Aged Care Quality Standards – Clinical Care

The Commission has developed a standard on Clinical Care as a part of the current urgent review of the Quality Standards. The focus is to protect older people from harm and improve clinical care for people receiving aged care.


The Clinical Care components of the Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards) will provide a nationally consistent statement on the level of clinical care older people can expect when receiving aged care. It aims to protect older people from harm and improve the quality of clinical care delivered through Commonwealth subsidised aged care services.

The Clinical Care components are seen as integral to the Quality Standards delivering high quality aged care. The proposed standards in the Quality Standards are:

  1. The Person
  2. The Organisation
  3. The Care and Services
  4. The Environment
  5. Clinical Care
  6. Food and Nutrition
  7. The Residential Community


The Quality Standards are more than just a document. They are designed to provide a shared understanding of what is expected in aged care.

In March 2021, the Australian Government announced an urgent review of Quality Standards in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report: Care, Dignity and Respect (Royal Commission).

The Royal Commission identified several areas of focus for the urgent review including:

  • governance
  • diversity
  • dementia
  • food and nutrition, and
  • clinical care

In July 2021, the Commission was given responsibility for the review and formulation of draft clinical standards for inclusion in the Quality Standards in collaboration with the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

The transfer of the responsibility to the Commission also accords with the Government’s response to recommendation 18.1.b of the Royal Commission.

Recommendation 19 of the Royal Commission required an urgent review of the Quality Standards be undertaken including consideration of several critical clinical care issues such as medication management, oral health, pressure injury prevention and wound management, continence, falls prevention and mobility, nutrition, infection control, dementia and palliative care.

The team has undertaken a targeted evidence review and has identified:

  • clinical safety and quality risks for older people
  • evidence-based approaches to mitigating clinical risks to improve older persons health and wellbeing

The team is committed to a rigorous standards development process and the promotion of safe and high-quality clinical care.

For more information on the urgent review of the Aged Care Quality Standards, visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website.