Memorandum of Understanding between ACSA and BCCM

1. Statement of Purpose

This MOU is intended to build understanding and awareness of the attributes and benefits of Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises (CMEs) so that ACSA members can consider different models of ownership and governance that aim to:

  1. Better meet the needs and expectations of consumers in diverse communities across Australia
  2. Empower employees (and or consumers and other stakeholders) as members to have specific responsibilities in the governance of the enterprise
  3. Provide solutions to the challenges in some communities around providing sustainable, appropriate and quality services with a particular focus on priority areas raised by the Australian Aged Care Royal Commission
  4. Foster a culture of co-operation around innovation in response to a new Aged Care Act; and
  5. Increase the diversity of ownership and business models among aged care providers enabling more choice for consumers and employees.

2. About BCCM and ACSA

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) is the national peak body representing Co-operative and Mutual Enterprises (CMEs) in multiple sectors. Formed in 2013, the BCCM promotes the co-operative and mutual models of enterprise and highlights the contribution CMEs make to the national economy in Australia.

The BCCM membership covers a wide range of industry sectors including agriculture, banking, health, education, housing, insurance, motoring, superannuation, retail, wholesale and purchasing and Indigenous services.

The BCCM is committed to:

  • Promoting the role of CMEs in the national economy
  • Advocating for an enabling environment for CMEs to overcome the barriers to  growth, innovation, and competition
  • Providing leadership in research, education and advocacy aimed at promoting the sector
  • Encouraging CMEs across all sectors to share best practice to foster partnerships aimed at strengthening co-operation in the sector

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) is the leading national peak body supporting not for profit, church and charitable providers of retirement living, community, home and residential care for more than 450,000 older Australians.

ACSA is a strong and effective advocate with a persuasive national voice that leads the national aged care agenda.

Our close relationship with our members, assures that we understand the unique challenges faced in the sector and that our focus remains on providing effective services to enable our members to meet these challenges.

ACSA has enormous strength through its numbers across Australia, and by the high regard in which it is held by communities and stakeholders.

3. Objectives

  1. To form a mutually beneficial coalition of support based on shared interests between ACSA and BCCM
  2. To deliver information and awareness programs about CMEs for ACSA Members
  3. To provide online tools and resources from the BCCM website about CMEs in Australia and overseas
  4. To offer guidance, encouragement and support to those ACSA Members interested in mutualising services; and
  5. To advocate and build support for a Mutual Support Program to achieve increased diversity of ownership and business models in aged care.

4. The benefits from our co-operation

ACSA and BCCM consider the benefits of this approach will be:

  1. Build capacity among ACSA members by increasing their knowledge and awareness of the CME governance and business model and how this may equip some providers to be more sustainable under a new Aged Care Act.
  2. Generate positive impact in some targeted communities where the Royal Commission highlighted challenges by undertaking co-design work around some innovation projects that could be considered for funding.
  3. A strong and mutually beneficial relationship that strengthens both ACSA and BCCM in its advocacy around innovation and reform.

5. Statement of Co-operation

BCCM and ACSA will co-operate on areas of mutual interest to each of their respective memberships with a view achieving the purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Building capacity to increase the diversity of ownership and business models among aged care providers is a foundation of this co-operation because both ACSA and BCCM recognise the benefits of consumers and workers having more choice about their services and their work.

Under this MOU, ACSA and BCCM will agree a program of work and accountabilities to be achieved in stages, within the capacity and resources of each organisation.

6. Operating Principles

Both parties agree that:

  • ACSA has the lead role on engagement with its membership and key stakeholders in the aged care industry with whom they have established relationships
  • BCCM has the lead role on engagement with its membership and the key stakeholders who have shown interest in supporting the Action to Empower initiative and the possibility of a Mutual Support Program
  • By agreeing to co-operate both BCCM and ACSA will commit to foster a respectful relationship designed to build capacity in targeted communities, through co-design activities involving consumers, carers, workers, providers, and other stakeholders committed to the purpose of this MOU.