Career Progression and Training for Health Care Workers

13 December 2017

Career Progression and Training for Health Workers  

I believe that it is important for health workers to have access to professional development (CPD) and training to update their skills, keep up with new technologies and to improve the quality of primary care practice.

The Health Workers Union supports a lifelong learning approach to skills development and career progression. In a fast changing healthcare industry it is essential for health workers to maintain clinical skills and knowledge, and to continue providing the best quality care to all patients.

In order to ensure that all our members have the ability to access training, we have been working hard to negotiate Enterprise Agreements with health care providers that make the process of accessing professional development leave easier.

In fact, we gained significant concessions from the Victorian government and Department of Health in this respect. The most recent Public Sector Enterprise Agreement allows for the creation for a new Senior/Career development classification. The new positions within Victorian hospitals will allow health workers to meet with the new Careers worker to discuss their plans for training & to secure time off and in some instances money from the employer to support workers with their professional development plans.

The Victorian Department of Health has also introduced a new continuing professional development program designed to assist health workers within rural and regional areas of Victoria.

Rural Workforce Agency Victoria

The following programs are available to support the CPD needs of practising health professionals in Victoria.

  • Allied Health Regional Workforce Development Programs
  • Specialists Continuing Medical Education (CME) Support – Medical practitioners working in the public health sector may be eligible for specialist CME support. For details please contact your employer.
  • Nursing and Midwifery Workforce – Includes information about the range of opportunities that exist for Victorian nurses to undertake CPD programs and/or increase their clinical skills via formal training pathways. The Continuing Nursing and Midwifery Education (CNME) grant is provided to public health services as a contribution to the cost of developing and providing education programs for nurses and midwives who have a focus on developing acute care knowledge and skills. There also exists the Training and Development Grant (Nursing), post graduate scholarships, and other one off grants.

In addition to the Department of Health, the Future Social Service Institute (funded by the Victorian Government and RMIT) also offer training opportunities within the disability sector.

The Future Social Service Institute is currently offering scholarships to:

  • high school leavers/graduates who want to work in the social services sector, and
  • employers looking to upskill their employees in preparation for the NDIS

These scholarships provide 100% free tuition for the relevant, nationally-accredited Certificate and an opportunity to kick start your career – or deepen knowledge and skills.

If you work within the disability sector and are keen to study, please speak to your employer. With their assistance, you can apply for a scholarship.

HWU Delegate Training 

The Health Workers Union offers 'Core Skills for Delegates' training for our workplace delegates. The union has over 400 delegates that require training in 2017. In many workplace agreements (such as the Victorian Public Sector Health Agreement), union delegates are still paid by their employer whilst undertaking the training.

Some of the topics/subjects covered during the two day training course included the following:

  • Role of Union Delegates
  • Enterprise Agreements
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Dealing with Workplace Issues
  • Disciplinary Action

The HWU Professional trainers will continue training delegates within Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria throughout the year.

If you are interested in participating in the training course, or want to enquire about how to become a union delegate for your workplace, call (03) 9341 3300 today. 

David Eden

Assistant Secretary of the Health Workers Union