Accrediting agency approval process
The National Health Reform Act 2011 regulates the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission). Included within its functions is the formulation of model national schemes to accredit health service organisations.
The Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation Scheme (the AHSSQA Scheme) is such a scheme. The AHSSQA Scheme sets out the responsibilities of accrediting agencies in relation to implementation of the following safety and quality standards:
- National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards including the Multi-Purpose Services Aged Care (MPS) Module
- National Safety and Quality Digital Mental Health (NSQDMH) Standards
- National Safety and Quality Primary and Community Healthcare (NSQPCH) Standards and
- Any other set of standards that may be developed by the Commission from time to time.
The AHSSQA Scheme was endorsed by Health Ministers in 2010 and implemented in state and territory public health systems. Private and non-government health service organisations also are subject to the AHSSQA Scheme. Recent changes to strengthen the AHSSQA Scheme were endorsed by Chief Executives of the Commonwealth and state and territory health departments in April 2018 following a public consultation process. See AHSSQA Scheme for further details.
Under the AHSSQA Scheme, it is the Commission’s responsibility to approve accrediting agencies seeking to assess health service organisations against the abovementioned standards.
Applications from accrediting agencies seeking to assess health service organisations to the second edition of the NSQHS Standards are opened every 2-3 years. Applications are assessed by a panel which includes representatives from the public and private health care sectors, as well as senior Commission staff. The 2021 round of approvals has now been finalised. Information about the approved accrediting agencies including contact details can be found on the Commission's website.