By Natasha Egan
Completion of the initial phase of a project aiming to create a leadership framework and management strategies for the aged care sector based on best practice has already resulted in positve steps forward for the sector, says an industry leader involved in the project.
The Aged Care Leadership for Change project, jointly led by Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) in collaboration with all aged care stakeholders, is charged with creating a momentum for leadership development across the sector.
The initial phase of consultation was completed late last year and involved workshop sessions in metropolitan and rural locations across Australia.
Having an industry wide collaboration between LASA and ACSA is the first major achievement because leadership development is such a significant issue for the entire industry, said LASA CEO Gerard Mansour.
“The second [achievement] is to have consulted so widely across Australia, in various sectors and sub sectors, regarding the development of a leadership framework,” Mr Mansour said.
“While the ‘pointy end’ of the project is yet to come, the ground work has progressed both on time and to a very good quality.”
Leading Age Services Australia CEO Gerard Mansour
In addition to leadership and management strategies, expected project outcomes include greater investment in leadership development and capacity building as well as longer term succession planning, Mr Mansour said.
“If we can get the framework right, we will identify both generic leadership skills and expertise which is specific to the needs of our industry.”
The project is important because a robust and flexible leadership framework, that is transferrable across the industry, will support leadership development in organizations, Mr Mansour said.
“In the end, the winners will be our staff in the industry and the older Australians we serve.”
The next phase of the project will be kicking off in early 2013.
It will involve developing a leadership framework applicable to aged and community care organisations.
“Our aim is that this leadership framework can also contribute to recruitment and retention, induction, professional development and succession planning,” Mr Mansour said.
Aged Care Leadership for Change is one of four sub-projects within the $12 million Aged Care Innovation Project, which is a collaborative partnership between peak bodies, unions, the skills council and the commonwealth government.
The two-year program, which was brokered by the Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC), aims to help the aged care sector address evolving workforce needs through regionally targeted projects.
It is co-funded by industry and the government through the National Workforce Development Fund.
While each sub-project is led by one of the strategic partnering organisations they are operated collaboratively.
The Aged Care Advisory Service aspect is being led by CS&HISC and aims to develop a network of localised experts to advise organisations on workforce development strategies that will assist with implementing aged care reforms.
Nursing Pathways is being run by the Australian Nursing Federation. This project aims to improve nursing pathways for educational and career progression from entry level through to degree level.
Securing Workforce Sustainability for Successful Reform is led by United Voice. It will provide a comprehensive analysis about changes to the roles of personal carers and community care workers of the future corresponding to the move toward person-centred and consumer-directed care models.
For more information on these projects, including achievements to date and phases to come, see the January/February edition of Australian Ageing Agenda due out this month.
Aged Care Innovation project strategic partners
- Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council
- Aged Community Services Australia
- Leading Aged Services Australia
- Australian Nursing Federation
- United Voice
- Health Workforce Australia
- The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
- The Department of Health and Ageing