Health & Disability Services Standards and Fertility Services Standard Review

These standards are available from the Standards New Zealand website.

About the review

The Health & Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 requires regular review of the Health and Disability Services Standards and Fertility Services Standard. The last substantive review of the Health and Disability Services Standards was in 2008. The Fertility Services Standard has yet to be reviewed. Sector consultation in 2017 found strong support for review of both standards.

The Ministry of Health and Standards New Zealand, a directorate within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, are adopting a partnership approach to reviewing the standards. This approach will allow the Ministry of Health (the Ministry) to undertake significant sector engagement to determine the changes needed to the standards.

The review will provide the sector with the opportunity to ensure the standards are sufficiently flexible to meet changing models of care.

The review is expected to be completed by December 2020.


The Health and Disability Services Standards and the Fertility Services Standard impact a large part of the health and disability sector. For this reason, this review is supported by a strong governance framework. 

Governance Group

A governance group has been established. The governance group will provide high-level, strategic oversight of the review. For more information about this group, including membership and responsibilities, refer to their Terms of Reference.

The governance group meet every quarter. Minutes are made available following each meeting

Operative Alliance

An Operative Alliance has been established. The Operative Alliance will provide operational guidance to this review. Alliance members include provider associations of the health care services the Ministry regulates, district health board partners, Standards New Zealand and consumers of these services. For more information about this group, including membership and responsibilities, refer to their Terms of Reference.

The Operative Alliance will meet at least every two months. Minutes are made available following each meeting.

Engagement approach

This review is planned over four key phases.

Diagram showing the standards review indicative timeline, starting in December 2018 and finishing December 2020. More detail below.

Phase 1: Initial sector consultation

The feedback from this phase reported the need to update the standards to reflect current practice and to meet changing models of health care. 

Phase 1 is complete.

Phase 2: Scoping workshops
May 2019 – August 2019

Scoping workshops are to be held throughout New Zealand to determine the breadth of change required to the standards. The workshops will primarily be organised around the service types the Ministry regulates as defined by the Act: hospital, rest home, residential disability services, and mental health services. The home and community sector has some crossover into these services and will be engaged with as well.

A nomination process, overseen by the Operative Alliance, is being implemented to support attendance to the scoping workshops. A wide range of stakeholders have been invited to submit nominations to attend these scoping workshops. This includes providers of services, consumer organisations, other government agencies and professional bodies. The output of each scoping workshop will be a report summary which outlines the recommendations made by workshop attendance. The reports will be submitted to the Operative Alliance for review. The reports will be available via this page at the end of August 2019.

Scoping workshop Nomination period Location Date
Fertility Services Standard Completed Wellington 16 April
DHB and private hospital overnight services, hospices and birthing units Completed Wellington 20 May
Residential mental health & addictions service Completed Wellington 31 May
Aged residential care service Completed Christchurch 31 July
Residential disability services Completed Auckland 6 August
Aged residential care service Completed Hamilton 9 August
Home and Community Support Services - new 12 July-26 July Wellington 12 August

Engagement with consumers

Consumers will be a part of every scoping workshop. In addition to this, we are scoping workshops dedicated for consumers in the residential mental health, addiction and disability services. We will update this page with additional information in July as this continues to develop.

The Ministry is working to build on the consumer engagement throughout this review by presenting at existing events where able. Let the Ministry know if you have an event you think would be useful to attend.

Phase 3: Working groups
August 2019 – March 2020

Following review of the report summaries from the scoping workshops, the Operative Alliance will establish working groups. The working groups will amend/draft standards based on the outcome of the Phase 2: scoping workshops. More detail on these groups, including their guiding principles, will be available in July.

Expressions of interest to join the working groups are currently being accepted by HealthCERT over the period 15 July – 15 August. Please email the Project Manager for more information on how to submit an expression of interest. Key meeting dates for the working groups are planned to take place from mid-September 2019 – mid-December 2019.

Participation in these groups will be determined by the Operative Alliance. Individuals or organisations will be notified of the outcome and dates for meetings no later than 23 August 2019. Working group participants will be asked to place a high priority on participation in the working group process and to make a good faith and best effort to attend all meetings.

Phase 4: Standards New Zealand
March 2020 – December 2020

The draft standards will be submitted to Standards New Zealand. Standards New Zealand has a legislated process to follow when developing standards.

A further opportunity for sector input to review any proposed changes to the standards, will occur in mid-2020.

How to stay informed

This page will be updated regularly with information about the review.

If you have additional queries, please contact Jade Cincotta, Project Manager, HealthCERT,

In this section

  • The governance group provides strategic oversight of the Health & Disability Services Standards and Fertility Services Standard Review. Read more
  • The Operative Alliance provides operational guidance to the Health & Disability Services Standards and Fertility Services Standard Review. Read more
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