The Training and Information Program (TIP) was a partnership between ex-service organisations (ESOs) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) which was replaced by the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) on 1 July 2016. TIP provided compensation and welfare training to new and existing advocates, to support current and former Australian Defence Force members and their dependants in accessing their entitlements and gaining access to support services.
At the time of its replacement, TIP was over 20 years old and had provided great service to the veteran community throughout that time. However, the training and development of advocates needed to respond to both, the changing needs of the veteran community, and advances in the understanding of adult learning principles.
The department 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 address the need for a more contemporary approach to the training and development of advocates. The Advocacy Blueprint which emerged from this work by representatives from the ex-service community was subsequently endorsed by the Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) and the then Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in late 2015 which resulted in the creation of the ATDP.
TIP managed a training platform and only utilised formal classroom instruction and e-learning. Training courses and content sometimes differed from one state to another. It offered no formal qualifications to those who attended training and only issued certificates of attendance to participants.
Unlike TIP, the ATDP offers a nationally accredited training course ensuring that a consistent standard of training is provided to advocates across the country. The Course in Military Advocacy (10620NAT) which is supported by the ATDP comprises of six individual Units of Competency. Four relate to compensation advocacy and two relate to wellbeing advocacy.
Another important point of difference to TIP is that the ATDP employs a contemporary approach to mature aged training known as Adult Learning Principles and supports advocates to learn on-the-job, under the guidance and support of a mentor, with additional online and face-to-face training provided to assist advocates to consolidate their learning. Lifetime or ongoing learning is also a unique feature of the ATDP and replaces the TIP-style refresher training, which typically occurred around every three years.
The ATDP launched its Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program on 1 July 2018. Whilst many advocates were trained during the TIP era, the program did not produce a list of advocates it had trained or how they could be contacted. By contrast the ATDP released the Accredited Advocate Register (AAR) on 24 January 2019. The AAR provides easy access for veterans, and members of the broader ex-service community, requiring the services of ATDP-accredited advocates in their local area. Clients can locate an advocate by a search using the Accredited Advocate Register (AAR).
Find out more about the ATDP via the following links: