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Employing An Allied Health Assistant? Here’s A Resource Guide

Are you looking to make a case for employing allied health assistants (AHAs) in your workplace? Perhaps you already know about the potential for AHAs to improve patient care, solve workforce shortages, and reduce your bottom line, but you’re seeking resources to support a successful allied health assistant model for your team or business?

We’ve compiled a range of resources to bring you the best of AHA guides, blog articles and published research to support the successful integration of AHAs for your business. This blog will be updated with resources to support allied health practitioners and businesses to work with or introduce allied health assistants to your team or service.

The links to each resource are embedded under these classifications:


Practice Guides & Frameworks


Workability Qld Allied Health Assistants Good Practice GuideWorkAbility Queensland: The allied health assistants good practice guide

Date published: 2021

This guide gives you practical steps to successfully introduce AHAs to deliver quality NDIS services. Learn about the role AHAs can take in your workplace, and how they intersect with the more skilled allied health professional.


AHP Support Worker Competency, Education and Career Development Framework

Date published: October 2021

This framework enables employers, networks, integrated care systems (ICSs) and services effectively plan, develop, and deploy their AHP support workforce. It provides guidance on training, education and competencies for AHP support workers and demonstrates a clear pathway for recruitment and progression, with common and transferrable skills across eight domains.


Supervision and delegation framework for allied health assistants and the support workforce in disability

Date published: August 2018

To support the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), this framework provides examples and practical resources to help allied health professionals, allied health assistants, support workers, managers and organisations to safely and effectively delegate allied health tasks to maximise client independence and inclusion. The framework can assist disability organisations with workforce challenges and planning. It provides information and guidance for increasing capacity and delivery of support.


Supervision and support of allied health professionals and therapy assistants working remotely in disability

The NDS has published this resource to offer strategies for supervising and supporting staff working remotely. This downloadable resource may be useful to clinical supervisors, as well as allied health professionals working with and supporting AHAs.


Papers & Reports


Allied health assistant: Horizon scanning and scenario generation report

Date published: September 2022

This report reflects on supply and demand drivers impacting upon the allied health assistant workforce and proposes future opportunities for AHA contributions to the delivery of quality health services. Importantly, for employers, the report offers examples of how to support top of scope AHA practice (whilst listing associated issues or limiting factors), provides an overview of professional development and career pathways opportunities and other strategic enablers and enhancements for improving the experience of being an AHA and maximising the AHA workforce.


SARRAH position paperSARRAH position paper: Allied health assistants in rural and remote Australia

Date published: December 2011

This paper has been developed by Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) about allied health assistants and their role, function, education, training and support in rural and remote Australia. This paper makes the case for the potential and value add of AHAs to the rural and remote allied health workforce, with an emphasis on how AHAs can support the health needs of rural remote populations.


Allied health assistant project phase II: Completion report

The Allied Health Assistant (AHA) project was established with the primary purpose of defining the role and scope of practice of assistants to inform their career opportunities. This report outlines the case for optimising the utilisation of allied health assistants to address challenges such as skills shortages and increasing allied health workforce demands. Details embedded in the report can support implementation of AHA models of care across allied health professions, clinical settings and geographical locations.


Websites, Blogs, Videos & Podcasts


Allied health assistants improve access to health services in rural and remote Australia

Date Published: February 2023

Hosted by SARRAH’s Talking for Purpose podcast, Nerida Volker (NSW TAFE) brings us an update on developments in the VET sector, highlighting the pivotal role AHPs need to play in enhancing growth of allied health assistant workforce.


Support worker central: Information for managers and educators

The NHS Education for Scotland (NES) have developed these high quality learning resources to support managers and educators maximise the potential and talent of the support worker workforce.  A number of quick links to a range of learning and development resources, role development resource and other relevant advice is readily available.


DSC NDIS resource hub: Shades of grey: Allied health assistants 

Date Published: January 2021

This Australian blog post examines the use of AHAs in the disability service sector and the NDIS, discussing considerations such as delegation, decision-making and guidelines to ensure safety and quality for participants. Utilising AHAs through the NDIS offers value for money and access to services where demand outstrips supply, however this article outlines some complexities and considerations for AHPs and businesses.


Date Published: June 2016

This short video on allied health assistant delegation for allied health professionals is a useful guide offering practical tips for working well together, understanding responsibilities and scopes of practice, and the importance of effective communication for successful delegation.



Allied health assistants’ perspectives of their role in healthcare settings: A qualitative study

Date Published: June 2022

This study may help to inform initiatives around optimisation of AHA utility as well as AHA roles in patient care. Major themes for utilisation of AHAs are covered including interpersonal relationships, clarity and recognition of AHA roles, role boundaries, professional development, and professional identity of the AHA workforce. This research also highlights the significance of relationships between AHAs and AHPs, their patients, and the wider AHA workforce.


Therapy assistant rural workforce development

Date Published: Dec 2021

This remote, community-based therapy assistant model, whereby therapy assistants are employed and work in their local community, has the potential to address barriers experienced in regional and remote communities. This report covers successful models of governance, stakeholder and user perspectives, and costs and benefits analysis.


Exploring utilisation of the allied health assistant workforce in the Victorian health, aged care and disability sectors

Date Published: October 2021

This study aims to identify factors contributing to the effective utilisation of AHAs across health, aged care and disability sectors and possible pathway elements that may optimise AHA careers in Victoria.


Delegation by allied health professionals to allied health assistants: a mixed methods systematic review

Date published: September 2021

The aim of this review was to synthesise the available evidence on; firstly, the clinical and cost-effectiveness of interventions delegated by AHPs to AHAs and secondly, AHPs’, AHAs’ and patients’ attitudes and beliefs towards delegation.


What makes weekend allied health services effective and cost-effective (or not) in acute medical and surgical wards? Perceptions of medical, nursing, and allied health workers

Date published: May 2017

There is strong public support for acute hospital services to move to genuine 7-day models, including access to multidisciplinary team assessment. This study aimed to identify factors that might enable an effective and cost-effective weekend allied health services on acute hospital wards.


Pilot implementation of allied health assistant roles within publicly funded health services in Queensland, Australia: Results of a workplace audit

Date Published: June 2014

This paper describes the implementation and audit of a state-wide pilot project to inform the future development of the allied health assistant workforce.




Please share your thoughts about the allied health assistant space by leaving a comment below. Subscribe to Allied Health Insights to receive incisive and up-to-date allied health commentary and solutions. | Check out our recent features on AHAs: A-Z of Allied Health – Allied Health Assistant; and Introducing An Allied Health Assistant into your service? 5 Key Systems & Structures To Help You Streamline The Process

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AHP Workforce provides allied health workforce planning, strategy and consulting for employers, managers and public sector stakeholders. For allied health workforce solutions, contact us today.


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