Relevance of Behavioural Screening to the Royal Commission and the new Compliance Standards

26 Mar 2019
Attitude report with Serious Concern in the area of Hostility

Attitude Report with Low Concern in Attitudes to work
Misconduct Risk
The traditional risk agenda in relation to candidates has maintained a focus on misconduct risk. This is seen in the mandatory police checks as part of pre-employment screening and more recently the calls to establish a registration process for frontline care and support roles.

The Care Advantage Attitude assessment addresses critical misconduct risks, flagging candidates presenting with higher than desired risk profiles. Numerous clients see this as a key part of their workforce risk management agenda and a clear demonstration that they are, as part of a contemporary recruitment process, taking all reasonable steps to ensure against misconduct.

The new Compliance Standards (#8) require organisations to be able to demonstrate the governance frameworks used to mitigate risk and the Care Advantage Attitude screening provides this transparency.

Performance Risk
The emerging risk area related to Workforce (beyond misconduct risk) is that of Performance risk OR suitability to the sector. This is a key theme of the legislation and compliance requirements – a focus on the quality of care as well as safety (Standard #1 for example). This message is reinforced in the Quality and Safety Commission agenda, audits and rhetoric, as well as government publications and positioning. It has already appeared in the Royal Commission. As per comments by Ian Yates (Cota) “A lot of what we are seeing is safe care, but it is not meeting the needs of modern Australia”.

Performance risk is not about misconduct, it is about the casual neglect, lack of empathy, the lack of personal interaction that impacts clients and residents.

The Workforce Strategy Taskforce reported feedback from the sector that somewhere between 20% – 30% of EXISTING employees were not suited to a care environment.

This is principally where performance risk is found, and this is where the Care Advantage screening facilitates the identification “fit for purpose” applicants through the Personality assessment and job fit scores.

Personality Report with 92% Job Fit Score

Personality Report with 46% Job Fit Score
The challenge to providers around Performance Risk will be seen most clearly in 2 areas:
1.Compliance satisfying the Consumer needs requirements of the Standards, especially when consumer input and feedback are sought as part of audits.
2. Competitiveness – The transparency being introduced into the sector, will have a direct impact on sustainability. The government is introducing open market forces in the sector to drive change
[NOTE:] General legal advice (Russell Kennedy Lawyers) to the sector states: “Be familiar with the recommendations made in key inquiries like the ‘Tune Review’ and whether you have adopted any recommendations targeted at how you deliver quality and safety in aged care”

It is worth noting that The Workforce Taskforce Report last year recommends, in Strategic Action 5, the use of Psychometric screening:

Pre-employment screening: Psychometric testing enables employers to assess whether staff have the aptitude and attitude to work in aged care and are the right fit for the job for which they are applying. By improving recruitment processes, employers can reduce staff turnover.
The government has been very clear in the establishment of its new regulator and compliance standards, as well as the terms of Royal Commission, that its commitment to Quality (performance) and Safety (misconduct) are the foundation of the Aged Care system it is seeking to build.
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