National Safety and Quality Standards Accreditation Policy

Applicable to: This policy is applicable to the following Health Service Providers that deliver services as part of a public hospital, public mental health service, public health service and public dental health service: Child and Adolescent Health Service, East Metropolitan Health Service, North Metropolitan Health Service, South Metropolitan Health Service and WA Country Health Service.

Description: This policy sets the requirements for health service providers (HSPs) to achieve and maintain mandatory accreditation to national safety and quality standards (the Standards) as required by the Australian Health Service Safety and Quality Accreditation Scheme (the AHSSQA Scheme). This policy also supports the System Manager safety and quality agenda to improve the safety and quality assurance functions and seek opportunities for better utilisation of accreditation data.

The National Health Reform Act 2011 establishes the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) which is responsible for formulating the Standards relating to health care safety and quality matters. This includes formulating and coordinating the AHSSQA Scheme which provides for the national coordination of accreditation processes.

Hospitals must be accredited to the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS Standards). The Commission also develops other Standards under the AHSSQA Scheme that may be more applicable to some services provided by HSPs.

The AHSSQA Scheme defines the roles of:

  • the Commission to develop and maintain the Standards and approve accrediting agencies to perform accreditation assessments.
  • the state and territory governments to regulate health service organisations mandatory accreditation against these Standards for each jurisdiction; and
  • health service organisations to implement the actions required to meet the Standards. 

The Standards provide a nationally consistent statement of the level of care consumers can expect from health service organisations. The primary aim of these Standards is to protect the public from harm and improve the quality of healthcare. The Standards provide a quality assurance mechanism that test whether relevant systems are in place to ensure expected standards of safety and quality are met.

The Department of Health Licensing and Accreditation Regulatory Unit (LARU) is the state regulator responsible for regulating accreditation of all public and private hospitals, private day hospitals (Class A) and public dental services as per the AHSSQA Scheme in Western Australia.

This policy is a mandatory requirement under the Clinical Governance, Safety and Quality Policy Framework pursuant to section 26(2)(d) of the Health Services Act 2016.

Date of effect: 06 May 2020

Policy Framework

Related documents

Supporting information