The 2021 Statewide Allied Health Entry Level Training Series
The 8-day online training series provides allied health graduates in their first 2 years of employment within AMHS to connect and learn together foundational knowledge and skills for a career in mental health.
The 2021 statewide allied health entry level training series offers the opportunity to:
- Develop introductory level knowledge and skills on key mental health entry level learning topic areas
- Network, connect and share learning with peers of similar experience or practice level
- Support regional services and services with smaller allied health workforce to access training
- Expand the previous training to a statewide audience
- Expand the audience to all allied health disciplines entering Victorian area mental health services
- Ensure the training series is meeting the needs of each area mental health service involved
- Steps we undertook to run this year’s series include:
- consulting with allied health mental health sector in Nov 2020
- establishing the expert advisory committee for 2021
- developing the curriculum for the 8-day series, including identifying expert clinical facilitators and associated learning resources
- ensuring the training is underpinned by current policy, evidence base and best practice guidelines
- creating opportunities for lived experience workforce to co-evaluate the 2021 series and make recommendations for the future redesign of the program in 2022.
This is the first year that the training has been delivered statewide, which provided invaluable opportunities for collaborative learning and integrated ways of working. Seventy-four entry level clinicians have participated from across 23 area mental health services. The expansion of criteria to include to all allied health disciplines has seen participation from occupational therapy, social work, psychology, dietitians, speech pathologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists, aboriginal mental health trainees.
Allied Health Entry Level History
A multi-service Allied Health Entry Level training series had been delivered by committed AMHS clinicians for the LAMPS and NEVIL clusters prior to cluster functions transitioning to the CMHL. In 2020 the CMHL supported the online delivery of this program. With the recruitment of an OT educator and a SW educator and the full transition of the cluster functions to CMHL, we planned for the Allied Health Entry Level Training Series to be delivered statewide in 2021.
Overcoming Program Obstacles
It was not always easy to predict the number of expected attendees, however we remained determined to ensure the training series is available to those who require access and developed solutions, such as facilitating simultaneous training sessions and identifying key contacts from each AMHS.
Delivery online made the program much more accessible for regional entry level clinicians, but it did create some additional challenges to overcome to ensure networking, connection and shared learning remained key benefits of participating.
We plan to evaluate the training series, in line with CMHL work on an evaluation toolkit. We are striving to incorporate Lived Experience and principles of co- production into future training.
We will convene a new committee to redesign the curriculum for 2022 and the future, ensuring it is aligned with Victorian workforce strategy, capability framework, new mental health and wellbeing act and service reform priorities. We are participating in an advisory capacity in the DH funded project underway at Eastern Health regarding the development of an Allied Health Graduate program to ensure CMHL’s work in future training series aligns with other initiatives. We also need to consider how to scale to fit expanding allied health graduate positions and allied health educator roles within AMHS.