Advocate for clients

This unit describes the knowledge and skills required by the worker to support clients to voice their opinions or needs and to ensure their rights are upheld


This unit may apply to work undertaken across a range of sectors in delivery of community services


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Assist clients to identify their rights and represent their own needs

1.1 Assist client to identify their own needs and rights and to determine if their rights are being infringed or are not being met

1.2 Undertake an assessment with the client, and if necessary with significant others and colleagues to identify client's ability to advocate for self

1.3 Provide client with information about available options for meeting their needs and assist them to identify their preferred option, and to make contact and negotiate with relevant people and agencies where appropriate

1.4 Ensure information provided to clients about client rights and responsibilities is researched, relevant and timely

2. Advocate on behalf of clients on request

2.1 Initiate, negotiate and implement relevant strategies for addressing client needs

2.2 On request from the client and in on-going consultation with the client, identify and contact the most appropriate individuals or organisations and represent the client's point of view clearly to optimise outcomes for the client

2.3 Ensure information is kept in confidence unless authorisation is given to release it

2.4 Discuss progress and outcomes with the client and take further action as necessary

3. Advocate for clients

3.1 Where assessment indicates the client requires advocacy support:

raise issues with the most appropriate person/ people in a way that upholds the rights and supports reasonable expectations of the client

initiate and implement strategies for addressing client needs in consultation with appropriate personnel

identify and redress potential conflict of interest

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate knowledge of:

Organisations and services relevant to the nature of client service

Referral options and resources available to community

Organisation policies and procedures

Relevant legal and other rights/limitations

The candidate must also be able to demonstrate relevant knowledge required to effectively perform task skills; task management skills; contingency management skills and job/role environment skills as outlined in elements and performance criteria, such as knowledge of:

Social justice principles

Differences between negotiation, advocacy, mediation and conciliation

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:


Advocate on behalf of clients

Use a client-centred approach

Demonstrate a non-judgemental approach to clients

Maintain documentation as required

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

Apply skills in:



dealing with cross cultural issues

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

Assessment may be conducted on one or more occasions, but should include the normal range of workplace activities

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

This unit can be assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged

Resources required for assessment include access to:

an appropriate workplace where assessment can take place, or

simulation of realistic workplace setting for assessment

Method of assessment:

Assessment may include observation, questioning and evidence gathered from the workplace environment

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Rights and needs include:

Freedom of choice

Access to services

Personal safety and security

Access to rights protection and legal remedies

Access to right protections and legal remedies

Advocate on behalf of clients may be to:

Other workers


Other agencies/organisations



Other health services/professionals


Legal organisations/persons

Government departments


Credit providers, financial institutions, utility companies

Advocacy may include:

Meeting client needs in the context of organisation requirements

Awareness of potential conflict between client needs and organisation requirements

Review of strategies may be informal or formal and may include:

Discussions with key people in the community

Discussions with friends/family of the client

Discussions with colleagues and/or clients

Formal strategies may include:

Public meetings



Court appearances


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable