Building allied health workforce capacity: a strategic approach to workforce innovation

Aust Health Rev. 2015 Jun;39(3):264-270. doi: 10.1071/AH14211.


Objective: The aim of the present study was to identify areas where allied health assistants (AHAs) are not working to their full scope of practice in order to improve the effectiveness of the allied health workforce.

Methods: Qualitative data collected via focus groups identified suitable AHA tasks and a quantitative survey with allied health professionals (AHPs) measured the magnitude of work the current AHP workforce spends undertaking these tasks.

Results: Quantification survey results indicate that Victoria's AHP workforce spends up to 17% of time undertaking tasks that could be delegated to an AHA who has relevant training and adequate supervision. Over half this time is spent on clinical tasks.

Conclusions: The skills of AHAs are not being optimally utilised. Significant opportunity exists to reform the current allied health workforce. Such reform should result in increased capacity of the workforce to meet future demands.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allied Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Capacity Building*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Focus Groups
  • Models, Organizational
  • Victoria