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Launching Communities of Practice to drive quality improvement

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The Council is progressing implementation of the Strategic Actions outlined within Australia’s aged care workforce strategy ‘A Matter of Care’. This Communique outlines key plans to support the implementation of Strategic Action 2 – the Voluntary Industry Code of Practice (VICOP or ‘the Code’) and Strategic Action 5 – Quality Improvement.

Raising the bar – Bringing aged care providers together to drive sector improvement

The aged care sector continues to respond to ongoing reforms while delivering care to older people in the community and in residential care. The VICOP is designed to support providers to continually improve – to set the bar higher, to provide better services to older Australians than the day before. The voluntary nature of the Code is powerful because this is the sector taking the lead and ‘raising the bar’ themselves. The Code provides a vehicle for the sector to continuously improve in a competitive and transparent environment. Through industry benchmarking it will drive providers to lead and own quality improvement, which will result in enhancements and increased maturity across the sector in the quality of care delivered, governance, clinical indicators and greater satisfaction of employees and older Australians receiving care. The Code places older Australians receiving care, their families, and carers at its heart. Providers who have pledged to the Code are currently developing implementation plans that outline which of the seven principles they will aim to meet and how they will get there.

Implementing communities of practice

A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals. Communities of practice focus on sharing best practice and creating new knowledge to advance a domain of professional practice. Ongoing interaction is an important part of this. The Council will shortly establish its first communities of practice to support providers to share with and learn from others as they implement the VICOP.

The communities of practice will operate around the three following principles:

  • Interest: A shared interest in aged care – creating a common ground which inspires
    members to participate and share learning.
  • Community: Members pursue improving services through joint activities, discussions,
    problem-solving opportunities, information sharing and relationship building. The
    community creates a social fabric to enable collective learning, interaction and a willingness to share ideas.
  • Practice: Members build a shared repertoire of resources and ideas that they take back to
    their workplace. All frameworks, tools, ideas, stories and documents are part of the practice, and are used to get work done

Invitations will be distributed to organisations who have pledged to the Code shortly. To pledge to the VICOP and join a community of practice, please sign up at our website. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Council via contact@acwic.com.au. The Council’s next Board meeting will take place on 2 September 2021

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