Review audits - overview

What is a review audit?
A review audit is an onsite assessment of the quality of care and services provided to residents by a residential aged care home, measured against the Accreditation Standards. It will usually take a few days to complete.

A review audit may be announced (the home is given notice that there will be an audit visit by an assessment team) or unannounced (the home is not given notice). They involve a complete review of how the residential aged care home provides care and services to residents, as measured against all of the Accreditation Standards.

Why are review audits conducted?
A review audit may be conducted if:

  • as a result of an assessment contact, the Accreditation Agency considers that the approved provider of the home may not be meeting the Accreditation Standards,
  • the home was placed on a timetable for improvement after failing to meet the Accreditation Standards and has not succeeded in meeting the Standards during the period set by the Accreditation Agency
  • there is a change to the residential aged care home, for example, change in key personnel, number of ‘allocated resident places’ or building
  • the Department of Health and Ageing directs the Accreditation Agency to undertake a review audit.

What is the process for a review audit?
A brief summary of the process is as follows:

  • a site visit is conducted by an assessment team
  • the assessment team writes a report
  • the approved provider is provided with the report which they can then respond to if they wish
  • a decision-maker, separate from the team, makes a decision about the home’s performance against the Accreditation Standards and any changes to the home’s accreditation status or period.

What happens on site?
At a review audit, aged care assessors visit a home and speak with staff, management, residents and their families to determine whether the home meets all the Accreditation Standards and expected outcomes. The team is usually on site for three or more days.

How are residents and representatives involved?
Interviewing residents and their representatives is an essential part of gathering information about a home. It is important that residents and their representatives are able to participate and can express their views concerning the care and services delivered by the residential aged care home.

The team interviews at least 10% of residents or their representatives. Residents and their representatives may also provide written information to the team if they wish.

If the home has a number of residents who do not speak English, the team may organise an interpreter.

The home ensures that any residents or their representatives who wish to speak to the assessment team can do so in private and are assured of confidentiality.

The decision making process
The assessment team writes a report which contains findings only. A decision about the home's actual performance against the Accreditation Standards is made separately by an independent decision-maker.

What does the decision include?
The decision includes information on the home’s performance against the Accreditation Standards and whether its accreditation period will be varied (decreased) or its accreditation will be revoked. The decision also includes information about areas the home needs to improve in order to meet the Accreditation Standards.

If they meet all requirements, most homes will not have their accreditation revoked or varied. Homes with several expected outcomes not met, or a history of repeated failure to meet the Standards may have their periods of accreditation varied, or revoked. This is especially relevant where there is a serious risk to residents’ health, safety and wellbeing. A home must be accredited by the Accreditation Agency in order to receive funding from the Australian Government.

What information is publicly available?
Decisions about review audits and the assessment teams’ review audit reports are available on this website. Click here to go to access reports on homes.

What other information is available about review audits?
Click here for more information about review audits.