Auditor training and validation

For the NHHI, hand hygiene compliance is audited by direct observation of healthcare workers by specially trained auditors. There are two categories of hand hygiene auditors: Gold Standard Auditors and General Auditors.

Auditor validation requirements

Annual validation is a method of ensuring all auditors remain up-to-date with their knowledge of the 5 Moments definitions and audit practices. This ensures valid and reliable data for the NHHI.

General auditor training

General auditor training is only able to be conducted by a validated Gold Standard Auditor. General auditors are not able to train others.

Gold Standard Auditor Training - Hand Hygiene

The Commission is currently reviewing options for Gold Standard Auditor Training (GSA) training in regard to hand hygiene.  The Commission will consult with states and territories and the private health sector regarding these options.

National hand hygiene audit data

Hand hygiene is an essential element of infection prevention and control practice, and one of the easiest activities to undertake.

Hand hygiene compliance is assessed against a national benchmark set by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council; the current national benchmark is 80%. There are three national hand hygiene audits conducted each year.

NHHI - frequently asked questions

Responses have been prepared to frequently asked questions (FAQs) to support auditing and other aspects of implementation of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI). 

Please let us know if you have further questions to include.

National audits and HHCApp

Data on hand hygiene compliance are collected by states and territories for all public health organisations, and by many private health organisations, and reported nationally three times per year for the National Hand Hygiene Initiative. 

National Hand Hygiene Initiative – contact details

The National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) operates a Help Desk as a support for users of the Online Learning modules and the Hand Hygiene Compliance Application (HHCApp) where queries and problems have not been able to be resolved by checking the answers to Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to obtain support from the NHHI Help Desk is to complete a contact form

Help Desk staff always endeavour to respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible, and within 5 business days.

Online learning – hand hygiene

A suite of online learning modules is available to support healthcare workers' education on hand hygiene practices and hand hygiene auditor training. 

National Hand Hygiene Initiative Manual

The Manual includes information on all aspects of the NHHI and a practical step-by-step guide to implementing and sustaining hand hygiene programs in Australian healthcare facilities. 


Auditor register

All general auditors who successfully complete training must be entered on the Auditor Register by the Gold Standard Auditor who conducted their training.

Audit tools

There are a number of tools available to support hand hygiene auditing in acute and non-acute healthcare settings.

National Hand Hygiene Audit Requirements 2021

Hand hygiene compliance auditing is conducted to assess the effectiveness of hand hygiene programs conducted in Australia, as part of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI), and consistent with AHMAC endorsed benchmarks. Hand hygiene compliance is assessed in both public and private Australian hospitals.

Health service organisations which are being accredited to the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards are required to collect hand hygiene compliance data for national hand hygiene audits, unless exempted by the state and territory health regulator.

5 Moments For Hand Hygiene

The 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene approach was designed by the World Health Organization to minimise the risk of transmission of microorganisms between a healthcare worker, the patient, and the environment.