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“Brokerage agreements are not a
one size fits all and provisions will
vary depending on the nature of the
services, inherent risks and whether
the services are to be provided on an
ongoing or a one-off basis.”
1. Effective management
• What corporate governance processes do
the parties have in place, for example, for
dealing with conflicts of interest, nominating
responsible contacts and meeting
• What systems are in place to ensure compliance
with guidelines, legislation and professional
standards in the delivery of the services?
• Can the provider demonstrate continuous
improvement in delivery of the brokered services?
• How are risks identified and managed?
• What steps are taken to ensure brokered services can be
2. Appropriate access and service delivery
• How are clients’ ongoing needs monitored and reassessed?
• How does the provider ensure that the contractor is delivering
services in accordance with the client’s care plan?
3. Service user rights and responsibilities
• Are clients provided with information on an ongoing basis to
assist them to make choices about services?
• How is respect for clients’ rights to privacy, dignity and
• Are complaints and client feedback dealt with fairly, promptly,
confidentially and without retribution?
The provider and the contractor should enter into a written agreement
to ensure that where possible and appropriate, the obligations of the
provider in the Home Care Standards are passed on to the contractor.
Even where there is a written agreement, the provider should take
active steps to ensure that the contractor is meeting its obligations
in the delivery of the services. For example, an agreement can include
rights for the provider to conduct audits on the contractor, detailed
reporting requirements, and obligations for the parties to meet
regularly to monitor and review the service delivery.
Brokerage agreements are not a one size fits all and provisions
will vary depending on the nature of the services, inherent risks
and whether the services are to be provided on an ongoing or a
An agreement for brokered services may include some or all of
the following provisions:
• Quality of care – warranties by the contractor to provide the
services with due care and skill and to meet all legislative
requirements and appropriate standards.
• Personnel – a warranty by the contractor that all staff are
appropriately qualified and competent to provide the services.
• Accountability – an obligation on the contractor to keep
appropriate records, acquire police checks, and provide ongoing
training for personnel.
• Insurance – obligations for the contractor to have appropriate
insurance policies in place.
• Audit – the right for the provider to audit the contractor’s
performance of the services.
• Regular review – an obligation for both parties to consult
regularly to discuss the delivery of the services, and suggest
improvements and risk reduction strategies.
• Client complaints – a requirement that the contractor reports any
client complaints to the provider.
• Privacy and confidentiality – obligations on the contractor to meet
• Change of services – a process for how services can be varied if
a client’s needs change.
• Relevant commercial provisions – including payment of fees, how
long the agreement will continue and how it can be terminated,
relationship of the parties and other usual commercial provisions.
All providers are required to undertake a quality review by the
Australian Aged Care Quality Agency during each three year cycle.
Where brokered services are provided, having a written agreement
which addresses the requirements of the Home Care Standards
and monitoring the delivery of the services on an ongoing basis will
assist the provider to demonstrate compliance with the standards.
Providers and contractors should communicate regularly
after a brokerage agreement has been entered into to discuss
and document ongoing issues, including changes to the client’s
needs, identified problems with the delivery of the services, and to
suggest improvements. n
Dorothy Collins is special counsel at Panetta McGrath lawyers.
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