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More tips on complying with governance requirements


There are eight key messages for aged care leaders in regards to the quality standard on organisational governance, writes Michael Goldsworthy.

In part one of this article I presented the eight key areas that aged care governing bodies should consider in regards to Standard 8, Organisational Governance.

Michael Goldsworthy

This standard is a game-changer because it holds the governing body accountable for the organisation’s compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards (read more here).

Standard 8 also presents directors, chief executive officers and executives or managers with the following eight key messages.

Key messages

1. Standards are mandatory

The Aged Care Quality Standards are mandatory and assessable as of 1 July 2019; they potentially create a very significant shift and lift as well as a high to very high risk for boards, CEOs, executives and managers at governance, organisational and service levels.

2. Align your governance and organisational domains

Ensure there is the alignment between the board’s governance policies and procedures, documents and tools and the organisational policies and procedures, documents and tools, both of which should support organisational systems, for example, risk management system, emergency management system.

3. Use a governance system, not a governance manual

A governance manual is not a governance system. Obtain and utilise a comprehensive and integrated corporate and organisational governance system, therein governance principles or standards, policies and procedures, documents and tools.

4. Data and information = metrics and outcomes

Both organisational governance and corporate governance systems and processes should provide timely and accurate data and information against industry or organisational metrics and outcomes. For example, national clinical quality indicators and other clinical data.

5. Standards are minimum

The Aged Care Quality Standards including Standard 8 are a minimum, which everybody must meet and they are of no competitive advantage. In a customer-driven, competitive marketplace, they are just part of an organisation’s licence to operate.

6. Utilise additional quality standards

Leading or upper following aged care organisations will utilise additional quality standards, systems or frameworks with the aim of exceeding consumer expectations and requirements and providing safe and quality care and services. For example, the National Model Clinical Governance Framework.

7. Standard 8 creates additional board requirements

Meeting or exceeding the requirements of Standard 8 Organisational Governance is additional to legislated corporate governance requirements, roles and responsibilities that a board must meet, given they are directors of a company, incorporated association or similar legal entity.

8. A warning to all directors and CEOs

Standard 8 Organisational Governance cannot be addressed in isolation from a board’s corporate governance model, structure, system, processes and practices.

Meeting or exceeding accreditation against Standard 8 does not mean a board’s corporate governance is contemporary, let alone best practice, a mentality some boards and chief executive officers have already adopted, a falsehood that could soon develop in other boards and spread throughout the industry.

Access the provider guidance material to assist the implementation of the quality standards at agedcarequality.gov.au.

Michael Goldsworthy is principal consultant at Australian Strategic Services.

The full version of this article appears in the current edition of Australian Ageing Agenda magazine (July-August 2019)

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