Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), in partnership with Mercer, is calling on every residential and home care provider across Australia to participate in a critical workforce benchmarking study to help drive a sustainable future for the age services industry.

Lack of workforce benchmarking data has been highlighted as an issue by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and in the leading workforce strategy document from 2018, A Matter of Care.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney says it is vital we have meaningful data to support advocacy efforts, planning and Government strategies.

“We are living through a fundamental transformation in age services,” said Mr Rooney.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create an effective, robust and sustainable industry that can provide top-quality services in accordance with people’s needs and preferences, whether that be in their home or in a care setting, anywhere across Australia.

“Workforce is at the heart of everything we do in care and getting that right means we get the future of the industry right.

“Workforce is consistently rated as one of the top three macro areas of concern for aged care providers and there is a clear and urgent need for overhauling our workforce strategy.

“A strong workforce strategy underpinned by meaningful data is essential for the future of aged care in Australia, in order to demonstrate the kind of reform that is necessary, which has been highlighted by the Aged Care Royal Commission.”

The Aged Care Workforce Benchmarking Survey will provide information on a range of workforce issues – from demographics, rostering issues and staffing costs, to training and incident reporting.

All residential and home care providers are being asked to participate in the project, in order to obtain a comprehensive dataset across regional, remote and urban areas.

Mercer Career Leader Garry Adams says a strong dataset is the key to delivering better services.

“We’re proud to be partnering with LASA to help support and strengthen the aged care sector at a critical time for change,” said Mr Adams.

“Ageing Australians and their families depend on those caring for them to lead happy, healthy lives.

“With robust data as the bedrock of informed decisions, those in the sector can make a real difference and create a better framework for its workforce – and the ageing – to thrive.”

The final report – the Aged Care Workforce Benchmarking Report – will be provided to the Australian Government and the dataset will become a vital tool for LASA’s efforts to deliver a workforce strategy for the future and advocacy for more investment in age services personnel.

“A strong dataset means maximising the strength of our collective voice. Every completed survey we receive will make an enormous difference to what we can achieve together for our industry,” said Mr Rooney.

Participants can also opt to receive an Individual Report with specific metrics related to their organisation, which will provide key insights into workforce performance and compare them against industry benchmarks.

Organisations can now register to participate in the Aged Care Workforce Benchmarking Survey, which will open 15 February 2021 and close 12 March 2021. The Aged Care Workforce Benchmarking Report will be available 18 May 2021 and will be shared exclusively with registered participant organisations.

To register or for more information, visit lasa.asn.au/workforce-benchmarking/