Aged Care Sector Employment Screening

Aged care sector employment screening involves an assessment of an individual's criminal conviction history to determine if they pose a risk of harm if engaged for employment or volunteering activities, specifically with Commonwealth-funded aged care services.

This type of screening by the DCSI Screening Unit involves a risk assessment of a person's criminal conviction history, specifically focused on that person's risk of harm to people who are receiving aged care sector services in a workplace or volunteer environment.

Aged care sector screening is mandated by law in specific circumstances.  Approved aged care sector service providers have a responsibility under the Act to familiarise themselves with its provisions, along with any state or territory specific legislation.

Legislation

The Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act) provides the legislative framework for Commonwealth-funded aged care services.

The Aged Care Accountability Principles (2014) provide specific details about what is required or permitted under the Act.

When is aged care sector screening required?

Whether or not aged care sector screening is required depends on the type of workplace and the nature of the work or volunteer role in each case ie the tasks involved.

Aged care sector employment screening is required for:

  • key organisational personnel in Commonwealth-funded aged care services;
  • employees and contractors providing care (including staff employed, hired, retained or contracted to provide services, whether in a residential aged care setting, community setting or in the service recipient's own home);
  • allied health professionals contracted to provide care services;
  • kitchen, cleaning, laundry, garden and office personnel employed by the service provider either directly or through a contract agency; and
  • consultants, trainers and advisors for accreditation support or systems improvement, who are under the control of the approved provider.

Precluding offences

The Aged Care Accountability Principles (2014) require that organisations funded by the Commonwealth to provide aged care services be satisfied that a person providing those services has not committed a precluding offence.

Precluding offences are defined as:

  • a conviction for murder or sexual assault;
  • a conviction of, and sentence to imprisonment for, any other form of assault.

Other offences in a person's criminal history record are also included in the assessment process in this type of screening by the DCSI Screening Unit.

Who can conduct this type of screening?

Organisations providing aged care services are not required by legislation to use services of the DCSI Screening Unit, and may conduct their own screening as required in the Accountability Principles by acquiring a National Police Certificate.   Part 6 of the Principles sets out the police check requirements.

Statutory Declaration required (for citizens/residents of a country other than Australia)

The Principles also require an approved provider to be satisfied that a person, who at any time after turning 16, has been a citizen or permanent resident of a country other than Australia, has made a statutory declaration starting that they have never been convicted of murder or sexual assault, or convicted of an sentenced to imprisonment for any other form of assault.

The DCSI aged care sector employment screening does not satisfy this particular requirement of the Principles.  Therefore the organisation should take the necessary steps to ensure this requirement is met.

For more information

Refer to our Fact Sheet: Aged Care Sector Employment Screening

All Commonwealth legislation is available on the Commonwealth Law website at: www.comlaw.gov.au.