The Commonwealth’s advice on consulting services

The Commonwealth has recently released some valuable advice relating to the use of Consulting Services for your ACFI appraisals.

The advice centered around organisations’ individual responsibilities for the accuracy of appraisals and supporting documentation when using a consultant.

The release states that:

If your organisation […] uses Consultants to assist with the preparation of Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) appraisals and ACFI supporting documentation, you should be aware that you are responsible for the accuracy of these materials under the Aged Care Act 1997 (the Act).

The Department recognises the value that consultants can provide. However where inaccurate or incorrect advice is relied upon by a Provider, this will not be a reasonable excuse for non-compliance with the Act. It is important to think of this when considering the Services of a Consultant, particularly when their marketing promotes their ability to increase funding or minimise downgrades through ACFI reviews.

The Commonwealth also mention that the use of standardised ACFI claiming documentation when using IT systems and/or consultants could make it difficult to verify a care recipient’s usual day-to-day assessed care needs.

This is really important advice and it’s critical that you conduct your own due diligence prior to appointing a Consultant for ACFI Services. Choosing the wrong Consultant could be detrimental to your ACFI program.

But what exactly does this mean?

What are your responsibilities?

Your facility must:

  • Understand each appraisal and all supporting documentation.
  • Complete and submit the ACFI Application for Classification and certify that the application is correct, meeting the requirements of the ACFI User Guide.
  • Retain the specified materials for audit and accountability for future audit.
  • Ensure that the ACFI appraisal pack has been completed in accordance with the guidelines from the ACFI User Guide.
  • Choose your consulting services carefully – do your due diligence.

What should you expect from your ACFI consultant?

You should expect:

  • A strong clinician and registered nurse who can present and support clinical assessments and decisions. They should be able to answer any questions relating to the appraisal that you throw at them.
  • A true partner to consult with on the big picture, not just the financial considerations. Done correctly, ACFI is far more complex and abundantly more powerful than just the financial considerations.
  • ACFI experts that have remarkable documentation skills and attention to detail.
  • A demonstrable ability to view ACFI as a holistic journey and not just view and appraise ACFI questions /items and domains in isolation. Congruence is key!
  • An exceptional communicator who is able to bring your team on the ACFI journey.
  • An additional expert resource for your facility to lighten the load of ACFI work and achieve the best possible outcome. You deserve to makes things simple for you and your team!

Click here and here to find the Commonwealth’s advice regarding working with consultants.

As always, we at Provider Assist advocate that you should always Expect More from those you engage to support you. Never accept anything less than Remarkable.



petePeter Watson – Founder & Managing Director

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