Rest home certification and audits

If you or a family member is planning to move to a rest home – or is currently living in one – you’ll want to be sure it provides the best quality care possible.

All rest homes and aged residential care facilities are certified and audited to ensure they:

  • provide safe, appropriate care for their residents
  • meet the standards set out in the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001.

Audit findings

Audit summaries

The Ministry publishes audit summaries for all rest homes. Find these in our database of certified rest home providers.

For rest homes audited after 26 November 2013, we also publish updates on the progress that they have made on issues from their last audit.

Check our database of certified rest home providers to find out more.

Full audit reports

Full audit reports are available for audits processed and approved after 29 August 2013.

Full audit reports for audits completed after 16 December 2014 are available in our database of certified rest home providers. Those for audits completed between 29 August 2013 and 16 December 2014 are in a different format and are currently available on the full audit reports page.

Prior to 29 August 2013, only audit summaries are available.

Full audit reports are also available for some rest homes (if the reports were processed and approved after 29 August 2013). Visit Full audit reports to find out more.

Types of audit and when they happen

Certification and surveillance audits

Certification audits happen every 1–4 years. After the audit, rest homes are certified for a set period of time (the exact length depends on how well the rest home performed at the certification audit). Once this time is up, the rest home must be re-audited and its certification renewed.

An unannounced spot audit (also called a surveillance audit) happens around the middle of a rest home’s certification period. The spot audit ensures progress has been made on outstanding areas identified in the earlier certification audit and that standards haven’t slipped.

In addition to audits, rest homes have to report to their DHB on how they are addressing issues found at audit. These improvements are then verified at the next audit event.

Other types of audit

Provisional audits happen when a provider purchases a certified rest home from another provider.

Partial provisional audits happen when a provider wants to add services to their certificate (eg, a rest home adding hospital-level care) or when a new rest home is built.

Verification audits happen when a provider adds capacity or reconfigures their services (eg, builds a new wing, upgrades rooms).

Ministry inspections

Rest homes may have unannounced inspections by the Ministry under the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 in the event of a serious complaint.

DHB issues-based audits

DHBs can conduct issues-based audits under the Aged Related Residential Care Contract. For information on these audits please contact the relevant DHB.

How are the audits conducted?

Designated auditing agencies audit rest homes. Each audit team includes at least one registered nurse.

The audit team looks at:

  • staff
  • the way residents are cared for
  • how the staff interact with residents
  • the general environment
  • clinical records, policies and procedures.

They also interview staff, residents and family members.


Find out more from the Ministry

Visit Certification of health care services to find out more about how providers are certified and the standards they have to meet.

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