Change and Reform seem to be two keywords very much at the forefront of people's minds at the moment.

This month, we have a national referendum on the Australian Constitution to formally recognise the First Peoples of Australia. Whatever the outcome, recognition and reconciliation will be important in the way forward.

Aged Care Reform is picking up pace again with new reporting this month and more changes coming in December.

For those of you in Residential Care you'll see many changes in this Quarter, but that doesn't leave Home Care Providers off the hook.

The new Aged Consumer Advisory Body and Quality Care Advisory Body requirements applicable for most providers need to be in place by 1st December 2023. If you haven't started thinking about this, get your skates on!

change day

Latest CDCS Videos & Blog Posts

To respond to the needs of those working in the industry, CDCS has a range of blog posts on our website and videos that are freely available on our YouTube channel.

11 Ways to Make Your Progress Notes Better

One of the common issues identified by auditors conducting quality reviews (or ourselves when completing a pre-audit review for an organisation) is poorly written client notes, or worse, no regular notes at all. This post focuses on some of the issues that are relatively easy to address.


Close up of a lady's hands writing in a notebook with text: "writing better progress notes"
Older woman standing in her kitchen looking out the window pensively. Text reads: "Vulnerable clients?"

Vulnerable Clients – Who are they?

With the summer months coming and increased risk from heat, fire, cyclones, etc, here are some key tips for identifying those clients who are most at risk during this period.


Industry News

All Sector Updates

Strengthening Provider Governance update

The strengthening provider governance page on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website was updated on the 12th September 2023, check it out for the latest updates to the requirements to be in place by 1st December 2023.

Your role in reporting SIRS

There are a number of excellent links and materials to help providers understand SIRS on the ACQSC website. One of these tools helps you understand ‘Your role' in reporting and responding to a SIRS incident. If you are unsure, why not check it out.

The Voice Referendum

On 14 October, Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to formally recognise the First Peoples of Australia through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

The Electoral Commission has supporting information to assist families and representatives of people living in residential care to support their participation in the electoral system. It is compulsory for all eligible Australians to enrol and vote in federal elections and referendums.

  • AEC phone number: 13 23 26

Provider Governance Reforms

It’s now less than two months until the 1st December rolls around and the increased requirements related to improved provider governance will be required to be in place for many providers. Here is a reminder:

From the 1st December 2023 all approved providers must:

    • ensure your governing body has a majority of independent non-executive members and at least one member with experience providing clinical care
    • establish and continue operating a quality care advisory body
    • offer consumers and their representatives annually the opportunity to establish one or more consumer advisory bodies
    • ensure your staff are skilled and build your service capability
    • prioritise older Australians (not the holding company) if the organisation is a wholly-owned subsidiary owned by another body corporate.

    Some providers are exempt from these requirements so check to see what the obligations are for your organisation.

    And for those of you looking for clarifications, this page on the Commission website may help shed some light on Governing Body Questions.

    Banning Orders

    A reminder to check the banning order register before employing someone. To date, the Commission has issued 53 individual banning orders.

    Reports Due

    Aged Care Financial Report 22-23

    For all providers, the Aged Care Financial Report (ACFR) for 2022–23 is due by 31 October 2023.

    Providers who hold refundable accommodation deposits must also lodge their Annual Prudential Compliance Statement (APCS) as part of the ACFR. The Forms Administration Portal is open now for ACFR submissions.

    Quarterly Financial Report

    For all providers, the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) for quarter 1 of the 2023–24 financial year is due on 4 November 2023. There have been some changes to the template for this quarter.

    Changes to the information to be reported in the QFR have been made and further guidance has been added, so if you couldn’t make the QFR Webinar on 5 October, see the slide deck on the Department's Webinars page.

    One of the changes to the QFR is the requirement that all providers, except State and local Government providers, are required to attest that they have passed on the wage increase.

    The Department has indicated that to attest to this, providers must have acted in accordance with the Guidance Material and can demonstrate the intent to do the right thing is there.

    The Department will be validating the data submitted and may require further information, so it would be a good idea to submit the QFR as soon as possible so any amendments can be made before the Star Rating determination in early December.

    Don’t forget to publish your GPFR (General Purpose Financial Report) by 30 November (within five months of your financial year end).

    Make sure the appropriate key personnel or director signs the reports before submission.

    Provider Operations Report

    All providers will need to submit their first signed Provider Operations Report relating to provider governance before the end of October. This covers the period from July 2022 through to June 2023.

    Residential care and home care providers must submit the required information online through the Collection Form. The Collection Form will be available through GPMS.

    If you or your team need more information, or not sure about how to access the reporting form and lodge it – this instruction video from the Department may help.

    Transition care providers will submit their information through the existing Transition Care Annual Accountability Report. The team managing this report may be contacted at:

    Home Care Updates

    Heatwaves and updated Emergency Guidance

    The Department has released updated guidance and checklists.  For more information visit their website.

    Updated Home Care Package pricing report now available

    The National Summary of Home Care Package Prices – 30 June 2023 is now available. You may wish to use this information to help you compare and benchmark your prices with the national average.

    Residential Care Updates

    Mandatory Care Minutes in Residential Care

    Care minutes are now mandatory from October 1st. The October to December 2023 Care Minutes List details the care minute targets for this quarter nationally. 

    The AN-ACC funding and care minutes estimator supports homes to estimate the funding levels and care minute targets for your service.

    Frailty care guides from across the ditch

    The Health Quality and Safety Commission in New Zealand has recently launched the 2023 edition of their Frailty care guides | Ngā aratohu maimoa hauwarea. Although developed by our neighbours, you will find a similar applicability in the Australian context. 

    This set of 32 guides has a specific focus on aged residential care but the Commission says that they can be applied to other care settings for individuals living with frailty. The guides are available as PDFs and as accessible web pages.

    Department and Commission Newsletter Links

    If you haven't subscribed for Department updates, you can do so by clicking here to subscribe.

    If you’re not already signed up, we recommend clicking through and signing up for the Commission’s valuable newsletter.

    CDCS Roundup for Busy People Newsletter

    If you have others in your team who would benefit from our monthly aged care roundup for busy people – they can sign up here.


    This summary from the ACQSC of Questions and responses to/from the Commission about provider compliance has some interesting info – especially if you are due for a Quality Review soon!

    Industry Training, Webinars & Events

    Free Training Materials

    Equip Aged Care Learning Packages are designed for aged care workers, caregivers, and anyone interested in understanding the aged care sector.

    Innovator Training Program

    Are you working in the aged care sector and have a problem in your workplace? Do you need support to find a solution?

    The free Innovator Training Program is designed to provide you or your team with tools and skills to use available knowledge and evidence to solve a problem in your workplace.

    Webinar: How to connect older people with smart technology

    Monday 16 October, 11:30am (AEDT)

    Vision Australia is delivering a webinar on ‘how to connect older people with smart technology', for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers. Click here to register for the webinar.

    Webinar: Feedback and Complaints

    Tuesday 17 October, 1:00pm (AEDT)

    This webinar, delivered by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, places a spotlight on the Aged Care Quality Standard 6 Feedback and complaints and discusses what each of the requirements mean in practice for everyone – what consumers, family, and carers should know and look out for, and what best practice looks like for providers and aged care workers. Click here to register for the webinar.

    Webinar: Improving Quality in Residential Aged Care

    Thursday 2 November, 2:00pm (AEDT)

    This webinar is a practical session to help residential providers identify ways they can improve quality outcomes within their aged care homes. Click here to register for the webinar.

    Ongoing workshops provided by the ACQ&SC

    The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission develops a range of educational resources and workshops for aged care providers, in-home services and residential services that assist in understanding what compliance looks like.

    You can find these courses listed on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website under the Education tab.

    Funding Opportunities

    Grant Reference

    Name of Grant

    Closing Date

    MRFF – Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission – 2023 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant Opportunity

    15 November 2023

    Electronic National Residential Medication Chart – Round 2

    28 March 2024

    2023 COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program

    3 April 2024

    For more information on any of these grants, refer to the GrantConnect website.

    Aged Care Capital Assistance Program

    The Aged Care Capital Assistance Program (ACCAP) provides grants to build, extend, or upgrade aged care services or to build staff accommodation where older Australians have limited or no access. Organisations can apply for ACCAP grants to support aged care infrastructure projects, such as:

    • new builds, extensions and upgrades
    • maintenance and efficiency upgrades
    • safety and amenity improvements
    • construction or upgrade of multi-use spaces
    • provision of staff accommodation

    The next round is expected to open at the end of October 2023. Keep an eye out on the GrantConnect page.

    SDAP – Services Development Assistance Panel

    Don’t forget, if you are an aged care provider (residential or community care) operating in rural or remote locations, you may be eligible for support through the Service Development Assistance Panel (SDAP).

    CDCS has been a panel member since the inception of this program in 2010 and has supported over 40 aged care services with compliance, business development, training and resource development.

    Get an idea of what can be done with SDAP.

    Further information is available on the Department’s website, including the application form, or by emailing

    Jobs in Aged Care


    Organisation & Location

    Closing Date

    MacDonnell Regional Council, Alice Springs

    13 October 2023

    Muslim Care, Hurstville, NSW

    when filled

    Muslim Care, Hurstville, NSW

    when filled

    Muslim Care, Hurstville, NSW

    when filled

    East Arnhem Regional Council, Darwin or Nhulunbuy

    when filled

    Barkly Regional Council, Ampilatwatja

    13 October 2023

    Anglicare NT, Darwin

    when filled

    Carers NT, Darwin

    when filled

    Catholic Care, Alice Springs

    when filled


    event happening on 19 October 2023

    NOTE: If you have a position that you would like us to promote, please hit ‘reply’ to this email so we can include it in the next newsletter and/or post on our Facebook page: CDCS – Culturally Directed Care Solutions.

    New In The TQP Members Resource Area

    Total Quality Package logo - for aged care compliance

    You’ll find a full list of the updated policies, procedures and other helpful resources that have been updated in the last month below. We're committed to helping your organisation meet compliance and deliver quality outcomes.

    If you don't have access to the TQP and you’re looking for comprehensive, industry-specific policies, procedures and work instructions that have been used successfully by dozens of aged care providers, helping them to easily pass quality reviews and stay compliant, then take a look at the Total Quality Package.

    Resource updates in the last month

    Home Care Policies, Procedures & Work Instructions


    • Contract and Agency Staff Policy & Procedure V1 – new

    Client Service Provision:

    • Abuse, Neglect and Mandatory Reporting V4 – updated
    • High Impact and High Prevalence Risk Management V1 – new

    Risk Management & Service Environment:

    • Working Alone, Violence Towards Employees and Lockdown V3 – updated

    Work Instructions:

    • Providing Personal Care – Work Instructions V1 – new
    Residential Care Policies, Procedures & Work Instructions


    • Contract and Agency Staff Policy & Procedure V1 – new

    Risk Management & Service Environment:

    • Working Alone, Violence Towards Employees and Lockdown V3 – updated
    Care & Case Management Tools

    Intake & Assessment:

    • Client Care Agreement – Home Care Package V4 – significantly updated
    Toolbox Talks & Info Shares

    Info Shares:

    • Code of Conduct Info Share V2 – updated
    Human Resources Policies & Procedures
    • Exiting Staff and Dismissal Procedure V1 – new

    TQP Live Training & Replays

    TQP Members get complimentary access to regular LIVE training and education sessions. These are aimed at the coordination and management level and address trending issues and topics. Recordings are available in the TQP to revisit whenever you need – just like having your very own ‘Aged Care Netflix!’ 😁

    TQP recordings - aged care compliance

    We hope you have found this edition helpful; feel free to share it with others who may be interested. If you have any feedback or questions, please let us know by emailing us at

    Please get in contact with us if you need support and we’ll catch up with you again next month.

    Donna, Carrie & the CDCS Team

    Print Friendly, PDF & Email
    Donna Cross & Carrie Akhurst
    Latest posts by Donna Cross & Carrie Akhurst (see all)