ARC Association for Real Change

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ARC Association for Real Change is a UK membership organisation, which supports providers of services to people with a learning disability.[1][2]

ARC Association for Real Change Logo


ARC was founded in 1976 as the Association of Residential Communities for the Retarded. For a brief period of time it looked as if 'mental retardation' would come over from the United States as the new terminology to replace 'mental handicap' which was unpopular. However, that did not happen and the term 'learning disability' was adopted by the Department of Health (after much debate and some disagreement which continues to today because the term 'learning disability' has a different meaning in the education world). ARC quickly shortened its name to the Association for Residential Communities and then later to the Association for Residential Care. The most recent change reflects the major policy changes in social care in that ARC (which is how it is known) now stands for The Association for Real Change. ARC was incorporated as a registered charity in 1982.[3] In 1992 the ARC Training Consortium was set up to support members who wanted to increase their own NVQ assessor/verifier capacity and to enable their staff to gain the appropriate NVQs.

ARC is also a member of The Learning Disability Coalition, a group of learning disability organisations that have come together in 2007 to form one group and one voice.[4] it is also a founding member of the Care Provider Alliance which is an alliance of 11 leading umbrella bodies in social care in the UK.


ARC is an UK umbrella organisation that is managed by a Board of 12 trustees, the current Chair is Tina Fahm and the Chief Executive is Jacqueline Bell.[5] ARC has offices in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The former Chief Executive was Mark Gray (Formally the Chair of British Institute for learning disabilities (BILD) and the current Chair of the National Network for learning disability Nursing) (NNLDN),who succeeded James Churchill who had steered the organisation for 28 years.

ARC provides a wide range of service such as information, publications, training and consultation. ARC works together with the Department of Health, Skills for Care and other organisations.


ARC aims at provision for people with a learning disability[6] and is involved in national and international projects. These projects range from improving management and training programmes and promoting best practices in the learning disability sector to Black and Minority Ethnic projects.[7] ARC is a partner in developing the ECC European Care Certificate.[8]

CRB checks[edit]

ARC is a registered umbrella body offering a full service to enable member organisations to obtain a Criminal Records Bureau Disclosure and Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA) check for all staff.[9]


External links[edit]