Join us

Shape the future of older people's housing and care in the UK

If you are a:

Current or future operator of Retirement Communities? See Membership Options

A supplier to the Retirement Community sector? See Partnership Options

Membership options

In order to be eligible for membership, an organisation must operate or be building to operate at least one Retirement Community (this may also be referred to as a retirement village; extra care housing; housing with care; assisted living; close care apartments; or independent living) in the UK that qualifies for ARCO membership.

There are three main options for ARCO membership:

  • Full Membership: For organisations already operating at least one Retirement Community, with either 500 or more units to register, or that has fewer than 500 units to register but wants to take up the full suite of member benefits
  • Full Membership with a small member discount: For organisations already operating at least one Retirement Community, with fewer than 500 units to register that wishes to take up the discount for a reduction in member benefits
  • Prospective Membership: For organisations not currently operating a Retirement Community but instead currently building to operate at least one Retirement Community.

The difference between the types of membership is reflected both in the subscription fees and the benefits members are entitled to.

For organisations not yet building their first Retirement Community who wish too, we offer the ARCO Accelerator Programme – you can find more information under Partnership Options below.


To be eligible for ARCO membership an organisation must operate or be building to operate at least one Retirement Community which fulfils ARCO’s eligibility criteria. An ARCO registered Retirement Community must:

  • Be primarily for older people.
  • Offer self-contained accommodation that can be occupied with security of tenure.
  • Enable residents to take advantage of personal care that is delivered flexibly, usually by staff based on the premises.
  • Have staff available at the Retirement Community 24-hours a day.
  • Make domestic services available for residents.
  • Make meals available in restaurants or dining areas.
  • Offer communal facilities and encourage an active social programme in the community.
  • Aim to offer people a home for life and to enable them to ‘age in place’.

In addition, ARCO-registered communities must comply with the principles set out in ARCO’s Standards and Compliance Framework, including the central pillar of ARCO’s Consumer Code.

Membership benefits

Full Members benefit from the following:

  1. Eligibility to stand for election to the ARCO board at the AGM
  2. Participation at the annual AGM, with voting rights in the election of Board members
  3. Registration of all schemes with the ARCO Standard, including a membership certificate to be displayed in every registered community
  4. Invitation to attend (or send representatives) to topical workshops organised throughout the year, free of charge
  5. Access to ARCO marketing materials and participation in campaigns
  6. Self-portrait on the ARCO website
  7. Listing of registered communities on the ARCO website
  8. Use of ARCO branding rights
  9. Inclusion of your logo in ARCO collateral and presentations

Full Members who take up the small member discount have similar benefits, though they are unable to stand for the Board, and they may need to pay an additional fee to attend topical workshops.

Prospective Members incur most of the same benefits as Full Members with the small member discount, except they do not have the same branding rights and do not receive certificates until after the community is built.

Fee structure

ARCO’s membership year runs from September through August. Membership fees are based on a fee of £10.30 (plus VAT) per registered unit for the 2018-19 membership year, with caps and collars depending on the category of membership.

For Full Members and Prospective Members there is a collar (i.e. minimum payment) of £5,150 (plus VAT) per year, and a cap (i.e. maximum payment) of £10,300 (plus VAT) per year, regardless of how many units are registered (i.e., fewer than 500 or more than 1,000).

For Full Members who take up the small member discount the minimum subscription is £1,030 (plus VAT) per year, even if fewer than 100 units are registered. Prospective members cannot apply for the small member discount.


Partnership options

For organisations working in the Retirement Community sector that do not themselves operate (or are building to operate) a Retirement Community, we offer a variety of partnership options, including the ARCO Affiliate Network, the ARCO Accelerator Programme, and Premier Partnership. We also offer a variety of sponsorship opportunities.

ARCO Affiliate Network

An organisation that does not operate an eligible retirement community (and is not building one), that works in the housing-with-care sector and would like to be involved with ARCO can join the ARCO Affiliate Network. Please see the ARCO Affiliate Network for further information.

ARCO Accelerator Programme

The ARCO Accelerator Programme is a structured package of information and support for potential new entrants planning their entry into the UK housing-with-care market. Please see the ARCO Accelerator Programme for further information.

Premier Partnership

Premier Partners are leaders in the housing-with-care field. Premier Partnership is by invitation only, but please do get in touch if you’re interested in more information.


Please get in touch by emailing Ellie Pyemont, Head of Membership and Operations on if you would like to discuss any of the options for joining ARCO.