The Training and Information Program (TIP) trained new and existing advocates. After running for over 20 years, the program was superseded by the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) in 2016.
The TIP was a partnership between ex-service organisations (ESOs) and us. It provided compensation and welfare training to new and existing advocates.
Under the TIP, they learned to support the veteran community to access entitlements and support services.
TIP managed a training platform and used 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 the ATDP supports, comprises of 6 individual Units of Competency. Four relate to compensation advocacy and 2 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 feature of the ATDP and replaces the TIP-style refresher training, which typically occurred around every 3 years.
The ATDP launched its Continuing 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. Veterans and members of the broader ex-service community can locate an ATDP accredited advocate in their local area by a search using the Accredited Advocate Register (AAR).
The ATDP offers TIP trained advocates the opportunity to undertake RPL.
Evidence of competency can include skills and knowledge acquired through various means including:
- the TIP training
- practical experience.
The Veterans' Indemnity and Training Association (VITA) provides professional indemnity insurance to many ATDP accredited advocates.
VITA insurance is no longer available to TIP trained advocates trained at Level 1 or 2 that have not undertaken Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). They may undertake RPL at any time and thereby restore their VITA cover.
Level 3 and 4 advocates have until 31 December 2021 to complete their RPL. After that date, VITA will no longer cover them.