Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) effectively assisting ACSA member non-profit aged care providers to be better informed about the attributes and benefits of co-operative and mutual enterprises models of care giving.
Co-ops and mutuals are businesses formed to benefit their members, drawn from the stakeholders of the business such as customers and employees.
They deliver benefits back to members, rather than profit maximisation and returns to investors.
Outgoing ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow said the MOU is an ‘exciting’ commitment to exploring different organisational models and ways in which providers can respond to the royal commission findings for older people to have more control and choice over the services they are receiving.
“We are looking forward to working together with BCCM to inform our members and empower them with options for the future,” she said.
BCCM CEO Melina Morrison said co-operatives and mutuals share a common aspiration with many Australian non-profit aged care providers to galvanise actions aimed at putting the consumer at the centre of the business model and ensuring a safe and rewarding workplace for those who care.
“The aged care royal commission was a rallying call for everyone who cares about a future-looking dignified and safe way to deliver a transparent and world class aged care system,” Morrison said.
“We are delighted to partner with ACSA to increase awareness of the co-op and mutual model and how member-ownership and governance can help organisations achieve their aspirations for person centred, compassionate care delivered by aged care workers who feel appreciated and empowered in their workplace.”
The objectives of the MOU are to deliver information and awareness programs about co-ops and mutuals and to offer guidance, encouragement and support to those providers interested in mutualising services or new start-ups.
ACSA and BCCM claimed building capacity to increase the diversity of ownership and business models among aged care providers is a foundation of the co-operation, and they recognise the benefits of consumers and workers having more choice about their services and their work.