Unit of competency details

HLTAHW303B - Advocate for the rights and needs of community members (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by HLTAHW006 - Facilitate and advocate for the rights and needs of clients and community membersNew unit in HLT Health Training Package Release 1.0. Significant changes to elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment, including volume and environment requirements 30/Jun/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 25/Mar/2011

Qualifications that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061309 Community Health  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061309 Community Health  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit Descriptor 

This unit describes the competencies required to promote the self-determination, rights and needs of members of the community

Application of the Unit


This unit is intended to address skills and knowledge required by those working at a Certificate III level with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities

Direction may be provided by close supervision or established guidelines that limit discretion

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Identify the rights and needs  of the client 

1.1 Provide information to client about rights in relation to health issues and services

1.2 Assist client to clarify their own needs in relation to health issues and services

1.3 Assist client to identify needs that are not being met

2. Identify and negotiate options 

2.1 Provide client with information about options for meeting their needs

2.2 Assist client to identify their preferred option

2.3 Negotiate options as required

3. Assist the client to represent their own needs

3.1 Provide client with information and support the client to represent their rights and needs

3.2 Assist client to make contact with relevant persons and agencies  to meet their identified needs

3.3 Assist client, when requested by the client, to put their views to relevant persons and agencies to meet their needs

4. Advocate for the client about a specific issue if client is not able to represent their rights or concerns 

4.1 Identify relevant individuals or agencies and contact about the specific issue

4.2 Clearly represent the client's point of view to those involved

4.3 Maintain client confidentiality 

4.4 Discuss progress and / or outcome of the issue with client

5. Promote the rights, needs and interests of the client

5.1 Regularly discuss rights and needs of clients with other workers and supervisor

5.2 Make suggestions to other workers and supervisor about ways to improve services to clients

5.3 Implement changes as required

5.4 Maintain client confidentiality

Required Skills and Knowledge


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:

  • A basic understanding of:
  • Charter of Human Rights of the Child
  • Child Protection Legislation
  • Domestic Violence Legislation
  • Anti-discrimination Legislation
  • DSS and Veteran Affairs Guidelines
  • Referral options and resources available to community members.
  • Existing program policy.
  • Organisation policies, guidelines and procedures

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Assist Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients to identify their rights, clarify their needs and make representation on their own behalf
  • Advocate on behalf of these clients as appropriate in line with identified community needs and workplace requirements

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

This includes the ability to:

  • Clearly communicate: share information in ways that all parties can understand
  • Apply skills in:
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Mediation: assisting two parties to share their views and reach an agreed outcome
  • Representation: public speaking, meetings, writing
  • Communication (verbal essential, written not essential)
  • Reflect on and improve own level and application of skills and knowledge to achieve desirable outcomes and maintain own capabilities

Evidence Guide


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
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

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

Client includes :

  • Individuals and / or families to whom a service is being provided
  • Caregivers and family members of the above person

Rights and needs may include :

  • Freedom from discrimination
  • Freedom of choice
  • Right of equality
  • Access to services
  • Eligibility for resources and benefits
  • Personal safety and security
  • To have something explained in the way the client understands
  • Adequate food and shelter
  • Those relating to holistic health care practices
  • Right to appeal in relation to a decision or situation that affects the individual and/or community

Advocacy on behalf of the client may be to :

  • Other workers
  • Management
  • Other organisations
  • Friends / community
  • Businesses
  • Agencies

Agencies may include :

  • Government and non-government organisations
  • Community - controlled organisations
  • Other health services, including oral health services
  • Other community service organisations
  • Other organisations

Options may include :

  • Traditional and/or western health practices

Situation where the client is  'not able to represent their own rights or concerns' may include :

  • The client is unconscious
  • The client is unable to express their needs because of language or other barriers
  • The client feels too intimidated by the situation and / or environment to represent their own needs
  • The client chooses not to represent their own needs, for personal reasons
  • Organisation policies inhibit the client from expressing their needs and/or concerns

Client confidentiality means :

  • To protect the right to privacy of the client, by:
  • providing only the information relevant to the specific issue of concern
  • only to those people who need to action outcomes
  • with the permission of the client

Agencies may include :

  • Government and non-government organisations
  • Community controlled organisations
  • Other agencies that provide health and community services

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable