Dedicating governance and giving AHAs a seat at the leadership table

Mrs Lucy Whelan1,2, Mrs. Louise Britzman1, Mrs Greta DeVincentis1, Mrs Kylie Saccotelli1

1Monash Health, Clayton, Australia, 2Monash University, Clayton, Australia

In 2012, Monash Health allied health management underwent a restructure within which the Allied Health Assistant (AHA) Advisor role was created. This role exists to provide professional governance and oversight to the AHA Workforce. Not long after the role was established, an AHA Leadership Group was nominated..

To offer the Monash Health AHA workforce dedicated governance and a voice at the decision making table.

Evidencing the need for dedicated AHA governance and AHA leadership voices has taken time and grit. Over the course of the last 9 years, the AHA Advisor role has made significant achievements, supported by the AHA Leadership group. In 2019, Monash Health was awarded funding by the Department of Health to develop a workforce plan for Victorian Allied health assistants on the basis of achievements made with this workforce.

As a result of having a dedicated governance lead and an AHA leadership group in conjunction with eight AHA led Working Parties, the Monash Health AHA workforce has achieved the following over the last five years:

  • Inclusion in the Monash Health Allied Health Clinical Supervision Procedure with specific stipulations for Allied Health Assistants.
  • A delegation procedure ensuring medicolegal accountability.
  • An Allied health assistant documentation procedure.
  • Required local online Delegation Training for Allied Health Professionals.
  • Targeted Credentialing and Professional Development programs.
  • An annual nationally accessible AHA conference.
  • A 500% increase in student placement offerings
  • Support for Allied health assistants to complete the Certificate IV Training and Assessment.
  • Dedicated Refugee and Asylum Seeker Certificate IV AHA Scholarship.
  • Over 25 AHA led conference presentations

Victorian Workforce Plan research to date indicates that the dedicated governance lead for AHAs is desperately needed in other areas in order to lead culture around utilisation of Allied health assistants and promote targeted learning and career development.

It is predicted that dedicated local Allied health assistant governance will achieve the following:

– Ensure systems are in place to optimally use AHAs and deliver safe and effective delegated care.

– Instil a workplace culture that values Allied Health Assistants as integral members of the AH team.


Lucy Whelan is a Physiotherapist by background with a Masters of Public Health and a career spanning over 18 years in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is currently forging the path for the Allied Health Assistant and Support workforce at Monash Health. She is passionate about quality driven improvement and appropriate governance for all. In order to align with their Allied Health colleagues and further expand and grow the roles of Allied Health Assistants, some large pieces of work are underway around Credentialing, Scope of Practice, Clinical Supervision, Professional Development, Referral/Delegation tools, Priority Tools and Students. Lucy is currently project managing the State-wide AHA Workforce Project for the Department of Health in Victoria.

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