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Fact sheet – What is a direction?

This fact sheet explains what a direction is and when the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner may decide to issue one to a service provider.

What is a direction?

If the Complaints Commissioner is not satisfied that a service provider is meeting its responsibilities, a direction may be issued to address the issues raised through a complaint.

A direction will require the service provider to demonstrate how they have met or will meet their responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 or their funding agreement with the Australian Government.

Before issuing a direction

We will inform the service provider in writing of the Complaint Commissioner’s intention to issue a direction. This allows the service provider the opportunity to:

  • outline how they have already addressed the issues and/or
  • take immediate steps to address the issues and meet their responsibilities.

If the service provider has addressed the issues, or takes appropriate immediate steps, we may take no further action.

If the service provider proposes to take action or does not respond within the required timeframes, we will issue the direction.

The service provider has the opportunity to show how they have met their responsibilities

Issuing a direction

A direction is issued in writing and outlines what the service provider must do, within 14 days unless otherwise specified, to address the issues of the complaint and meet their responsibilities.

We will monitor the direction to ensure the service provider implements the actions they or we have outlined.

We may refer a matter to the Department of Health to consider whether to take compliance action if we are concerned the service provider has not complied with or is not complying with its responsibilities. This includes where the service provider has failed to comply with directions.

Asking us for a review

Complainants and service providers can ask for a review once a complaint is finalised by phoning us on 1800 550 552* or in writing.