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IRC progress pushes forward

Further announcements surrounding the Industry Reference Committee (IRC), established earlier this year to review and develop national competency standards for the aged care services industry, have been made following official confirmation of who will take on the roles of Chair and Deputy Chair.

Chief Executive of Helping Hand Aged Care, Ian Hardy and the ANMF's Mr Robert Bonner have been confirmed for the IRC roles of Chair and Deputy Chair (Source: Shutterstock)
Chief Executive of Helping Hand Aged Care, Ian Hardy and the ANMF's Mr Robert Bonner have been confirmed for the IRC roles of Chair and Deputy Chair (Source: Shutterstock)

The Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) announced on 30 October that the IRC would be chaired by Mr Ian Hardy, Chief Executive of Helping Hand Aged Care with the support role of Deputy Chair filled by Mr Robert Bonner, Director Operations and Strategy at Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.

The announcement comes less than one week after the IRC’s 21 members - made up of consumer advocates, peak industry bodies and employer and employee representatives - were announced.

AISC Chair Professor John Pollaers welcomed both Mr Hardy and Mr Bonner to their roles, saying the Aged Services IRC has a “broad remit” to look at qualifications across all sectors that support aged care consumers.

“While skills underpinning the provision of quality, individualised care is paramount, the aged services sector is much broader,” he explains.

“The Aged Services IRC will consider areas as diverse as nutrition, recreation and financial services, ensuring that the workforce is properly equipped and supported, and has access to lifelong learning and meaningful career paths.

“It is important that this IRC responds to the broader skill sets needed to ensure all industries have the workforce capabilities to support older Australians.”

Mr Pollaers adds that the AISC has received “unprecedented interest” from organisations and individuals wanting to be involved in, and support, the work of the IRC.

To date, 10 advisory groups to the IRC, focusing on specific areas, have also been confirmed, covering: Consumer Needs and Expectations, Residential Care, Home Care and Community Care, Indigenous and Remote Services, Diversity and Inclusion, Dementia, Palliative Care, Mental Health, Nutrition and the Mealtime Experience, and Pathways and Tertiary Education.

Calls for membership for these advisory groups “will occur in due course”, with Mr Pollaers noting that the IRC “may also establish additional technical advisory groups in special interest areas as its work progresses”.

Any individuals and organisations interested in registering their interest in participating in an advisory committee, or wishing to be included in consultations are encouraged by the AISC to find out more about registering online.

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