Audit changes for Draft Strengthened Quality Standards

August 10, 2023 | Quality

Latest details on auditing for the Draft Strengthened Quality Standards

By Katie Airey, Quality, Risk and Compliance Lead 

Last month our article analysed extensively what changes the Strengthened Quality Standards will bring. This month we have more information on what the auditing process could potentially look like, once we are in the new regulatory model.

The Department has already advised providers that the time to start transitioning is now – bearing in mind that the Strengthened Quality Standards will not be finalised until the relevant legislation has passed Parliament, likely mid-2024.

The Department are currently testing a new audit methodology and running a pilot program with providers. This encompasses the Strengthened Quality Standards Pilot, which commenced in April 2023 and is due to conclude August 2023. Their approach to the pilot program’s audit methodology is outlined in this Provider Briefing Pack document.

Some key highlights from this briefing include:

  • Ernst and Young (EY) has been engaged to assist in the delivery of the pilot and will develop a revised audit methodology for the strengthened Standards, guidance, tolls and resources for auditors and providers as they conduct pilot audits for the providers.
  • Finalised audit methodology, guidance and tools can be expected around Nov 2023.
  • Audits for single services and single providers will be different to the multi-service audits where services operated by one provider will be audited sequentially.
  • Findings will be reported by outcome and graded as “Conformance”, “Minor non-conformance” or “Major non-conformance”.
  • Audit execution will be a blend of virtual, face-to-face, and on-site delivery, dependent on the nature of services provided.
  • Virtual opening meetings and interviews followed by review of documentation and records and then service site visits.
  • For the pilot stage, documentation will need to be uploaded using request for information and links provided for the Commission’s secure SharePoint site.
  • Providers will be required to ensure all identified key management and staff (such as Board members, executive management, Quality Manager, Director of Nursing, General Managers, etc.) are available to participate in opening meetings, interviews and closing meeting.
  • EY auditors and Commission’s regulatory official will need access to key staff, management and older persons over the course of the audit for on-site and virtual observations and feedback.
  • A draft audit report will be shared within 10 business days of the closing meeting with findings and graded ratings. The final audit report will be shared within 5 business days of receiving feedback from the provider.

For more details, please see the document itself here – being mindful that the final audit process is subject to change as the Department learns more through this pilot process.

Our Aged Care Reform Transition Service aims to help you plan for the future and implement the changes required to ensure your facilities are ready for the go live dates. For more information, see Aged Care Reform Transition Service.

Providers can use this list as the basis for transitioning their current framework to the new model. The Mirus Quality team can support your organisation throughout the transition – contact us to find out how.