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skills and knowledge benchmark

How to use the Benchmark Resource

Developed using the NDS Workforce capability framework, this resource provides a guideline of the requirements for Allied Health staff entering the disability sector as new graduates or with experience in other sectors (eg. Health or Aged care). This guide is for staff with 0-2 years’ experience in the disability sector.

Key Responsibility Area

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Understands the role, vision, mission and values of the organisation.
  • Aligns with sector and organisation approaches and values.
  • Behave in alignment with the organisation values and objectives.
  • Researches and shows initiative to build understanding of the organisation’s business offerings and services, organisation strategy and wider disability sector.
  • Provides clinical services to customers (internal and external) in line with organisation purpose, values and operational needs.
  • Understands the strategic direction under which the organisation operates.
  • Can identify different funding sources available for Allied Health Services.
  • Can describe where further information can be obtained.
  • General knowledge of human rights based approaches to supporting a person with a disability, and the individual and community context of disability.
  • Demonstrates an application of human rights based approaches to supporting a person with a disability.
  • Can explain the biopsychosocial model of disability.
  • Can discuss choice and control and how they impact on the provision of Therapy supports.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Participates as an effective team member.
  • Participates in professional team meetings.
  • Contributes to team effectiveness through effective and appropriate behaviours and involvement in team activities.
  • Plans and schedules own work with increasing independence.
  • Monitors progress against work plans and required outcomes and takes appropriate corrective action.
  • Increasingly works independently by planning and prioritising own workload to successfully meet timeliness and quality requirements.
  • Achieves performance outcomes in line with objectives and expectations set by Manager.
  • Developing and maintaining internal contacts to maintain efficient communication.
  • Supports other team members, sharing knowledge and information.
  • May lead/ be a key contact of a small team.
  • Supervision of less experienced staff or students.
  • Demonstrates awareness of the working relationship and roles of Therapist and Allied Health Assistants.
  • Can describe interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, Key Worker/Primary service provider and multi-disciplinary models of practice.
  • Develop and maintains a network of contacts in stakeholder and community organisations appropriate to the role.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Drafts and liaises on written work
  • Achieves agreed standards for completing case notes and clinical reports relevant to role.
  • Has effective listening skills and seeks, provides and/or shares information in an appropriate and respectful manner.
  • Uses positive engaging techniques and adapts own style to needs of other person.
  • Communicates effectively with internal customers in the organisation and relevant external stakeholders
  • Effectively handles complex, sensitive issues and collaborates with other work areas.
  • Prepares complex reports.
  • Expresses views, information and ideas clearly and effectively in conversations, meetings and reports.
  • Has a network of relevant contacts in other work areas.
  • Establishes relevant internal and external networks.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Maintains confidentiality
  • Understands the positive value of diversity.
  • N/A
  • Developing the capability to effectively assist customers to address/resolve a range of their needs and expectations.
  • Adopts a practical and effective approach to providing clinical services to customers.
  • Developing working relationships with other work areas to assist in customer service.
  • Developing working relationships with stakeholders.
  • Liaises effectively with internal and external customers.
  • When required, involves more experienced staff in the more sensitive or serious matters.
  • Exercises judgement about requests and acts appropriately or escalates to the Manager where necessary.
  • Recognises appropriate actions to take when faced with sensitive issues.


Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Ensures adherence to organisation policies & procedures and all relevant government legislation and relevant standards.
  • Adopts a professional approach to personal accountability.
  • Researches and develops understanding of relevant internal and external standards and policies that impact on the role such as National Disability Standards and ECI National Guidelines.
  • Represents the clinical team professionally and appropriately.
  • Demonstrates the appropriate behaviour and communication with customers and stakeholders.
  • Display reliability and integrity in responding to and liaising with internal and external customers about their needs and requirements.
  • Encourages others to make a positive contribution to the work environment and to health, safety and wellbeing.
  • Complies with safe work practices for self and team members, including adopting a proactive approach to risks and hazard control and minimisation.
  • Analyses and mitigates risk.
  • Developing the capability to promote and market service offerings.
  • Ensures appropriate use of resources.
  • Uses appropriate judgement in relation to allocation and use of resources within the funding model.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Adopts a creative and resourceful approach.
  • Applies improvement processes.
  • Implements agreed clinical practices and activities consistent with the organisation’s values and objectives.
  • Takes personal responsibility for continuous improvement and quality in own work.
  • Developing understanding of the organisation’s clinical expertise and market position.
  • Identifies opportunities for innovation.
  • Solves most problems in own work and participates in wider problem identification and resolution tasks.
  • Makes recommendations and assists in the development of practice based on experience and contact with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Identifies and suggests opportunities for improvements to work practices.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • A relevant tertiary qualification and/or equivalent knowledge and experience, or 4 year relevant undergraduate degree or 2 year relevant graduate masters degree with little experience.
  • Where required for practice, registration with professional body maintained. 
  • Undertakes regular professional development.
  • Shows commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • Attends appropriate development activities for role. 

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Developing understanding of the principles and applies knowledge of: the range of individual choices, goals and aspirations of support.
  • Observes and follows guidance on clinical practice provided by experienced staff.
  • Engages in strengths-based practice.
  • Researches and builds own knowledge of contemporary clinical and organisation practice.
  • Uses and provides feedback and suggestions on clinical tools provided.
  • Can explain guardianship, substitute decision making and how to determine if a person has capacity to give consent.
  • Identifies needs and issues for own professional development
  • Initiates person centred tools and processes for use by self and/or team.
  • Identifies areas of policy and practice to facilitate person centred approaches.
  • May assist with the implementation and review of person centred tools within service offerings.
  • Participates in coaching and mentoring opportunities.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of the principles and strategies of positive behavior support for people with a disability ie. respectful and sensitive environment which empowers the person to achieve and maintain their individual lifestyle goals.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Developing understanding and capacity to deliver straightforward disability support in areas including assessment, direct intervention, behavioural support, counselling, case management/ coordination.
  • May undertake fee for service work under supervision.
  • Uses an evidence-based practice framework
  • Uses client files to appropriately record progress and outcomes.
  • Prepares documentation to meet the requirements of the funder.
  • Formulates recommendations in a way that expedites funding approval.
  • With necessary guidance, refers a person appropriately and able to advocate for the person if required.
  • Seeks guidance to achieve appropriate internal referrals or to other services.
  • Communicates with other professional staff.
  • Takes account of health and wellbeing issues in the delivery of services.
  • Escalates queries or formal complaints appropriately to the Manager or other professional.
  • Assists with the delivery of more complex disability support which can involve multiple service offerings/programs.
  • Achieves quality and quantity in service delivery consistent with organisation benchmarks.
  • Efficiently manages client appointments.
  • Appropriately escalates clinical issues or situations to the Manager or other professional, providing information on status and actions taken.
  • Reflects on practice and performance; responds to feedback from more experienced staff.
  • Demonstrates outcomes-based practice and uses outcome measurement tools eg. Goal attainment scaling and Canadian Occupational Performance Measure etc.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Under guidance will utilise service development and evaluation methods and estimate and review service components.
Applies agreed outcome measures for clients being seen.
  • Developing ability to assess the effectiveness of service offerings and progress with goals in a person’s plan.
  • Contributes to team clinical reviews as required.
  • Developing ability to utilise specific tools to measure progress and to adjust support provided to the person.
  • Assists senior staff with the planning, development and evaluation of service offerings.
  • Seeks guidance from the Manager or other professional when needed on current clinical issues and evaluation issues or practices.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Developing the capacity to work with a person and their family in life learning areas, e.g. accommodation, equipment, family support, recreation, employment and education to achieve integration and participation and inclusion goals.
  • Monitors and records progress on meeting the client’s inclusion goals.
  • Developing the capability to act on feedback, and arrange and adjust service offerings based on a person’s goals and aspirations
  • Developing relationships and connections with other services and professionals in the field.
  • Understands the principles and importance of family-centred practice when working with children.
  • Communicates with the person to ensure that progress towards individual goals is regularly discussed and acted on.
  • Seeks feedback directly from clients on satisfaction / participation in the decision process.
  • Provides feedback to and seeks support from the Manager on emerging issues or problems.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Assists in developing and maintaining networks of community organisations and volunteers.
  • Supports clients in accessing the relevant contacts and community connections.
  • Assists in identifying and assessing needs.
  • Participates in community events.
  • Developing capabilities and assists in the implementation of community knowledge sharing, training and coaching activities and plans.
  • Establishes appropriate links to other professionals in the organisation and in the community.
  • Participates in knowledge sharing with the broader team.
  • Responds to needs expressed by the client, making recommendations and suggesting solutions.

Capability Requirement 

Key Performance Measure

  • Demonstrates understanding of documentation requirements and to write reports on assessment or progress.
  • Ensures preparation for meetings
  • Follows procedures in relation to files, data, clinical information and records.
  • Effectively prepares case notes and plans.
  • Effectively uses technology; captures necessary data.
  • Reports and documents files appropriately (not over or under documentation).
  • Prepares documents within the timeframes of the funder.
  • Demonstrates completion of allocated reporting, documentation and administration tasks, including service records and billing.
  • Makes appropriate recommendations from a practical and clinical practice perspective.
  • Understands and is able to assist in the resolution and follow up of complaints and feedback.

Download Resource:

Accessible WORD

The resource is not intended to be prescriptive and each service can determine how best to use the resource to meet their needs. Allied Health staff entering the sector or with interest in entering the sector are encouraged to use the resource to learn more about sector expectations.

Contact information

Developed by Jane Cousins, Project Lead NDS and Katie van der Watt, Project Officer NDS. For more information, contact: