Support clients to obtain access to health services

This unit describes the competencies required to provide basic support clients to gain access to available services, including use of a preferred language, assisting communication with service providers, communication with service providers about community/client requirements, organising access/transport, promoting discussion of available services and associated issues


The skills and knowledge addressed in this unit underpin work functions that involve providing access to a range of health services for members of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Support clients to communicate with service providers

1.1 Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients to use their preferred language

1.2 Undertake basic interpretation of information communicated by service providers and

1.3 Assist clients and/or significant others to explain their needs and issues

1.4 Explain services offered by specific health service providers to clients

1.5 Support clients in taking a self-care approach to health in line with individual needs and organisation and community requirement

2. Assist service providers to understand client and community needs

2.1 Explain individual and community needs and issues to service providers

2.2 Communicate local community values, beliefs and gender roles to service providers as required

2.3 Explain the role of traditional healers in the community to service providers, if required

2.4 Identify issues requiring mandatory notification and report to supervisor and/or an appropriate authority

3. Provide practical support for clients accessing health services

3.1 Organise and/or provide transport to enable clients to travel to and from health service provider

3.2 Arrange appointments as required

3.3 Contact clients as required to ensure appointments are kept

Required Skills

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

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required 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

This includes knowledge of:

Language or languages, as spoken within the community and the workplace (verbal skills essential, written not essential)

Specific identified workplace terminology

Terminology relevant to specific aspects of care provided

The culture of the client, caregiver and health service provider

The communication style of the client, caregiver or health service provider

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Use good verbal and non-verbal communication in language(s) appropriate to local clients and service provider(s)

Apply interpreting and clarifying skills

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 of assessment:

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

Evidence should demonstrate the individual's ability to work consistently in a culturally safe manner with and on behalf of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients in line with identified community needs and workplace requirements

Conditions of assessment:

This unit includes skills and knowledge specific to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture

Assessment must therefore be undertaken by a workplace assessor who has expertise in the unit of competency or who has the current qualification being assessed and who is:

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander him/herself


accompanied and advised by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is a recognised member of the community with experience in primary health care

Context of assessment:

Competence should be demonstrated working individually, under supervision or as part of a primary health care team working with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients

Assessment should replicate workplace conditions as far as possible

Related units:

This unit may be assessed independently or in conjunction with other units with associated workplace application

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.

Cultural respect

This competency standard supports the recognition, protection and continued advancement of the inherent rights, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

It recognises that the improvement of the health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must include attention to physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social well-being, community capacity and governance

Its application must be culturally sensitive and supportive of traditional healing and health, knowledge and practices

Community control

Community participation and control in decision-making is essential to all aspects of health work, and the role of the health worker is to support the community in this process


Supervision must be conducted in accordance with prevailing state/territory and organisation legislative and regulatory requirements

References to supervision may include either direct or indirect supervision of work by more experienced workers, supervisors, managers or other health professionals

A person at this level should only be required to make decisions about clients within the organisation's standard treatment protocols and associated guidelines

Legislative requirements

Federal, state or territory legislation may impact on workers' practices and responsibilities. Implementation of the competency standards should reflect the legislative framework in which a health worker operates. It is recognised that this may sometimes reduce the application of the Range of Variables in practice. However, assessment in the workplace or through simulation should address all essential skills and knowledge across the Range of Variables

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers may be required to operate in situations that do not constitute 'usual practice' due to lack of resources, remote locations and community needs. As a result, they may need to possess more competencies than described by 'usual practice circumstances'

Under all circumstances, the employer must enable the worker to function within the prevailing legislative framework

Preferred language may include:

The language in which a person feels most comfortable communicating their needs, thoughts, feelings and opinions, including:

community language


sign language

Basic interpretation may include:

Conveying understanding of written or spoken words from one person to another person (ie. from client to service provider or from service provider to client)

Conveying the needs, feelings, opinions and ideas expressed by one person into a form that is understood by other persons

Clients and/or significant others may include:

Persons receiving health care

Persons who request assistance from the health worker

Family members and/or carers acting on behalf of clients

Members (eg. elders or other representatives) of the community

Service providers may include:

Health practitioners, including oral health care service providers

Managers or other staff of health services/ organisations, including administrative/operative staff

People/workers providing a supportive or caring service to meet the holistic health care needs of the community or individuals

Community controlled and government health services

Basic structure of the health industry and of relevant health service providers

Issues requiring mandatory notification may include:

Protection of children and others identified to be at risk (eg. re child sexual assault)

Issues defined by jurisdictional legislation and/or regulatory requirements

Issues specifically identified by the community or organisation policies


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable