Department of Health

Element 5 involves developing an evidence-based strategic plan to incorporate AHA roles into a workforce skill mix. This plan should be consistent with organisational priorities and governance.


  • Develop strategic goals using qualitative and quantitative data analysis, consultations with key stakeholders and agreed organisational priorities.
  • Develop an AHA workforce strategic plan based on agreed strategic goals.
  • Use the AHA workforce strategic plan to outline specific activities, actions and timelines to reach identified strategic goals.


Element 5 takes place in months six to nine of the recommended nine-month timeframe.


Element 5 uses all three principles of consultation, organisational priorities and change management.

  • Element 5 focuses on the development a framework for strategic action and change within the organisation.

    This strategic plan gives your organisation an evidence base for growth in the allied health assistant (AHA) workforce during the next five years.

    The strategic planning process

    The strategic planning process takes the data analysis and identified priority areas from Element 4 to produce the AHA workforce strategic plan.

    The next step is to present the results of the data analysis to the steering committee, managers, allied health staff and executive sponsors.

    Using feedback from these meetings:

    • draft goals
    • review and evaluate goals
    • finalise the AHA workforce strategic plan
    • obtain written endorsement.


    • Draw from the data analysis conducted during Element 4.
    • Obtain a realistic assessment of organisational resources such as budgets and staffing.
    • Consult with and gain input from all stakeholders.
    • Include indicators to evaluate the success of the AHA workforce strategic plan.
    • Develop strategies that lead to long-term commitment by the organisation.
    • Promote the AHA workforce strategic plan to executives, allied health managers and allied health staff.
  • The data analysis process (Element 4) will have helped you identify priority areas for growing the AHA workforce.

    These priority areas will guide the development of strategic goals.

    Using SMART goals will ensure the AHA workforce strategic plan outlines exactly what is expected and the measures that will be used to evaluate success [1].

    SMART goals are explained in further detail in the SMART goal framework resource available in the download section.


    • Review overall project aims and motivation for implementing the VAWM to assist in developing the strategic goals.
    • Using the organisational priorities can help to ensure the strategic goals will meet broader organisational aims.
    • You may need to develop strategic goals that are focused on both the development of governance structures and expanding the use of the AHA workforce.
    • Strategic goals may include increased use of current AHAs as well as the development of new AHA roles. For example, the existing AHA workforce could broaden their duties to take on additional tasks, such as sterilisation of equipment.
    • Strategic goals may involve transferring tasks currently performed by AHAs to other staff. For example using administrative or support staff could increase the availability of AHAs for clinical care.
    • Strategic goals may involve development of interdisciplinary or single-discipline AHA roles depending on the organisation’s service need.
    • Strategic goals may include sharing an AHA role or an AHA student placement across multiple sites, services, programs or disciplines within the organisation. This may provide a viable solution where individually this may not be feasible.

    Download the strategic planning guide for more information.

    Activity outputs

    • AHA workforce strategic plan and priorities reviewed.
    • Priority areas identified (Element 4) and incorporated into strategic goals.
    • Stakeholders consulted.
    • Strategic goals link to data analysis and organisational priorities.
    • Strategic goals structured using SMART principles.


    1. Stanford University of Medicine 2012, ‘SMART goals template’, viewed 14 August 2014

  • The data analysis undertaken will inform the development of the allied health assistant (AHA) workforce strategic plan, which is one of the main outcomes of the VAWM implementation project.

    Download the strategic planning guide for examples and details of the key components required for developing a strategic AHA workforce plan.

    Having the steering committee endorse the strategic plan will help to ensure ongoing workforce planning in your organisation after the Victorian Assistant Workforce Model (VAWM) implementation process is complete.

    Include strategic goals in the AHA workforce strategic plan to:

    • maintain staff engagement
    • embed a culture for promoting the AHA workforce
    • ensure workforce reforms are implemented, evaluated and continually adjusted.


    • List available resources and where they can be found, for example data sources.
    • When considering funding new roles, internal restructures determined by direct line managers may be an option.
    • Consider cost-neutral approaches or innovative funding models.
    • Contact other organisations to see if they are willing to share resources with you. For example, another organisation with similar roles that has already implemented the VAWM may be willing to share position descriptions, competencies, supervision structures and other resources.
    • If a strategic goal includes the creation of new AHA roles, you may also need to develop new governance, documentation and processes for these roles.
    • The best goals are measurable and should be in the form of a target to reach within an identified timeframe, and capable of being tracked period after period[1].

    Activity outputs

    • Draft AHA workforce strategic plan that incorporates SMART strategic goals completed.
    • Draft AHA workforce strategic plan reviewed and feedback received from stakeholders.
    • Mechanisms for AHA workforce reform sustainability established within AHA workforce strategic plan.
    • Final AHA workforce strategic plan completed.
    • AHA workforce strategic plan endorsed by steering committee.
    • Mechanisms for maintaining staff engagement and promoting the AHA workforce included in the AHA workforce strategic plan.


    1. University of Kansas 2013, ‘An overview of strategic planning or VMOSA (vision, mission, objectives, strategies and action plans).

  • Consult with the steering committee and stakeholders about the strategic plan and use this feedback to inform the strategic planning process.

    Engaging the steering committee and stakeholders will ensure that:

    • the project findings directly inform the strategic goals for integrating the allied health assistant (AHA) workforce
    • the goals are consistent with organisational priorities.

    See the template for a steering committee presentation and the final steering committee guide.


    • You can choose to either develop the strategic goals with the steering committee, or to present them to the committee after development for feedback.
    • Convene a designated/representative working party to develop strategic goals.
    • Present relevant stakeholders with data and preliminary goals and incorporate their feedback.
    • Disseminate a written report including data and preliminary strategic goals to seek feedback.
    • Meet with allied health managers to discuss the findings and data analysis.

    Activity outputs

    • AHA workforce strategic plan discussed with steering committee.
    • Summary of results and linked strategic goals prepared.
    • Evidence demonstrating priority areas (Element 4) and opportunities for new AHA roles identified.
  • Having the steering committee provide written and verbal endorsement of the strategic goals will help ensure ongoing accountability and carriage of the allied health assistant (AHA) workforce strategic plan after the implementation project is completed.

    See the strategic planning guide for further detail on the key components of the strategic plan.

    The steering committee’s signed endorsement will also be part of the final report for this project (see Element 6).

    Activity outputs

    • AHA workforce strategic plan reviewed and feedback provided by steering committee.
    • Written endorsement of AHA workforce strategic plan obtained.

Reviewed 06 June 2023

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