Community care organisations have little certainty over the return on their investments in an individualised funding environment but they are still required to provide adequate training for all levels of staff, says aged care sector consultant Lorraine Poulos.

Ms Poulos was speaking ahead of a free workshop she is presenting in Sydney, in conjunction with the Aged Care Channel, to help community aged and disability care providers understand and manage training requirements under consumer directed home care and the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

Lorraine Poulos
Lorraine Poulos

The Quality Agency undertook an industry analysis looking at the education needs of both residential and community aged care sectors in 2014. One of the recommendations called for a strengthening of partnerships within the industry particularly around education provision and this workshop supports that recommendation, she said.

The Home Care Common Standards provide part of the accountability requirements for providers and through the Quality Review process the level of training and education delivered is reviewed.

Ms Poulos said it may be tempting in the current environment to give education a low priority, but providers had no choice because it was a requirement of the funding.

“It won’t be good to enough to say you can’t afford to educate staff because you don’t have the budget to do training,” Ms Poulos told Community Care Review.

“It is not negotiable because you are working against the standards that say you will have suitably trained and qualified staff; in the funding applications, that’s what you said you would have.

“There is also the commitment to staff retention and the provision of quality care both of which are greatly impacted by education,” she said.

The workshop, DO MORE with less, aims to provide home care organisations with practical ideas to take back and implement into their workplace.

“You need an education plan but not one that is just a session once a week,” Ms Poulos said. “We are trying to get people to think creatively about how they may approach education,” Ms Poulos said.

It covers the need for organisations to have an education plan in place; the contents of the plan; the different ways individuals learn; the many forms of education; and how providers can document to ensure they have the evidence they are providing creative education solutions.

The workshop will also look at the range of education resources available, such as from education services, on line training, DVDs, peak bodies, industry publications and academic journal articles, and how they can be utilised for staff in different roles, she said.

DO MORE with less takes place on Friday 29 May from 9.30am at the Kirribilli Club in North Sydney’s Lavender Bay.

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  1. This is good advice to all care providers.

    Specialised colleges in care such as the Australasian College of Care Leadership & Management have the ability and skills to partner and guide an organisation into structuring a well laid out strategic L&D program with resources that will keep in the budget guidelines.

    Aged Care providers can manage their own training needs if they have the support they require.

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