What is a Direction of the Aged Care Complaints Scheme?
This fact sheet explains what a Direction is and when a Direction can be issued to an approved provider.
PDF printable version of What is a Direction of the Aged Care Complaints Scheme? (PDF 762 KB)
The Aged Care Complaints Scheme provides a free service for people to raise concerns about the quality of care or services delivered to people receiving Australian Government subsidised residential or community aged care services.
We examine complaints relating to approved providers’ responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
We encourage and support people to raise their concern with the approved provider because local resolution can achieve a fast and sustainable outcome. If that approach is not possible, we can examine a person’s concern. Approaches range from simple, relatively quick and informal approaches, to more formal and lengthy processes.
Aged care providers who receive funding from the Australian Government are called ‘approved providers’. A ‘complainant’ is the person who lodges a complaint with the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. These terms are used throughout this fact sheet.
What is a Direction?If we are not satisfied that an approved provider is meeting its responsibilities under the Act in regards to a complainant’s concerns, we can issue a Direction.
A Direction requires the approved provider to demonstrate how they have met or will meet their responsibilities under the Act.
We may inform the approved provider of our intention to issue a Direction. This allows the approved provider to:
- outline how they have already addressed the issues (in which case we may finalise the complaint and decide not to issue a Direction)
- take immediate steps to address the issues and meet their responsibilities under the Act.
If the approved provider takes immediate steps after we tell them that we intend to issue a Direction, we may take no further action.
If the approved provider proposes to take action or does not respond within the required timeframes, we will issue the Direction. We will then monitor the Direction to ensure the approved provider implements the actions they or we have outlined.
Issuing a DirectionA Direction is issued in writing and outlines what the approved provider must do, in what timeframes, to address the issues of the complainant and meet their responsibilities under the Act.
We will monitor and enforce the Direction to ensure the approved provider implements the required actions.
A Direction is not a Notice of Non-Compliance. We may refer a matter to the Department of Health and Ageing’s compliance area for compliance action if we are concerned the approved provider has not complied with or is not complying with its responsibilities under Parts 4.1 to 4.3 of the Act.
Your review rightsThe ability to seek a review helps us to address any concerns you may have about our work. Your feedback also helps to improve the administration of the Scheme. We encourage you to contact us if you are not satisfied at any stage of the complaint or would like to provide feedback. Call 1800 550 552* and ask to speak to the complaints manager in your state or territory.
You can ask the Aged Care Commissioner to examine our process for handling your complaint (within 12 months) or examine our decision (within 28 days of receiving our letter outlining this decision). To find out more or to lodge a request, call 1800 500 294* or go to the website agedcarecommissioner.net.au
Aged Care Complaints Scheme
Phone 1800 550 552*
Aged Care Complaints Scheme
Department of Health and Ageing
GPO Box 9848
In your capital city
All information in this publication is correct as of August 2011
*1800 calls are free from fixed lines; however calls from mobiles may be charged.
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