Committee set up to drive reform in aged care training

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A new aged care-specific body will be established to tackle longstanding vocational training issues in the sector, the Federal Government announced on Wednesday.

The Australian Industry Skills Committee will create an Aged Care Industry Reference Committee to review and drive changes to aged care training standards and outcomes.

(Read our backgrounder on the Australian Industry and Skills Committee here)

The Aged Care IRC will be responsible for updating the qualifications framework for the sector and identifying changing skill needs.

The quality and job-readiness of Certificate III and IV aged care graduates through the VET system has been a longstanding concern in the sector.

John Pollaers, who is chair of the AISC and the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce, said the taskforce was told there was “a clear case for change” in aged care training.

“We need to examine entry-level qualifications and career pathways, along with recognition of the full range of competencies required as we move toward living well models of care and recognise the benefits of integrated care,” Professor Pollaers said.

The AISC is currently seeking public comment on the proposed structure and membershipof the Aged Care IRC.

The proposed membership identifies 17 positions on the committee made up of employer, consumer, union and professional representatives.

AISC is proposing to include experts from a broad range of disciplines covering allied health, mental health, dementia, palliative care, nursing and medicine.

Consultation on the committee structure closes on 4 April. The AISC will then call for nominations to sit on the IRC and announce the final membership by midyear.

The IRC will be supported by technical advisory groups addressing issues such as diversity, rural and remote and indigenous aged care, said Professor Pollaers.

“The Aged Care IRC is a watershed opportunity that will help ensure the education and training system stays ahead of industry and community expectations and provides safe, quality care for all Australians,” Professor Pollaers said

The Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews and Professor John Pollaers jointly announced the creation of the new industry reference committee in a statement on Wednesday.


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