Aged Care Training Package Product Development

Aged Care Training Package Product Development
During 2018, the Aged Care Workforce Taskforce, Chaired by Professor John Pollaers, consulted on a broad range of workforce issues relating to the aged care sector. The resulting report “A Matter of Care – Australia’s Aged Care Workforce Strategy” provided a set of recommendations which were aimed at ensuring the best quality aged care services and outcomes for Australia’s elderly.

Project Background

During the consultation conducted by the Aged Care Workforce Taskforce, feedback was received that the current Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) was not adequately meeting the skills needs of workers and employers in the aged care sector, thereby jeopardising the quality of care. Various reasons were given for this, but one of the most common was that the packaging rules of the generic qualification allowed for poor elective selection, resulting in graduates that did not have the requisite skills.

In response to the recommendations of the report, the Aged Services IRC was formed and tasked with developing a stand-alone and specialised qualification for entry level workers in the aged care sector. This would equip workers with the skills required to work effectively in the sector and provide quality care to their clients.

This project will take place in two distinct phases. The first, which commenced in March 2019, looks to re-package current units of competency from the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) into a new Certificate III qualification, designed to better meet the immediate and critical skills required of the aged care workforce. As part of this process, it is proposed that several Units of Competency, which were previously electives in the Certificate III in Individual Support, will become core units in this new qualification, to better reflect the current skill needs of the aged care workforce. This process has been directed to ensuring greater alignment with contemporary aged care needs and national consistency in content of training that is required by industry as a matter of urgency.

The second phase, to commence early next year, will encompass a full review and update of the Units of Competency relevant to aged care to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet industry’s ongoing needs. This will also require consideration of providing streamlined access to appropriate career development opportunities for industry and employees.

Project Governance

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

Project Status - Draft 2 Validation

Feedback reviewed as a result of the Draft 1 consultation has informed the development of Draft 2. Validation of Draft 2 allows stakeholders to review changes made to Draft 1 components and confirm that the resultant Training Package Products will meet industry needs. It provides an opportunity for final input prior to submission for endorsement.

Certificate III in Care Support - Draft 2 Changes

Draft 1 feedback revealed mixed views regarding the development of a specialised qualification which focussed on Ageing Support, and the separating out of the existing Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) qualification.

Whilst approximately half the responding stakeholders were supportive of a dedicated aged care qualification as proposed, the other half felt it was not necessary, stating that the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) was sufficiently fit-for-purpose in its current form. This polarisation is very similar to the results of similar consultation that took place four years ago during the development of the Certificate III in Individual Support where outcomes were split in roughly the same proportion, between stakeholders who favoured a more generic approach and those who wanted a more specialised qualification.

During the consultation, attention was also drawn to the implications that the proposed qualification would have with regards to other workforce streams such as Disability and Home & Community Care, bearing in mind that this very concern was the driver behind the creation of the Individual Support qualification.

Feedback from those in regional and rural areas in particular identified that carers very often looked after both people living with disability and the elderly, and that workers are therefore not restricted in scope to either the Aged Care or Disability sectors. In short, regional and rural workers are often required to assist people from both of these groups in need of support.

Indeed, feedback from all areas suggested that many of those requiring aged care support are often also living with varying forms of disability and that particularly since the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, are selecting home and community care options, which makes it necessary for workers to have skills and knowledge in these areas.

In the wake of the Draft 1 feedback responses, the IRC recommended that Draft 2 of the proposed new qualification be modelled on the current Certificate III in Individual Support, with amended packaging rules to make it more broadly applicable across the Ageing, Disability and Home and Community Care sectors. This was in response to the feedback that supported an aged care qualification that included scope for acquisition of skills and knowledge related to disability and home and community care. It was agreed that the revised qualification also be re-titled.

Further information about the proposed changes may be found in the validation guide, which can be downloaded from the SkillsIQ Online Feedback Forum.

Consultation Activities

A series of webinars were held during the validation period, and feedback was also collected via the SkillsIQ Online Feedback Forum.

Webinars:

Date                                             Time 
  
Tuesday, 26 November             9:00am - 10:00am AEDT - closed

Wednesday, 27 November       3:00pm - 4:00pm AEDT - closed

Thursday, 28 November           1:30pm - 2:30pm AEDT - closed

Please click here to view the Aged Care Draft 2 webinar presentation.


Online Feedback Forum:

Feedback is now closed. 

Project Timings

Draft 2 Validation will take place from Monday 18th November to Friday 6th December 2019.




Following the close of the validation period, feedback received will be collated by SkillsIQ and evaluated by the IRC. This feedback will inform the final version of the new qualification, which will be submitted to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee for endorsement.

Further information

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