Assessing the implementation and effectiveness of a career development framework for early career Allied Health professionals

Matthew Webb1, Margaret Holyday1, Patrick Dunn1, Brielle Gosch1, Marie Fournaris1, Benjamin Birrell1, Melanie Lai1, Marianna Milosavljevic2

1South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Taren Point, Australia, 2Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Wollongong, Australia

Early career Allied Health Professionals (AHP’s) and their managers have numerous tools available to assist in the setting of goals and career plans in NSW Health. This includes the Health Education and Training Institute’s Clinical Supervision Program and organisational Annual Performance Reviews. These tools are useful frameworks for managers to create a shared responsibility around staff development. However, they do not readily identify career development opportunities specific to early career AHP’s beyond clinical skill development. Clinical skills development is only one factor that impacts on job satisfaction of early career AHP’s, and failing to address other factors may lead to these professionals leaving the organisation or their professions (Bacopanos & Edgar, 2016; Wilson, 2015).

The BUILD program was implemented in September 2018 and has been adopted from the ISLHD ‘Step-Up’ Program (Milosavljevic, Bowden, Ferguson, Haantjens, 2015) as a development framework for early career AHP’s. The design of the framework reflects the NSW Health Professionals (State) Award and encourages autonomous progression through graded challenges and identifies additional workplace duties that have been found to be important for retaining and developing staff (Bacopanos & Edgar, 2016; Wilson, 2015).

To date The BUILD program has collected baseline data of staff achievements, offering useful insights to the strengths and weaknesses of disciplines both hospital and community based. This snapshot has identified opportunities for the organisation to improve career development options for staff. Factors for implementation success have also been identified, including new support models, as well as intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for participants. The 12 month program evaluation is due in late 2019.

Bacopanos, E., & Edgar, S. (2016). Identifying the factors that affect the job satisfaction of early career Notre Dame graduate physiotherapists. Australian Health Review Australian Health Review, (40), 538-543. doi:10.1071/AH15124

Milosavljevic, M., Bowden, S., Ferguson, A., Haantjens, A. (2015). How to keep staff motivated, engaged and moving up the career ladder: Can Step Up help? [Abstract: National Allied Health Conference 2015]

Wilson, N.A. (2015). Factors that affect job satisfaction and intention to leave of allied health professionals in a metropolitan hospital. Australian Health Review, (39), 290-294. doi: 10.1071/AH14198


Matt works across all Allied Health Professions within SESLHD as an Educator, Data Manager and Workforce Consultant. He partners with managers and clinicians to improve and innovate their business, provide insight and enhance the delivery of services and outcomes to patients, carers and their families. Matt aims to engage, support and develop front line clinicians in the power of data analytics to transform clinical care. His current projects include the evaluation of the locally developed BUILD Opportunities program for career development in early career Allied Health Professionals; and support the enhancement of Pharmacy clinical care provision in SESLHD Hospitals.

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