As a result of reforms to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme (the Scheme) and the introduction of the new Complaints Principles 2011, we may issue approved providers Directions. A Direction requires the approved provider to show us how they have fixed an issue to meet their responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).
When do we issue a Direction?
Directions may be issued during a complaints resolution process when we are not satisfied that an approved provider is meeting its responsibilities under the Act in relation to a complainant’s concerns.
How do we issue a Direction?
Before we issue a Direction, we may give an approved provider a notice of intention to issue a Direction. This allows them to:
- outline how they have already addressed the issues
- take immediate steps to address the issues and meet their responsibilities under the Act.
It is our intention that this is a fair and impartial process. It gives approved providers an opportunity to address our concerns before further action is taken. We may not issue a Direction if we are satisfied that the approved provider has taken appropriate steps to address our concerns. If there is an immediate need for an approved provider to take action, we may issue a Direction without first issuing a notice of intention.
A Direction is issued in writing and outlines what the approved provider must do to address the issues of the complainant and meet their responsibilities. It also details the required timeframes for carrying out these actions.
We will monitor and enforce a Direction to ensure the approved provider implements the required actions.
Directions and compliance action
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 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.
If you are not happy with a Direction, or with other aspects of a complaints process, you have review rights. You can read more about this in the Aged Care Complaints Scheme review rights post.
You can find more information in our fact sheet on Directions, which can be viewed and downloaded on our online order form.
If you have any questions or comments about Directions, please leave a comment below.