Leadership with a common purpose
Engagement work conducted by the Council reinforces that community, government and the industry are all motivated by a common desire – to create a better, more sustainable aged care system. Our research also highlights there is growing support for providing unrestricted, long-term support to networks that have the greatest community impact.
We remain mindful that in the midst of the significant challenges being faced in our industry, the Council must look beyond the horizon so that we can build on the social capital that already exists within our workforce and their communities.
The Council acknowledges the Royal Commission’s (Counsel Assisting) eleven proposed recommendations on aged care workforce, particularly Recommendation 11 which recommends the Australian Government should work in partnership with the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council…to implement the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce Report recommendations. We strongly support the need for united and visible leadership for the aged care workforce.
Successfully implementing A Matter of Care requires industry, government and the community to embed long-lasting cultural change – fundamentally this means inspiring people to act differently.
Investing in our people
In January we outlined the five strategic projects being undertaken in 2020 to create a baseline of success. In this communique we focus on two of these projects – instrumental in building and leveraging the sector’s social capital. These projects will also help to unite our industry leaders – so they may actively support a paid and volunteer aged care workforce that provides an invaluable social contribution, but are often invisible to many Australians.
Attached to this communique is a summary of the Council’s work program to 2023.
Voluntary Industry Code of Practice
The Code embodies the intent of A Matter of Care, and is able to unify providers across the industry. It represents the first tangible mechanism that brings providers together to collectively define their aspirational practices in order to move ahead of community expectations.
The Council and LASA, working together, have commenced a consultation process to ensure a strong co-design process with the Code expected to be launched by 30 June 2020. Adopting a single industry voluntary code will create for the first time, a unified industry voice.
An industry workforce study
Given the projected growth in demand for workers across the aged care sector, the Council notes the need for evidence-based, industry validated forecasts of skill demand. By giving the industry access to information and benchmarks on workplace culture, this provides a very powerful motivation to commit to practical and tangible improvements.
In-depth design work has commenced on data access through the development of industry benchmarks through a dynamic and interactive online capability.
Working with the Department of Health and Best Practice Australia, which holds the largest database of health, aged and community services employee responses in Australia, the study will provide a narrative that begins to define the cultural DNA of the sector. The first publication will be launched by 30 June 2020.
Transparency and Accountability
To further enhance the implementation of A Matter of Care, the Council will formalise relationships with the Remote Accord and the Aged Services IRC. We are keen to recognise the collaborative working relationships and reinforce the commitment of governance adopted by all parties.
The Council is focussed on appointing a permanent Independent Chair that is well respected across the Australian business community. The role provides a significant opportunity for a credentialed individual to drive social change into an industry where senior female leadership is essential – supporting a predominantly female workforce.
We are also strengthening our internal capability, and is currently head hunting an experienced CEO with proven transformational experience.
In particular we would like to thank the Department of Health for their continued support and advocacy of both the Council’s role and the importance of A Matter of Care. The Department’s support is evidenced through the Council being able to establish a dedicated business model with specialist capability, including a CEO.
Our five priority projects will see delivery of outcomes over the coming months. We will continue to update you through our monthly communique and through our website to be launched in the coming weeks.
Further, and as part of the April 2020 meeting, the Council will undertake a detailed review of its implementation of A Matter of Care – to see where changes need to be made and to reflect an evolving human care landscape.