Residential services legislation changes
The Housing Legislation (Building Better Futures) Amendment Act 2017 was passed by Parliament on 25 October 2017 and assented to on 10 November 2017.
It contains amendments to the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002 and introduces the Residential Services (Accreditation) Regulation 2018.
These changes strengthen the regulatory framework for residential services to ensure that vulnerable Queenslanders can access safe, secure and affordable accommodation.
What’s changed in the Act
The 2017 changes increased protection for residents living in residential services by:
- improving the standard of accommodation
- clarifying the responsibilities of staff working in these services.
Specifically, these included:
- Registration certificate: The registration certificate must include the names of any service provider associates and the maximum number of residents permitted to occupy the registered premises under the prescribed building requirements.
- Definition of an associate: The person who makes decisions, in the course of the service, that influence the operation of the service; or the health, safety or other interests of residents in the service e.g. manages personal care services, resident medications and resident financial transactions.
- Associate criminal history: An associate must inform the Chief Executive of any changes to their criminal history.
- Death of a resident: Level 3 providers must notify the Chief Executive of the death of a resident within 7 days.
- Information on the public register:
- The public register of residential services must include the names of associates and contact details of the service provider.
- Sensitive information for domestic violence shelters can be withheld from the public record to ensure the safety of people escaping violent and abusive situations.
Introduction of the Regulation
The Residential Services (Accreditation) Regulation 2018 commenced on 1 September 2018. It complements the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act.
The following provisions commenced on 1 December 2018.
Privacy and confidentiality
A service provider accesses or discloses a resident’s correspondence and other confidential information only if the resident gives consent.
Prevention of abuse and neglect
- The service provider implements and complies with policies and procedures protecting residents’ rights.
- Residents have the right to live in an environment free of verbal, emotional, sexual or physical abuse, neglect and financial abuse.
Access to external providers
- Residents have full access to external service providers. An external service provider could be an advocate, professional case worker or other providers of health, disability, welfare or other professional services.
- Residents have the freedom to choose external service providers, who are independent of the service provider, without fear of retaliation.
- A safe, secure and comfortable living environment is provided to residents.
- All areas of the registered premises including internal and external areas and common areas are kept clean and in good repair, and free from hazards.
- Furnishings and equipment supplied for use by residents are appropriate, comfortable, kept clean and in good repair, and are replaced as required.
- Bedrooms, bathroom and toilet facilities give residents appropriate personal space, and security and privacy, including having lockable doors.
- Passages and stairways are well lit and kept free of objects to allow safe and unimpeded movement through them at all time.
- Rubbish is removed regularly and in a way that doesn’t affect the health and wellbeing of residents and staff of the residential service.
Kitchens (level 2 services)
The kitchen facilities comply with the service provider’s accredited food safety program, if any, or the food standards code, standard 3.2.3.
Food handling and storage (level 2 services)
People preparing and serving food:
- observe personal hygiene and cleanliness practices
- take reasonable action to minimise the risk of food contamination
- comply with the service provider’s accredited food safety program, if any, or the food standards code, standard 3.2.3.
Assistance with medication (level 3 services)
If residents ask for help with taking their medication according to medical directions, they receive help in line with the Guideline for medication assistance - residential services providers (PDF, 1.6MB).
Security and emergencies
- The service provider has a safety and emergency plan that includes procedures for any situation requiring immediate attention and remedial action, including a serious incident or extreme weather event at the service.
- Staff and associates of the service provider are aware of, trained in and capable of implementing the procedures in the safety and emergency plan.
- The service provider takes reasonable action to ensure residents are aware of the procedures in the safety and emergency plan.
- The service provider takes reasonable action to ensure emergency services personnel and vehicles have access to the registered premises at all times.
The service provider takes reasonable action to ensure the service and the residents don’t adversely affect the neighbourhood peace and amenity.
Food and nutrition (level 2 services)
Residents are provided with food and nutrition that complies with the best practice guide for healthy eating in supported accommodation published by Queensland Health.
Human resource management (level 3 services)
The service provider ensures that staff who provide personal care services hold a current qualification to administer first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Service providers keep records for each serious incident that occurs at the service, including the:
- nature of the incident
- date of the incident
- name of each resident affected by the incident
- name of the residential service staff who witnessed the incident
- name of the residential service staff to whom the incident was reported
- the action the service provider took in relation to the incident
- the date the service provider took the action.
A service provider for a residential service keeps a register of the records required to be kept at the registered premises for the service.
We will encourage and support those who provide quality accommodation and services for residents and continually improve their operations.
- work with accredited residential services providers to help them adjust to the new legislation
- work with referral agencies to promote the benefits of referring their clients to accredited residential services
- educate consumers on how to choose an accredited residential service
- improve fair trading in the industry by penalising unregistered residential services.
Advocacy and support for residents
Five organisations have been funded to conduct advocacy and support to ensure that residents of retirement villages, residential (manufactured home) parks and residential services:
- understand their rights
- can represent their interests to village operators, service providers, park owners and the government.
See the Right Where You Live website for more details.
- Information for residents of hostels and boarding houses
- Information for operators of residential services
- Last updated:
- 15 February 2021