A NEW independent accreditation scheme for retirement villages and communities has been launched, with the aim of providing "peace of mind" to residents.
The unified accreditation scheme has been launched by Leading Aged Care Services (LASA) in collaboration with Property Council of Australia - two organisations that represent Australian retirement village owners and operators around the country - to independently certify the quality of a village's services and operational processes.
ARVAS, to be launched in June this year, will replace existing schemes run independently by the Property Council and LASA to form one national accreditation scheme.
The scheme will be operated on the Property Council and LASA’s behalf by Quality Innovation Performance (QIP), a not-for-profit provider of accreditation services to community organisations and primary, secondary and tertiary health care services.
An independent accreditation process can play an integral role in ensuring high standards in operations of retirement villages, and provide peace of mind to residents that their choice to live in a village is the right one.
Property Council's executive director of retirement living Ben Myers said ARVAS had been developed over more than a year of consultation with the industry and stakeholders, including residents.
“We believe strongly that an independent accreditation process can play an integral role in ensuring high standards in operations of retirement villages, and to provide peace of mind to residents that their choice to live in a village is the right one,” Mr Myers said.
“ARVAS has been developed after extensive research and consultation, utilising previous resident surveys and conducting resident focus groups to determine the key indicators of satisfaction with village life.
“These key indicators are reflected in the new ARVAS standards, which have been designed in a way that supports village owners and operators and promotes continuous improvement.
He said the ARVAS standards link to the recently released Retirement Living Code of Conduct, "which completes a clear pathway to quality and accountability".
LASA chief executive Sean Rooney said it was important to have a unified scheme that ensured a consistent standard of quality across the retirement village industry.
“The fact that this scheme has widespread support in the industry demonstrates the commitment of operators to provide high quality services to older Australians.
“Quality Innovation Performance has a strong track record for providing accreditation services to community organisations and health care services and is well placed to support the retirement village industry to provide the very best services for the community.”
The proposed ARVAS standards will be released for public comment in the coming weeks.
Read more: NSW retirement village laws overhaul