The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has been hosting education events around the country and has a range of in-depth resources online ahead of the introduction of the new quality standards on 1 July 2019.

But will these training resources be enough?

HelloCare has become aware that some providers are having trouble accessing the Quality and Safety Commission’s education resources ahead of the introduction of the new standards, particularly for the face-to-face events.

Sally Jones*, an education officer at a small operator, told HelloCare her organisation has had difficulty accessing training courses, and they have had to travel long distances to attend the ones they have been able to get into.

Only seven of the 20 staff who need to attend courses have been able to get in. Ms Jones also noted the $220 cost of the course.

She was also disappointed when, at a training course she attended, attendees were asked to hand back the photocopied handouts they were given and no refreshments were served.

Though the Commission was helpful when Ms Jones contacted them, and they are assisting her access courses as they become available, she wondered how other operators that may have fewer resources were accessing training ahead of the introduction of the new standards.

Ms Jones said it was difficult for her to find out what help was available, and she said a preferable idea than everyone having to individually search themselves online would be for the Quality Commission to inform everyone via email or mail of the education resources available to them.

Education a key role of the Quality Commission

Education is one of the key functions of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

A statement from the Commission to HelloCare stated that education about the introduction of the new standards is a “key focus” of their information and education activities at the moment.

The Commission also said it has been “working hard” to provide enough face-to-face training, as well as other resources, about the new standards.

45 additional ‘Preparing for the new standards’ events scheduled

The Better Practice series – ‘Preparing for the new Standards’ events – commenced in February 2019, and had more than 900 participants in total attending one-day events in Adelaide, Brisbane, Campbell Town, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

A two-day Better Practice event is also scheduled in Darwin in May, the Commission said.

“This event will be targeted specifically towards rural and remote aged care services, and services are being contacted directly to register for this event,” the statement said.

Due to strong demand, the Commission is preparing an additional 45 ‘Preparing for the new Standards’ half-day workshops to help providers with the transition to the new standards.

The workshops will commence in early April, and up to 1,000 participants from Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria and Tasmania are expected to attend, the statement said.

Information on the workshops can be found here.

Additional workshops may also be scheduled, particularly in regional and remote areas, based on demand, the Commission told HelloCare.

‘Getting to know the Standards’ events held last year

The Commission also noted it held ‘Getting to know the Standards’ events between September and December 2018. More than 151 of these sessions were held in 100 locations around Australia, and 3,700 aged care representatives attended from more than 1,200 operators.

Operators urged to look online for more resources

The Commission said it “encourages” aged care services to access information and resources on the Commission’s website to help with internal training for staff.

“As a starting point, we suggest services refer to the chatterbox resource and the Qassist module ‘Getting to know the Standards for aged care staff’,” the Commission noted.

The following resources are available on the Commission’s website:

  • Standards guidance materials and resources;
  • the self-assessment guide and tool;
  • a poster promoting the guidance materials;
  • consumer resources;
  • the chatterbox game and
  • the ‘Preparing for the Standards’ video.

“These resources are designed to assist services to engage with the new Standards and to have conversations about what the new Standards mean in practice.

“Aged care services are also encouraged to undertake a self-assessment against the new Standards using the guide and tool available on the Commission’s website,” they said.

Providers expected to proactively seek the information they need

The Quality Commission said it has been involved in “extensive consultation” with the aged care sector for at least the last 18 months.

“The introduction of the new Standards from 1 July 2019 has been widely publicised, and it is expected that all providers receiving Commonwealth funding will proactively seek out relevant information to assist them in ensuring their compliance with the new Standards,” their statement said.  

“The Commission is continuing to develop additional resources to support the sector with the transition to the new Standards.”

Details of new resources and workshops will be made available on the Commission’s website – www.agedcarequality.gov.au.

Operators can also subscribe to the Aged Care Quality Bulletin on the website, through which they can receive updates about new resources and workshops.

To find out more information about accessing resources and workshops, you can email the Commission directly at – education@agedcarequality.gov.au.

* Name has been changed.

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