Clinical Governance Standard

Healthcare services have a responsibility to the community for continuous improvement of the safety and quality of their services, and ensuring they are person centred, safe and effective.


Consumer outcome

I am confident the healthcare service is well run and that I will receive safe, high-quality health care.

Intention of this standard

To implement a clinical governance framework that ensures that patients and consumers receive safe and high-quality health care.


Explanatory notes

Clinical governance

Clinical governance is the set of relationships and responsibilities established by a healthcare service between regulators and funders, managers, owners and governing bodies (where relevant), healthcare providers, the workforce, patients, consumers and other stakeholders to ensure optimal clinical outcomes.1 It ensures that:

  • The community can be confident there are systems in place to deliver safe and high-quality health care
  • There is a commitment to continuously improve services

Everyone is accountable to patients and the community for ensuring the delivery of safe, effective and high-quality health care. This includes healthcare providers, other members of the workforce and managers, owners and governing bodies (where they exist). Depending on the size of the healthcare service, multiple roles may be carried out by the same individual.1

Clinical governance framework

A healthcare service’s clinical governance framework describes the safety and quality systems and processes that need to be in place to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality health care. The existence of a robust clinical governance framework provides assurances to patients and the community of safe health care as well as driving improvements in services.

Healthcare services implementing the Clinical Governance Standard together with the Partnering with Consumers Standard will establish a clinical governance framework. This will provide a foundation to support the implementation of the third Clinical Safety Standard, which considers high-risk areas commonly encountered in primary and community healthcare services.


  1. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. National Model Clinical Governance Framework. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2017.