Spot audits of rest homes have begun in a pilot project that will be rolled out nationally in January.
National promised in the run-up to the election to introduce spot audits and provide more information about rest homes, amid growing concern about instances of abuse and standards generally.
Health Minister Tony Ryall says a pilot project began on Thursday, run by the Ministry of Health and district health boards which will need to ensure the scheme works without adding more bureaucracy.
The ministry says summaries of rest home audits have been available on its website since the middle of the year.
Mr Ryall says there has been mounting concern about poor care in rest homes and more assurance is needed.