Allied Health Assistance - Draft 1

HLTAHA042 Assist with screening and management of nutritional risk Draft 1.0

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Unit application and prerequisites




Assist with screening and management of nutritional risk


This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to provide assistance to an allied health professional. Work includes undertaking delegated tasks related to screening for nutritional risk and implementation of nutrition support. This work is carried out according to the nutritional care plan provided by the delegating dietitian or the organisations procedures or guidelines.

This unit applies to allied health assistants and should be performed under the direct, indirect or remote supervision and delegation of an Allied Health Professional (AHP)


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Allied Health Assistant Framework, Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.


No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication




Allied Health




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Elements and performance criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

  1. Receive delegated therapy activity.
    1. Obtain written or verbal delegation for an allied health activity from the allied health professional.
    2. Obtain information from relevant sources and delegating allied health professional, according to organisational policy and procedures.
    3. Discuss and confirm with delegating dietitian or allied health professional therapy, treatment plans and programs.
  1. Prepare for delegated therapy activity.
    1. Identify screening tools.
    2. Confirm the persons need for screening.
    3. Consult with relevant staff before conducting the screening.
    4. Explain purpose and process of screening to the person and ensure their understanding.
    5. Obtain required resources and equipment.
  1. Provide delegated therapy activity.





    1. Conduct screening using language and terminology suitable to the person.
    2. Seek assistance if required for participation.
    3. Complete screening tool according to organisational protocol.
    4. Use screening results to determine level of risk for person.
    5. Select nutrition support item or interventions based on risk assessment.
    6. Implement nutrition intervention in collaboration with food services.
    7. Seek persons feedback about the tolerance of the nutrition support intervention.
    8. Monitor intake according to organisations protocols.
    9. Seek assistance when person presents with needs or signs outside scope of role.
  1. Provide nutrition support services for at risk person as delegated by dietitian.
    1. Select nutrition support item or interventions.
    2. Implement nutrition intervention and communicate with food services.
    3. Process nutrition support requirements.
    4. Monitor intake according to organisational procedures.
  1. Provide feedback on screening and management of nutrition risk to treating health professionals.
    1. Document screening and management activity outcomes according to organisational procedures.
    2. Report persons difficulties and concerns to the delegating dietitian.
    3. Discuss screening and management outcomes with delegating allied health professional.
    4. Implement variations to the individualised plan as delegated by the dietitian.
  1. Assist in the maintenance of therapy equipment and resources.
    1. Clean equipment according to manufacturer’s requirements.
    2. Store materials and equipment according to manufacturer’s requirements and organisation procedures.
    3. Report equipment problems or faults in accordance with organisational procedures.


"Under (3) 'Provide delegated therapy activity' - propose changing point 3.6 to: Implement nutrition intervention in line with local dietary guideline or procedure, in collaboration with food services. "

Vanessa Schuldt 22.06.2021 12.42PM

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Foundation skills


Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:


Writing skills to:


Oral communication skills to:


Numeracy skills to:


Learning skills to:


Problem-solving skills to:


Initiative and enterprise skills to:


Teamwork skills to:


Planning and organising skills to:


Self-management skills to:


Technology skills to:



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No equivalent unit.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


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Performance evidence


Assessment Requirements for HLTAHA042 Assist with screening and management of nutritional risk


Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • assist with nutrition screening of four people, two in simulation and two in the workplace
  • provide nutrition support interventions, including ordering or preparing dietary supplements, to four people, two in simulation and two in the workplace
  • perform the activities outlined in the performance criteria of this unit during a period of at least 120 hours of work.


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Knowledge evidence


Demonstrate the knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • allied health core competencies:
    • person-centred care
    • individual therapy
    • group therapy
    • communication of person information
    • equipment and environment
  • principles of:
    • the impact of diet on health
    • fluid intake
    • rehabilitation
    • an individualised plan
  • common dietary modification including:
    • diabetes
    • low saturated fat
    • high energy
    • food allergens
    • diets for food intolerances including gluten-free
    • modified:
      • salt
      • fat
      • protein
      • potassium
      • fluids
      • fibre
  • texture and fluid modifications in accordance with The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) Framework
  • oral nutrition support products and enteral feeds
  • nutritional risk indicators:
    • weight change
    • reduction in food intake due to:
      • appetite
      • dysphagia
      • oral health/dentition
    • bowel function
    • biochemical indicators of nutritional risk
  • organisational policies and procedures in relation to:
    • confidentiality
    • documentation
      • reporting
      • recording patient data
      • written communication to Allied Health Professional
    • professional behaviour and presentation
    • infection control practices
    • occupational health and safety
    • manual handling
    • supervisory, delegation
  • supplements, including supplement equivalents, and their use
  • workings and procedures of the food service system
  • legal and ethical considerations
  • principles of empowering the older person
  • principles of empowering people living with disability or serious mental illness 
  • changes related to ageing
  • concepts of holistic health and wellbeing
  • social determinants of health.
  • concepts of the medical model, the biopsychosocial models and the human rights based approach of allied health interventions
  • principles of choice and control
  • concept of reablement
  • allied health settings:
    • hospital
    • community health
    • mental health
    • disability sector
    • aged care sectors.


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Assessment conditions


Skills must be demonstrated in the workplace or in a simulated environment. All aspects of the performance evidence must have been demonstrated using simulation prior to being demonstrated in the workplace.


Assessment must ensure: 

  • access to suitable facilities, equipment and resources that reflect real working conditions and model industry operating conditions and contingencies
  • access to individualised plans and any relevant equipment outlined in the plan
  • access to organisational policies and procedures
  • opportunities for engagement with real people accessing allied health services.


Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations requirements for assessors and be an allied health assistant with a minimum of three years of professional experience in allied health services or a recognised Allied Health Professional.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


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