acar analysis of 2016 results

results are in

The 2016-17 Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) results have been announced. Of the 10,000 places available in the ACAR 9,991 have been allocated with 60 places deferred.

The 2016-17 ACAR was the most competitive on record with providers applying for a total of 45,053 places. This is higher than 2015 where 38,868 places were sought and in 2014 just 19,169 places sought. Ideal contributed to the success of close to 15% of successful allocations in the 2016-17 ACAR.

Top five allocations net a quarter of all places

The top five providers in terms of number of places allocated were all for profit organisations. Between Lendlease (756 places), Signature Care (640), Aegis (353), Regis (352) and Infinite (305), the top five providers scooped up 24.4% of total places.

allocation based on need

Amongst other factors the Department allocated places based on their calculations of need – highest, high, moderate and low. While there was a preference for places allocated in areas of highest need there were still allocations in all categories. In Ideal’s experience this was based on a solid argument for places based on evidence of need for specific services. As we articulated throughout the ACAR process, evidence is king.

The following table shows the breakup by state / territory of the proportion of places allocated by need.

% places Highest High Medium Low
ACT 82.3% 0.0% 0.0% 17.7%
NSW 67.8% 14.7% 5.3% 12.1%
NT 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
QLD 54.3% 16.7% 8.4% 14.2%
SA 83.7% 16.3% 0.0% 0.0%
TAS 0.0% 21.4% 78.6% 0.0%
VIC 60.7% 16.7% 8.4% 14.2%
WA 47.6% 14.8% 12.8% 24.8%
national 58.9% 15.1% 7.0% 19.0%

not for profits and for profits

The total number of homes allocated places was evenly split between for profit organisations (99 homes including 25 new services) and not for profits (98 homes including 21 new services).

Both groups were represented highly in the highest need and high need areas. There was a higher proportion of additional beds for not for profits in areas of low need however the volume of beds in the low category was smaller than the for profit group.

cat not for profit For profit
total places % of category split No of homes No of new homes total places % of category split No of homes No of new homes
Highest 1,748 48.1% 39 7 4,007 64.5% 54 8
High 655 18.0% 22 5 951 15.3% 16 8
Mod 352 9.7% 8 3 342 5.5% 4 3
Low 879 24.2% 29 6 917 14.7% 25 6
Total 3,634 100.0% 98 21 6,217 100.0% 99 25

Breaking this down we can compare “success rates” by places applied and by number of applications received. Nationally the figures demonstrated a roughly one third chance of success in this past ACAR.

South Australia was the toughest state to crack with just a 15.1% success rate when analysing the number of applications versus the number of successful applications. If you are after places, the message is “go south or west” as Tasmania Western Australia had the highest rates of success of any state or territory. This is no doubt impacted by the chronic under supply in WA in recent years.

% places Success per place success per application
ACT 15.0% 27.3%
NSW 18.3% 25.7%
QLD 24.7% 29.5%
SA 8.4% 15.1%
TAS 34.8% 54.5%
VIC 20.6% 28.0%
WA 42.4% 40.0%
national 30.5% 28.6%

feedback from the department

As outlined in the Essentials Guide the factors that were considered in relation to the allocation of places included the quality of the application, the need in the relevant area and whether the proposal would enhance care recipient choice. The department also sought to achieve a balance between metropolitan and regional, rural and remote areas.

obtain formal feedback

Ideal recommends that providers seek formal feedback for unsuccessful applications.

Unsuccessful applicants may seek written feedback in respect to their individual applications and must register for individual feedback via e-mail by Friday 9 June 2017.

To register to receive individual feedback, your organisation’s nominated contact person(s) are required to e-mail the department at with the subject heading “Individual Feedback Request”, and include the following information in the body of the e-mail:

  • Organisation/Approved provider name;
  • Whether feedback is requested for residential aged care places, capital grants or both;
  • State(s)/territory in which the places and/or capital grant(s) were applied for;
  • Service(s) name and address;

Where an applicant applied for places and/or capital grant(s) across multiple states/territories, each service and state/territory must be listed in order to receive feedback for each application.

a compelling acar

While the Aged Care Roadmap points to freeing up of market forces the reality of the ACAR is that it is becoming harder to secure places. The business case for each application will differ.

Applicants with a solid application in an area identified as highest need should reasonably stand the highest chance. This is reflected in the allocations for the 2016-17 successful applicants.

A solid case can be built for areas of high need.

If applying in an area identified as moderate need it will be essential to demonstrate a very clear reason and evidence as to why the beds are required.

If applying in an area the Department has identified as low priority be aware that the application will require exceptional evidence of need. This may be because the operational places in the area are not ‘general places’ e.g. they are prioritised for the Chinese community or for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

plan plan plan

The Aged Care Reforms will reshape the sector to be consumer focused, market driven and financially sustainable. When considering growth, development and investment opportunities providers need to consider the current market environment and where the allocation of new aged care places is most likely occur. They must also consider the potential future competitive market in which place allocation may be deregulated.

Whether organisations complete applications in-house or outsource them active involvement and ownership by providers of the ACAR process is essential. The ACAR is much more than filling out a form once a year. To stand out providers need to implement a robust long term strategy and consider how they can demonstrate need when the time comes to apply – evidence supporting your argument for need is a must.


The Ideal Residential Aged Care Growth Planning Report presents a snapshot of the key demographic characteristics of the population in an area, the projected growth in the prescribed area, the supply of residential aged care places, and considers the need for residential aged care places in the current market conditions and in a deregulated environment.

This is a reference document for planning the location and service characteristics, developing a business case, developing an ACAR application and understanding the broader financial imperatives of a development site.

Reports can be ordered by location and include the SA3 relevant to that location. Where applicable, the data compares the characteristics of the SA3 to the state and rest of the country. The reports include planning and usage pattern forecasts, ACAR allocations, the ageing demographic profile and population projections, home ownership and income data for the elder population. To obtain an order form click here 000000 residential aged care growth planning report order form