Update from The Commission

The Commission has announced the commencement of mandatory short notice assessments from July 2023 for all Australian hospitals and day procedure services.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has announced the commencement of mandatory short notice assessments to replace existing announced assessments from July 2023 for all Australian hospitals and day procedure services.

The Commission believes short notice assessments will support the continuous implementation of the NSQHS Standards, improve the veracity of accreditation and reduce the administrative burden of assessment processes on health services.

This change applies to all health service organisations where licencing requires accreditation to the NSQHS Standards. The Commission have provided a Fact Sheet on their website to help understand the changes occurring. We have summarised the key points below but please refer to the Commission’s Fact Sheet to see the full details and actions required:

  • Health service organisations (HSOs), that are assessed to the NSQHS Standards for licencing or funding requirements, will be required to undergo short notice assessments.
  • A short notice assessment may occur at any time during a three-year accreditation cycle, as long as it is at least 6 months and no more than 4 years after the previous assessment, and at least 4 months prior to the accreditation expiry date.
  • It will involve an assessment of all applicable actions from the eight NSQHS Standards during a single assessment visit.
  • HSOs routinely provide information to their accrediting agency to allow for planning of assessments. The planning phase is commenced by ACHS at the beginning of the membership contract and HSOs need to ensure they keep ACHS abreast of any changes, that may impact the planning of the assessment, as they occur.   
  • HSOs may identify up to 20 business days per accreditation cycle for exclusion of a short notice accreditation assessment if performing a short notice assessment on these dates would directly impact consumers, or that consumers of the service would be unavailable.
  • Self-assessment against the requirements of the NSQHS Standards is an active continuous process that supports quality improvement.
  • The notification period for assessment (24 hours, 48 hours or up to 4 weeks) will be determined by each State/Territory regulator. 
  •  An entry meeting will occur with the person in charge, where the assessment team will provide information regarding the proposed conduct, length and scope of the assessment.
  • The lead assessor will convene an exit meeting to provide a summary of the assessment outcomes.

To support ACHS Members through this change we have provided resources to help HSOs to prepare for the transition. 

Please visit the Member Portal to find a recent webinar recording we held with two Member organisations who have extensive experience with short notice assessments, and links to the corresponding resources. 

For access to the member portal, please gain permission from your primary contact and register on the ACHS website as a new user.

If you have questions regarding the Short Notice Assessments, contact your CSM at csm@achs.org.au, and you can also email the Commission Safety and Quality Advice Centre at AdviceCentre@safetyandquality.gov.au or call 1800 304 056.