Department of Health

Glossary and abbreviations for the Victorian Assistant Workforce Model

Common abbreviations

ADL: activities of daily living

AH: allied health

AHA: allied health assistants

AHP: allied health professional

AHSF: allied health staffing factor

BSBC: Better Skills Best Care

Cert IV in AHA: Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance

COAG: Council of Australian Governments

FTE: full-time equivalent

IPA: individual patient attributable

KPI: key performance indicator

NSQHS: National Safety and Quality Health Standards

OT: occupational therapy

RTO: registered training organisation

PT: physiotherapy

The department: Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria

SW: social work

VAWM: Victorian assistant workforce model

VCAT: Victorian Civil and Administrative tribunal


AHA task list

An inventory of tasks organised by discipline, under 10 categories of practice.

AHA workforce strategic plan

A framework for informed and strategic action within the organisation.

Allied health staffing factor (AHSF)

A model to calculate the true costs and FTE requirements of clinical roles by translating allied health `individual patient attributable (IPA) clinical care’ activity into FTE.

Baseline workforce staffing profile

A point-in-time collection of the allied health workforce composition.

Categories of practice

Ten broad groups of tasks themed to align with AHP categories of practice [1].

Change management

A systematic approach to managing change and transitioning the organisation and individuals to a desired future state.

Clinical incidents

An event or circumstance that could have, or did, lead to unintended and/or unnecessary harm to a person receiving care [2] .

Communication strategy

A working document of the agreed communication processes that will be most effective for interacting with each stakeholder.

Communication strategy guide

Information to support project teams in the development of a communication strategy in the context of the VAWM


The action or process of formally consulting or discussing before making a decision.

Converted hours

The conversion of the clinical hours identified from the quantification survey into the actual number of hours required in a full-time equivalent (FTE) position per week that includes the clinical hours identified, plus the time required for non-clinical tasks and paid leave entitlements.

Current budgeted FTE

The full-time equivalent (FTE), currently budgeted for in the organisation, for all teams, services, or disciplines included in the scope of VAWM implementation. This data is collected as a component of the baseline workforce staffing profile

Data analysis (Element 4)

The analysis of all data collection activities culminating in the identification of priority areas of AHA need across the organisation.

Data collection (Element 3)

The collection of qualitative and quantitative data, which will be used to complete a needs assessment and analysis of potential AHA workforce growth across allied health services within scope.

Data collection methods

The methods used to collect data across throughout the data collection element activities. They include the workforce survey, staff engagement activities, baseline workforce staffing profile and quantification survey

Element activities

Key activities aligned with each of the six elements that require implementation as part of the VAWM methodology.

Elevator pitch

A concise, brief description about the VAWM and how it will benefit the stakeholder, that could be delivered the time it takes to ride from the top to the bottom of a building in an elevator.

Elevator pitch guide

This resource assists in the preparation of appropriate elevator pitches for the VAWM implementation.

Final report

A report containing information on the implementation of the VAWM methodology, data analysis and findings, key issues and solutions, and the strategic plan for integrating the AHA workforce within the organisation.

Final report guide

The final report guide outlines the information required throughout the final report.

Final report template

A template with suggested format for the final report.

Final steering committee meeting guide

This resource assists in the preparation and delivery of the final steering committee presentation.

Final steering committee presentation

Provides steering committee members with the results from the VAWM methodology and facilitates agreement of organisational priorities and next steps for implementation of the AHA workforce strategic plan.

Focus groups

A small group discussion guided by a facilitator.

Focus group presentation

A suggested PowerPoint presentation that may be used to facilitate the focus groups.

Full-time equivalent (FTE)

A unit that indicates the workload of an employed person in a way that standardises workloads against those working full-time. An FTE of 1.0 refers to a full-time employee.

GANTT chart

A chart that illustrates a project schedule and illustrate the start and finish dates of the elements of a project [3]. A GANTT template, using Excel, has been contextualised for the VAWM and provided to support project teams in developing a project schedule.

Initiate and engage phase

A phase of the VAWM that includes Element 1: Project initiation and Element 2: Staff engagement.

Investigate and analyse phase

A phase of the VAWM that includes Element 3: Data collection and Element 4: Data analysis.

Key stakeholders

The target audience identified during the stakeholder analysis

Needs analysis

A systematic method of identifying the unmet health and healthcare needs of a population, and making changes to meet those unmet needs [4]. The VAWM assesses the need for a new or redesigned AHA workforce specific to an organisation.

Organisational priorities

A set of important priorities that are clearly linked to the vision and values of the organisation. Organisational priorities inform current and future behaviour and action.

Organisational goals

A future-based expectation and/or end result the organisation is working towards.

Percentage of identified AHP time

The time spent by AHPs on tasks that could be delegated to an AHA as a percentage of the current budgeted full-time equivalent (FTE).

Physical numbers of AHP and AHA staff

A head count of current AHP and AHA staff included in the baseline workforce staffing profile data collection.

Plan and finalise phase

A phase of the VAWM that incorporates Element 5: Strategic planning and Element 6: Project finalisation.

Priority areas

Identified areas within the organisation with a high priority for AHA workforce redesign. These areas are identified by the data analysis and are in the context of organisational priorities.

Project champions

A person who is not formally part of the project team, however supports the implementation of the VAWM and acts in an advocacy role [5].

Project finalisation (Element 6)

Embed ongoing mechanisms for AHA workforce reform and implementation of the AHA workforce strategic plan, and present and finalise results from the VAWM implementation.

Project initiation (Element 1)

The process of establishing organisational governance framework including project scope, project plan, risk management plan and communication strategy.

Project plan

A working document that includes the endorsed scope, all key activities and the timeframes required to implement the VAWM.

Project scope

The identification of what will be included or excluded in the implementation of the VAWM.

Qualitative data

Data that cannot be expressed as a number. This is collected during staff engagement activities and the workforce survey.

Quantitative data

Data that can be expressed as a number or quantified. This data is collected from the workforce survey, baseline workforce staffing profile, and quantification survey.

Quantification survey

A paper based survey that collects information from AHPs over a five-day period, recording time (in minutes) that they have spent on tasks that could be delegated to an AHA.

Quantification survey guide

A detailed guide to support project teams in the development of the quantification survey.

Risk management plan

A working document that identifies potential risks to the implementation of the VAWM and documents the agreed strategies to avoid the risks occurring or to minimise the consequence of the risk should they occur.

SMART goal

A goal designed utilising the SMART acronym: smart, measurable, achievable, relevant, realistic, time-limited.

SMART goal framework

Guidance for developing a SMART goal.

Staff engagement (Element 2)

A process of actively engaging and informing staff of the project drivers, background and aims which link to organisational strategic priorities.

Staff engagement forums

Information sharing opportunities with allied health staff and key stakeholders. They may be in the form of meetings or designated staff information sessions.

Staff engagement forum and focus group guide

A resource that provides guidance for conducting staff engagement forums and focus groups.

Staff engagement forum presentation

A presentation that provides staff with a broad overview of the VAWM and encourages managers, AHPs and AHAs to participate in the project.


Any person who will be affected by the implementation of the VAWM.

Stakeholder analysis

The process of identifying target audience and any person that will be affected by the implementation of the VAWM.

Steering committee

A committee of key stakeholders. The steering committee aims to provide guidance and direction in relation to key issues and monitors the progress and outcomes of the project.

Strategic goals

Broad, general statements (overall aims/purpose) defining what is intended to be accomplished. Goals should be consistent with the overall mission of the AHA workforce strategic plan.

Strategic planning (Element 5)

A systematic process of identifying a vision for the allied health workforce, determining strategic goals and agreeing on a plan to achieve the vision and aims.

Suggested VAWM timeline

A GANTT chart detailing key activities for VAWM implementation over a specified 40-week period with suggested timeframes for each element activity.

Total hours

The total number of hours that AHPs are currently spending on tasks that could otherwise be delegated to AHAs.

VAWM implementation

The implementation of the VAWM within an organisation.

VAWM database

An excel database template designed specifically for the VAWM for data entry and analysis of baseline workforce staffing profile data and quantification survey data.

Workforce survey

A survey for AHAs an AHPs collecting qualitative and quantitative data including: organisational demographics, job satisfaction, existing and potential AHA tasks, confidence of AHPs in current delegation to AHAs, potential barriers to implementing or re-designing an AHA workforce.

Workforce survey question suite

A suggested question suite for the workforce surveys.

1. Department of Health 2012, Guidelines to scope and introduce new allied health assistant roles, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.

2. Department of Human Services 2008, Victorian Health Incident Management System (VHIMS): Data set specification, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.

3. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia 2015, 'Gantt chart', viewed 11 May 2015, Link .

4. Bindra R 2008, 'Health care evaluation: the uses of epidemiology and other methods in defining health service needs and in policy development', viewed 11 May 2015, Link .

5. Rochon M-P, 'The responsibilities of a Project Champion', viewed 29 January 2015, Link .

Reviewed 06 June 2023

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