Code of Conduct & National Accreditation Scheme
The Retirement Living Code of Conduct is an industry initiative, developed and supported by the Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and the Retirement Living Council. It is intended to help operators provide a trustworthy and high-quality service for those living in, and considering moving to, a Retirement Community.
The Code is particularly focused on the wellbeing of residents. It prioritises fairness in marketing and sales practices; maintaining good relationships with residents and stakeholders; and transparent processes when residents move out. There is a particular emphasis on improving the handling of complaints and reaching resolution in disputes. These mechanisms have been developed in a way that will complement existing dispute resolution processes, and they aim to be adaptable to the role of any potential industry ombudsman or ambassador.
The Code comprises five sections:
- Background – Introduction, Purpose and Objectives of the Code
- Commitments – the Rules of the Code
- Administration – the Governance and Administration of the Code
- Appendices – additional resources for implementation and administration of the Code
Vision for the Industry
Signatories to the Code share a vision to promote and protect the independence, privacy, dignity, happiness, safety and security of older people through the provision of specialised, quality, fit-for-purpose housing, with tailored support services, within a community environment.
Code resources can take the form of summary documents, checklists and forms, policies and procedures, diagrams and protocols. Current resources include the following documents:
The Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme – ARVAS – is a new and refreshed industry accreditation scheme for retirement communities of all shapes and sizes around the country. ARVAS is a single, unified scheme for the industry, co-owned by the Property Council of Australia and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), who represent the owners and operators of retirement communities.
New ARVAS Standards have been developed to reflect the different elements of a resident’s experience within a retirement village, and the evolving service offering within communities. The ARVAS Standards comprise seven quality areas:
- Community Management
- Human Resource Management
- Resident Entry and Exit
- Resident Engagement and Feedback
- Environment, Services and Facilities
- Safety and Security
- Resident Care (when applicable)
The ARVAS Standards are supported by explanatory notes, which provide important information about how the ARVAS Standards should be interpreted and applied. The explanatory notes also include minimum requirements and general considerations that are intended to be aspirational and inform improvement.
Standard 7 on resident care is a new component of the standards, reflecting the increasing level of care being provided within retirement communities. This standard is applicable where a care service is provided as an included service in the residence contract/lease agreement, or as an additional service on a fee-for-service basis. It does not apply to care services delivered through approved Home Care or Residential Aged Care providers.
ARVAS Audit Partner
Quality Innovation Performance Limited (QIP) is the authorised accreditation provider against the ARVAS Standards on behalf of the Property Council and LASA, with relevant sector experience having accredited against the IRCAS Standards for LASA since 2011.
QIP is Australia’s most comprehensive not-for-profit accreditation agency with expertise across the entire health and human services continuum.