Review of Australian Government Health Workforce Programs

Appendix ix: Recommendations of Battye Review

Page last updated: 24 May 2013

Evaluation Recommendations – Training Package
Recommendation numberRecommendation
Recommendation 1The Department of Health and Ageing rename the Package a “Workforce Development and Support” Package and revise the overall goals of the Package to better reflect the scope of the Package inclusive of supporting a pathway into health careers, a culturally safe learning environment, high quality Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student and workforce support and increasing knowledge of non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.
Recommendation 2The Department of Health and Ageing treat the funding under the Package in a more cohesive and comprehensive manner by implementing a common approach to the development of goals and objectives and by ensuring that each funded organisation has a clear understanding of the overall goals and objectives of the Package, and each organisation’s contribution to building Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce capacity. This should include bringing together all the organisations funded under the Package to outline goals and foster cooperative working relationships, identify opportunities for synergy and avoid duplication of effort.
Recommendation 3The Department of Health and Ageing consider separate funding to organisations (external to the Package) with established linkages to schools to undertake projects or programs of work that focus on encouraging school aged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to take up careers in the health sector.
Recommendation 4The Department of Health and Ageing actively work with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) to embed adult numeracy and literacy education capacity in registered training organisations providing health and community services vocational training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Recommendation 5The Department of Health and Ageing take a consistent approach to the development of goals and performance indicators for its funding of the membership-based organisations (and ATSIHRTONN) including some common indicators relevant to:
  • Governance and management
  • Strategic and business planning
  • Policy development
  • Communication strategy
  • Mentoring data
Recommendation 6The Department of Health and Ageing consider funding a project aimed at ensuring the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in nursing and midwifery education, as well as best practice in the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing and midwifery students.
Recommendation 7The Department of Health and Ageing actively work with the Department of Employment, Education, and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) to identify sustainable funding linkages and overlaps that will enable funded organisations to directly link with key relevant university and VET sector committees to progress strategies and activities to support:
  • Training pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students including articulation between VET and university course;
  • Retention in training; and
  • Including of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health curriculum
Recommendation 8In recognition of the varying jurisdictional priorities and scope of the WIPOs:
  • Performance indicators continue to be developed and agreed at a jurisdictional level to ensure consistency with local priorities and policy contexts, while referencing the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategic Framework.
  • The outcome of negotiations regarding the development of performance indicators are agreed between state and territory offices of the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and the Health Workforce Division within the Department of Health and Ageing.
  • Reporting requirements are drafted to reflect agreed performance indicators.
Recommendation 9The Department of Health and Ageing review reporting requirements to ensure that reports are meaningful and provide relevant information for monitoring purposes for both the organisation and Department, and for policy development.
Recommendation 10In the current climate of significant health system reform, the introduction of national registration and accreditation standards for health professions (inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners), and establishment of national partnership agreements targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health – many of which have workforce implications - the Department of Health and Ageing needs to establish a more robust, sustainable and stronger two-way communication strategy between central office in Canberra, state and territory OATSIH offices and the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health to ensure activities are strategic and integrated, and blockages (inclusive of workforce) are identified early, such that mitigation strategies can be developed in a timely manner.
Evaluation Recommendations – RTO
Recommendation numberRecommendation
Recommendation 1DoHA to commence negotiations with DIISRTE to fund core functions of the community-controlled RTOs either directly or through state and territory training authorities.
Recommendation 2The community-controlled RTOs undertake to cost out their current and emergent training delivery models to provide DoHA and DEEWR with data to understand the “real” cost of delivering training to a small and dispersed workforce.
Recommendation 3The workplace is recognised as a partner with the RTO in the training of ATSIHWs. To support this function, OATSIH allocates additional funding to Aboriginal community-controlled health services as a component of their comprehensive primary health care funding to source additional clinical capacity in the workplace.
Recommendation 4OATSIH supports the establishment of clinical educator positions to work across clusters of Aboriginal community-controlled health services to provide clinical training and skills development to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker students.
Recommendation 5DoHA initiates discussion with the state and territory health departments to identify funding support to establish regional clinical educator roles to support the training and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers employed in state and territory health services.
Recommendation 6DoHA negotiate with NACCHO state affiliates their role in promoting and assisting their member services to pursue traineeships and apprenticeships as a mechanism to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ participation in the workforce and provide financial support to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker students and employers in the training journey.
Recommendation 7DoHA enters into negotiations with DIISRTE for a review of funding guidelines for the Mixed Mode Away from Base component of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Training Program, with consideration of a flexible funding formula to reflect the distance the student resides relevant to the RTO, with consideration of transport options.
Recommendation 8In order to minimise reporting burden but ensure accountability, DoHA and DEEWR as direct or indirect funders (i.e. through OATSIH and state and territory training authorities respectively) agree on key reporting requirements and frequency.
Recommendation 9DoHA increase resourcing to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Registered Training Organisation National Network to enable ATSIHRTONN to support member RTOs through the new ASQA monitoring and compliance requirements.
Recommendation 10Given the current intensity of reform within both the health and education sectors and the stated need for more professional development opportunities for RTOs, the Department of Health and Ageing increase funding for network meetings to support either two three-day meetings or one extra two-day meeting per year. The additional funding for network meetings should be reviewed at the conclusion of the next funding agreement when the shifts in the environment may have stabilised.
Recommendation 11The Health Workforce Division of the Department of Health and Ageing review the purpose of the current data collection by ATSIHRTONN and clarify what question/s they require this data to be able to address.
Recommendation 12The Health Workforce Division of the Department of Health and Ageing amend ATSIHRTONN deliverables.