A new unified accreditation scheme for Australian retirement villages and communities has been unveiled, which will independently certify the quality of a village’s services and operational processes.
The Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme (ARVAS) has been created jointly by the Property Council of Australia and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), two organisations that represent retirement village owners and operators around the country.
ARVAS, to be launched in June this year, will replace existing schemes run independently by the Property Council and LASA to form one national accreditation scheme, which will provide village residents and their families with assurance about the quality of their community.
ARVAS will be operated on the Property Council and LASA’s behalf by Quality Innovation Performance (QIP), an experienced not-for-profit provider of accreditation services to community organisations and primary, secondary and tertiary health care services.
Ben Myers, Executive Director – Retirement Living at the Property Council of Australia, said ARVAS had been developed over more than 12 months of extensive consultation with the industry and stakeholders, including current residents.
“We believe strongly that an independent accreditation process can play an integral role in ensuring high standards in operations of retirement villages, and to provide peace of mind to residents that their choice to live in a village is the right one,” Mr Myers said.
“ARVAS has been developed after extensive research and consultation, utilising previous resident surveys and conducting resident focus groups to determine the key indicators of satisfaction with village life.
“These key indicators are reflected in the new ARVAS standards, which have been designed in a way that supports village owners and operators and promotes continuous improvement.
“Essentially, the ARVAS standards also link directly to the recently released Retirement Living Code of Conduct, which completes a clear pathway to quality and accountability,” Mr Myers said.
Sean Rooney, Chief Executive Officer of LASA, said it was important to have a unified scheme that ensured a consistent standard of quality across the retirement village industry.
“The fact that this scheme has widespread support in the industry demonstrates the commitment of operators to provide high quality services to older Australians.
“Quality Innovation Performance has a strong track record for providing accreditation services to community organisations and health care services and is well placed to support the retirement village industry to provide the very best services for the community.”
Dr Stephen Clark, Chief Executive of the AGPAL Group of Companies which includes Quality Innovation Performance (QIP), expressed that he was pleased to be partnering with the Property Council and LASA as their preferred provider of accreditation services.
“QIP is looking forward to working with the Property Council and LASA to support retirement village managers and owners on their respective quality improvement journeys.
“ARVAS will assist village managers and owners to minimise the risk inherent in managing within an increasingly complex and compliance driven environment and support continuous quality improvement so residents have access to the best possible housing, facilities and village operations”, Dr Clark said.
The proposed ARVAS standards will be released for public comment in the coming weeks.