ADNeT Memory and Cognition Clinic Guidelines

Memory and cognition clinics (MC Clinics) were introduced in Australia in the early 1980s to offer multidisciplinary and specialised assessment of dementia and cognitive decline. They are internationally recognised as the gold standard for comprehensive dementia assessment and are particularly recommended for people with a complex symptom presentation or a younger disease onset.

In consultation with researchers, health professionals, people with dementia and their care partners, we developed the first National Service Guidelines for MC Clinics. These Guidelines are based on the overarching principles of person-centred care, equity, and respect and provide consensus-based, best-service recommendations for MC Clinics. They identify standards for the assessment and post-diagnostic support and care that should be ideally provided by MC Clinics.

The Guidelines are intended for all medical specialists, nurses, aged care workers, and allied health professionals with expertise in dementia, who are regularly involved in the assessment and care of people with cognitive decline and dementia as part of a multidisciplinary, specialist team. It is also applicable to clinic managers and administrators.
The full set of Guidelines represent broad consensus on the ideal practices, and it is unlikely that every service would meet all of them. We categorised all recommendations to facilitate the implementation of these Guidelines into clinical practice. These recommendations were developed during the Delphi process of people with the lived experience of dementia and their care partners. The categories in the Guidelines are described below.

Recommendation Type


Strong Recommendation

These recommendations represent the fundamentals of a good Memory and Cognition Clinic. They achieved the highest level of agreement (>70% of responses were within the “high agreement” rating on the Likert scale) during the Delphi Process. It is expected that all Memory and Cognition Clinics would be able to meet these recommendations independent of their location and financial resources.


These recommendations represent criteria that further increase the quality of a Memory and Cognition Clinic. These recommendations achieved a moderate to high level of agreement (>70% of responses were between “medium” and “high agreement” ratings on the Likert Scale). It is expected that most Memory and Cognition Clinics would be able to meet these recommendations if sufficient resources were available.

Practice Point

These recommendations represent mostly aspirational criteria that might not apply to every Memory and Cognition Clinic or criteria that might not currently be feasible given the high variability in staffing and financial resources of MC Clinics across Australia.

ADNeT Memory and Cognition Clinic Guidelines

Available for Download


We would like to thank the multiple stakeholders who generously contributed their time, knowledge, and experience to the development of these Guidelines. Their input and feedback have been vital to ensuring the Guidelines are of the highest standards and take the interests of clinicians and people with dementia and their care partners into consideration.


The development, publication and dissemination of these Guidelines were funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council – Boosting Dementia Grant (APP1152623): The Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT), 2018, $18 million. ADNeT Memory Clinics received funding and support from this grant.

The views and interests of the funding body did not influence the content of these Guidelines.