Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Training Package Development

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has responsibility for seven qualifications, packaged in the HLT Health Training Package. The IRC has identified the need to review the qualifications that cater to this sector and submit a Case for Change to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee in the current review period.

The training package products allocated to this IRC were last endorsed on 1 July 2013. The IRC has identified the need to review the qualifications that cater to this sector and submit a Case for Change to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) to update the training package products to meet current and future industry needs.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Industry Reference Committee (IRC) has responsibility for 7 qualifications packaged in the HLT Health Training Package.

Case for Change

SkillsIQ, under the direction of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker IRC, has prepared a Case for Change detailing changes required to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker training package products, to ensure they are reflective of contemporary industry skills needs.

The VET qualifications that are to be considered for inclusion in the Case for Change are:
• HLT20113 Certificate II in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
• HLT30113 Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
• HLT40113 Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
• HLT40213 Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice
• HLT50113 Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care
• HLT50213 Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice
• HLT60113 Advanced Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Care.

An engagement paper was circulated during November and December 2017 that asked for feedback on issues within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker sector. The findings of the project’s research and consultation have informed the development of a Draft Case for Change.

The IRC initially identified that the current qualifications have skills gaps in the following areas that need to be addressed when updating the training package products: the general health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; working with alcohol and other drugs; mental health; tele-health and e-health; family and domestic violence; mandatory reporting for health workers; targeted skills and knowledge around prevention, early detection and early intervention as well as restoration and maintenance of family members including health coaching, health education and promotion, case management and advocacy, and extra clinical skills and knowledge to deal with a lack of resources in isolated communities in rural and remote areas.

Further skills gaps that were identified in responses to the Engagement Paper included: complex health care; sexual health; child, maternal, youth, and family health; oral health; rural and remote emergency services; chronic disease management, and nutrition.

Based on this consultation, there are a number of gaps identified in this Case for Change and in some areas new Units of Competency will be have been recommended to address these gaps. It is initially anticipated that there will be 18 new Units of Competency covering the following subject areas:

1. Additional training for rural and remote emergency services
2. Infectious disease management and control at community level
3. Assist with an outbreak investigation
4. Design and implement a community-based health research project/program
5. Working with the Public Health Unit
6. Work in the tertiary health care sector (hospital setting)
7. Oral health
8. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health
9. Diabetes
10. Palliative care
11. Podiatry and/or foot care
12. Family violence
13. Elder abuse and child abuse
14. Digital and technical literacy
15. Communicating with other health professionals and authorities
16. Advocacy
17. Promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional medicine in the general health environment
18. Educating non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture for those working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Further information

For more information or to discuss, please contact Alex Cook at alexandra.cook@skillsiq.com.au
or by telephone at (02) 9392 8100.