AUSTRALIA is a step closer to establishing a screening and registration scheme for aged care workers with the release of a new public consulation paper.
Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said the paper offered the opportunity to better regulate staffing across the sector.
"What we're looking for is a registration scheme that screens all aged care workers, without putting a red tape burden on them or service providers," Mr Colbeck said.
"We also want to make sure that workers are still able to move between sectors, employers, regions and states as circumstances change."
Currently, nurses and some allied health practitioners working in aged care such as physiotherapists and podiatrists, are required to maintain registration to practise under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for health practitioners.
"There is no centralised screening or checks in place for other direct care workers, such as personal care workers to provide assurance to the community around public safety for senior Australians receiving care," said Mr Colbeck.
"But their skills and character are equally important and can be a huge influence on the safety and quality of life of people receiving care, in both residential and in home care."
The consultation paper details the objectives of an aged worker screening or regulation scheme, key issues that the scheme could address and existing regulatory models in related sectors.
It is available via the Department of Health's Consultation Hub.
Feedback can be provided until June 29.
A detailed options paper for consideration by the Government will be prepared once the consultation is complete.