Sitting isolated in my home office, I’m envisioning a future that is filled with uncertainty. Life has always been thus as the Future is Fiction, all of us are making it up!

At this time with the challenges of viability, the uncertainty of the outcomes from the Royal Commission, the long term impact of COVID-19, the shift in consumer choice and the increased regulatory focus it is of great significance that the Govt has introduced the Business Improvement Fund – BIF grant program to assist residential aged providers:

  • Stream 1: implement a business improvement program (Stay), or
  • Stream 2: divest, merge (Grow), or
  • Stream 3: close (Go)

In this Pride Insight, we look at how providers might develop a successful applications under the BIF.

Managing Director

Getting started, are you eligible?

To get you started, on whether your BIF application will be eligible and be prioritied, we have developed a self assessment checklist.

Expand the tables below to access the checklist.

To be eligible for the BIF, provider must demonstrate that they:

Is the profit and loss in deficit?
Is the operating cashflow in deficit?
Is a deficit forecast for the coming financial year?
Is cash forecast to run out within the next 2 financial years?
Do you have access to limited sources of other funds?
Are you applying for stream 1 and have you obtained the required report?
Will your application be priortised?

Of the eligible providers, funding is targeted towards those who:

Is occupancy of the facility 90% or higher?
Has the ACAT confirmed lack of places to meet demand?
Does the region have materially fewer places than required per the aged care planning ratio?
Has the ACAT confirmed lack of places for the special need group you service?
Do you have a clean history of compliance?
Does the ABS classify the facility as regional or remote?
Do you operate 7 or fewer facilities?

If you meet all the above criterion and you ignore the BIF, you do so to the peril of your organisation and the community it serves!

What makes a winning BIF application?

The BIF is like an ACAR in that there is a fixed pool of resources (money) to be distributed.

This means your application needs to:

Understand Program constraints – this means calibrating the amount applied for. The more support per bed you request the harder it is for the assessors to support your application as this reduces the reach of the program. An application for half the maximum amount means another application can be approved. Reach is a measure of value from the Govt perspective. As the table shows, on our analysis the program is quite limited:
Grant per place
Max places
Max facilities
Business improvement
Recognise it’s competitive – assuming the grants will be allocated on a state basis it’s very clear that there will not be many successful grants in any state.
Address the criteria – treat it like a university assignment you have to address the marking criteria, simply telling your story is not enough.
Cite credible evidence – the program is designed to bring about a fundamental change in the circumstances of the applicant Approved Provider. The way to demonstrate this is to provide clear evidence, as opposed to aspiration as to the outcome. For example, applying for money to undertake a marketing campaign to improve occupancy is not evidenced-based. The best evidence is third party based on similar scenarios .
Compelling and stand out – the assessors will read many applications and will be attracted to well-presented cases that clearly meet the criteria.

Putting a compelling application together

PrideLiving has a proud and successful history in submitting winning grant and ACAR applications. When we apply what we have learnt in these areas to the BIF we see the following approaches as maximising your chance of success:

Diagnose the real underlying problem – use the five “whys” or some other approach to discern this.
Be objective – don’t use motherhood statements, essentially this means engaging an external party who knows and understands the industry and the program.
Identify a validated solution – this means being able to support the asserted outcomes with evidence of where this approach has been successful in a similar setting.
Demonstrate the 3C’s – Ultimately the success of your proposed action depends on execution, don’t assume that having identified what to do that the assessor will assume you can do it show you have the Commitment, Capability and Capacity to do it .

Interested in Our Services?

Maximising your chances of success with Pride Living

At Pride Living we’re about helping providers make decisions with confidence. If you are considering areas to improve your sustainability or exiting, our Business Improvement Program and our Restructure Merger Support Program are tailored for your needs.

If you are considering applying for the Business Improvement Grant, give us a call and we will make sure that your opportunity for success is maximised.

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