Get started with your ARVAS accreditation

Explaining the basics of ARVAS, why it is beneficial and how you should prepare and get started with your village’s accreditation. 

What is ARVAS?

ARVAS stands for the Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme and it is the main accreditation scheme for retirement village operators in Australia. The accreditation scheme is jointly owned by Property Council of Australia (Property Council) and Aged & Community Care Providers Association (ACCPA).

The ARVAS Standards are designed to work directly with the Retirement Living Code of Conduct, which is the sector’s self-assessment tool. Any organisation wishing to apply for accreditation under ARVAS must also be operating according to the Retirement Living Code of Conduct.

ARVAS was developed with an entirely new set of national standards to reflect the various elements of a resident’s experience within retirement villages.

Please note: You will need to be signed up to the Retirement Living Code of Conduct before becoming ARVAS accredited.

Property COuncil of Australia

What are the ARVAS standards?

The ARVAS Standards applies to most retirement villages in Australia, and it includes seven quality areas:

ARVAS Standards Description

Standard 1
Community Management 

The Community is managed efficiently and effectively; the Community Manager is a positive and proactive leader of the Community team with a strong customer service orientation. 

Standard 2
Human Resource Management

The Community's employment management practices ensure the quality and quantity in retirement villages.

Standard 3
Resident Entry & Exit

The Community's processes for managing resident entry and exit are effective and focus on a positive resident experience. 

Standard 4
Resident Engagement & Feedback

The Community engages residents effectively. 

Standard 5
Community Environment, Services & Facilities

The Community environment, service and facilities are managed effectively and in accordance with contractual obligations. 

Standard 6
Safety & Security

The Community's processes for managing safety and security are effective. 

Standard 7
Resident Care (Only applies to communities that provides care services)

Residents receive safe, high-quality care consistent with their needs and preferences. 


The ARVAS Standards have a three-level hierarchy comprising of Standards, Criteria, and Indicators. Each Standard is comprised of a Criterion and each Criterion is comprised of Indicators.

For example:

Standard Criteria Indicator 

Standard 5:
Community Environment, Services & Facilities 

5.1.1. Common areas, facilities and equipment are clean and fit for purpose 

Sale/lease agreement/disclosure documents in relation to common areas, facilities, and equipment. 

Policies and procedures in relation to management and maintenance of common areas, cleaning, and maintenance. 


See the latest ARVAS standards

The benefits of being ARVAS accredited

You might be wondering… ‘Why should I get ARVAS accredited? Is it worth it?’

Well, numerous benefits come with retirement villages meeting the retirement village accreditation scheme standards, including:

  • Gain formal recognition for meeting a national set of standards while being aligned with the Retirement Village’s Code of Conduct.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to your residents while ensuring the village is safe, secure and operating to high-quality standards.
  • Stay resident-focused, having clear processes for residents to be consulted, engaged and heard.
  • Reduce organisational business risk.
  • Educate and engage staff in the provision of quality service, building a positive culture for everyone in the village.
  • Show a clear commitment to continuous improvement in your operations.
  • Promote your village as being committed to improving their levels of safety and high quality to current and prospective residents.

Having the right system that supports ARVAS

Knowing the benefits and importance of your retirement living organisation being ARVAS accredited, it inevitably will be an easier process to get accredited when you have implemented an operations management software that supports ARVAS.

There are only a few software solutions on the market that specialise in retirement living operations management, and it is unknown if these solutions can support operators with their ARVAS accreditation… until now!

According to retirement living industry professionals, Person Centred Software’s operations management software is the only solution on the market that supports more than 80% of the ARVAS standards.

This means that retirement living operators will be able to easily use the software to provide evidence to the ARVAS accessors that they have met the majority of the indicators per criteria within each standard, which helps providers towards completing their accreditation.

What about the other 20% you might ask?

Depending on which criteria need to be evidenced, Person Centred Software’s operations management system can integrate with other solutions on the market that will help complete your ARVAS self-assessment. For example, to meet Standard 2: Human Resource Management requirement, we can partner with an HR-specialised solution of your choice, which will mean that the technologies implemented in your village will meet 100% of the ARVAS standards.


3 Pillars of Operational Excellence

When considering the right system for your village that can help with ARVAS, you also have to consider if the operations management system is able to support the 3 key pillars of operational excellence. See below:

Preparing for ARVAS accreditation

Happy people living in a retirement village

Sometimes, even thinking about starting an accreditation process can be overwhelming due to a lack of resources or not knowing where to start.
Below we outlined some steps which you can take to get prepared: 
  1. Know the standards: Read through the ARVAS standards. As you read, highlight any evidence that you may not yet have.  This will assist you in mapping any gaps. 
  2. Develop a plan: Once the standards have been reviewed, and any gaps identified, you will need to create a specific plan. This plan should include specific actions that will be taken to address any gaps in the current policies, procedures, or processes. At this stage, you may consider implementing a system which can contain most of the ARVAS-relevant documentation and evidence. Person Centred Software’s aged care software is an excellent choice as it can retain up to 80% of the required evidence.
  3. Implement the plan: there is no point in having a plan if it doesn’t get implemented. Allocated tasks to your team and have a consultation process too for any of those that affect your staff or residents. Once the new policies, procedures or processes are approved, communicate those to all involved and make sure they are implemented. 
  4. Train employees: Accreditation is a team effort, so it is important to ensure all staff are aware of the changes and able to perform the new expectations. 
  5. Gather documentation: Evidence will be required to demonstrate compliance with the ARVAS standards. Your organisation will need to gather all relevant documentation, such as policies, procedures, and records, to support the accreditation process.
  6. Conduct an internal audit: Before the ARVAS accreditation starts, an internal audit can be conducted to identify any areas of non-compliance and to ensure that everything is in place.
Please note: Upon the implementation of the new processes and systems, it will be necessary for you to utilise them exclusively for 3-6 months. This will serve as evidence that you have successfully transitioned from any previous processes and systems to the new ones.
As a minimum, to prepare for your accreditation journey you will need several documents and evidence, including, but not limited to: 
  • Policies and procedures
  • Resident feedback records and reports
  • Resident communications
  • AGM related documents
  • Resident contracts and relevant documents 
  • Asset register
  • List of suppliers
  • Preventative maintenance schedule 
  • Hazard register
  • Maintenance requests records and reports

All the documents and information outlined above can be kept and maintained in a safe and central location. When providers have no central source of truth for their residents’ records, accreditation can become a very time-consuming activity to consolidate and collate all required documentation. Retirement Village Software will not only help you organise your documents and your village’s workflows, but it also ensures records are ready for your self-assessment with ARVAS.

How to get started with your ARVAS accreditation

It might not be mandatory yet to get ARVAS accreditation, but it will set you apart from other villages and give that formal recognition that your organisation is offering top-quality services to all residents. In the long run, the accreditation will help you with marketing your village to prospects and reassuring residents of the quality and safety of your community.

QIP (Quality Innovation Performance) is the authorised accreditation provider for ARVAS, on behalf of the Property Council and ACCPA. This is due to their previous experience as an assessment provider for the International Retirement Community Accreditation Scheme (IRCAS).

To get started, you will need to enquire on the QIP’s website here to start the accreditation process. Or you can simply call 1300 888 329 or email

You can also engage with the Person Centred Software team to see how our operations management system can support you in recording and maintaining your records and transactions required by ARVAS accreditation.

Find out more about Person Centred Software’s all-in-one operations management software, that can support your ARVAS accreditation journey by filling in the form.

Find out more!