ACAR is here to stay…at least for now

The consistent message from Government is that ACAR is going. However, policy implementation is uncertain and slow. Our best forecast is there is at least two more rounds before the transition to the post – ACAR world.

While the short-term future of residential care is uncertain future demand guarantees a place for residential care in the longer term. So, if growth in resi care is your strategic focus, then mastering ACAR is crucial to achieving your strategic goals – having a winning ACAR application is a must!

While success may seem like a lucky dip, our experience tells us there are some key actions providers can take to maximise your chance of success.

Managing Director

Understanding the need from the department’s perspective

The Department assesses need for places according to geographic regions by statistical area level 3 (SA3). While the exact methodology for determining need is unclear, we know they target a supply ratio of 78 places per 1,000 people over 70 years old.

Use the PrideLiving ACAR Gap tool to gauge the priority of your application. Simply, enter the SA3 of your proposed development. You will see the gap between required places as per the supply ratio as at 2025 (the Department expects places to come online 4 years after allocation) and total allocated places which includes operational, provisional and offline places.

Being in an SA3 where there is higher gap in places means that the Department will more likely prioritise the region. However, it does not guarantee success nor does a low prioritisation preclude you from receiving approval.

The heat mapping is based on quintiles in the gap for place – note, the map may take a minute to load.

Focus – delivery care to special needs

The Aged Care Act specifies a number of special needs the Department considers in assessing applications. The key for success is being able to tell the stories of your consumers and give evidence to the unique care which you provide. Tell them why this application deserves support

We have had the privilege of submitting applications for providers across a spectrum of special needs and key issues including CALD, mental illness, rural and remote communities and dementia.

Successful applications are distinguished by:

Early planning and engagement

This provide the time to conduct the required market research, including consultations with key linkages and align the statistical data with the qualitative analysis.

Designs for the physical building which cater for the special needs

Such as outdoor and garden areas for dementia units and prayers rooms for Islamic people.

Case studies illustrating the effectiveness of programs and initiatives

One of our clients instituted a men’s shed which was highly effective in managing behaviours.

Checklist for success

Our expectation is that the ACAR will be announced towards the middle of 2020. While this may appear to be a fair way into the distance, success goes to applicants who start planning early and have a dedicated senior team to own the process.

We have developed a checklist of action for any provider looking to maximise their chances of ACAR success. Have you:

identified the key issues and special needs which you will target?
developed a narrative which will cascade throughout the whole application?
conducted market research to obtain both qualitative and quantitative evidence of need?
ensured that the building designs support your model of care?
collated stories demonstrating the effective delivery of care?
put in place a clear strategy to finance the development?

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t let a knock back get you down – successive applications, demonstrating progress of the project, can greatly help to get your project over the line. [click here for our re-lodgement guarantee]

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Maximising your chances of success with Pride Living

In an environment where the day to day challenges in aged care are increasing, the prospect of managing another government application is understandably, rarely the first priority.

Pride Living has a multidisciplinary team of experts. We make your ACAR application our priority this means you can have confidence that your application maximises your chance of success!

To find out more on how we can help you, contact Bruce Bailey on 02 9239 9004 or email