Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard

Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to public health because antimicrobials underpin so much of routine clinical practice. The Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard supports quality improvement by health services and clinicians to help reduce antimicrobial resistance.

The 2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard was released on 24 November 2020.

2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard

The Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) Clinical Care Standard provides guidance to clinicians and health service managers on delivering appropriate care when prescribing antimicrobials. It was first published in 2014 and was updated in 2020 following a review of current evidence and consultation with clinical experts and key organisations.

The AMS Clinical Care Standard includes eight quality statements and a set of indicators for safe and appropriate care.

  • For consumers, the standard describes what to expect when you have (or are at risk of) an infection 

  • For clinicians, the standard outlines the evidence-based recommendations for high quality care

  • For Health Service Organisations implementing the standard 
    • Find out how to meet the requirements of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. Review assessment requirements, factsheets, and other implementation resources for health service organisations at Information for Health Service Organisations

Webinar videos for health professionals

A webinar to promote the launch of the 2020 AMS Clinical Care Standard and answer questions about the revisions to the standard, and its implementation, was conducted in collaboration with The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia in November 2020. 

Key speakers were Dr Kathryn Daveson and Professor John Turnidge, and the event was facilitated by Fiona Doukas and Kylee Hayward. 

The webinar included a full Q & A session and covered issues such as changes in the 2020 AMS Clinical Care Standard, allergy delabelling and AMS, and transition for assessment to the NSQHS Standards.

Quality statements in the 2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard

2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard resources

You can download the Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard, clinician fact sheet and consumer guide in full from the following links:


Infections are caused by organisms called microbes, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Medicines used to treat infections are called antimicrobials, and destroy the specific microbes involved. However, when microbes develop ways to prevent the antimicrobial medicine from effectively killing or controlling their growth, that medicine is no longer effective for that infection. This is called antimicrobial resistance.1

Although antimicrobial resistance is a natural feature of microbial evolution, the inappropriate use of antimicrobials has increased the development of antimicrobial-resistant microbes in hospitals, other healthcare facilities and in the community.1,2,3

To help prevent the development of antimicrobial resistance, it is important that healthcare professionals prescribe and administer antimicrobials according to the principles of AMS. 

In 2020, an update to the AMS Clinical Care Standard was completed and it has been endorsed by 25 key professional organisations and colleges.

Previous version and resources

The 2014 AMS Clinical Care Standard resources have been superseded by the 2020 Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard. However health service organisations being assessed against the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, specifically Action 3.15, have until 1 January 2022 to implement the 2020 AMS Clinical Care Standard.

Previous resources (2014)

During the transition to the new clinical care standard, these documents may still be required for health services undergoing assessment to the NSQHS Standards.