Work has commenced to progress the strategic actions of the aged care workforce strategy and disrupt the status quo, the workforce industry council has announced.
The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council is working to prioritise and progress the 14 strategic actions of Australia’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy developed by Professor John Pollaers and the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce in 2018.
The council is made up of industry leaders representing providers, workers and consumers and aims to provide the leadership required to accelerate implementation of the strategic actions and the workforce’s transition to new standards.
Aged Care Workforce Industry Council interim chair Ian Hardy said the council has clearly cemented its intent to drive structural change across the industry through a number of important foundational steps.
The council has commenced work on reframing the qualifications and skills framework (action 3) and defining new pathways including how the workforce is accredited (action 4) in collaboration with the Aged Services Industry Reference Committee, he said.
“The unique mix of people around the table have a sense of purpose and urgency to follow through on the workforce strategy,” said Mr Hardy, the former CEO of South Australian aged care provider Helping Hand.
The mix of exceptional people on the council will be looking to disrupt the status quo and drive industry wide transformational change, he said.
“We will work from the insightful and innovative analysis provided by the taskforce report and build a platform to develop a renewed workforce capable of meeting new aged care horizons.”
The council will soon collaborate with the Department of Health on establishing an Aged Care Centre for Growth Translation and Research (action 12), Mr Hardy said.
The council was established on 17 May, following a January 2019 commitment from the aged care peaks to set up the leadership group to oversee the implementation of the workforce strategy in and deliver on action 14 of the strategy.
Other actions underway include the Remote Accord Leadership Group (action 11), which was established in April to find ways to sustain, support and expand the aged care workforce in remote and very remote communities.
On implementing the transformation needed, Mr Hardy said the new Aged Care Quality Standards provided a perfect vehicle for change.
“The workforce strategy deals with issues highly material to achieving the performance expected of aged care organisations under the new standards,” he said.
“This first root and branch change to the standards in over 20 years, enables a shift in best practice and the opportunity of meeting community expectations well beyond just a compliance mentality.”
The council members consist of:
- Ian Hardy
- Kevin McCoy, Australian Unity (deputy chair)
- Melissa Coad, United Voice
- Graham Dangerfield, Baptcare
- Sandra Hills, Benetas
- Ross Johnston, Regis (Guild Chair)
- David Maher, Catholic Healthcare
- John McCallum, National Seniors Australia
- Lucy O’Flaherty, Glenview Community Services
- Graeme Prior, Hall and Prior
- Cathy Thomas, BlueCare (Part of Uniting Care Australia)
- Ian Thorley, Estia Health
More information on the strategy and a pdf of the taskforce’s final report A Matter of Care is available here.
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