National Palliative Care Standards

National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professionals and Aged Care Services

The National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professional and Aged Care Services has been developed to complement the National Palliative Care Standards (NCPS) 5th edition 2018, with the aim of supporting better experiences and outcomes for people receiving generalist palliative care.

These Standards are intended to guide health providers to deliver high-quality palliative care in a wide range of settings (in services outside of specialist palliative care services).


National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professionals and Aged Care Services: for professionals not working in Specialist Palliative Care


National Palliative Care Standards for All Health Professionals and Aged Care Services Factsheet

National Palliative Care Standards 5th Edition for Specialist Palliative Care Services

The National Palliative Care Standards (the Standards) clearly articulate and promote a vision for compassionate and appropriate specialist palliative care. The Standards recognise the importance of care that is person-centred and age-appropriate.

In particular they point to the requirement for specific attention to the needs of people who may be especially vulnerable or at risk. This may include, but is not limited to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; asylum seekers; people who have experienced torture and trauma; people who are experiencing homelessness; people living with mental illness, intellectual disabilities or dementia; paediatric populations; people with unique clinical needs; people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, of transgender experience and people with intersex characteristics (LGBTI), people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, or those experiencing other forms of social or economic disadvantage.


National Palliative Care Standards 5th Edition for Specialist Palliative Care Services


National Palliative Care Standards Factsheet for specialists

Palliative Care Self-Assessment (PaCSA)

The Palliative Care Self-Assessment (PaCSA) provides services with a set of nine individual checklists to self-assess against the nine National Palliative Care Standards (5th ed.), mapped against the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (2nd ed.), which enables services to create an action plan for quality improvement.

Services are supported in this process through access to quality improvement tools for patient and family/carer surveys, documentation audit tools, evidence gathering information, and links to evidence-based resources in palliative care, quality improvement, and service development.

These Standards set out to articulate and promote a vision for compassionate and appropriate palliative care.  Health service organisations that are working towards meeting the actions in these Standards may also be contributing to related actions in the NSQHS Standards.

The NSQHS Standards aim to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health service provision. The NSQHS Standards (2nd edn) Actions 5.15 to 5.20a overtly focus on ‘end-of-life’ care. There are also a range of other actions that are relevant to the delivery of holistic and person-centred comprehensive care that includes palliative care. While not always equivalent, mapping has been undertaken and links between the two sets of Standards are outlined below each Element of the PaCSA checklists.

The nine PaCSA checklists can be downloaded via this webpage for self-paced self-assessment using the resources, videos and tools provided.

Download PaCSA checklists