In February 2021 the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety published its final recommendations to create a better standard of care for older Australians.

In response to the recommendations, the Federal Government has introduced several reforms to improve aged care services. Their latest reform is the introduction of star ratings for all residential aged care centres to help aged care consumers compare the quality of different aged care homes.

Understanding star ratings

From next week, each residential aged care centre in Australia will receive an overall star rating, and a rating against four sub-categories –

  1. Residents’ experience - aged care residents are interviewed about their overall experience of their aged care home. A minimum of 10% of residents are interviewed by a third party.
  2. Compliance – based on compliance decisions made by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
  3. Staffing - the amount of care each resident receives from a registered nurse, enrolled nurse or personal care worker compared to the average care targets set by the Australian Government.
  4. Quality measures - information about five areas of care: falls and major injury, unplanned weight loss, pressure injuries, medication management and the use of physical restraint.

The star ratings will be measured on a scale of 1-5 stars, and they will be published on the My Aged Care website under the “Find a Provider” tool. This is what each star means:

  • 1 star – ‘significant improvement needed’
  • 2 stars – ‘improvement needed’
  • 3 stars – an 'acceptable' quality of care
  • 4 stars – a 'good' quality of care
  • 5 stars – an 'excellent' quality of care

Aged care star ratings are more complex than other consumer ratings you may be familiar with, such as a hotel or taxi rating, so we have put together this factsheet to explain how each star rating is calculated. This video also provides a simple overview.

If you would like further information about the star ratings, please visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website.