Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) grant opportunity – Industry briefing presentation

This presentation contains the slides presented at the ACVVS grant opportunity industry briefing, on 19 October 2022. Grant funding will be available for eligible organisations to deliver the new scheme. The webinar included information about the ACVVS model and advice around the online application.

47:51

[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS)’, ‘Grant Opportunity’, ‘Industry Briefing’, ’19 October 2022’]

[The visuals during this webinar are of each speaker presenting in turn via video, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]

Kirsten Turner:

Hello and welcome everyone and thank you for being here at the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme Industry Briefing. And we refer to this as ACVVS throughout the seminar.

Before we commence I would like to acknowledge the lands on which we’re all meeting. I’m meeting on Ngunnawal land here and acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging. I’d like to extend that acknowledgment to any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues we have in the room today.

My name is Kirsten Turner. I’m the Director of the Consumer Support section in the Department of Health and Aged Care which has program and policy responsibility for the ACVVS. I would like to thank you all for being part of today’s session and showing interest in delivering this important program.

The ACVVS is an expanded model of the existing Community Visitors Scheme or CVS. The CVS is a highly valued and longstanding scheme which has been in place for 30 years as of this year with some volunteers contributing their time across the whole 30 years. As you all know the CVS provides friendship and companionship by matching aged care recipients with volunteer visitors to make regular visits to older people who are socially isolated or lonely, who also receive residential or home care aged care services including care recipients approved or on the national priority system for residential or home care packages.

The change to the name ACVVS, an expansion, is in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommendation 44.c to, as it says on the slide here, provide additional funding and expanding the Community Visitors Scheme and changing its name to the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme to provide extended support for older people receiving aged care who are at risk of social isolation. The Royal Commission recognised the importance and value of the CVS bringing substantial benefits to volunteers and older people alike.

As we’re all aware the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted on the social isolation and loneliness of our older people in aged care. Now more than ever this service and the essential role you may have in the future as a service provider is so important to supporting the most vulnerable in our community through friendship and companionship the value of which cannot be underestimated.

Today Craig Mastersson, the ACVVS Program Manager will discuss the ACVVS funding model and activities and provide tips for the completion of the grant application activity itself. Before I hand over to Craig I’d like to briefly touch on housekeeping. The briefing today will be recorded and be made available for reference which will be available in approximately one week’s time. However any information provided today is already available in the ACVVS Grant Opportunity Guidelines or GOGs, the ACVVS National Guidelines and related facts. All the information covered in today’s session will assist you in completing the grant application.

We are running today’s briefing as a webinar so you are all muted. However at the end of today’s session there will be time to answer questions from our panel members. I invite participants in today’s webinar to post their questions on the Q&A function which is available by clicking on the three dots on the far right bottom of the bottom ribbon. If you select the Q&A function there should be space for you to enter your question. Once you’ve typed the question please select ‘Enter’ to submit the question to the panel. We will attempt to respond to as many questions as possible during the webinar however there will be some questions we’ll be unable to answer due to the time limit. Please be aware we’ll be prioritising questions related to ACVVS during the Q&A session.

Following today’s briefing we will review questions submitted and review the ACVVS facts to clarify further. We’ll also be publishing a survey at the end of the briefing to get your feedback on the session and discussions. So Craig over to you.

Craig Mastersson:

Thank you Kirsten. The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme, ACVVS, is an open competitive grant round that will offer four activities. The grant opportunity is offered as per the Aged Care Act 1997 and the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme National Guidelines. The total value of the available grant is $99.84 million and will be offered across four activities. Please note an application is not a guarantee of funding and the volunteer placements awarded to successful grant applicants may vary from the number of volunteer placements nominated by the applicant. Placement nominations are to be submitted by the activity work plan template which is also known as the AWP.

Activity 1 being offered is the delivery of ACVVS volunteer visits to Australian Government subsidised residential care and home care package recipients. Activity 1 grant recipients are known as auspices. Auspices will recruit, train and match volunteers with eligible aged care recipients. The objective of Activity 1 is the delivery of ACVVS one on one and group in person visits to older people receiving Australian Government subsidised residential aged care or home care packages who are socially isolated.

Activity 2, network members. The ACVVS network members represent and support auspices to deliver the program. A network member is funded for each state and territory. The objective of the grant is to provide eight network members to represent and support visits to auspices in each state and territory.

Activity 3, diversity, complex vulnerability and cultural advisors. The role of the advisor is to participate in a diversity reference group to provide diverse, complex vulnerability and culturally specific information and feedback. The aim of the group is to improve the outcomes and the future direction of ACVVS. The objective of the grant for Activity 3 is to appoint up to a maximum of ten advisors to the reference group.

Activity 4, community of practice coordinators. The role of community of practice coordinators to collaborate effectively with auspices and networks to share knowledge, cultivate best practice and foster innovation. The objective of the grant for Activity 4 is to appoint up to a maximum of four community or practice coordinators.

The funding for each activity is detailed in the Grant Opportunity Guidelines section 3.1. Organisations can apply for more than one ACVVS activity. Separate applications are required for each activity as each activity has a different criterion and different templates required.

You’ll see on the slide we have examples of the mix of activities that organisations can apply for. So an organisation could apply to be just an auspice or an auspice and a cultural advisor as per example two. Example three, an organisation could apply just to be a network member or they could apply to be a network member and a coordinator as per four, or an organisation could apply to be an auspice, a network member and a coordinator.

Please note the community of practice coordinator is an additional role for some network members. The community of practice coordinator applicants must be assessed as suitable for their network member application to be considered for the community of practice role. Likewise the diversity, complex vulnerability and cultural advisors is an additional role for some auspices. The advisor applicants must be assessed suitable for their auspice application to be considered for the advisor role. Next slide please.

Eligibility. The eligibility for recipients for the ACVVS program is residential aged care home or home care package recipients, socially isolated, limited contact or visits with family or friends, the recipient is feeling isolated and lonely, has frailty, mobility or communication impairment or they are not participating in a Commonwealth funded/subsidised social support group.

Placements. The grant funding will provide an additional 4,348 placements taking the total to 17,811 ACVVS placements. To ensure effective administration of the grant the minimum grant will be 26 volunteer visitor placements. This can be nominated in either a mixed or single setting. For example an organisation may apply for 26 placements within residential aged care or 26 placements in home care or a mix of both settings. A minimum agreement placement number exemption is available for organisations who don’t believe that they can provide a minimum of 26 placements. This for example might be an organisation in a regional or remote community that does not actually have that many aged care recipients eligible to the scheme. The auspice would be able to apply for this exemption in their applications.

Applicants must nominate the total number of places they are seeking to provide under the new ACVVS model. If you’re an existing CVS provider wishing to continue under ACVVS you must apply for these positions and any additional positions your organisation is seeking.

Volunteers. Volunteers are required to be a minimum age of 18 years of age. The full volunteer role descriptions are to be determined by the individual auspices. The minimum requirements for the volunteer role description is outlined in the ACVVS National Guidelines section 5.1. Additionally each auspice must appoint a coordinator to manage the volunteers and the recipient visits. The auspice coordinator role descriptions are to be determined by the individual auspices. The minimum requirements for the auspice coordinator role description is also outlined in the ACVVS National Guidelines section 5.3.

Next slide please. Thank you.

Service delivery. The ACVVS service delivery objective is an in person, face to face visit between volunteers and recipients in the same physical location. This includes wherever possible for regional and remote recipients. For recipients of home care packages or residential aged care a virtual visit may occur in exceptional circumstances. A virtual visit may be provided where a one on one in person visit cannot occur due to exceptional circumstances such as geographical distance between the recipient and volunteer, illness and aged care home lockdowns. Aged care recipients must agree to these exceptional alternative arrangements. Virtual visit definitions include Facetime, Skype, telephone, email and/or letter. Auspices will be required to report the type of each visit via the online data reporting portal.

Just confirming the virtual visit options are not the intended model of the ACVVS service. They are available to accommodate aged care recipients who are unable to receive the ACVVS service delivery objective. Aged care recipients must agree to these exceptional arrangements and this must be confirmed and reported on each six months.

Group visits. An ACVVS volunteer may visit multiple group recipients simultaneously with a recommended maximum ratio of one volunteer to three recipients. A group visit is funded for one volunteer visitor placement being the same level as a single face to face, in person volunteer visitor placement.

Next slide. Placements outside of own organisation. Auspices will be required to provide a minimum proportion of ACVVS home care and residential care volunteer visitor placements to clients outside of their organisation if they also are a home care or residential care provider amounting to 25% or more of the total placements as per the auspice’s executed agreement. If the applicant organisation is unable to provide 25% outside of their organisation the applicant can apply for an exemption. The exemption request must clearly demonstrate the reasoning for being unable to provide the minimum percentage outside of the organisation.

For clarity if an auspice has 40 placements under their agreement and are also a home care residential provider ten of those placements must be provided to recipients outside of their organisation.

Placement location/priority diversity. Older people from linguistic, cultural and complex vulnerability backgrounds may be at greater risk of socialisation. Priority will be given to applications for ACVVS where the applicant is servicing diverse, complex vulnerability and cultural audiences from organisations with clearly demonstrated experience and expertise in servicing their nominated groups within their application. The Grant Opportunity Guidelines section 2.2 details the 13 diverse complex vulnerability and cultural groups. Applicants may nominate to provide diversity, complex vulnerability and diversity services to a single or multiple groups. Priority will be given to organisations that clearly demonstrate the relevant experience in servicing these groups.

This slide indicates the current distribution of CVS placements nationally. The Department is seeking to ensure national distribution of the ACVVS volunteer visitor placements to all aged care planning regions. The Department strongly encourages applications from rural, regional and remote organisations.

To assist organisations to meet the needs of aged care recipients who change settings the executed ACVVS agreements will have 15% flexibility applicable to the nominated settings. Noting the top line of the slide the applicant has nominated 40 residential aged care placements for the Grampians aged care planning region. This agreement would be effectively 34 placements would be fixed for residential care and the other six placements are flexible so they may be delivered in residential care or home care. This will allow residents currently being provided a service by the organisation to change settings. The auspices will be required to report the settings for each recipient in the online data reporting portal.

Activity 2, network members. The role of the network member includes but is not limited to facilitating links and delivering peak body services, providing awareness and consideration and service delivery to all diverse, complex vulnerability and cultural groups, providing support, mentoring and information to the auspice coordinators, encouraging a consistent approach to any ACVVS issues, promoting and linking auspices to their ACVVS training models, and facilitating bi-monthly meetings for auspice coordinators to attend. Additionally they’ll provide support to auspices to ensure volunteer access to residential aged care homes and supporting the summative evaluation of the ACVVS program.

The network member grant includes a travel allowance. This is to ensure that network members are able to visit auspices and other ACVVS relevant bodies within their jurisdiction. The network member role description is to be determined by the individual auspices. The minimum requirements for the network member role description is outlined in the ACVVS National Guidelines section 5.2. Please note organisations may apply to be a network member for one or more states.

The ACVVS diversity, complex vulnerability and cultural advisory role responsibilities include informing pathways for communication and engagement to provide inclusiveness and practices towards diverse, complex vulnerability and cultural minority groups. The role also includes informing and guiding training to be provided to auspices, coordinators and volunteers, informing the Department of issues impacting the ACVVS service delivery for their particular diversity, complex vulnerability or cultural group and supporting the summative evaluation of the ACVVS program.

Advisors will be required to attend bi-monthly meetings, provide feedback and information to ad hoc Departmental requests and provide feedback and information for the annual review of the ACVVS National Guidelines and the FAQs. The advisor’s role description is outlined in the ACVVS National Guidelines section 5.4.

The community of practice coordinator is an additional role that will be undertaken by some network members to manage and have oversight of the community of practice portal. The focus of the portal will be on sharing solved problems, sharing knowledge, cultivating best practice and fostering innovation through a web-based collaborative environment. The community of practice site will also include resources and learnings. The function of the community of practice coordinator will include but is not limited to identifying and reviewing training suitable for ACVVS, development of a national framework for the delivery of ACVVS in residential care, the creation and delivery of webinars and workshops on information of the day topics, and documenting lessons learned. The community of practice role description is outlined in the ACVVS National Guidelines section 5.5.

Summative evaluation. The evaluation aims to investigate and measure the impact and benefits of ACVVS to aged care recipients. The evaluation will also aim to further inform policy design for the program. This evaluation will be undertaken over the period 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026. The evaluator will be required to liaise and consult with a range of stakeholders.

The online data reporting portal. To improve the submission of effective performance the Department is developing an online data reporting portal. The portal will be utilised to report KPI performance data and the associated volunteer and recipient data. Activity 1 grant recipients will be required to report bi-monthly, every two months. The bi-monthly data is only a minor requirement and they’ll be required to report the number of placement vacancies only. For example if an auspice has an agreement for 40 placements the auspice will be required to simply report the total number of unallocated vacant placements every two months. This data will be used to direct incoming referrals to auspices that have unfilled placements.

All ACVVS activity grant recipients will be required to submit six monthly reporting on their KPI performance. For Activity 1 auspices this will also include volunteer and recipient data including for volunteers, age, gender, cultural diversity and postcode, for recipients, service and visit type, age, gender, cultural diversity, postcode location and the number of visits and the visit medium.

All data reported by grant activities will be utilised to guide and improve the outcome and future of the ACVVS program. Detailed training and onboarding to the online data portal will be provided to successful grant applicants.

To assist organisations in preparing your application some top tips are offered. Applicants are encouraged to read through all the documents attached in the GrantConnect paying particular attention to the Grant Opportunity Guidelines, the ACVVS National Guidelines, the FAQs, frequently asked questions, and the activity work plan, AWP template, before commencing your application response. Activity 1, 2 and 4 applicants are encouraged to complete the AWP prior to drafting the criterion responses. Applicants applying for multiple ACPRs, aged care planning regions/states under Activity 1 must clearly demonstrate in their application how they’re going to service each one of those aged care planning regions.

Additionally please ensure you are referring to the most current version of the documents and pay attention to any addenda published. For application submission issues in the first instance please refer to the frequently asked questions, the FAQs. The Health Grants team recommends you draft your application offline and then enter the information into the GrantsConnect once completed. Please note when entering the total amount on the financial tab in the online application form please ensure the amount entered aligns with the total available amount indicated on the AWP grant indicative budget. Please note there is no AWP template applicable to Activity 3 applications.

We recommend you complete your application and submit at least four hours before the closing date and time which is the 28th of November at 11:00am Canberra time. This will assist you to manage any IT or submission issues that you may encounter. For reasons of probity and transparency the Department has requested potential applicants provide all queries in writing. Queries must be submitted by no later than 21 November at 11:00am Canberra time.

Thank you and back to you Kirsten.

Kirsten Turner:

Thank you Craig. So we have time for questions now. Just a reminder the Q&A function is available by clicking on the three dots at the far right of the bottom of the ribbon. While people are submitting questions – and there have been some being submitted throughout the presentation which the team have been responding to – we also have had some pre‑submitted questions that we’ll be addressing as well.

So I’ll just start with one of the pre-submitted questions. So we did have a question about:

Q:         How will the expertise of service providers currently supporting special needs groups be recognised in this process?

So thank you for that question. As Craig mentioned – and Craig and I will both be answering these questions so we’ll be playing off each other here – but as Craig mentioned in that presentation we will be prioritising diverse complex vulnerability and culturally diverse aged care recipients as they are more at risk of socialisation and loneliness in this grant round. I’d also refer you to criteria two in the application for organisational capacity in which we ask you to detail your organisation’s appropriate experience and skills in carrying out the applicable services. So obviously being able to provide services to special needs groups is an important component of that.

We also had a question that was submitted about how to make the best use of a person’s current service provision for CVS in the written grant round and this criteria too would also apply in that instance as it also asks you to detail key performance indicator results from your delivery of the Community Visitor Scheme or similar service or program.

We also have – in the application we also do have allowances for services servicing special needs groups to be applied to provide 50 places to a single minority group and they can service this to the whole region and have an ACPR exemption. We also have the diversity advisors forum which we’re really seeking to inform the program and our communications. And I just want to say as an aside though over 70% of our providers currently do provide services to special needs groups. So in terms of trying to untangle how they can be better supported we will be collecting better data to sort of inform how we can sort of untangle that and be supporting our providers who have to provide additional support and training for special needs groups.

Is there anything you wanted to add to that Craig?

Craig Mastersson:

No. That is good. The special needs groups, that’s a terminology we’ve used for a while, but we’ve outlined who those groups are in the eligibility section. That’s the 13 groups we’ve specified under the complex vulnerability, diversity and cultural groups.

Kirsten Turner:

So another question that we’ve had is:

Q:         What will the reporting requirements be as there is a mention of change?

So you obviously covered this a little bit more Craig. Is there anything that you wanted to mention in addition?

Craig Mastersson:

Only that the Department’s in the process of developing the portal and quite extensive information as to how to operate the portal and what the requirements are will come out to the successful grant applicants with plenty of time to prepare in advance. But the information provided around particularly the data we’ll be collecting for volunteers and recipients is very much along the lines that they’re sort of things that you’ll need to be considering to collect.

Kirsten Turner:

Great. Thank you Craig. So we’ve had another question as well in the pre-submitted questions about:

Q:         What type of training is provided to volunteers?

So if you do refer to the National Guidelines section 3.6.9 does outline training requirements. So we do require that auspices do train the volunteers and there is minimum training requirements reflected in that section. As part of the work we’re doing with the CoP we would like to include training there that auspices can refer to and utilise to train their volunteers however auspices can also use their in-house training as long as it captures the minimum requirements reflected in section 3.6.9.

So we have had a few questions come through about the 25% requirement for providers who are home care or residential care providers. And we made a clarification prior that it does only apply to providers who are home care or residential care providers. So if you’re not a home care provider or residential care provider you don’t need to complete an exemption.

So we did have a further question about that for clarification.

Q:         So would the 25% requirement apply to each type of visit? So in your example of 40 places if 20 are home care and 20 residential would we need to achieve 25% in each category or just a total of 25% of both categories combined?

Craig Mastersson:

It would be 10% overall of the total number of your agreement. Sorry 25% of the overall agreement. So if your agreement has a total of 40 placements whether that be single or mixed, if you are also a home care and residential provider you will need to provide ten of those placements outside of your own organisation.

Kirsten Turner:

Thanks Craig.

Okay. And then we had the last of our pre-submitted questions. No. We did have a few more. We did have a question about:

Q:         Why is the Department not allowing digital or phone visiting? Is this not part of the aged care charter of rights?

So as Craig mentioned the ACVVS or CVS is a program that is about face to face visitation, friendship and companionship. So while we do have an opportunity to have exemptions for providers in exceptional circumstances this is not the intention of the program. We allow for that flexibility if there is an exceptional circumstance but the primary aim is to have that face to face visitation. This is something that we get feedback on through our evaluations that we’ve conducted over the years and also feedback from our care recipients. There are other programs which do provide digital visits like FriendLine or Red Cross services. So there are those digital provisions amongst other programs but it is not the intention of this program.

So I think that’s most of our pre-submitted questions. We did have a question about:

Q:         Are State Government providers eligible?

So I guess it would depend on the type of provider that the state provider is but would refer you to the eligibility section in the GOGs which is section 4.1.

Okay. So some other questions that we’ve received through the chat.

We did receive a question about the eligibility requirements that Craig outlined. So the person has to be an aged care recipient and they have to be socially isolated and have to have limited visits from friends and family, if that makes sense.

We did have a question about if ACVVS volunteers still require COVID vaccinations even if the auspice organisation no longer requires this for their volunteers. So I would refer auspices to refer to their public health orders of their relevant state or territory jurisdiction however currently there isn’t the requirement for ACVVS volunteers to have the COVID vaccination any longer.

So I’ll throw this one to you Craig. There was a question:

Q:         I’m unclear on the differences between an auspice and a network provider and which needs to apply for the grants?

Craig Mastersson:

Okay. So an auspice is a community based organisation that will basically train and recruit volunteers to go out and visit with aged care recipients. So the minimum is 26 that we’re looking for an organisation. Whereas a network member is a single individual in every state and jurisdiction. The role of that network member will be to support the auspices and also be the conduit between the auspices and the Department. So easiest way to look at it is a network member is one individual in each state or jurisdiction and the auspice is the organisation that recruits the volunteers and conducts the visits.

Thanks Kirsten.

Kirsten Turner:

Great. Thanks Craig. There was sort of a similar question.

Q:         If you apply for Activity 4 for the CoP is there a funding amount offered for the role?

And that’s correct which you sort of outlined already Craig.

Craig Mastersson:

Yes that’s correct. There is a separate funding amount for the community of practice coordinator which we do refer to as the CoP and the prerequisite to be the community of practice coordinator you must be a successful network member applicant because the two roles are very aligned.

Kirsten Turner:

So there was a question here and I might throw this one to you as well Craig.

Q:         If applying for multiple aged care planning regions can applicants – do you have to demonstrate the ability to service that region for each of the regions?

Craig Mastersson:

Yes. That’s correct. Organisations can apply for placements within one aged care planning region, ACPR, or they can apply for placements in multiple ACPRs.

We need to ensure that the applicant has the ability to actually service all those different regions. So if you are applying for multiple regions you will need to demonstrate quite clearly in your application how it is you intend to service each one of those ACPRs in your nomination.

Kirsten Turner:

Thanks Craig. And there was a question as well.

Q:         Is there a minimum number within a consortium?

And I’ll throw that to you as well Craig as I’m going through the questions.

Craig Mastersson:

No minimum number other than the obvious one being two where you’d have a lead organisation and one other. So a consortia could be a lead organisation and one other partner organisation or it could be a lead organisation and five other partner organisations.

Kirsten Turner:

And this is a good question.

Q:         Is there a maximum placement an auspice can apply for in Activity 1?

Craig Mastersson:

No. There’s no maximum placement numbers that an auspice can apply for. The auspice would just need to clearly demonstrate how they’re going to deliver those placements in their application.

Kirsten Turner:

Thanks Craig. We had another question.

Q:         Is it possible to be a volunteer if they’re under 18 or have a disability?

So the program only allows for volunteers over the age of 18 and I think that reflects the makeup of the program, that it’s that one on one visitation, it’s about the friendship and companionship. It doesn’t have sort of overarching structures in terms of lessons or that sort of thing. But certainly a person with a disability can be a volunteer and we’d very much encourage that.

We had another question and I’ll throw to you Craig.

Q:         Can we apply for special needs groups and non-special needs groups in one application?

Craig Mastersson:

Yes that’s correct. You can. So organisations can apply for both. Organisations may just want to submit an application where they’re actually not identifying any of the special needs groups or the cultural diversity groups. So for that process when Activity 1 applicants undertake their AWP, complete their AWP, you’ll see on the first tab when you nominate the number of placements, and then the next tab you go to is the diversity tab where it will automatically – if you’ve put 20 places in for Grampians it will then show that information on the following tab and then you can indicate within that tab if you would like to service some of those 20 placements or all of those 20 placements as a diversity group. So you’ll see that on the two different tabs.

Kirsten Turner:

Great. Thank you Craig. So we also had a question.

Q:         When do you think we will get news if we were successful or not?

So we do have systems in place. So I don’t know if we can say a firm date from when you’ll get the news or not but we definitely are seeking for auspices to receive the news as early on as possible so that they can do staffing and be prepared for the program, and for current CVS auspices for them to be able to transition over to the new program. But yeah we don’t have a firm date that we can guarantee at this stage.

So we had another question.

Q:         As an aged care provider if we submit an exemption but are denied an exemption will our application still be considered within the 25% requirement?

So I’ll throw that to you Craig.

Craig Mastersson:

So the requirement under the grant is that a provider in that scenario does provide the 25% outside their own organisation. If the exemption is not granted then obviously the agreement couldn’t be offered. So you would need to have a successful exemption for that situation.

Kirsten Turner:

We’ve also had a question.

Q:         If a current auspice is unsuccessful in reapplication under the CVS program what are the processes in place to ensure a smooth and considered transition for a current care recipient being visited?

You go Craig.

Craig Mastersson:

So the Department is aware that that could occur and there is processes in place and plans in place that if that event does occur there will be a smooth transition plan for those aged care recipients and volunteers to move to a new organisation so that the friendships can continue.

Kirsten Turner:

We had a question about:

Q:         Where do we find the National Guidelines?

So that’s in the GrantsConnect. If you go to the grant documents tab that’s alongside the Grant Opportunity Guidelines. So they should be there. But there’s also a number I think, a help email that you can refer to in the grant applications if you’re having trouble.

All right.

So we’ve had a question and I’ll refer this to you Craig.

Q:         If auspices have a total of more than 50 volunteers targeting single minority groups can this be state and territory basis as well or still be by ACPR?

Craig Mastersson:

So if it’s over 50 it will be by ACPR. If it’s under 50 that will be by state. Yes.

Kirsten Turner:

Thanks Craig.

We have a lot of questions coming through so I do apologise for the pauses as I’m working through these.

So I think I didn’t quite understand this question but there was a question.

Q:         With the portal will auspices still be able to maintain their own volunteer databases or will the portal replace those?

Craig Mastersson:

Yes. So I think the answer to that question was no it wouldn’t replace those because the Department will be seeking only the data we require to manage the program and improve the program moving forward. I would anticipate that auspices would have contact information, specific addresses of the recipients and volunteers so that information we wouldn’t need. So I would anticipate that auspices would continue to maintain their own volunteer recipient portals and then only enter the information that is required into the Department’s data portal.

Kirsten Turner:

Thank you Craig.

And I’ll refer this one to you as well Craig.

Q:         How and where do we find the aged care statistical reporting areas, the ACPRs?

Craig Mastersson:

We’ll provide a link to that after the session. So after the session later today we will circulate the presentation and we’ll also provide a link to where you can find the ACPRs. One of the things that we’ve done though too is in the online portal the intention is rather than having people having to work out which ACPR they’re in the volunteers’ and recipients’ data will be entered by postcode and then the portal will translate that into ACPR for you. So down the track we will make that easier for you.

Kirsten Turner:

Thanks Craig.

Q:         Will the reporting consider outcomes data to support evaluation of impacts?

So that’s an interesting question. We do want to have – and Craig’s referred to this already. We do want to have richer data to inform our policy and program approach however we know we really need to balance that with the burden on auspices. So while we will have some additional KPIs we will also be undertaking an evaluation which has more intensive methodology to be reflecting care recipients’ views and also the cost assessment outcomes that we can see through having social isolation interventions like the CVS.

We also had a question about:

Q:         Section 4.3 states NDIS worker check is required. Is this required for employed aged care staff as well as volunteers?

So the checks that you have do reflect the amount of time and the services that you’re providing in a facility. So if you’re an irregular visitor you may not have the same requirements. The NDIS worker check – currently in the program we require a police check as per aged care policy. Some facilities which do have people with disability who are under the NDIS may push to have an NDIS worker check. Under the aged care reform activities there has been a move to require NDIS worker checks in aged care however that is not required currently so we’ll stay with the requirement of the police check. So we’ll just note that this may be required in the future pending changes in the aged care requirements.

And then we have another question.

Q:         Given a very specific dataset will be required by the ACVVS portal six monthly report wondering if the ACVVS data collection tool can be provided to all auspices to standardise this process?

So I’ll hand that over to you Craig.

Craig Mastersson:

So upon the execution of the agreements for successful applicants additional information will be provided at that time to all the auspices so they actually have advanced notice of the information that will be required to collect. As far as reporting the first reporting – and noting we are developing the portal – the first bi-monthly reporting will occur at the end of August in 2023 and then the first six monthly reporting will be due around 1 January 2024. So we have a little bit of lead time which the Department will use to obviously provide the training and also provide the detailed step by step instructions as to how to use the portal. We have undertaken some stakeholder engagement around the design of the portal with current CVS network members and we’ve had some excellent feedback. And the focus is on providing a portal that is going to be easy for auspices to use.

Kirsten Turner:

Thanks Craig. Sorry. I do realise that we’ve gone over time. I just got wrapped up with all the questions. Just one last question was:

Q:         Please confirm the GOG ID is GO5795?

And we can confirm that.

So as I mentioned we’ll look at the remaining questions that we didn’t get time to review and make sure that our facts are very explicit on those ones if there’s something that hasn’t been clear. I also want to confirm that we will be making this recording available. We’ll just need to close caption and transcribe it. So that will be available in about one week. And all the information that we’ve spoken about today are reflected in the GOGs, the National Guidelines and the facts so I’d like to refer you to those as well.

Anything in addition from you Craig?

Craig Mastersson:

No. Actually just one quick clarification on the online data portal. The data entry will be undertaken basically by the auspices. The volunteers themselves won’t actually have to do that. The volunteers will continue to report to the auspices and then the auspice coordinator will input the data for the report. So just one little clarity there but otherwise no. Thank you Kirsten.

Kirsten Turner:

Great. Thank you Craig and thank you everyone for your attendance today. We hope that it’s been helpful. And as I mentioned you can find everything on the grant – if you have any questions you can email Grant ATM there that we’ve got on the screen. Have a good afternoon everyone. Thank you.

Craig Mastersson:

Thank you.

[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Australian Government with Crest (logo)’, ‘Department of Health and Aged Care’, ‘Thank you’, ‘For any queries, please contact Grant.ATM@health.gov.au’, ’19 October 2022’]

[End of Transcript]

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