The Metro South Health Allied Health Assistant Learning and Development Project

Mr Jeremy Lindsay1

1Metro South Hosptial And Health Service, Brisbane, Australia

Background: Perceived inconsistent and/or insufficient allied health assistant (AHA) learning and development is commonly reported by allied health professionals (AHP/s) as a barrier to enhanced task delegation to AHAs, and may prevent optimal utilisation of AHAs, with potential service efficiency, and quality of care implications.

Aims:The MSH AHA Learning and Development Project began in 2016 and was aimed to address the lack of a clear and coordinated MSH AHA learning and development plan, which had resulted in fragmentation of the AHA training procedures and resources across the different MSH locations and services. The project aims to produce a new framework to improve the structure and consistency of AHA learning and development, optimising AHA clinical practice, and driving excellence in allied health service delivery across MSH.

Methods: Project activities to date have included: email based surveys of AH professional directors to map the MSH AHA workforce; literature review and benchmarking of existing learning and capability frameworks; AHA focus groups to evaluate and select most appropriate framework; and surveys of AHA learning and developing needs.

Results: Project outcomes include: formation of the MSH AHA Network; creation of the MSH AHA Intranet (QHEPS) page, development and publication of MSH AHA Capability Development Framework (CDF) with Learning and Development planning resource; and implementation of the inaugural MSH AHA Learning and Development Forum in May 2018.

Next steps include: Implementation and evaluation of the AHA CDF; gap analysis of existing AHA learning and development resources; sourcing and/or development of new resources to fill gaps identified.

Future directions: Implementation of the Allied Health Professional Office Queensland AHA framework audit tool, and a specific evaluation of current AHP delegation practices.


Jeremy Lindsay is a registered Physiotherapist with 14 years clinical work experience within Queensland and the UK. He has worked in allied health workforce develop roles at both Metro South Hospital and Health Service, and in the Department of Health at the Allied Health Professions’ Office of Queensland. Through this work he has developed an interest in the use of allied health assistant roles, allied health professional expanded scope roles, and interdisciplinary clinical education to support the delivery of efficient, high quality, patient-focused care.

NAHC Conferences

2007, Hobart (7th NAHC)

2009, Canberra (8th NAHC)

2012, Canberra (9th NAHC)

2013, Brisbane (10th NAHC)

2015, Melbourne (11th NAHC)

2017, Sydney (12th NAHC)

2019, Brisbane (13th NAHC)

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