The group reviewing national aged care skills and competency standards is seeking input on a series of discussion papers with the first launched this month.

The Aged Services Industry Reference Committee, which was established in October 2019 to deliver on certain elements of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy, launched its first of four discussion papers on 17 April.

An Evidence Based Discussion Paper on the Issue of Student Work Placement aims to build a picture of the experience individual workers gain during placements.

The IRC’s second paper ‘Re-imagined’ Age Care Workforce to be launched in the coming weeks aims to define the skills and knowledge an aged care worker needs to have based on current and predicted consumer needs to provide quality care now and in the future.

Marcus Riley

Aged Services IRC chair Marcus Riley is urging aged care industry stakeholders including providers, unions and consumer groups to read the papers and provide feedback.

“Input from the sector is critical to the proper design of training, competencies and pathways to deliver the workforce needed for the future,” Mr Riley told Australian Ageing Agenda.  

Mr Riley said the papers need stakeholder input to:

  • shape the content of future training and pathways
  • address the skills gaps of the aged care workforce and
  • resource the sector to properly provide for the needs of older Australians into the future.

The consultation aims to gather a wide industry perspective on the key issues, said Mr Riley, chief executive officer of Queensland aged care and  retirement living provider BallyCara.

This will help the committee draft qualifications and competencies from scratch, rather than using the current qualification structure as a starting point, he said.

The IRC has two more discussion papers coming in June including one on pathways and tertiary education.

It will focus on research relating to job clustering and look at ways of making it easier for learners and employees to transition through the higher education and vocational training sectors.

The final paper is covering nutrition and the mealtime experience and will investigate industry’s appetite for new training products specific to nutrition in aged care.

All four papers involve expert researchers to analyse industry data and background material, specialist writers and input from specific interest advisory committees.

Industry feedback will be collated to influence the drafting of training package products with awareness of associated pathways and access for current and future aged care workers, Mr Riley said.

This Industry Reference Committee is supported by SkillsIQ, a Skills Service Organisation funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Responses are required by Friday 15th May for the first paper.

Email responses to patrick.cummings@skillsiq.com.au

Access the papers here.

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