Lifemark FAQs

Learn more about the process and what it means to be accredited and find out how you can make sure your first audit is a success by reading through some of our most frequently asked questions.

Lifemark Village Scheme - FAQs

How do I prepare for accreditation?

Step 1 Self-assessment:

Before applying for accreditation, applicants should undertake a self-assessment. The self-assessment is designed to assist the operator and village stakeholders (management, owners, residents and staff) to identify achievements, gaps or deficiencies and form a basis for continual improvement. A self-assessment form can be downloaded from the BSI Australia website.
Step 2 Application:
When the village operator first contacts BSI, BSI compiles a personalised proposal outlining the steps and timeframe for accreditation. Once your application is confirmed, BSI will assign your Auditor, who then becomes your contact throughout the process. Your Auditor will discuss with you your readiness for accreditation by reviewing your documentation, policies, objectives and targets.

Once an applicant village or operator is ready for accreditation assessment, the applicant makes a formal application in accordance with the Lifemark Village Scheme Rules.


Who is accredited?

Providers and all of their villages are covered as part of the Scheme.


How long does it normally take from application to accreditation?

Preparing for accreditation requires a commitment of resources to satisfy each element of the Lifemark Standards and depends upon maturity of systems, staff availability, the experience and skill level of staff, degree of documentation, competing projects and project management skills. Typically allow three (3) to six (6) months where part-time resourcing is used and a shorter period where dedicated staff is involved.


What is involved in a surveillance audit?

Surveillance activities take place eighteen (18) months after the issuance of the Certificate. It involves an off-site review of documentation and a repetition of the on-site accreditation process (assessment, nonconformities, final assessment report), and demonstration that all complaints and non-conformances have been acted upon.


How much notice will a village or operator have of the surveillance audit?

A surveillance audit date will be booked on a mutually agreeable date with three months’ notice.


What happens if the village or operator does not pass?

At the end of the on-site audit, the Audit Team will hold an exit meeting with Village/Operator Management and other stakeholders as advised by the Applicant. In the exit meeting, the Audit shall provide a Preliminary Assessment Report including identification and discussion of non-conformities, and where applicable, offer observations on the applicant’s continual improvement. 

Non-conformities shall be identified as being major or minor in accordance with the Lifemark Rules and have due dates for resolution not in excess of the maximum limits as set out in the Lifemark Rules.


Resolution of non-conformities

The village or operator shall provide evidence of the resolution of non-conformities to the Auditor by the due dates.  Failure to resolve non-conformity by the due date can result in suspension of the application or accreditation.

Once the Auditor is satisfied with the evidence presented he/she shall make a Final Assessment Report.


How much does accreditation cost?

The cost of accreditation varies depending on the size of the operator  and/or village. BSI will advise you upon initial inquiry of the cost of accreditation for your retirement living community. A fee is payable annually for the three years of Lifemark accreditation.


How will the village or operator be supported?

When you first contact BSI, a personalised proposal outlining the steps and timeframe for accreditation will be compiled. Once your application is confirmed, BSI will assign your Auditor, who will then become your contact for all stages of the process. 

Consulting services are not included in the accreditation fee cost.

You are welcome to contact BSI with any questions you may have.


Does the annual accreditation fee include remote travel costs where applicable?

No, remote travel costs where applicable are payable in addition to the annual accreditation fee. Quotes will be provided before travel is engaged.


Is an application fee payable in addition to the annual accreditation fee?

No, there is no application fee. Just the annual certification fee applies.


Is an additional fee payable for the 18 months surveillance audit?

No, remote audit travel fees do apply where applicable.