The Aged Services Industry Reference Committee is seeking feedback from providers on a proposed skill set to enable qualified chefs and cooks to quickly begin working in residential aged care kitchens.

The draft skill set has been developed by Australian Industry and Skills Committee Emergency Response Sub-Committee following a request from the Aged Services IRC in July.

The Residential Aged Care Cookery Skill Set targets qualified cooks and chefs with a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery or equivalent who are seeking additional skills to work in a residential aged care setting.

It utilises three existing units of competency to address knowledge and skill gaps they may encounter in a clinical setting such as preparing food to meet special dietary requirements, meal modifications, therapeutic diets and dietary guidelines for aged care residents.

The consultation is being run by skills service organisation SkillsIQ, which supports 19 Industry reference committees including the Aged Services IRC.

“We are seeking to hear from employers in the aged care sector – specifically those in residential aged care facilities, as this is where the cooks and chefs who would be training using this skill set would be employed,” a spokesperson for SkillsIQ told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“We need to hear their feedback on whether the additional skills and knowledge that a cook or chef from a hospitality background would gain from undertaking the skill set would be of value to their residential aged care facilities.”

Feedback considerations

When reviewing the proposed skill set, said aged care providers should consider whether:

  • the skills contained in the three units of competency around preparing meals are the type of skills they would find valuable for their cooks and chefs, many of whom may have trained in a hospitality environment, rather than an aged care environment
  • there are other skills that they see as being essential for a cook or chef to commence work in an aged care facility
  • this would be useful for their existing kitchen cookery staff to upskill.

The consultation closes on Monday 24 August.

The feedback will be collated by SkillsIQ and evaluated by the Aged Services IRC to inform the final version of the new skill set, which will be submitted to the AISC Sub-Committee for approval.

The sub-committee, which was formed in April 2020, aims to fast track national training products to respond to areas of critical need as a result of COVID-19 and longer term critical skills needs.

View the proposed Residential Aged Care Cookery Skill Set and provide feedback here.

Maggie Beer

Aged care food, nutrition survey opens

The Maggie Beer Foundation is also seeking aged care provider input on survey on food, nutrition and the dining experience in residential aged care.

The survey has been developed in preparation for a national congress the Maggie Beer Foundation is holding in partnership with the Department of Health that aims to identify innovative options to improve the food experience for residents.

The survey, which closes on 11 September, will inform a comprehensive review and discussions at congress. Access the survey here.

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