Bridging the gap in aged care with employee screening

There is a growing demand for aged care in Australia, thanks to our ageing population, increased life expectancy and longevity.

According to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the aged care workforce will need to triple by 2050 to meet this demand. The diversity of health conditions in older people and new options for care in the community, such as telehealth, also means aged care workers will need a broader range of skills to remain employable.

How well do you know your staff?

This demand for skilled workers is offset by significant gaps in the aged care sector—one of the catalysts for the Royal Commission. For example, aged care workers can be deemed qualified with an online certification and very limited practical experience with clients. Turnover rates between 20 and 50 per cent are common, as workers opt for better paying sectors.

There is opportunity to improve background screening in the aged care sector,  as workers are often only required to produce a police check that is no more than three years old. The combination of these factors means that our population’s most vulnerable people are often being cared for by a regular rotation of workers who have not had a comprehensive background check before starting their role and may lack the skills and experience to meet expectations.

Staying ahead of the Royal Commission

While the recommendations from the Royal Commission will not be presented until April 2020, residential aged care facilities and other organisations in the sector are gearing up for significant change. Recent Royal Commissions have shown us the detrimental impact that investigations like these can have on an organisation’s reputation.

To stay ahead of the Royal Commission and ensure you are recognised as a quality operator, you need to go beyond the bare minimum when it comes to hiring the right people for aged care roles. Our fit2work online platform offers more than 70 background screening checks that are fast and easy to use. These include:

  • Police checks (Australian and international)
  • Australian Prudential Regulation Authority requirements
  • Healthcare registration checks
  • Educational qualifications
  • Employment history
  • Entitlement to work (visa) checks.

Improving the care of older people

Conducting background checks on a regular basis provides a better understanding of your employees and ensures they are qualified and suitable to work with older people. It also improves trust among families, demonstrating your commitment to taking care of their loved ones and making sure your aged care workers are fit for duty.

There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that better recruitment practices as a result of background screening can reduce turnover. When bundled with psychometric testing tailored specifically to the aged care sector, this reduction in turnover dramatically increases, saving you time and resources as well as improving the care you provide to clients.

A fast, easy to use solution

With the Royal Commission well underway, it’s a good time to review your recruitment practices. Once your fit2work portal is set up with your employees and contractors, you can conduct regular screening checks at the click of a button. Choose from a number of standard checks, or create a bundle tailored to your organisation.

It’s also worth reviewing your policies to ensure you’re meeting all legal obligations when it comes to police checks and privacy laws. With the scrutiny of the aged care sector set to intensify in the months ahead, there’s never been a better time to implement background screening in your organisation. Contact us for more information, or visit fit2work.

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