We are a not-for-profit, industry-led council responsible for coordinating, monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the 14 strategic actions set out in Australia’s aged care workforce strategy, A Matter of Care. We work closely with aged care providers, workforce and consumer representatives as well as government to drive implementation of the strategy.
Aged Care Workforce Industry Council
The Council was created to enable strategic leadership across the aged care sector, in order to lead the implementation of A Matter of Care, and thereby transform the aged care workforce. The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council is the first leadership group of its kind in Australia’s aged care sector.
The Council was established in May 2019.
Communities of Practice
Communities of practice (CoP) are established by a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic. A CoP is a dynamic event where key stakeholders come together to deepen and advance collaborative cultures and promote information sharing. The members come together in workshops, presentations and collaborative discussion to fulfill individual and group goals. Assuming that participants have the answers within themselves, a facilitator drives discussion, drawing out ideas and collating themes.
Communities of practice:
- connect people
- enable dialogue
- build trust
- share best practice
- capture and diffuse existing knowledge
- generate new knowledge
- introduce collaborative processes
- provide opportunities to share experiences
The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council is establishing communities of practice (CoPs) to support the implementation of various strategic actions outlined in Australia’s aged care workforce strategy, A Matter of Care. The CoPs will inform the tools and resources developed by the Council and will support the sector to embed continuous improvement activities. By working with industry through the CoPs, we aim to build an aged care sector with strong leadership, skills, and knowledge.
CoP members will have an opportunity to come together to contribute to the Council’s work program, and in doing so, share learnings that they can take back to their own workplaces. Participants will share best practices and contribute to the formulation of innovative solutions, as we work together to transform the aged care sector workforce.
The communities of practice will continue to grow and will examine a wide range of workforce reform topics over coming months and years. The first CoP, in November 2021, discussed the implementation of the Voluntary Industry Code of Practice.
The CoP is held via video conference.
To participate in the Voluntary Industry Code of Practice community of practice, pledge your support or commitment to the code.
To express your interest in participating in other, future Aged Care Workforce Industry Council CoPs, please email email@example.com.
Voluntary Industry Code of Practice
The code sets out how leaders intend to guide their organisations – and the industry – in delivering high quality care services that reflect the rights and needs of Australians as they age.
The code is an opportunity for the industry to demonstrate its commitment to continuous improvement. By pledging to the code, providers can show how their employees will be supported to deliver the type of care they want to deliver and the type of care the community expects.
The code illustrates how older people, their families and carers will benefit from the principles that underpin the code, setting the standard for the level of care they receive.
The code is not another layer of regulation. It is not an addition to the Aged Care Quality Standards. It is a mechanism for providers to instil the principles and expectations for how services are delivered.
The purpose of the code is to support providers and their staff to adopt a continuous quality improvement methodology for the services they deliver to older Australians.
It enables providers to benchmark their performance against each other in a transparent and productive manner. It also allows prospective and current employees, older Australians, their families and carers, to compare the market, enabling an informed choice for all.
For older Australians and their families, the code sets out the minimum standards they can expect from an aged care provider. It also identifies the measures in place to achieve quality, safe and personalised care.
For aged care workers, the code provides support for them to realise their full potential.
For aged care providers, the code is a mechanism to encourage continuous improvement.
- The code supports providers to deliver consumer-focused care.
- The code is designed to build public confidence in aged care organisations’ ability to provide high-quality care to older Australians.
- The code outlines the steps organisations and their employees can take to meet the needs of older Australians and build excellent aged care organisations.
- The code supports best practice and underpins the learning and expertise required to deliver outstanding care through real-time mechanisms.
- Develop a performance plan that unites all organisations to drive the delivery of high-quality care.
A voluntary code of practice aims to support the industry, including providers and employees, to improve their business practices and the levels of care delivered. It underpins their ability to continuously meet the regulatory obligations set out by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC).
The seven principles that form the basis the code, which providers voluntarily adopt and address in their plan each financial year, are intentional drivers for the industry to embed best practice and continue to ensure the delivery of high-quality care.
An effective voluntary code can provide greater protection for older Australians, their families and carers, reducing the regulatory burden for businesses.
The code applies to all employees and providers who pledge their support or commitment. It also supports older Australians, their families, and carers in being able to understand how each provider intends to improve their service offerings and their business, guided by the seven principles that underpin the code.
It does not apply to organisations who have not signed up to the code.
The code is applicable in all aged care settings. It covers everything from care in the community to residential care.
Follow the link to take the pledge, enter your details, and submit your pledge type.
- If you are a provider – take your leadership pledge.
- If you are an employee or an older Australian, a family member or carer – make your statement of support.
- If you are a provider not yet ready to sign up, or an organisation affiliated with the aged care industry – make your statement of support.
As an individual who has pledged their support to the code, if you move to a new role within the aged care industry, your pledge will follow you.
Your pledge will allow providers to understand the growing community support for the code and encourage providers to sign up. The more who sign up to the code, the more opportunity there is to positively change the aged care industry, driving improved quality outcomes for older people, their families and carers.
We encourage you to let your organisation’s management team know that you have pledged to the code and that you hope they can commit too. We also encourage you to contact us, so that we can offer support to your organisation to understand the benefits of pledging to the code.
The code of practice applies to the aged care industry. It does not extend to any industry outside of aged care. The code is not legally enforceable. We encourage the industry to respect the principles that underpin the code and to uphold the principles of the code.
Great to hear that you are already operating to this high standard! Why not shout about it? The code is a means to communicate the values and approach of your service to the public. It also enables providers to benchmark their performance against each other in a transparent and productive manner.
The code allows prospective and current employees, as well as older Australians, their families, and carers to compare the market, enabling an informed choice for all.
When an employee, older Australian, family member or carer deem they have seen something that goes against the Code principles, the recommended process is as follows:
- Raise the issue with your direct manager or your human resources manager.
Older Australians, their family members, or carers:
- Raise the issue with staff, or with the service provider’s management.
If you do not receive a satisfactory response to your concerns about the Code, contact the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council via VICOPfeedback@acwic.com.au.
If you have a concern or complaint regarding a service provider’s responsibility under the Aged Care Act 1997 that you have not been able to resolve by talking with your service provider, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission can support you with information and options to resolve your concern.
All government-funded aged care providers are required to comply with eight Aged Care Quality Standards. The standards reflect the level of care and services the community expects from aged care providers. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is responsible for assessing and monitoring government-funded aged care services against the quality standards.
The code is a voluntary and industry-led process to set out actions that will continue to improve aged care services more transparently.
As announced in the 2021-22 Budget, the star rating system will sit within My Aged Care and be founded on consumer views. National Consumer Experience reporting will be conducted through in-service face-to-face interviews of at least 10% of residential aged care recipients annually.
The code has a broader remit as it is applicable to providers and employees who have pledged or supported the code across the whole aged care industry, not just residential aged care. As the details of how the star rating system will be implemented become available, consideration will need to be given to the relationship to the code and this work.
The aged care Workforce Narrative is a comprehensive report based on over 109,000 survey responses from Australian aged care workers, collected from 2009 to 2019. The report is structured around 12 key insights into the aged care workforce. Along with the survey data, the report also includes references to relevant research, to provide a detailed picture of the aged care workforce and to assist aged care providers to apply the insights to their own situation.
The narrative supports the aged care sector to make evidence-led workforce planning decisions. It allows the aged care sector to develop an enhanced appreciation of key workforce issues as explained by workers themselves, and thereby build sustainable solutions to contemporary workforce issues. We hope that this resource will support aged care organisations and their management to deliver practical, industry-driven workforce improvements.
The narrative was developed as part of our response to strategic action 7, ‘Implementing new attraction and retention strategies for the workforce’. Many of the insights within the narrative are relevant to attraction and retention of the aged care workforce.
We will continue to work with BPA, and it is hoped, other data collections, to build on this narrative going forward.
We will continue to work with BPA, and it is hoped, other data collections, to build on this narrative going forward.
As an aged care worker, if you don’t already fill out a regular employee engagement survey, talk to your supervisor or management team.
As an aged care provider, if you would like to be included in the data we use for the narrative, please contact BPA Analytics to discuss your options.
Workforce planning tool
The interactive workforce planning tool simplifies how aged care organisations build and adjust their workforce to meet current and future demands. The tool looks at the mix of skills needed to build and sustain innovation through existing and emerging models of care. Additionally, the tool assists providers to identify core capabilities to enable specific care interventions, such as palliative services, according to demand. It is human-centred and sensitive to challenges aged care providers are facing in the sector today.
The tool enables aged care providers to create a strategic workforce plan so that they can effectively build their staffing models to provide holistic, human-centred and quality care to older people throughout Australia.
The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council worked with Portable‘s design and technology team to develop the tool. The tool has been co-designed with the aged care sector representatives who have experience in workforce planning, to ensure that it is fit for purpose.
During the early design phase, ACWIC held workshops with nine representatives from both the home care and residential sectors. These participants consisted of CEOs, workforce managers, people managers and strategic quality managers, and covered organisations that employed 200 to over 2000 personnel. Regional and metropolitan organisations participate with representation across most states and territories.
In addition, we sought feedback and input from Dementia Australia, the Aged Care Information Technology Council, the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, the Workforce Planning Institute, PwC and the Department of Health.
The workforce planning tool is available on this website via our Resource Hub. The tool works online through desktop Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Firefox web platforms. It is also configured for Safari and Chrome on mobile phones and tablets.
The tool is free to use.
The tool is aimed at small to medium providers of aged care.
It is relevant to providers delivering care in residential settings and the community, including the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
The tool is designed to lift the capability of providers to consider how better to use their current workforce and to plan for future gaps. It also provides resources and helpful materials to build users’ workforce planning capability.
Each account is linked to an email address. Users can create one account per email address. Organisations may require multiple accounts to plan their workforce services for their site(s).
The tool allows one user per email address. Multiple staff members can create accounts. We suggest if organisations have a shared inbox and would like to share the same data, they can use it as a shared account. Additionally, we suggest if users would prefer to use the tool for a single site they can create a single account to manage their workforce plan.
Users only have access to the data and information they enter into the tool through their account. The information entered into and stored in one account cannot be transferred to another.
The data that users provide won’t be used to assess or monitor their organisation’s performance. De-identified, aggregated data may be used by ACWIC to learn more about supply and demand trends in the aged care sector.
The data entered into the tool will be stored in Australia on a web-based service called Auth0. This is a secure hosting platform (you can read their security information here).
To enable users to create a secure account and verify their account we have used a cloud-based solution called AWS. The account login information will be stored in the United States on a secure hosting platform (you can read their security information here)
ACWIC will have access to de-identified, aggregated data when the threshold of ten users has been met.
The tool enables users to create a baseline understanding of their workforce, establish gaps, and overlay this data with the AN-ACC 200 minutes of care model. This will allow providers to benchmark their workforce gap analysis against their workforce capacity to understand how they can meet the 200 minutes benchmark.
The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council (ACWIC) has led the design and development of the tool, with co-design input from the Department of Health.
There are no requirements or mandates from the government requiring providers to use the tool.
The Workforce Planning Tool has been built in consultation with PwC and the Department of Health. It is complementary to the Workforce Advisory Service that PwC offers.
The Workforce Planning Tool allows users to enter their information and playback the insights in a meaningful way to build and adjust their workforce to meet current and future demands
PwC offers aged car providers support and help to improve the engagement and management of their workforce.
The tool will give users an analysis of their workforce gaps, model of care data and skills mix model. This data can be used to inform how organisations can successfully plan their workforce.
Users must work through all of the roles they have ticked as relevant to their organisation. They should see a dark pink view role summary call to action against each role, once users have completed each role details the view workforce summary will activate and allow users to view this data.
The tool is based on an organisation’s demand; it maps capacity and plays back workforce gaps data based on their model of care, while also understanding the organisation’s capability and mapping their skills mix model into a Sankey diagram. A Sankey diagram is a visualisation technique that allows the display of skills mapped from one service to another in order of priority.
As the tool data is specific to the organisation’s workforce and care needs, a workforce planner, scheduling manager, HR manager, or similar may be best placed to own the use of the tool for their organisation.
ACWIC staff will hold ‘lunch and learn’ sessions which will demonstrate how to use the tool and answer any questions users may have. Details of the sessions can be found here.
The tool captures role details and maps priority levels of skills required to deliver specific roles. It does not map specific training requirements.
It’s likely to take around an hour and a half to work through the tool and enter all relevant information.
The tool has been built to suit the needs of busy workforce planners. Users can save and leave the tool at any time and pick back up where they left off.
The tool uses the aggregate model of care needs for residents and/or in-home care recipients.
Yes. Once you have entered all the data required by the tool, you can create a report for printing or download. You can access the report from your account home page.
The Workforce Planning Tool is purpose-built for the aged care sector. It is built to meet the needs of a range of providers rather than a specific organisation.
To be able to see a forecast in the Dementia Care tab, you must enter your care recipients’ demand for dementia care in stage 2, and in stage 3 you must enter role details against dementia care skills.
The tool indicates that, ‘by 2027, an estimated 452,000 people aged 65 will be living with dementia in Australia (AIHW, 2021). This represents an approximate increase of 17% in dementia prevalence in the population eligible for aged care.’
Here are the steps we took to get to 17%:
- We calculated 5 years % increase, based on 2021 – 2026 projections, so that by the start of 2027 the estimated population over 65 living with dementia is 452,829 (rounded down to 450,000).
- We then calculated a % increase as (forward projection – current projection)/current projection *100% – so it’s the difference between 2026 and 2021 represented as a percentage of the current population.
- Rounded down the projection to the nearest % point.
The forecast trends modelled in the tool focus on dementia care and the nursing supply demand. Please email ACWICworkforceplanningtool@acwic.com.au
with suggestions for improvement for the next iteration of the tool.
In building our tool, PwC and the Department of Health have been consulted on the connection with the WAS. It is complementary to the Workforce Advisory Service (WAS) that PwC offers.
Our tool allows users to enter their information and playback the insights in a meaningful way to build and adjust their workforce to meet current and future demands.
The WAS aims to support aged care providers to improve the capability and capacity of their workforces and human resource management practices. The WAS also aligns with the broader Australian Government priorities to increase workforce skills and capabilities, especially in the aged care industry.