Standards Review

The ACORN Standards review involves a rigorous, structured process managed by ACORN's Professional Standards Officer (PSO) and at the direction of the Standards Committee members

The PSO maintains and supports a dedicated Standards Advisory Team. SAT members are all volunteers and must be ACORN members. SAT members represent every perioperative nursing role and setting and include perioperative nursing staff, educators and academics.

When a Standard is targetted for development or review a small group of Standard-specific SAT members are convened into a specialised team based on their interest and expertise in the specific subject under review. Each Standard has one author and several co-authors each of whom has clearly defined individual responsibilities within the development or review process. Ideally, each team will have members who collectively represent a variety of stakeholder perspectives, have complimentary knowledge and skill sets and are committed to progressing the standard development or review according to agreed timelines and milestones.

Historically ACORN standards have benefiited from input from academics, clinicians, educators, managers, researchers and managers. From time-to-time colleagues and peers from other professional, academic and commercial organisations have also contributed to the development and review process.  

All contributors to the ACORN Standards must declare any conflicts of interest that may impact their decision-making. ACORN will make every effort to exclude input from conflicted parties. All SAT members are also required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Each year ACORN calls for expressions of interest through email, this website and social media platform from members interested in joining the SAT. The 2019 SAT recruitment is now closed and fifty-seven 2019 SAT members are currently preparing content for the next edition of the ACORN Standards. Further detail on the Standards review is available below.

The ACORN Standards Committee is in the final stages of preparing the 'Documentation and patient information management' for approval by the ACORN Board of Directors. Once approved the standard will be released electronically.

The 2019 Standards Advisory Team is currently working on the following six standards for inclusion in the 16th edition:

Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)

Requirements for patients colonised or infected with multi-resistant organisms (MROs)

Mental health, wellbeing and safety by eliminating bullying, discrimination and harassment (Wellbeing)

Managing sensitivity to Chlorhexidine or natural rubber latex (CHG & NRL)

Preparing, implementing and monitoring the perioperative budget (Budgeting)

Staffing principles and requirements (Staffing)

May 2018

The 15th edition of Standards for Perioperative Nursing in Australia was released with three newly revised standards, one new standard and one new guideline. 

Revised standards:

  • Instrument nurse role
  • Risk management
  • Safe patient positioning in the perioperative environment.

New standard:

  • Management of hypothermia in the perioperative environment.

New guideline:

  • Management of clinical images in the perioperative environment.
  • The reference lists throughout this edition were also updated where key legislation or national standards have changed, e.g. standards from Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and Standards Australia.

October 2017

The revised position statement 'Single use items' was released in electronic format.

August 2017

The revised standard 'Preoperative patient skin antisepsis' was released in electronic format.

October 2016

The revised guideline 'Management of the Post Anaesthesia Care Unit' was released in electronic format.