On 8th February 2021 the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council launched the Voluntary Industry Code of Practice. The Code is based on seven guiding principles for quality care and is intended to be a transformative tool for Australia’s aged care sector.
In the words of the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck : “Importantly, this Code of Practice tells Australians that the aged care sector has aspirations for excellence, and will hold itself accountable to the community.”
A voluntary industry code of practice was proposed to:
• enable the aged care industry to get ahead of consumer and community expectations, and
• demonstrate that the industry was taking responsibility for shifting mindsets from a compliance-based mentality to proactive industry-led commitment, accountability and improvement.
By 30 June 2021, signatories to the Code will need to be able to show how they plan to commit to and demonstrate progress against all seven principles.
The seven guiding principles of the Code are :
Principle 1. Consumer-led and community shared value. Consumers must be at the heart of care decisions and outcomes.
Principle 2. Living well and integrated models of care. Focus is on the consumer’s quality of life and realising their choice through holistic and integrated models of care.
Principle 3. Board governance. Strong governance underpins performance, mitigates risk and drives culture.
Principle 4. Best-practice sharing and industry benchmarking. Sharing lessons learnt and better practice supports continuous improvement and contributes to improved care and support for consumers.
Principle 5. Education and training, including workforce accreditation. Appropriately skilled and qualified staff deliver improved support and care for consumers.
Principle 6. Workforce planning. Holistic and innovative care practices and improved care outcomes require enhanced workforce planning.
Principle 7. Proactive assurance and continuous improvement. High performance is built on information, transparency and a culture of continuous improvement.
As of 10th February the following aged-care providers had pledged to commit to the Code : Australian Unity, Benetas, Glenview, Northside, Allity, Vital Home Health Services, Estia Health, Blue Cross, Coolibah Care, Hall & Prior, Uniting, Japara, Baptcare, Burnie Brae and Catholic Health Care.
The following aged-care providers had agreed to support the Code : Catholic Health Australia, Wellness, Uniting Care Australia, Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, ACSA and LASA.