Katrina Ong
NED- Local Guardians, Partner – Pride Living Group


Katrina has substantial experience in clinical practice within aged care and has worked to transform the way in which consumer care is delivered in aged care services. She has extensive experience in aged care services in supporting providers, large and small, to develop effective quality management systems as well as to ensure their systems respond to the Aged Care Quality Standards.

Katrina has worked ‘hands-on’ in the aged care industry and offers an authentic understanding of the challenges providers face in delivering exceptional resident care in an ever more complex and consumer-driven environment.

Katrina is currently a Non- Executive director at Local Guardians and a Director at the Pride Living Group leading the Quality Management and Clinical Governance services of the advisory firm.

Katrina is a Registered Nurse and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.




Directors must “trust but verify”, especially when it comes to Clinical Governance

While it is appropriate to have faith in the good intentions of others, ultimately directors have an obligation to be assured the organisation has a low risk of quality/clinical failure. I believe this requires independent attestation through an external quality audit.

Every organisation accepts the principle of trust but verify from a financial perspective and this is achieved through an independent audit. The same principle should apply to quality, as the impact of a failure in the system is severe to the organisation and consumers. At its worst, it can lead to untimely death and the failure of the organisation.
In this presentation, I will bring my experience as a clinical Non-Executive Director and auditor to the issue of external quality assurance audits, how to structure these, when to do them and how to report findings. Where Boards have an Internal Audit program, these audits will be part of that process. Where they do not have an Internal Audit program, I will provide guidance on how to structure an Internal Audit quality/clinical program.

Many organisations rely on quality assessments and monitoring visits from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Given the impact of a failure of a compliance visit, this is not a risk management strategy and represents poor governance.

The presentation will cover and distinguish between the following functions:
1. Clinical policies and procedures
2. Work practices
3. Clinical governance committees (operational) charter and functions
4. Internal Audit of clinical governance charter, functions, and reporting

As an auditor, I developed a sound understanding of compliance risks and was accustomed to briefing executives and boards on these risks. Following my appointment as a Non-Executive Director within an aged care provider gave me a fresh perspective on exactly what it means to trust but verify.

Key Takeaways from this session will include:

• Navigating Regulatory Shifts: Gain insights into the dynamic regulatory landscape, delve into the latest year’s shifts in ACQSC activity, and grasp the director’s anticipations.

• Demonstrate through case studies how external quality audits reduce risk and improve the demonstration of quality standards and outcomes.

• Demonstrate how external quality audits complement the work of Clinical Governance committees.

• For the non-clinical NED who is tired of receiving board packs 200 pages long? This session will provide a non-clinicians guide to comprehending clinical indicators and external quality/clinical audits.