Developing and expanding a collaborative regional allied health education model through learning needs analysis, and evaluation of content, mode of delivery and process

Mrs Kathie Lowe1,2, Ms Anna Sullivan1,3

1Hume Allied Health Education Group, Hume region, Australia, 2GV Health, Shepparton, Australia, 3Albury-Wodonga Health, Wodonga, Australia

Aim:  Hume Allied Health Education Group (HAHEG) was founded in 2012 with the aim of reducing duplication of effort and improving coordination of allied health education, training and professional development in the region.

Method: In May 2012, the well established Hume Allied Health Leaders Council identified duplication of effort and a lack of coordination of education for allied health staff in the region, and initiated a subcommittee to address these issues.  The inaugural meeting was held in June 2012 and representatives from seven allied health disciplines attended.  During 2012, HAHEG established processes for a collaborative, structured approach to regional education activities, and conducted an Education and Training survey for allied health staff in the region. This informed 2013 and 2014 education delivery.  Since commencement HAHEG has delivered two regional conferences, and over ten workshops.  HAHEG has evaluated all programs delivered, including processes used in planning and delivery.

Results:

  • HAHEG has been effective in reducing duplication of effort for Allied Health education staff in the region through ongoing collaboration.
  • Evaluation of individual programs delivered strongly supports face-to-face delivery for half-day or longer workshops; mixed responses for shorter workshops.
  • Process evaluation supports utilising online tools for booking and document sharing. Sharing workshop costs across multiple sites can reduce effectiveness at particular organisations due to limited scheduling.

Significance of the findings to allied health:  A collaborative approach to regional allied health education can be effective in reducing duplication of effort and improving coordination of education activity, however, ongoing improvement requires analysis of education program delivery, content and processes.