Middle Managers and the COP

Participation as a middle manager in this I-CHARP Community of Practice is not limited to those with the title of manager.  In I-CHARP, we categorise middle management as a set of activities, responsibilities and accountabilities which occur along a continuum that entails both leadership and management abilities.

We recognise that this way of thinking about middle management may not align directly to titles, positions, grading, remuneration, Award or other industrial instruments, but they are all essential for effective functioning of the middle management level in organisations. Nevertheless, according to the Australian Aged Care Leadership Capability Framework (2014, p.11)

“As mid-level leaders or ‘middle management’, Level 2 Leaders are commonly responsible for multiple teams or an entire service/function. According to organisational size and function, these leaders are likely to occupy positions as Director of Nursing, Care Manager, Facility Manager, Hotel Services Manager, Quality Manager, Human Resources Manager and so on.”

In the Framework, middle managers are depicted as operating between Level 1 and Level 3 managers in aged care:

In I-CHARP, a ‘middle manager’ is a person employed in an administrative, managerial or supervisory position whose role involves having both operational oversight and strategic insight through engagement with higher levels of the organisation.

In I-CHARP, the term “middle managers” relates to a set of activities, responsibilities and accountabilities including, but not limited to:

  • overall responsibility for the ongoing care of residents, liaison with family and regular visitors
  • supervisory responsibilities for nurses, care workers and others involved in resident care
  • accountability for ensuring quality and safe resident care
  • leadership capabilities consistent with those in the Australian Aged Care Leadership Capability Framework.

Why have a community of practice for middle managers in I-CHARP?

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who

  • share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic
  • come together to fulfill both individual and group goals
  • interact on an ongoing basis to learn with, and from, each other
  • share ideas and solutions
  • share best practice and best available evidence
  • work to support the translation of evidence into practice
  • create new knowledge about their professional practice.

CoPs have proven beneficial to both individuals and organisations:

There are many issues that middle managers in aged care have in common where participating in a CoP may be beneficial. Implementing I-CHARP as a model of care for reablement of older people living with dementia in residential aged care is the issue common to participants in this CoP.

Read more about why CoPs are important here.
You may also want to read this article about the experience of middle managers in a learning network similar to a CoP.