Mar 01, 2023

Code of Conduct keeping negligent workforce at bay with register of banned staff

Yesterday marked three months since the Code of Conduct for Aged Care was implemented in the sector which also included the establishment of a register of banned aged care workers due to malpractice.

On December 1, 2022, the sector-wide Code of Conduct was rolled out, handing the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) the power to issue Banning Orders on individual workers and lodge their information on their Aged Care Banning Order Register to keep negligent staff from working with vulnerable older people.

In 2019, an independent national registration body for aged care workers was established to address the issues of neglect, abuse and poor care of older people found through the Royal Commission into aged care but it was an opt-in processand aged care workers were required to sign up themselves.

Aimed to help curb instances of neglect and low-quality care, and demand more compliance and transparency from providers, the Code and the Banning Order Register was backed by industry stakeholders. 

But before its closure, the former Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC) said that the introduction of the Code has not caused any significant changes thus far for most providers as they have already outlined appropriate standards of conduct in their business models.

“We know that most aged care workers already live and work to these principles,” said the former ACWIC Deputy Chair, Graeme Prior. 

“In severe cases of inappropriate behaviour, the ACQSC has banned individuals from working in the sector and published their details in an online register.

“I encourage everyone involved in the sector to ensure they are aware of and comply with the expected behaviours.”

The Department of Health and Aged Care maintains that while it is still early days, the Code provides reassurance to the community that aged care providers and their workers are keeping older people safe and treating them with respect. 

“This is a positive step forward in terms of building confidence and trust in the aged care sector by ensuring there are proportionate and effective consequences for the small minority of people who are not doing the right thing,” a Department Spokesperson said. 

They also explained that every aged care provider has a responsibility to check the Register to ensure that “unsuitable individuals who are banned from the sector are not engaged for employment,” and that providers who fail to take reasonable steps to prevent breaches of a Banning Order may have action taken against them by ACQSC for breaches of civil penalty provisions.

Those who are issued a Banning Order have their information published on the Aged Care Banning Order Register on the ACQSC website

What do you think about the Banning Order Register? Is it fair? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. As an experienced advisor in the sector, I can see the positive outcomes of the code beginning to take effect and for staff working in the sector to become more away of their responsibilities and possible personal outcomes.
    Providers have always had internal codes of conduct operating in alignment with organizational values, that have been used to guide staff. The ACQSC Code has added a stronger approach to enforcing quality care that now also applies to the approved provider for not responding to incidents of significant breaches of the code.
    I have personally reported two personal care staff to the ACQSC for breaches of the Code in recent weeks.

  2. in lieu of something like AHPRA registration, i think the register is the next best thing as long as it is compulsory. hopefully safeguards are in place for workers wrongly entered in the register. alma ries

  3. Every is good if it goes with guidelines and standards set by Aged care quality commission. To my understanding it is also important to investigate and escalate the issues why these support workers hired , what forced these providers to cross that line . There is shortage of aged care staff . What action Government should take to avoid this situation . Australia is facing a shortage of at least 110,000 direct aged-care workers within the next decade unless urgent action is taken to boost the workforce, a new report by CEDA . What are incentives for Aged care providers and Support workers from Government to work and stay in this industry.

  4. Every thing is good if it goes ideally with guidelines and standards set by Aged care quality commission. To my understanding it is also important to investigate and escalate the issues why these support workers hired , what forced these providers to cross that line . There is shortage of aged care staff . What action Government should take to avoid this situation . Australia is facing a shortage of at least 110,000 direct aged-care workers within the next decade unless urgent action is taken to boost the workforce, a new report by CEDA . What are incentives for Aged care providers and Support workers from Government to work and stay in this industry.

  5. I think it’s a great idea because some people don’t know how to care for the elderly I think it’s a gift given to people and they know how to interact with them I think every one has a gift and knowledge those who do they are very special people may God Bless each and everyone of them

  6. I Have worked in both Aged Care and Disability Sectors, I am all for this New standard. I have seen some terrible things especially in the Dementia Units.
    But I believe more still needs to be done, The residents pay a lot of money to be in an aged care facility and 23 staff all up to 81 residents is not good enough, It is only the true caring ones that actually have passion still about their jobs that are still there and doing the right thing.

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