Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jan-Feb 2013 Contents active interest in their life and who wants to make a difference".
"This is not something that you can always identify in
an interview, but with our experience we are pretty good at
identifying the good ones," Westphal says.
"And of course the Arcare Training Institute will take some of
the art out of this process."
Delivering a high level of care is about more than rhetoric,
"Quality staff who actually care about their clients and make a
difference to their lives is the key to us providing five-star care,"
"Having good systems in place that put the needs of the client first
encourages this kind of behaviour and means we can deliver prompt,
reliable and transparent services. This is a business-wide policy, as
true for the residential arm as it is the community care side."
For Colin Singh, it is also important to keep the lines of
communication open with staff so they can anticipate and enjoy
the changes that positive growth brings.
"The staff find the prospect of growth exciting and view it as a
way to grow themselves as well," he says.
"We always ensure that we have staff buy-in on major
projects as this engenders their commitment and loyalty,
sustaining their enthusiasm and input for the journey ahead."
Arcare has not traditionally been an organisation that tends to
blow its own trumpet. But most would agree it has earned the
right to be proud of its sustained growth and positive culture in a
market that is not without challenges.
"We are a premium organisation, we are professional and we
take investing in the future of Australia very seriously," says Singh.
"Growth is not something we are afraid of, and we are lucky
to have the support of a parent company that has been down this
road before and understands what is involved."
And Mal Humphries, who has witnessed every challenge
and joy of the business, predicts the latest changes will just
strengthen the 'corporate with heart'.
"Our reputation in the industry is strong and it is around
our flexibility and the type of care that we give. Our five-star
approach is not a new thing, but it's certainly appreciated and
being recognised." n
Arcare is determined to raise the bar in the standard of care
provided to Australia's elder population.
A recent addition to the Arcare stable is the Arcare Training
Institute (ATI). Recognised as a registered training organisation
since September 2012, it was created to future-proof the Arcare
workforce in the face of the organisation's significant growth.
Training is provided to candidates in Certificate 111 in Aged
Care to help ensure a high level of consistency using best
practise standards. Traineeships run over five to six months,
instead of the three to four-week programs of some providers,
with trainees paid for attending workshops and work placements.
Trained Learning and Development Mentors at each Arcare
facility support trainees while they are on work placements.
"With the ATI we have turned a potential problem -- the lack
of suitably trained and experienced personal care staff -- into a
competitive advantage," says chief operations officer Kay Foster.
"We will recruit over 1000 new staff in 2014. By placing
our own graduates into these roles, not only will this ease the
pressure on human resources, it will also inject fresh blood into
the business and raise our standards of care even higher."
The ATI is headed by Melanie Mazzarolli, who began her
career at Arcare in 2001 as a student nursing assistant.
"Our first group began in October and are progressing very
well with positive feedback from workshops as well as their work
placements in Arcare facilities," Mazzarolli says.
"We believe the key to their success lies in the well-appointed
Learning and Development Mentors that are based at each
of our facilities to support trainees while they are out on work
She says the program is unique and will ensure trainees
enter the workforce with knowledge, skills and a positive attitude
More training groups and additional courses -- including non-
accredited workshops -- will be part of the ATI in the near future,
which will be delivered at Arcare sites as well as in the wider
aged care community.
"The Arcare Training Institute views education as a lifelong
experience," Mazzarolli says.
The Peregian facility opening, early 2013
www.australianageingagenda.com.au | 47
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