New Restrictive Practices Requirements Starting 1 July 2021: What Aged Care Providers Need to Know

The Government is planning to introduce new restrictive practices requirements for residential aged care homes from 1 July 2021. Here’s what you need to know.

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Aged Care Law Monitor January 2021: A Tool to Help you Stay Up to Date with Legal Changes

Struggling to keep up with the latest COVID-19 infection control requirements? How about visitor restrictions, human resources and grants? Not to mention the Serious Incident Response Scheme, ACFI and the NDIS.

Aged Care Law Monitor is a free tool from ACE publisher, CompliSpace, that is designed to help aged care leaders stay up to date with the latest changes in the law. It is a plain-English, quarterly report for boards and executives that summarises key legal, regulatory and compliance changes that affect the residential aged care industry.

Download your copy of the latest Aged Care Law Monitor here.

Keep reading for a summary of how Aged Care Law Monitor works and what it offers.


What Legal Changes are Covered by Aged Care Law Monitor?

Aged Care Law Monitor covers recent and upcoming legal and regulatory changes that affect the aged care industry in all Australian jurisdictions. This means it covers everything from Tasmanian aged care entry restrictions to national paid parental leave entitlements for workers. It also has a special section for COVID-19 laws and regulations.


What Period of Time is Covered by Aged Care Law Monitor?

Aged Care Law Monitor is usually released quarterly, so it tells you about all the relevant legal changes that happened within that three-month period.

The latest version of Aged Care Law Monitor is a bumper edition that covers the two quarters in the period 20 July 2020 to 11 January 2021.

Does Aged Care Law Monitor Tell Me Which Legal Changes are the Most Important?

Yes. Aged Care Law Monitor uses a colour-coded “traffic light” system so that you can see at a glance whether each legal change requires you to:

Picture2-4 Check and Update your policies and procedures

Picture1-Jan-12-2021-12-15-34-26-AM Watch and Prepare for further developments that haven’t happened yet; or

Picture3 Make Note of the change without having to take any specific action.


Does Aged Care Law Monitor Explain the Changes in Plain English?

Absolutely. Here are some examples from the latest edition:

Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) in Residential Aged Care – Expected to commence 1 April 2021

  • Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Serious Incident Response Scheme and Other Measures) Bill 2020 (Cth)

The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is a national framework for incident management and reporting of serious incidents in residential aged care. It imposes obligations on aged care providers to manage and report on incidents, and expands the powers of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC). In sum:

  • The SIRS will place additional obligations on Aged Care Providers to have organisation-wide systems and processes to identify, record, manage and resolve incidents and report serious incidents.
  • The SIRS will impose a system of mandatory reporting of alleged, suspected or actual serious incidents.
  • Reporting under the SIRS will include a broad range of incidents, including neglect, psychological or emotional abuse and inappropriate physical or chemical restraint.
  • The current exemption from mandatory reporting of resident-on-resident abuse, where the perpetrator has an assessed cognitive impairment, will be removed.
  • The ACQSC will receive incident reports and will have enhanced powers to take regulatory action where needed.

The ACQS advises that the SIRS “is expected to commence from 1 April 2021 following the passage of legislation through the Federal Parliament.”

Picture1-Jan-12-2021-12-15-34-26-AM Watch and Prepare: There may be only a few months left before aged care providers are legally required to meet their obligations under the SIRS. In preparation, aged care providers should review their incident management systems and processes against the proposed requirements of the SIRS.

Key Reference Materials: Serious Incident Response Scheme to Commence Early 2021: What Aged Care Providers Need to Know; Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Fact Sheet: What is the SIRS?


Aged Care Providers with NDIS Participants are now Registered with NDIS Commission Commenced 1 December 2020

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth)
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme Legislation Amendment (Transitioning Aged Care Providers) Rule 2020 (Cth)

On 1 December 2020, residential aged care providers who deliver services to NDIS participants automatically became registered NDIS providers. These aged care providers are now required to:

  • meet the obligations of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act)
  • meet the obligations of the NDIS (Provider Registration and Practice Standards) Rules 2018
  • comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct in supporting NDIS participants
  • comply with relevant NDIS Practice Standards.

Picture2-4 Check and Update: Aged care providers who deliver services to NDIS participants should ensure they have policies and procedures in place to meet the new requirements.

Key Reference Materials: NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission: NDIS participants in residential aged care


Some Key Issues Covered in the Latest Edition of Aged Care Law Monitor

  • Infection Control Leads Required in Aged Care Facilities – Commenced 1 December 2020
  • COVID-19 Entry Restrictions and Face Mask Requirements – Commenced 21-24 March 2020
  • Updated Outbreak Management Plan for Aged Care – Issued 11 December 2020
  • Support for Aged Care Workers (SACWIC) Grant – Applications close 31 May 2021
  • Paid Pandemic Leave for Aged Care Workers – Commenced 29 July 2020
  • New Emergency Leave Entitlements for Aged Care Residents – Extended until 30 June 2021
  • Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) in Residential Aged Care – Expected to commence 1 April 2021
  • New Mandatory Quality Indicators – Commences July 2021
  • Aged Care Providers with NDIS Participants are Now Registered with NDIS Commission – Commenced 1 December 2020

Download Aged Care Law Monitor


More Ways to Stay Up to Date

Legislation and industry guidelines in the aged care industry can change almost on a weekly basis. These free resources published by CompliSpace can help you stay up to date while you’re waiting for the next issue of Aged Care Law Monitor:

Age Care Essentials (ACE) provides weekly updates regarding regulatory and compliance issues in the Aged Care sector. We recommend that you subscribe to ACE and receive key updates directly into your email inbox.

COVID-19 Regulatory Changes: Residential Aged Care is a matrix of legislative and regulatory changes, best practice resources, and advice from regulators and government departments to ensure that your organisation has the most up-to-date information regarding your obligations for the prevention and management of COVID-19 outbreaks.  Visit this page to see the latest updates, request a printer-friendly version of the matrix and opt-in to receive an email notification when the page is updated.


About CompliSpace 

CompliSpace is an Australian company that specialises in helping organisations manage their legal and regulatory obligations. What makes CompliSpace unique is that they monitor changes in the law and best practice, and then update policies, procedures, associated training, assurance tools and reports so that their residential aged care clients can be continuously compliant. The CompliSpace Aged Care Team work with more than 50 residential aged care providers of all sizes.

Mark Bryan
Mark is a Legal Research Consultant at CompliSpace and the editor for ACE. Mark has worked as a Legal Policy Officer for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and the NSW Department of Justice. He also spent three years as lead editor for the private sessions narratives team at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts/Law from the Australian National University with First Class Honours in Law, a Graduate Diploma in Writing from UTS and a Graduate Certificate in Film Directing from the Australian Film Television and Radio School.