An aged care and property sector peak body have launched a new retirement village accreditation scheme this week for operators of retirement living communities that includes care service standards for the first time.
The Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme is co-owned by Leading Age Services Australia and the Property Council of Australia and operated by not-for-profit independent accreditation provider Quality Innovation Performance.
The scheme launched on Monday replaces Lifemark Village Scheme and the International Retirement Community Accreditation Scheme.
The national set of ARVAS standards have been designed to be supported by the Retirement Living Code of Conduct, which was launched in December last year (read more here).
LASA CEO Sean Rooney said care and personal services have been included in the retirement living sector’s accreditation standards for the first time.
“With more retirement villages either providing or facilitating the delivery of care-related services, it made sense to ensure our accreditation scheme reflected this evolution in the retirement living sector,” Mr Rooney said.
He said a diverse and experienced group of industry professions have been involved in extensively consulting the development of the new standards.
“The fact that this scheme has widespread support in the industry demonstrates the commitment of operators to provide high quality services to older Australians,” Mr Rooney said.
“We encourage the entire industry to take up the scheme,” he said.
The ARVAS standards were developed with the experience of the village resident in mind.
Property Council of Australia executive director of retirement living Ben Myers said ARVAS was designed to reflect current and future retirement village resident expectations.
“Through our research and consultation, residents told us they would value a scheme that evaluated their community on their ability to provide safety and security, the quality of their village manager and staff, and the clarity of the community entry and exit procedures,” Mr Myers said.
“ARVAS contains updated, modern standards relating to each of these, and residents can be confident that an ARVAS-accredited community delivers on its promise,” Mr Myers said.
Quality Innovation Performance chief executive Dr Stephen Clark said QIP was looking forward to supporting retirement villages to achieve ARVAS accreditation.
“ARVAS accreditation will demonstrate that participating villages are meeting national industry standards, providing safe and quality living environments for residents, while working towards meeting relevant state or territory legislation,” Dr Clark said.
Currently Lifemark or IRCAS accreditation will be honoured under the new scheme until it expires. Operators will then need to apply through ARVAS for re-accreditation.
Retirement village operators can register for accreditation and find out more here.
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