As Health Workers and Health Practitioners, we each have a role and responsibilities in the work places and the services that we work in. Although, there might be some consistency in functions and activities across the profession, specific job duties and responsibilities may differ to our colleagues. The differences are largely determined by state and territory legislation, our training and education, the service needs, and our role and responsibilities. These differences are what make us so important in the health sector, but are also why defining our Scope of Practice is essential.
What is a Scope of Practice? A Scope of Practice can be:
1. A profession’s Scope of Practice.
This is the full spectrum of roles, functions, responsibilities, activities and decision-making capacities which individuals who make up the profression are educated, competent and authorised to perform.
2. An individual’s Scope of Practice.
The duties which the individual is education, authorised and competent to perform, whether an individual is registered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner Board or not.
A Scope of Practice is influenced by the wider environment, specific workplaces and jobs, legislation, policy and education qualifications and skills.
How does the framework help?
The national Framework provides guidelines in the development of Scopes of Practice for Health Workers and Health Practitioners in each jurisdiction and/or health service. The document includes:
- Definition and descriptions of the key elements of a Scope of Practice
- A step-by-step guide for health services, management and an Individual Health Worker or Health Practitioner to work through to develop and review individual scopes of practice.
For an example of use of template to define an individual’s scope of practice, please see here. This example details an Aboriginal Health Worker’s (Child and Maternal Health) Scope of Practice.