Aged Care Assessment Program National Training Strategy

Page last updated: 29 November 2016

The Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) National Training Strategy provides an overarching training strategy to promote best practice and national consistency for all ACAT members.

Prepared by: Aged Care Assessment Program Section, Access Reform Branch in consultation with the ACAT National Training Reference Group.

1. Introduction

The purpose of the Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) National Training Strategy is to provide an overarching training strategy that will promote best practice and national consistency in key practices and core processes for all ACAT members.

The ACAP National Training Strategy has been designed to recognise and build on existing training practices utilised in each state/territory.

Each state and territory government continues to be responsible for ensuring ACAT members have a sound knowledge of the issues in their local environment and that they are provided with the opportunities to maintain their specific professional clinical skills.

2. Background

The Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) is a cooperative working arrangement between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments to operate Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) across Australia. The core objective of the ACAP is to comprehensively assess the care needs of frail older people and to assist them to gain access to the most appropriate types of care, including approval for Commonwealth Government subsidised care services.

At 1 January 2010 there were 109 Commonwealth and state and territory government jointly funded ACATs conducting approximately 230,000 assessments per annum.

On 10 February 2006 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to a significant reform package relating to ‘simplifying access to care services for older people, people with disabilities and people leaving hospital’.

Under this reform package, the Australian Government committed $24.2 million over four years from 2005-06 to strengthen the Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP), through improving the timeliness, consistency and quality of ACAT assessments.

Historically, there has been minimal nationally consistent training for ACAT members.

As part of the COAG process, ACAP Officials (the governing body for the management of the ACAP, comprising senior representatives from the Australian and state/territory governments, re-formed as Aged and Community Care Officials (ACCO) in 2010) agreed to a number of projects to assist in meeting the COAG objectives, including the development of an ACAP National Training Strategy.

The ACAP National Training Strategy must be consistent with the ACAP Guidelines and ACAP policies, including the ACAT Delegations Policy.

The three main components of the ACAP National Training Strategy are the development of the:

  • ACAT Education Officer Model;
  • National Training Resources; and
  • National ACAP Conference.

3. Aims

The ACAP National Training Strategy aims to:

  • Develop a sustainable national training infrastructure;
  • Ensure ACAT members have access to appropriately skilled trainers;
  • Provide ACATs with easy access to a range of relevant and current national training resources that are available in a variety of delivery modalities;
  • Improve the quality, timeliness and consistency of assessments of older people; and
  • Encourage a ‘learning culture’ within each ACAT.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

a. ACAT National Training Reference Group

The ACAT National Training Reference Group (TRG) consists of nominated representatives from the Department of Health and Ageing, state and territory governments and ACAT members. The Group has been tasked to develop effective national training strategies and members report directly to their respective ACCO member. The TRG Terms of Reference are at Attachment A.

b. National Training Coordinator

The National Training Coordinator is a staff member of the Aged Care Assessment Program Section in the Central Office of the Department of Health and Ageing, with overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the ACAP National Training Strategy. The National Training Coordinator works with, and provides Secretariat for, the ACAT National Training Reference Group.

c. State and Territory Training Coordinators

State and Territory Training Coordinators are appointed in each jurisdiction and are responsible for the implementation and support of ACAT training in their jurisdiction. The Coordinators provide reports to the National Training Coordinator. The State and Territory Training Coordinator role may be undertaken jointly by the members of a state or territory training forum.

d. ACAT Education Officers

ACAT Education Officers (AEOs) are members of ACATs who have received or are working towards obtaining additional training (some units or all of the Certificate IV - Training and Assessment) to provide training to other ACAT members, using national and local training resources. There are currently 40 AEOs operating across the nation. AEOs provide reports to their State or Territory Training Coordinator.

5. ACAT National Minimum Training Standards

The ACAT TRG agreed to the establishment of a set of ACAT National Minimum Training Standards. The Standards are at Attachment B.

6. ACAT National Training Resources

The ACAP National Training Resources have been developed in a variety of delivery modalities including:

The ACAP National Training Resources include:

a. ACAP National Orientation Training Resources

The ACAP National Orientation Training Resources provide introductory level training to all ACAT staff.

There are three sections within the training resource that are tailored to meet the needs of all team members.

The three sections are:

  • Generic (for all staff including the non clinical staff)
  • Assessor
  • Manager

All ACAT staff members are required to undertake their relevant sections of the training resource under the ACAT National Minimum Training Standards.

b. ACAP National Delegation Training Resources

The National Delegation Training Resource provides training specifically for Delegates of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing. ACAT Assessors are also recommended to undertake the training within 18 months of working with the team in order to become familiar with good decision making practices under the relevant legislation.

All ACAT Delegates must undertake this training in order to meet the:

  • National selection criteria required for all Delegates to maintain their authority to delegate as specified in the ACAT Delegation Policy; and
  • ACAT National Minimum Training Standards.

7. National Training Strategy Meetings

a. National ACAT Training Reference Group

The National ACAT Training Reference Group (TRG) consists of nominated representatives from the Commonwealth and each jurisdiction.

The purpose of the National ACAT Training Reference Group (TRG) is to contribute to improving and strengthening the ACAP by developing an effective and sustainable National Training Strategy.

The group meets four times each year, alternating between a teleconference and a face-to-face workshop. The TRG workshops are held in Canberra and are aligned with the biannual AEO workshops.

b. National ACAP Conference

The Australian Government held a National ACAP Conference in 2008 and 2010. Subject to the availability of appropriate funding, the Commonwealth will continue to coordinate biennial national Conferences.

The target group for the Conference is ACAT members and ACAP administrators from each jurisdiction.

The Conference aims to:

  • Encourage and share innovative practice;
  • Provide an update on Commonwealth direction and initiatives;
  • Highlight Program developments; and
  • Develop staff commitment to the Program.

c. ACAT Education Officer Workshops

The Commonwealth Government held the first ACAT Education Officers’ workshop in 2007 and will continue to coordinate national biannual workshops.

The target group for the national workshops is ACAT Education Officers, State/Territory Training Coordinators and representatives from the National ACAT Training Reference Group.

The workshops are conducted by the Department of Health and Ageing in Canberra to:

  • Share best practice;
  • Encourage a national network;
  • Receive an update on Commonwealth initiatives; and
  • Update training/mentoring skills.

Aged Care Assessement Program National ACAT Training Reference Group

Terms of reference (Revised January 2012)

Attachment A

Term Reference

Outcome

To contribute to improving and strengthening the Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) through the development of effective and sustainable education and training strategies for ACATs in line with the National ACAP Training Strategy.

Purpose

To provide a forum to:

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of a work plan and timetable of activities addressing the education and training strategies for ACATs in line with the ACAP National Training Strategy;
  • Review the effectiveness of the ACAP National Training Strategy and update as necessary and provide advice to ACCO as appropriate;
  • Respond to and anticipate changing ACAT education and training needs in light of reforms to aged care as part of the broader National Health and Hospitals Network Agreement.

Membership

Nominated representatives from:

  • Department of Health & Ageing;
  • State & Territory governments, and
  • ACAT members.
  • Experts to be identified and invited to National ACAT Training Reference Group meetings as required.

Chairperson

Nominated representative of ACCO

Responsibilities

National ACAT Training Reference Group members to:

  • Provide advice to ACCO on training issues as required;
  • Develop a work plan at the beginning of every calendar year for noting by ACCO;
  • Present a verbal report on training and activities in their respective jurisdictions as a standing item on the agenda;
  • Review and report on achievements against work plan and the ACAP National Training Strategy and report to ACCO six monthly;
  • Review Terms of Reference in October 2012 following review by ACCO in mid 2012;;
  • Undertake other tasks as requested by ACCO.

Secretariat

Secretariat duties provided by Central Office, Australian Government Department Health & Ageing.

TRG members to receive Minutes of TRG meeting 14 working days after the meeting following review by Chairperson. Agenda items to be sent to Secretariat 7 days prior to scheduled meeting.

Meeting Arrangements

National ACAT Training Reference Group members to:

  • Meet quarterly, or as necessary.
  • Hold at least one face-to-face meeting each year and teleconferences as agreed.

Reporting Requirements

Members to:

  • Report directly to their respective state or territory representative on ACCO, and
  • Contribute to a written report every six months to ACCO on the achievements against the workplan and the ACAP National Training Strategy.

National ACAT Minimum Training Standards

Attachment B

Purpose: To establish a set of national minimum training standards required for all members of Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs).

Outcome: 100% of ACAT managers/team leaders will provide evidence to their respective State/Territory Training Coordinator that all their team members have satisfactorily completed the national training resources relevant to their roles and responsibilities.

Requirement: Any person employed as a member of an ACAT must meet these national minimum training standards using the ACAP national training resources.

The requirement for training is applicable to:

  • Non-clinical staff
  • Assessors
  • Delegates
  • Managers / Team Leaders
Team Member Standard Timeframe Criteria

ACAT non-clinical staff

All new members of an ACAT will complete training in:

  • The Generic Section of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.

All participants will complete national Orientation training within 3 months of employment.

Participants will achieve 100% in the Knowledge Assessment in the Generic Section of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.

Participation in a Case Study in the Generic Section of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources to a level of competence that is acceptable to the ACAT Team Leader / Manager after appropriate consultation with the ACAT Education Officer/ Mentor.

ACAT non-clinical staff

All non-clinical members will complete:

  • Refresher training in the Generic Section of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources

Refresher training will be completed every 2 years.

Participants will complete the Refresher section of Generic Section and achieve:

  • 100% in the Knowledge Assessment

  • Participate in the Case Study.

ACAT Assessors

All new ACAT Assessors will complete training in:

  • The Generic and Assessor Sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.

All participants will complete national Orientation training
within one month of employment, noting that this may be extended to within three months of employment in exceptional circumstances if documented.

Participants will achieve 100% in the relevant Knowledge Assessments in both the Generic and Assessor Sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.

ACAT Assessors

All new ACAT Assessors will undertake at least:

  • Three supervised assessments; and

  • Three case presentations to multidisciplinary team.

All participants will complete practical demonstrations within six months of employment.

Participation in the set Case Studies in both the Generic and Assessor Sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources to a level of competence that is acceptable to the ACAT Team Leader / Manager after appropriate consultation with the ACAT Education Officer/ Mentor.

ACAT Assessors

All ACAT Assessors will complete the:

  • Refresher training in the Generic and Assessor Sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.

Refresher training will be completed every 2 years.

Participants will complete the Refresher Section of both the Generic and Assessor Sections and achieve:

  • 100% in the Knowledge Assessment in both Sections; and
  • Participate in the Case Studies in both Sections.

ACAT Assessors

It is recommended that all new ACAT Assessors complete training using the:

  • ACAP National Delegation Training Resources to become familiar with the relevant legislation.


Please Note:
If you are intending to apply to be a Delegate, refer to the Training Standard for ACAT Delegates.

All participants should complete national Delegation training within 18 months of becoming an ACAT Assessor.

  • No mandatory assessment criteria
ACAT Delegates

Any ACAT assessor seeking to become a Delegate will successfully complete the:

  • Generic and Assessor Sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources as a pre-requisite to undertaking the ACAP national Delegation training; and

  • ACAP National Delegation Training Resources.

All participants will complete all national Orientation and Delegation training prior to submitting application for appointment as a Delegate.

Participants will achieve 100% in the Knowledge Assessment in ACAP National Delegation Training Resources.
Participation in the set Case Studies in the ACAP National Delegation Training Resources to a level of competence that is acceptable to the ACAT Team Leader / Manager after appropriate consultation with the ACAT Education Officer/ Mentor.

ACAT Delegates

All Delegates will successfully complete:
  • Refresher training using the ACAP National Delegation Training Resources.

Please note:

Delegates must meet all other mandatory selection criteria as outlined in the National Delegation Policy.

Refresher training will be completed *every 2 years.

*Exception:

Be completed within 6 months of relevant changes to either legislation or ACAP Guidelines as determined by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing.

Participants will complete the Refresher Section of the Delegation Training and achieve:
  • 100% in the Refresher Knowledge Assessment; and
  • Participate in the Refresher Case Study.

ACAT Managers / Team Leaders

All ACAT Managers / Team Leaders will complete training in:

  • All sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources; and

All participants should complete national orientation training within three months of becoming a Manager / Team Leader.

Participants will achieve 100% in the Knowledge Assessment in each section of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.
Participation in the set Case Studies in each section of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.

ACAT Managers / Team Leaders

It is recommended all ACAT Managers / Team Leaders complete:

  • Refresher training in all Sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources.

Refresher training should be completed every 2 years

It is desirable that Managers complete all Refresher Sections of the ACAP National Orientation Training Resources and achieve:

  • 100% in the Knowledge Assessment in all Sections; and
  • Participate in the Case Studies in all Sections.

ACAT Managers / Team Leaders

It is recommended that all ACAT Managers / Team Leaders complete training using:

  • The ACAP National Delegation Training Resources to become familiar with the relevant legislation.

National Delegation training should be completed within six months of becoming a Manager / Team Leader.

It is desirable that Managers complete the Delegation Training and achieve:

  • 100% in the Refresher Knowledge Assessment; and
  • Participate in the Refresher Case Study.

ACAT Managers / Team Leaders

It is recommended all ACAT Managers / Team Leaders complete:

  • Refresher training using the ACAP National Delegation Training Resources.
Refresher training should be completed every 2 years

It is desirable that Managers complete the Refresher Section of the Delegation Training and achieve:

  • 100% in the Refresher Knowledge Assessment; and
  • Participate in the Refresher Case Study.