Approved providers have until 1 December this year to complete their first annual suitability check for key personnel.
Failing to comply with this requirement will carry a significant penalty of 300 penalty units, which is just shy of $100,000.00.
How to satisfy this requirement
Approved providers must assess each of their key personnel against each of the “suitability matters” which are listed in 8C of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018 and be reasonably satisfied that the individual is suitable to be involved in the provision of aged care.
Providers must keep records of the assessments including:
As is clear from the above, providers have an obligation to consider each suitability matter separately and record their conclusions and reasoning. In other words, it is not enough for providers to record a “blanket” statement about all of the suitability requirements, each must be individually considered and recorded.
- The names of each person assessed;
- The date or dates on which the suitability matters were considered (indicating it may take some time to undertake this process);
- The outcome of the approved provider’s consideration of each suitability matter in relation to the key personnel; and
- The reasons for reaching that outcome.
If in undertaking this process, there is a “change in circumstance” relating to one of your Key personnel, you will need to notify the Commission in accordance with the legislation.
Identifying key personnel
Given the significant penalties that non-compliance can attract, it is imperative for providers to understand who their key personnel are, noting that it is not always clear who is and isn’t covered.
Broadly speaking, the key personnel of an entity are those responsible for key aspects of an approved provider’s operations or who are responsible for managing a particular facility or home care service. The precise definition of Key Personnel can be found in section 8B for the ACQSC Act and it clearly includes board members, executive managers, facility/service managers and directors of nursing (and equivalents). However it also includes anyone with “significant influence over planning, directing or controlling the activities of the approved provider”.
Critically, a person may be captured even if they are only acting in a management position, either temporarily, for example to cover leave.
As such, the line between key personnel and others is not always clear. If you have not already done so, we recommend you conduct an analysis of those with decision-making authority to ensure you know which roles are and aren’t key personnel. It may be necessary to review your position descriptions to ensure that someone’s position description doesn’t inadvertently bring them into the definition.
How we can help?
Russell Kennedy’s aged care team have a range of resources that can assist providers to comply with these requirements, this includes the following:
1. Key Personnel documents:
- A 3 Part form for the approved provider and key personnel with a declaration to be completed by key personnel for the purposes of collecting relevant information, assessing suitability, making a decision and to record the approved provider’s suitability assessment;
- A companion guide for the approved provider to assessing suitability;
- A letter to the employee providing a summary of the regulatory context and key obligations as key personnel; and
- A letter to the Board members providing a summary of the regulatory context and key obligations as key personnel.
- Recorded training about the new key personnel requirements, the assessment and decision-making process, and engaging and terminating employees, including reference checking, privacy issues and employment agreements (75 min).
- Provision of PowerPoint for ongoing use.
- Recorded Training regarding key obligations of Board members as key personnel (20 min).
- Review of approved provider’s Key Personnel Policy.
- Template Key Personnel Policy for employees, Board members and others.
4. Employment Agreement:
- Clauses for standard employment agreement, for inclusion into current template, to be tailored by the employer.
5. Key Personnel Suitability Matters Guidance for Dual Registered Providers:
- An overview of dual registered NDIS providers’ / Approved providers’ Key Personnel responsibilities under the AC Act and Principles, NDIS Act and Rules and other guidance material issued by the NDIS Commission and the DSS.
How do I purchase this?
To purchase any of these resources or ask any questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team members will contact you.
Please contact Victor Harcourt (03) 9609 1639, Anita Courtney (03) 8602 7211 or Johanna Heaven (03) 8640 2303 for further information.
Russell Kennedy has developed a range of resources that approved providers can purchase individually or as a pack to ensure compliance for the new requirements of key personnel. For more information on the Key Personnel Package and information on pricing, simply email our team via email email@example.com.
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