and services that can and can’t be included in a Home Care Package and gives a clear explanation of those inclusions and exclusions. What this will mean for Home Care clients is that some care or services provided before 1 January 2023 may no longer be provided.

A copy of the Provider Manual can be found here.

A new program and funding model in development

Following consultation with older Australians and their families and carers, the aged care sector and other community stakeholders, a new program and funding model for in-home aged care will be delivered from July 2025. You can view the timeline here,

The discussion paper is available here and you can watch our short explainer video below.



Home care reforms

National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program

The National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) is an important initiative designed to improve the quality of care provided to older Australians living in residential aged care facilities.

Quality Indicator ratings contribute to 15% of a home’s overall Star Rating.

From 1 April 2023, six new quality indicators will be introduced. This means providers will need to report on 11 crucial areas of care every quarter.  These include:

New Indicators
– Activities of daily life
– Incontinence care
– Hospitalisation
– Workforce
– Quality of life
– Consumer experience

Existing Indicators
– Pressure injuries
– Falls and major injuries
– Physical restraints
– Medication management
– Unplanned weight loss

One of the key benefits of the QI Program is that it provides a consistent set of measures for all aged care providers. This means that residents and families can compare the performance of different facilities and make informed decisions about the care they receive.

At Southern Cross Care (WA) we are committed to providing residents with high-quality, person-centred care that meets their individual needs and preferences. We will be regularly reporting on our performance against the Quality Indicators and using the information to inform our continuous improvement.

You can learn more about the QI Program by visiting the <a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care National Aged Care website</a> or by contacting <a href=””></a>

Quality Indicator results from SCC (WA)’s homes can be viewed on My Aged Care.

The 8 Quality Standards

Standard 1: Consumer dignity and choice
I am treated with dignity and respect and can maintain my identity. I can make informed choices about my care and services and live the life I choose.

Standard 2: Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
I am a partner in ongoing assessment and planning that helps me get the care and services I need for my health and wellbeing.

Standard 3: Personal care and clinical care
I get personal care, clinical care, or both personal care and clinical care, that is safe and right for me.

Standard 4: Services and supports for daily living
I get the services and supports for daily living that are important for my health and wellbeing and that enable me to do the things I want to do.

Standard 5: Organisation’s service environment
I feel I belong, and I am safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment.

Standard 6: Feedback and complaints
I feel safe and am encouraged and supported to give feedback and make complaints. I am engaged in processes to address my feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken.

Standard 7: Human resources
I get quality care and services when I need them from people who are knowledgeable, capable and caring.

Standard 8: Organisational Governance
I am confident the organisation is well run. I can partner in improving the delivery of care and services.

Aged Care Quality Standards Graphic 2018

The Aged Care Quality Standards

Looking for more information?

If you would like more information, please get in contact via our dedicated reforms email

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