The Residential
Care Manual

Australian Government: Department of Social Services

Welcome to the Residential Care Manual On-Line


This website is currently being reviewed and updated. We apologise for any inconvenience caused while accessing information during this time.


From 18 September 2013, the Aged Care Act 1997  is now administered by the Minister for Social Services, and matters relating to aged care are now the responsibility of the Department of Social Services.

To reflect these changes, all references in this Manual to the former Department of Health and Ageing have been changed to the Department of Social Services.

However, it will take some time for the practical application of these changes to flow through.  Until further notice, all web content (forms, guidelines, etc) referred to in this Manual will sit on the Department of Health’s website.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Act 2013 provides for the establishment of a new Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (the Quality Agency) on 1 January 2014.  This new body is the sole agency providers of Australian Government funded aged care will deal with in relation to quality assurance of the aged care services they deliver. The new Quality Agency replaced the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd (ACSAA Ltd). The Quality Agency commenced carrying out functions relating to residential aged care services on 1 January 2014 and will commence functions relating to home care services on 1 July 2014.

The Residential Care Manual has been updated to reflect the recent changes to the Aged Care Act 1997, that commenced on 1 August 2013.  Further changes will be required over the course of 2013/14.

Due to the extensive nature of the upcoming aged care related legislative changes, the Department of Social Services reached the decision not to print this version of the Residential Care Manual.  This is to ensure that any further changes and updates can be made quickly and managed more efficiently and effectively.  It will also reduce the risk of users relying on out of date information, as we are encouraging all users to regularly check the Residential Care Manual website for updates.

A PDF version of the Residential Care Manual, divided into chapters, or as a complete document, is available for download and printing through the website.

If you have any problems downloading the Residential Care Manual please contact us at