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Background of the AICG

Most highly developed industrialised nations, including Australia and New Zealand, generally enjoy good health outcomes. People want to trust health service organisations and the professionals within them to provide safe and high-quality care. Adverse events, however, are still far too prevalent.

1 in 9 patients in Australian hospitals suffers a complication1.

These events aren’t just happening in hospitals; lapses in patient safety and quality care occur across all healthcare sectors, including primary care, aged care, disability and mental health.

Data from the acute sector on complications are more prevalent, which can lead us to believe this is just a hospital issue, however, a lack of data does not indicate a lack of safety and quality concerns; baseline data provided to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability indicated that since the NDIS rollout, potentially avoidable, treatable or preventable deaths made up half of all deaths reviewed in Queensland, with other states failing to systematically define or report on these metrics at all2.

Despite national standards and accreditation processes, patient safety and quality care lapses continue to plague our health system. In fact, almost every significant safety failure in recent decades happened in a health organisation that passed their accreditation with flying colours1

The obvious cost of these complications is consumer suffering, which has flow-on effects on their families, medical staff and even other consumers of care. There is also a major cost to care providers, both productively and financially.

Complications are costing $4 billion a year for public hospitals and more than $1 billion a year for private hospitals1.

Improvements in healthcare need not be limited to new, expensive technology development, or process development at an organisation level. Rather, care providers can improve the quality of their care by focusing on developing clinical governance skills at an individual health professional level. 

Better culture means better patient outcomes.

The Australasian Institute of Clinical Governance (AICG) was formed in direct response to an identified need for health professionals to strengthen their skills in clinical governance to reduce the occurrence of adverse events. The decision was influenced by a number of reports, most recently the Victorian Government reports:

  • Targeting Zero, a review of hospital safety and quality assurance in Victoria (October 2016, Duckett S., Cuddihy M., Newnham H.) and,
  • Safer care saves money: How to improve patient care and save public money at the same time. (2018, Duckett, S., Jorm, C., Moran, G., and Parsonage, H. (April 2018)

As such, we are committed to improving patient safety and quality care across all sectors through health professional development and education programs in clinical governance competencies.


The AICG has developed a clinical governance framework, based on a review of national and international clinical governance frameworks, to underpin our curriculum and focus our activities. It is around this framework that we built our flagship Certificate course in clinical governance and our online supplementary courses.

Continuos Improvement diagram

1. Duckett, S., Jorm, C., Moran, G., and Parsonage, H. (2018). Safer care saves money: How to improve patient care and save public money at the same time. Grattan Institute.

2. https://www.ndiscommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020-02/findingsreview-deaths-people-disability1.pdf

The AICG Certificate course is suitable for all healthcare professionals and offers education on three key areas for improving safety and quality care; clinical governance, leadership and culture and collaboration.

read more about our certificate course