612 612

Trainer Mentor Program

The Trainer Mentor Program pairs aged care home kitchen teams with a qualified chef trainer who will mentor your team to serve flavourful, nutritious food and deliver an enhanced dining experience for residents in aged care homes. The program is FREE, delivered in-Home and is fully tailored to your needs.

The Trainer Mentor Program will help you continuously improve, meet regulatory requirements and enhance the quality of life for older people living in your Aged Care Home.

Over 12 months, participants will receive:

  • 5 days of intensive training, monthly follow-ups and regular coursework to consolidate learning.
  • A menu appraisal by an Accredited Practising Dietitian for 3 weeks of your Home’s menus.
  • Food Satisfaction Questionnaires for you to measure resident, family and staff satisfaction with your Home’s dining program.
  • A detailed report on Food Satisfaction Questionnaire and Menu Appraisal outcomes to inform your decision-making.
  • Access to the Professional Community, an online information and support forum for participating cooks, chefs and other staff.
  • Coveted 2-year Maggie Beer Foundation certificate provided for successfully participating Homes, valid for 2 years.
  • A Maggie Beer Foundation certificate upon completion for all cooks and chefs, valid for 2 years.



  • Building capability of chefs and cooks on how to source, prepare and serve delicious, nutritious food.
  • Receiving support and advice on how to meet the draft dedicated food and nutrition Aged Care Quality Standard (mandatory from 1 July 2024).
  • A potential reduction in unplanned weight loss, falls and major injury and pressure injury Quality Indicators, which contributes towards your Home’s Star Rating and is published publicly on My Aged Care.
  • A potential increase in positive responses to the Residents’ Experience Survey question “Do you like the food here?” which contributes towards your Home’s Star Rating published publicly on My Aged Care.



The program is open for up to 120 aged care homes until 2025. The application process ensures participants who will benefit most, secure a place. It also helps us understand demand for placement so we can meet it in future programs. There are 4 steps to the application process: (1) Application, (2) Data Collection, (3) Program Tailoring and (4) Program Commencement.

STEP 1 – Application

Application forms will collect information about your Aged Care Home, residents, existing dining program and your aims and expectations of training.

All applications will be reviewed after the closing date, by a panel of experts who will ensure successful applicants represent a wide range of aged care homes. This means including homes with different locations, sizes, cultural factors and star ratings. The selection panel will select Homes that:

  • Clearly demonstrate a commitment to completing the program.
  • Clearly demonstrate an ability to implement training recommendations.
  • Can provide the information and data we need to tailor a program to your individual needs.

The application process will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and you will be able to save your answers then come back to it later. Click here to view a pdf of the application form.

  • Phase 1 application deadline: 31 October 2023 (Deadline extended to 7 November 2023)
  • Phase 2 application deadline: 22 January 2024
  • Phase 3 application deadline: 22 April 2024 (Deadline extended to 24 June 2024)
  • Phase 4 application deadline: 22 July 2024 (Deadline extended to 5 August 2024) 

Shortlisted aged care homes will be notified and provided with further information relating to the next step – Data collection. If your application is unsuccessful, your application will be automatically added to the next panel review or you will be asked to provide additional information.

STEP 2 – Data collection

If your application is successful you will be asked to collect and provide the following information. We will use the data provided to tailor a program specifically for the individual needs of your aged care home.

We will request data from you in the following ways:

  • A kitchen and pantry audit – Provide us with a complete list of all the food in your pantry, cool-room and freezer as well as a list of all the equipment in your kitchen. This information helps us provide training and support that works specifically with your kitchen.
  • Copies of recipes & nutritional information – Provide all standard and texture modified recipes for at least three weeks’ worth of menus including breakfast, mid-morning meal, lunch, mid-afternoon meal, dinner and snacks.
  • A copy of your food safety manual
  • Photographs of your kitchen, dining areas and outdoor spaces
  • Food Satisfaction Questionnaires – You will need to complete evidence-based questionnaires, prepared by Flinders University and provided to you. They are peer-reviewed, valid, reliable and easy to do. They allow us to measure change in resident, family and staff satisfaction with the food you serve. The questionnaires contain:
    – 42 questions for your staff
    – 25 questions for residents (administered by staff)
    – 24 questions for families of residents
    You will be able to access the questionnaires through an online portal. Printable copies are also available. Questionnaires take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. As part of the Trainer Mentor Program you will receive a report summarising the results of the questionnaires. This report provides clear insight for growth, improvement and opportunity. You will also receive online training, a user guide and ongoing support on how to collect and use this data for improvement in your aged care home.

  • A menu appraisal – We will ask you to submit three weeks of standard and texture modified menus for appraisal. We’ll ask for photos of all meals and snacks you serve in a 24hour period. This helps us identify the heroes in your menu and highlights areas for improvement so we can tailor your training. An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) will measure food variety, nutritional needs and special dietary requirements in your menu. Your Food Service Manager will then meet online with the APD to provide any further information. As part of the Trainer Mentor Program, you will receive a report of the menu appraisal summarising your results and making clear recommendations for improvement.

STEP 3 – Tailor program

Once we have received all the data requested, a Maggie Beer Foundation Chef Trainer will work with you and your aged care home, to tailor the program to your individual needs.

STEP 4 – Program starts

The Trainer Mentor Program will start with 5 days intensive training with the Food Services Team. This usually takes place from Tuesday – Saturday, so that the Chef Trainer can also work with weekend staff. Monthly follow-up sessions are arranged with coursework to complete between sessions.

If you have any questions about the Trainer Mentor Program or how to apply, please contact training@maggiebeerfoundation.org.au or call (08) 8128 4464