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

The Commission is consulting with states and territories and the private health sector regarding future options for GSA training from 2020. Prior to November 2019, GSAs were validated during specific workshops organised by Hand Hygiene Australia.

National hand hygiene audit data - Audit 3, 2020

Hand hygiene is an essential element of infection prevention and control practice.

Hand hygiene compliance is assessed against a national benchmark set by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council; the current national benchmark is 80%.

Historically, there have been three national audits conducted each year. However, following consideration of the outcomes of the Commission's consultation in regard to the NHHI, and in the context of COVID-19, data collection for the NHHI in 2020 was not mandatory for Audit Period 2.  As the situation regarding community transmission improved around Australia, the Commission updated requirements for Audit 3, 2020, which returned to a mandatory audit, unless exempted by a state and territory regulator.

The aggregated data for Audit Three 2020 are now available. While encouraged to continue to participate in hand hygiene audits, Victorian health service organisations were exempted from mandatory provision of data.  

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. 

NHHI contact details

National Hand Hygiene Initiative Help Desk staff will endeavour to respond to your enquiry as quickly as possible, and within 7 business days. Please do not send multiple queries within this timeframe. If you have not received a reply, please check your junk/spam folder before following up your query.


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. 

Promotional Materials

A range of promotional materials is available to support implementation of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative.

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.