NHQHS Standards

clinical governance standardsNSQHS Standards

The National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) provide a Nationwide Consistent approach to about the level of care consumers can expect from health care service providers. Leaders of a organisation providing health care services have a responsibility to the community for continuous improvement of the safety and quality of their services, and ensuring that they are patient centred, safe and effective.

The NSQHS Standards

The NSQHS Standards were developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) in collaboration with the Australian Government, states and territories, the private sector, clinical experts, patients and carers. The primary aims of the NSQHS Standards are:

  • to protect the public from harm
  • to improve the quality of health service provision.

They provide a quality assurance mechanism that tests whether relevant systems are in place to ensure that expected standards of safety and quality are met.


The NSQHS Standards – Second edition

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards was endorsed by Health Ministers in June 2017 and released in November 2017. Assessment to the second edition commenced in January 2019.

Safe and high-quality care requires the vigilance and cooperation of the whole healthcare workforce.

It is based on a risk management approach that focuses on implementing the NSQHS Standards as routine practice and identifies healthcare staff responsible for specific actions. The second edition addresses gaps identified in the first edition, including:

  • Mental health
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Health literacy
  • End-of-life care
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

It also updates the evidence for actions, consolidates and streamlines standards and actions to make them clearer and easier to implement.

The second edition of the NSQHS Standards comprises eight standards. Clinical Governance and Partnering with Consumers Standards combine to form the clinical governance framework for all health service organisations. They support and integrate with all the clinical standards, which cover specific areas of patient care. The eight standards are:

  • Clinical Governance Standard
  • Partnering with Consumers Standard
  • Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-associated Infection Standard
  • Medication Safety Standard
  • Comprehensive Care Standard
  • Communicating for Safety Standard
  • Blood Management Standard
  • Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration Standard.




Aged Care Standards form part of the Clinical Governance Frameworks in place.





principles of clinical governance