New eligibility tool for subsidised aged care

In preparation for the implementation of the new Integrated Assessment Tool (IAT), the federal government is working closely with assessment organisations to train their staff. All existing My Aged Care assessors are required to complete mandatory IAT training before undertaking IAT assessments from 1 July 2024.

What is the IAT?

The IAT has been developed in response to recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Safety and Quality of Aged Care as part of the single assessment reforms. The Commission found that the aged care assessment process could be confusing for older people and their families to navigate. People often bounce between assessment organisation, needing to retell their story multiple times.

The tool is aimed to collect better information to ensure service recommendations and referrals are tailored to each person’s needs. Introduction of the IAT is the first stage of implementing the Single Assessment System.

How the Integrated Assessment Tool (AIT) was developed

The IAT is based on the National Screening and Assessment Form (NSAF) and an expert clinical panel provided guidance on inclusion of questions and validated tools. From 17 April 2023 to 28 July 2023 a live trial of the IAT with assessors involved eight Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) and 14 Regional Assessment Services (RAS) organisations. 

What training on using the IAT will be provided?

All existing assessors will need to complete IAT training prior to undertaking assessments using the IAT from 1 July 2024.

The training approach involves: 

  • Face-to-face and virtual train-the-trainer sessions that will be rolled out for assessment organisation trainers from late April 2024. 
  • The trainers will deliver training sessions for learners throughout May and June 2024.
  • Mandatory online training will be available for all assessors in May.
  • Assessment scenarios will be available for assessors to practice in the IAT training environment from mid-June.

What happens with the NSAF after 1 July 2024?

Transitional arrangements will be in place to support a smooth transition from the NSAF to IAT. Details of these arrangements are yet to be announced. Any assessment commenced from 1 July will be undertaken using the IAT.

How will assessment quality be maintained when using the tool?

The IAT will enable the collection of more complete information with the flexibility to record the individual story of each older person and their carer/s. The tool is aimed to promote quality of assessment by:

  • Provision of nine evidence-based validated assessment tools, including Good Spirit Good Life, De Morton Mobility Index and GP Cog.
  • Evidence-based assessments are embedded in the IAT makes completion of these assessments ‘mandatory’, instead of ‘optional’ as with the NSAF. Subsequently, more robust clinical information is collected to inform assessment outcomes.

Using the IAT to:

  • Improve consistency of assessments so that people with the same needs access the same services.
  • Support assessors to tailor service recommendations and referrals to each person’s needs.
  • Enable older people and their families to only have to tell their story once.

Improved assurance and accountability arrangements to support the Single Assessment System will be put in place, so that the community can be confident Commonwealth funding for aged care is targeted to care need. 

What are the next stages?

Introduction of the IAT is the first stage of implementing the Single Assessment System. Existing Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) and Regional Assessment Service (RAS) organisations will use the IAT to assess older people into in-home aged care programs and residential care.

From late 2024, ACAT, RAS and Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) workforces will transition into the Single Assessment Workforce to deliver the Single Assessment System. 

Tender for provision of services to support the single assessment system closed on 21 March 2024 and are currently under review. First Nations assessment organisations will be introduced progressively from 1 July 2025 onwards.

Integrated Assessment Tool (IAT)

Final report on the IAT live trial

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