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The Code

The Aged Care Voluntary Industry Code of Practice is designed for providers to continually set the bar higher – so that each day they can aspire to provider better services to older Australians than they did the day before. It is a Code that places ageing Australians, their families, carers and advocates at its heart so that aged care organisations and their workers are inspired to provide continuously improved and innovative, high quality care and supports.

The Aged Care Voluntary Industry Code of Practice brings together the aged care industry under a single code of practice.

This has never been achieved before.

We encourage providers to pledge their commitment to the Code and for consumers, workers and their organisations to state their support for the Code.

The Code sets out how Industry leaders intend to guide their organisations – and the sector – in delivering care services that reflect the rights and needs of Australians as they age.

The Code’s aim is to help ‘good’ providers to become ‘great’ and ‘great’ providers to become ‘world class’.

The Code is an industry-led set of Principles with their own embedded outcomes that allow industry self-regulation through transparent performance reporting. The Code provides guidance on how to do this. And as more and more organisations and workers sign up to the Code there will be more and more peers to support one another.

The Code provides an opportunity for providers of aged care services aim to perform beyond the expectations of the communities they serve and the consumers for whom they are accountable. It provides for workers in aged care to realise this level of performance. It enables older Australians, their families, carers and advocates, who access and engage with aged care services to know that the measures and activities put in place aim to achieve quality, safe and personalised aged care services and supports.

The Council is proud of the sector’s engagement on this important initiative. The sector has invested considerable time and commitment to get the Code right. Considerable work still needs to be done over the coming eight months to refine the processes associated with the Code. The Council will be undertaking extensive consultations with the sector to finalise this by 30 June 2021.

The Code is designed to continually improve and evolve over time, reflecting changing community expectations, laws and regulations. The Council in consultation with consumers, industry and workforce, will review the impact of the Code annually to ensure continuous improvement. We will work with industry, consumers, workforce and government to understand the effect the Code is having in raising industry benchmarks for care and service delivery, and adapt the Code to continue to inspire providers in their goal to achieve higher levels of care and service across the industry.

Join 81 providers who have already pledged their commitment to the code.

We have taken the Pledge committing to the Code:

                                                                

 

We support the Code:

                                 

 

What Next?

The Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Senator the Honourable Richard Colbeck, has agreed to launch the Code with the Council and sector leaders. This will take place as a virtual launch at 10am on 5 February 2020.The launch will be promoted through the Council website and via direct communication from Leading Aged Service Australia (LASA).

The Council notes that whilst all provider peak organisations and faith-based groups have expressed support for the Code there are areas of its supporting documents and governance processes that will be developed further during the first half of this year. The Council also acknowledges that not all parts of the aged care sector have expressed support for the Code as it currently stands. The Council will work closely across stakeholders to enlist support through better engagement about in the development of the Code.

Transition plan examples will be published by 29 January 2021. The purpose of these examples is to illustrate how different types of organisations might commit to the seven principles of the Code. The published examples will show that the Code can be adapted to a range of organisations. They have been tailored for small and large service providers to account for differing resources and implementation capacities.

To preserve the integrity of the process of industry-led improvement, it is important that organisations ensure the goals that they set for themselves are achievable so each year they can stretch further against all or some of the principles. Organisations can focus on certain principles in a staged process over time to ensure that all areas are adapted and improved. Organisations should be clear in their plan about which principles are being addressed in a given year and how they intend to address them. Where an organisation defers effort on a particular principle they must set out why, when and how it will be addressed in the future.

Consultations

The Council will lead close consultations across the breadth of aged care sector stakeholders.

This will include consumer, workforce and provider organisations and their memberships where possible.

From January 2021, we will undertake these consultations to refine and finalise the Code’s governance processes and supporting documentation. The key issues stakeholders have raised with us are included as central topics for these consultations.

Stage 1 Consultations:

Our first priority (January to May 2021) is to develop consensus on agreed guidance on the process for governing the Code– so that providers can have certainty as to the process involved.

This will require reaching agreement on:

  • A defined assessment, monitoring and review process.
  • A clear articulation of how the Code interacts with other Codes.
  • Shared understanding on how Council will interact with ACCC and AQSC in management of the Code.
  • Badging of the Code
  • A fair and transparent process for managing complaints.
  • A step-by-step process defining the process for providers who fail to meet the Code principles.
  • A fair and transparent process for managing complaints.
  • How the Code will work for workers outside the Act.
  • The role for peaks and other sector representative organisations, if appropriate.
  • How the Remote Accord can best assist remote providers in Code-related work.

Stage 2 Consultations:

Our second priority (May-June 2021) is to gain agreement on strategic issues, all of which are also being advanced through the Council’s work on strategic actions.

  • How do we keep the focus on driving best practice rather than compliance?
  • How do we incorporate consumer and worker voices effectively in the implementation of Code principles?
  • How do we create organisation cultures that encourage honest feedback?
  • What does good governance for a board look like?