Ageing, Disability & Home Care

Core Standards for practitioners who support people with a disability

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Introduction

The core standards have been designed by ADHC's Clinical Innovation and Governance Unit to help practitioners in their everyday person centred work with individuals with disability. The term practitioner as used here, includes behaviour support staff, dieticians, nurse, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and speech pathologists.

The introduction of core standards aims to maintain a consistency across practitioners' work. The core standards do not replace traditional professional training and are not meant to imply the boundaries of professional knowledge, nor intended to limit professional development areas. The core standards are intended to form part of a practitioner's learning plan in discussion with their professional supervisor.

A core standard is the demonstration of the recommended knowledge practitioners need to support people with disability.

The core standards will benefit people with disability and their families and carers by guiding practitioners to maintain standards of good, evidence based and contemporary practice.

Use of the core standards

The core standards materials and resources can be used in a variety of ways-for example:

  • Knowledge translation and appraisal of core standards in practice
  • Professional education and training
  • Induction of new staff or staff new to the area of disability
  • As a reference point in supervision or mentoring
  • Use with students on placement or within learning institutions

Knowledge translation

The core standards provide a summary of current evidence, relevant standards, legislation and current philosophies and a method for translating these into practice.

Materials and resources available through the core standards include:

  • Case studies and scenarios
  • Videos of people with disability, family members and various practitioners
  • Documents and forms for use in practice
  • References

The core standards include optional appraisal of knowledge and experience gained. Using the knowledge translation model proposed, knowledge and application would be demonstrated through successful completion of each core standard.

The core standard application and appraisal should be monitored via the supervision structure.

Appraisals are posed as questions, with answers supplied. This allows practitioners to identify their knowledge gaps. An important part of all appraisals is the practical demonstration by the practitioner of the knowledge and practice.

Organisations who decide to use the core standard programs need to decide if, how and when appraisal will be undertaken if they use this model to implement and appraise practitioners in these core standards within their work place.

Obtaining the required knowledge, skills and attitudes

The core standards program is based on an understanding of adult learning principles. The means to achieve the knowledge, skills and attitudes outlined within the core standards can be varied and may be obtained from many different avenues. Core standard practice guides, and other resources are also provided for reference and application. The practitioner may choose also to develop the expertise required to address core standards via work-place practice, internal or external training, or self directed reading of current external literature.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions (PDF) are available to help practitioners using the core standards programs. These include instructions on using the common core standards and discipline specific core standards.

Common Core standards

There are four Common Core Standards for practitioners working with people with a disability and their family and supports. These are:

1. Professional Supervision

2. The Working Alliance

3. Philosophies, Values and Beliefs

4. Service Delivery Approaches

Discipline-specific core standards

There are also discipline-specific core standards for practitioners working with people with disability and their family and supports. It is suggested practitioners complete the common core standards and then choose from the discipline-specific core standards as relevant to their learning goals.

The discipline-specific core standards are:

1. Physiotherapy

2. Psychology
   
3. Nursing and Health Care

4. Occupational therapy
 
5. Speech pathology

6. Behaviour support (via the Practice Improvement Framework)

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