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Advocacy Training and Development Program

The Advocacy Training and Development Program, or ATDP for short, is the next evolution of the Training and Information Program and replaces TIP. The ATDP has been developed as a partnership between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), ex-service organisations (ESOs) and the Department of Defence.

The vision of the ATDP is to train and develop selected practitioners to provide high quality advocacy services to current and former Australian Defence Force members and their dependents, covering rehabilitation, compensation, appeals and welfare.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the more frequently asked questions about the ATDP are outlined below. If you have any other questions, please email them to ATDPenquiries@dva.gov.au.

What led to the ATDP?

In March 2014, DVA commissioned an Advocacy Training Review that was led by the late Brigadier Bill Rolfe, AO. Following consultation with the ex-service community, the Review found that the TIP framework needed to evolve and a Working Party was established to develop a Blueprint for a new advocacy training program. The Blueprint was subsequently endorsed by the Ex-service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) and the then Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.  

How is the ATDP administrated?

The ATDP has a three tier governance structure consisting of:

What type of training does the ATDP provide?

The ATDP will provide training for advocates in compensation and welfare.

Welfare training focuses on providing the skills to assist veterans, their dependents, war widows and former serving members to access the wide array of community services that are available as well as DVA’s health and housing services and other services that are not pensions-related.

Training for Compensation focuses on developing the skills required to assist veterans, their dependents, war widows and former serving members to lodge claims under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004

Training is also provided to more experienced Compensation Advocates who assist with appeals to the Veterans’ Review Board and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

How is training delivered and assessed under the ATDP?

The ATDP uses a competency based training process which assumes that adults acquire their skills and knowledge from a variety of sources. Under the ATDP model it is assumed that 70% of the skills and knowledge acquired comes from “doing”; 20% comes from other informal learning such as through a mentor; while only 10% comes from formal training.

The ATDP training structure places a great emphasis on on-the-job learning and new advocates will be required to maintain a workplace record which contributes to evidence of competency at each of the training program exit points. 

What courses are available for advocates under the ATDP?

New ATDP trainees will complete modified versions of current TIP courses until the formal ATDP courses are implemented. The modified TIP courses for new trainees will align with the ATDP philosophy of a single learning pathway.

Under the TIP approach advocates were able to select from a range of different courses according to their interests and utilise multiple learning pathways. Under the ATDP this will no longer be the case and all learning will be through a single pathway. The single learning pathway under the ATDP will provide a consistent and structured approach to learning that will ensure all advocates gain the necessary skills and knowledge they need to assist a much broader range of clients. 

For advocates who commenced their training under TIP, most of the traditional TIP courses will continue to be made available until the formal ATDP courses are implemented. There will also be various entry points into the ATDP single learning pathway to allow advocates who commenced training under TIP to take advantages of the improved training approach under the ATDP. 

How do I access ATDP training?

New advocates will be selected by their ESO, based on Guidelines for the Selection of Trainees (DOCX 20KB) provided to ESOs and training will then involve a range of on the job learning, eLearning and face to face consolidation experiences.  The training process is depicted in the ATDP Workflow diagram
If you are interested in attending ATDP training you need to be endorsed by your ESO and then register your interest in the training through the ATDP website. Details of which courses are available are also on the website.

How long does the training take?

A single learning pathway refers to specific courses and experience that advocates will need to complete in a required order as they progress towards higher levels. The single learning pathway will apply across all levels of competency, from levels one to four in the compensation stream and levels one to two in the Welfare Stream. Advocates will proceed through the training at their own pace but it is expected that this would not involve more than twelve months for each competency level.

Will advocates trained under the ATDP be accredited?

Yes. The ATDP Governance Committees are working with a Registered Training Organisation to align the competencies required by Welfare and Compensation Advocates with the available course material to transform it to ATDP material. When finalised this will allow an advocate’s progress to be assessed against the relevant competencies and the advocate can then be accredited as suitable to work at the appropriate level. This process is outlined in the ATDP Workflow diagram.

Will advocates trained under TIP have the opportunity to be accredited under the ATDP?

Yes. All advocates will be offered the opportunity to be accredited under the ATDP. Previous training and workplace experience will be taken into account through a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process. There will be various entry points into the ATDP single learning pathway and they are being designed to ensure they are flexible with minimal impact on advocates.

Are advocates covered by insurance?

The Veterans’ Indemnity and Training Association (VITA) has been established for the purpose of providing professional indemnity insurance for suitably qualified, trained and authorized members of ex-service organizations who give advice in good faith to the ex-service community on matters relating to DVA pension and compensation entitlements and welfare support. 

The ATDP is working with VITA to ensure this coverage will apply to all advocates during the transition period while the formal ATDP courses are implemented and advocates have had the opportunity to have previous training and experience recognised through the RPL process.

VITA also provides an accident insurance policy to cover those people who conduct training under the auspices of ATDP, providing their parent ESO is a member of VITA. 

How do I find an advocate?

ESOs in your State have trained advocates to assist with compensation and welfare matters. In the first instance you should contact your local ESO for advice about the availability of these services.

How do I get more information?

You can forward any questions or requests for information about how the ATDP operates to the ATDP mailbox ATDPenquiries@dva.gov.au. Information about training and learning opportunities is available on the ATDP website.

ATDP newsletter

Advocacy News provides updates on the transition from TIP (Training Information Program) to ATDP – the Advocacy Training and Development Program. To subscribe, please send email to ATDPenquiries@dva.gov.au

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