HCA's consumer advocates program has been developed as a way of encouraging and organising the participation of consumers, and the representation of their interests, in health care decision making. The program is a process for selecting and supporting consumer advocates or representatives, who then act in a formal capacity to provide perspectives to decision makers and policy developers in the health sector.
Advocates are consumers who are individual members of HCA, or members of a HCA member organisation. Overall, the program is a vital part of helping HCA to promote the voices of health consumers to policy and decision-makers. It is a key strategy for achieving our vision: Consumers at the heart of health care.
HCA Representation: The three common roles for members and staff participation in health decision making are:
HCA Consumer Advocate: The role of representing and advocating for consumer interests based on a person’s lived experience and consumer networks. This role does not act on behalf of HCA as an organisation.
HCA Nominee: HCA makes a formal endorsement of a consumer representative to sit on an external committee or for Ministerial Appointment on a Government Committee. This role does not act on behalf of the HCA organisation.
HCA Organisastional Representative: The role of representing consumer interests on behalf of the HCA organisation. This person is usually a staff or Board Member and is authorised through the Executive Director.
The purpose of this policy is to define the various consumer advocacy and representation roles undertaken by HCA members and staff. It establishes expectations for members and stakeholders on the values and principles that shape our practice, and our desire for effective consumer engagement.
The policy is accompanied by procedures on the recruitment, selection, support and evaluation of consumer advocates and representatives. These provide guidance for how HCA considers requests for consumer representatives from external committees and defines expectations on working relationships between HCA, selected consumer advocates and external agency representatives.
Requesting a Consumer Representative
To request a consumer representative complete the Service Provider Request Form . A member from Health Consumers Alliance will then be in contact with you to discuss the terms and conditions.
How to become a HCA Consumer advocate
HCA advertises many consumer engagement opportunities each week through our eNews and our website. These roles can vary quite a lot and therefore each consumer role that is advertised will have an Expression of Interest (EOI) form that addresses the requirements of that role. These requirements generally relate to skills, experience or networks that you may be part of that could be beneficial to the role. Please click on the EOI link in the article, complete the EOI and return it to the contact person as per the bottom of the form. Sometimes it will come to HCA, and other times you can apply directly to the health service that is recruiting. For some positions, you will be asked to include a copy of your resumè / CV. Your resumè can include a brief summary of your paid employment experience, but should focus on your consumer advocacy roles, detailing training you have attended, committees you have participated in, forums you have attended, activities you have undertaken and networks you participate in. If you have any difficulties with the application process, please call HCA on 8231 4169 and ask to speak to the Manager, Consumer Engagement.