Other Projects & Case Studies

Residential Aged Care Cookery Skill Set

The AISC Emergency Response Sub-Committee has approved a project to develop a Skill Set to equip qualified cooks and Chefs with the additional skills to work in a Residential Aged Care setting.
The AISC Emergency Response Sub-Committee has approved a project to develop a Skill Set to equip qualified cooks and Chefs with the additional skills to work in a Residential Aged Care setting.

Project Background

In April 2020, the AISC formed an Emergency Response Sub-Committee (the AISC Sub-Committee) to enable fast tracked adjustments and training package products specifically to respond to areas of critical workforce and skills needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scope of the sub-committee was extended by Skills Ministers on 15 May 2020 to enable it to continue its role in fast tracking national training products to meet longer term critical skills needs beyond the COVID-19 health crisis period to support economic recovery.

The sub-committee agreed at its meeting on 2 July 2020 to focus its efforts on supporting achievement of the following objectives:

  • supporting displaced workers and those at risk of displacement to urgently obtain the necessary skills to take advantage of opportunities that exist in the labour market, either through existing training products or the rapid creation of new products where required
  • supporting urgent and unmet skills needs of businesses as they seek to adjust to the significantly altered economic environment and transition to new opportunities, particularly in industries undergoing significant structural change as a result of COVID-19. 
  • The sub-committee also agreed these objectives should be achieved through the creation of short courses or skill sets wherever possible.

    In July 2020 the Aged Services IRC put forward a proposal to develop a Skill Set to equip qualified cooks and Chefs with the additional skills to work in a Residential Aged Care setting. This proposal was approved by the AISC Sub-Committee and is now being progressed by the IRC. 

    Project Governance

    This project is being overseen by the Aged Services IRC. Membership of the IRC may be seen below:

    Project Status - Submitted for Approval

    The Aged Services IRC has developed a new Residential Aged Care Cookery Skill Set targeted at qualified Chefs to enable them to work in Residential Aged Care kitchens.

    The Skill Set utilises existing units of competency to address the skills and knowledge gaps that a qualified chef with a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery would encounter in working in a clinical setting, such as preparing food to meet special dietary requirements, modification of meals to meet individual requirements, implementation of therapeutic diets and meeting recommended dietary guidelines in food preparation for an aged care client cohort.

    The proposed product is an opportunity to provide additional skills for qualified chefs to move quickly into the aged care sector in the short-term.

    Historically due to the documented shortage of Chefs across the workforce in hospitality, Residential Aged Care providers have not been able to readily employ qualified Chefs. There is significant evidence from the Royal Commission into Aged Care, the Aged Care Workforce Taskforce report: A Matter of Care, media reports, consumer groups such as Council on the Ageing (COTA), and advocacy groups such as The Lantern Project and the Maggie Beer Foundation that the current state of nutrition and mealtime experience in aged care is very poor. Hence the development of this Skill Set provides the opportunity to attract skilled Chefs into the sector given the depressed state of the hospitality industry. At the same time, augmenting the cookery training of Chefs via this Skill Set will enable Residential Aged Care providers to employ qualified Chefs, confident that the key issues and risks of working in this capacity in Residential Aged Care would have been addressed.

    Encouragement of Chefs to work in this setting is also expected to add value to Residential Aged Care kitchens as these Chefs bring the discipline of their scope of practice from their hospitality environment, such as presentation, service, menu planning and costing.
       

    Project Timings

    National consultation for the proposed new Skill Set was open from 17 – 24 August 2020. During this period input was sought on the units comprising the Skill Set and their appropriateness in enabling the target group to achieve the stated aims of the Skill Set, as outlined above.

    Following the close of the consultation period, feedback received was collated by SkillsIQ and evaluated by the IRC. This feedback informed the final version of the new Skill Set, which was submitted to the AISC Sub-Committee for approval on 31 August 2020.

    Further information

    For more information please contact Patrick Cummings on (02) 9392 8100 or email patrick.cummings@skillsiq.com.au