Across the ditch, Australia is launching the Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme (ARVAS) this month, forming one national accreditation scheme for retirement villages, which will provide village residents and their families with assurance about the quality of their community.

ARVAS replaces existing schemes run by Leading Aged Care Services and Property Council of Australia to form one national accreditation scheme.

The ARVAS standards “cover it all” according to Property Council’s Ben Myers.

“From the operator’s ability to manage the community and induct staff and volunteers, to a resident’s ability to provide feedback on the running of the community, and to general safety and security, the ARVAS standards cover it all,” Myers told The Senior earlier this year.

He said the standards directly reference the new Retirement Living Code of Conduct – the first step in the sector’s new quality framework.

New Zealand’s Retirement Villages Association (RVA) had a role in helping their Australian counterparts set up their new accreditation process with executive director John Collyns consulted during the design phase.

In New Zealand, the accreditation programme is a mandatory condition of RVA membership. Every three years each village must undergo a compliance audit undertaken by the same organisations that audit rest home compliance against the Retirement Villages Act, Code of Practice and Code of Resident Rights.

“We’re very proud of our accreditation system and it’s endorsed by the regulators as something that adds value to the residents’ consumer protection regime,” says Collyns.

“When villages pass they get an accreditation certificate to hang in the foyer. We tell intending residents to ask to see it as it’s their guarantee the village complies with the RV legislation.”

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