The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council has launched a free online application today that supports providers to establish a baseline understanding of their workforce so they can lay a foundation for a sustainable plan for the future.

The Workforce Planning Tool, which has been designed with and for Australia’s residential and home aged care providers, is being launched during an online event at midday today.

Aged Care Workforce Industry Council CEO Louise O’Neill said the tool was designed for aged care staff responsible for workforce planning, such as human resources or workforce activity planners.

Louise O’Neill

“We believe it will be a game-changer for many aged care providers, especially small and medium-sized organisations,” Ms O’Neill told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“The tool assists you to understand your current workforce, mapped against the needs of the people you care for, and any gaps that you may have. Through simple visual aides, the tool makes those gaps easy to see and understand. When you’re ready, you can progress to thinking about the future.”

The easy-to-use tool can assist workforce planning across a range of scenarios. For example, increasing rates of dementia comes with in-built guidance, and is relevant to the whole sector.

“It moves at a pace that is practical and useful even in a busy and interrupted schedule. You can save your work as you go and return to the tool as many times as you like to update or adjust your data,” Ms O’Neill said.

Workforce planning is critical to ensuring older people continue to receive quality care and worker wellbeing remains a priority, she said.

The tool’s development aligns with strategic action 6 of the 2018 national aged care workforce strategy A Matter of Care. The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council was established in 2019 to oversee the implementation of the strategy’s 14 strategic actions.

To ensure the tool is fit for purpose, the council collaborated with aged care workers and managers responsible for workforce planning across aged care settings and will continue to do so in efforts to improve features and functionality, Ms O’Neill said.

“The development of the Workforce Planning Tool is a major investment on behalf of the aged care sector. It will support the sector to adopt more sustainable planning practices as we enter this period of significant reform.” 

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