Queensland Government looks to RLC accreditation scheme 

The QLD Government has delayed a requirement for retirement villages to be accredited under the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002 (RSA Act) to provide village operators with time to become compliant and accredited under the new Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme (ARVAS).

The Residential Services (Accreditation) (Extension of Transitional Provision for Retirement Villages) Amendment Regulation 2020 (Qld) was made on 17 July 2020, extending the timeframe for industry to comply with the accreditation requirement by two years.

The RSA Act requires certain leasehold or licence retirement villages to be accredited under, and comply with, the RSA Act.  However, a village will be exempted from the RSA Act where it is accredited by a “recognised accreditation body”.  The chief executive can “recognise” an entity that accredits retirement village schemes – for example, an industry body which has an accreditation scheme.  At present, the chief executive has not recognised any accrediting bodies. 

Before the amendment, the deadline for retirement villages to comply with the above accreditation requirement was September 2020. 

Government has shown an interest in ARVAS and the Retirement Living Code of Conduct, and expressly delayed this compliance deadline for two years until the end of August 2022.  In its reasoning, Government said the two year delay would ensure:

  • adequate time for ARVAS to be implemented effectively;
  • adequate time for operators to become compliant and accredited with ARVAS; and
  • time for the Department of Housing & Public Works to assess the impact of the ARVAS scheme.

Although there is no guarantee on government’s future actions, their support of ARVAS suggests that government may seek to have the chief executive recognise ARVAS under the legislation in future, if the scheme proves meritorious. 

To increase the likelihood of this happening, and minimising the risk of unnecessary government regulation, we encourage all village operators to become signatories to the Code of Conduct and seek ARVAS accreditation.  As joint initiatives of the Property Council of Australia and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), both the Code and ARVAS were developed by industry.

Having a set of retirement living regulatory frameworks established by industry professionals has massive advantages when compared to government.

The wealth of experience that has been funnelled into these initiatives is staggering, as sector experts with decades of experience draw upon their own learnings and hindsight to create the Code of Conduct and ARVAS. Coupled with this factor and a heightened level of involvement and care, the retirement living industry in Australia has some of the best sector led initiatives in the world.

For more information about joining the Code of Conduct or ARVAS, contact us at retirementliving@propertycouncil.com.au.