Department of Health

Methodology for implementing the Victorian Assistant Workforce Model

Key messages

  • The Victorian Assistant Workforce Model methodology is a process you can apply to your health service.
  • The model provides a framework for reforming the allied health assistant workforce.
  • It helps you to ensure your allied health assistant workforce is working to its full scope of practice.
  • It can also free up your allied health practitioners for advanced practice.

The Victorian Assistant Workforce Model (VAWM) has a structured methodology that aims to:

  • increase the allied health assistant (AHA) workforce and use AHAs to their full scope of practice
  • increase the capacity of the allied health workforce make the most effective use of highly skilled allied health practitioners (AHPs)
  • support more advance practice opportunities for AHPs
  • improve access to allied health services
  • increase AHP and AHA staff satisfaction.


The VAWM has three overarching principles:

  • consultation
  • organisational priorities
  • change management.

Phases and elements

The VAWM has three integrated phases, each with two elements:

Inform and engage

  • project initiation
  • staff engagement

Investigate and analyse

  • data collection
  • data analysis

Plan and finalise

  • strategic planning
  • project finalisation

Element activities

Each element of the VAWM includes recommended activities to support implementation of the model.

Inform and engage phase

Element 1: Project initiation

Establish organisational governance framework, including scope, project plan, risk management plan and communication strategy.

Element 2: Staff engagement

Actively engage and inform staff of the project drivers, background and aims, and links to organisational strategic priorities. Use staff engagement forums, focus groups and informal meetings.

Investigate and analyse phase

Element 3: Data collection

Collect quantitative and qualitative data to complete a needs assessment and analysis of AHA workforce growth.

Element 4: Data analysis

Determine the need for amended and new AHA roles and service delivery models. Identify priority areas to prepare for strategic planning.

Plan and finalise phase

Element 5: Strategic planning

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

Element 6: Project finalisation

Communicate project findings and promote strategic plan priorities to executives, allied health managers, staff and other key stakeholders. Embed ongoing mechanisms to ensure the plan is sustainable.

Suggested timeline

The elements and their associated activities may overlap, as demonstrated in the suggested timeline.

Each organisation is different, and this suggested timeline is just a guide.

The recommended process takes place over nine months.

  • Element 1: months 1–2
  • Element 2: months 1–9
  • Element 3: months 3–6
  • Element 4: months 4–7
  • Element 5: months 6–9
  • Element 6: months 8–9

Download the project schedule template for more information.

Reviewed 06 June 2023

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