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Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) are the main body representing the Integrated Retirement Community sector (IRC) in the UK. Members comprise about half of the IRC sector including profit and non-for-profit members.

The term Integrated Retirement Community was born out of a need to streamline the confusing litany of terms used to encompass retirement living. The key differentiators between IRCs approved by ARCO consumer code and more traditional forms of retirement living is adherence to the ARCO Consumer Code and the features of schemes operated by members, in particular, the availability of 24-7 on-site support access to CQC-registered personal care if it is needed. 

ARCO was founded in 2012 with an overarching mission to raise the profile of the Integrated Retirement Community sector and to support the UK’s ageing population through the provision of high quality housing with care. 

Our aim is to ensure that customers considering a move to an Integrated Retirement Community are provided with all the information that they need upfront and that their rights as consumers and as owners and residents are protected.

ARCO believes that all older people should be;

  • Treated with respect and dignity.
  • Be valued for their contributions to society and to their communities
  • Have what they need to be happy and healthy, including access to good support, care, and health services
  • Be enabled and supported to live independently for as long as possible
  • Be empowered and free to make informed choices

ARCO Consumer Code Explained

Integrated Retirement Communities run by ARCO-approved operators agree to abide by the Consumer Code; a regulatory framework that builds upon UK consumer law to set high standards for all Integrated Retirement Communities.  ARCO focuses its attention on ten priority areas which include funding, health, technology, legislation, and data. 

The Consumer Code also promotes transparency and fairness concerning fees and service charges as well as maintaining core levels of service and offering a respectful and consultative relationship with all residents.  Here at Retirement Villages, we believe this is essential for providing peace of mind to all potential customers looking for their forever retirement. 

Meeting the demand for IRCs

With each passing year, there is more and more demand for housing across the UK as a whole.  Integrated Retirement Communities can help to alleviate some of that demand. ARCO is working alongside the UK’s health and social care systems to provide additional support to older people through their provision of integrated retirement communities.

ARCO undertakes considerable work to grow the provision of IRCs. ARCO’s ambition is for 250,000 people to have the opportunity to live in IRCs by 2030.  This will help meet the growing need for more retirement housing to support and care for older people in the UK. 

Retirement Villages is proud to be a member of ARCO and what it allows us to do for you.

At Retirement Villages, we believe that being members of ARCO provides additional security to those who chose an IRC for their retirement home.  ARCO regularly assesses us to ensure high standards are consistently met.  While the provision of onsite care and support is a key element of what we provide, we are also passionate about our social and community settings and our active enabling of independent living. 

Visit the ARCO website for more information.

ARCO website
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