The Advocacy Training and Development Program
The Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) offers nationally accredited training in military advocacy and support. It ensures that advocates meet national standards before they give advice to the veteran community. Learn how you can apply for the program, and what it includes.
On this page
About the program
The ATDP is available to support ex-service organisations (ESOs) who provide advocacy to the veteran community.
It is a partnership between us, ESOs and the Department of Defence.
Through the ATDP you can learn how to assist the veteran community to:
- lodge claims under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA), the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) and the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)
- access a wide array of Federal, State and Local government and community services, including those that are available from DVA which support wellbeing.
More experienced compensation advocates will learn how to assist with reconsiderations and appeals to the Veterans' Review Board (VRB) and appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
Visit the ATDP website to learn more about the ATDP or enrol in the Course in Military Advocacy.Back to top
Course in Military Advocacy
Under the ATDP, you will undertake a Course in Military Advocacy (1062NAT). This course has 6 units of competency (UoC):
Military Compensation Advocate Level 1 (MILADC001) – Learn how to complete a primary claim, under the supervision of a suitably qualified advocate
Military Compensation Advocate Level 2 (MILADC002) – Learn how to complete a primary claim, without supervision
Military Compensation Advocate Level 3 (MILADC005) – Learn how to represent clients when they submit departmental reconsiderations and primary appeals to the Veterans' Review Board (VRB)
Military Compensation Advocate Level 4 (MILADC004) – Learn how to advocate on behalf of clients before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
Military Wellbeing Advocate Level 1 (MILADW001) – Learn how to assist clients to obtain the wellbeing they require, under the supervision of a suitably qualified advocate
Military Wellbeing Advocate Level 2 (MILADW002) – Learn how to assist clients to obtain the wellbeing they require, without supervision
ATDP had a single learning pathway. This means you will have to complete Level 1 before you can move to Level 2, and complete Level 2 before you move to Level 3, and so on.
You can find more information about the courses, including any prerequisites, at the ATDP website.
Advocates who complete the course will be able to assist the veteran community with information and referrals for:
- health services and treatment
- housing support
- transport services
- household assistance
- education schemes
- government or community services and benefits
- support services for transitioning to civilian life
- medical, financial, legal and police matters
- funeral arrangements and bereavement assistance
You will also learn how to:
- prepare and lodge claims
- prepare requests for a review of our decisions
- prepare appeals for the VRB and AAT
- represent clients at VRB and AAT hearings
Training, Consolidation and Assessment
Most of the training is undertaken on the job with an experienced mentor who is nominated by your ESO.
You will need to record specific activities in an electronic Workplace Experience Log (WEL). Both yourself and your mentor needs to add comments against each milestone. During the training you will undertake online e-learning and you will gather together your Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) which is required at the assessment stage.
At the end of your training, you will undertake Consolidation and Assessment which will take place over a 3-day period. They will be carried out by experienced presenters and assessors.
ATDP training features a single learning pathway which includes specific skills and knowledge that advocates will need to demonstrate at each level before they can progress to a higher level. The single learning pathway features the Compensation Stream levels 1 to 4 and in the Wellbeing Stream levels 1 and 2.Back to top
Accreditation and recognition
Upon the successful completion of each unit of competency (UoC), you will receive a Statement of Attainment.
The Course in Military Advocacy is accredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). The ASQA regulates courses and training providers to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met. The ASQA accreditation means that the Course in Military Advocacy is nationally recognised and that it meets an established industry, enterprise, educational, legislative or community need.Back to top
There is no set time frame for this training.
However, it is expected that it would take no more than 12 months to complete a UoC. If you are working or volunteering full-time, it may only take a few months to complete a UoC.
The schedule of training and assessment is based on the demand.
Candidates will be contacted by the ATDP when they are ready to undertake a program to find one that best suits their needs in terms of location and time.Back to top
Change to Continuing Professional Development
Once you have completed your training, you must undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
CPD ensures currency of skills and knowledge, and that all advocates provide a high-quality service to the veteran community. It also meets VITA’s requirement to maintaining currency for professional indemnity (PI) insurance coverage.Back to top
Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
Under RPL your existing skills and experience (gained through either formal or informal learning) will be assessed to see if they align with a particular Unit of Competency within the Course in Military Advocacy.
It is an evidence based assessment against the requirements of a particular Unit of Competency. Experienced advocates, whether they are TIP trained or not, are offered the opportunity to undertake RPL by the ATDP.Back to top
An advocate can be anyone with a passion for helping the veteran community. They can be:
- former ADF members
- family members of serving or former serving members
- members of the local community
Ideally, you will have been exposed to the role of advocate, and are confident in your ability to perform the role.
Apply for the course
- Your ESO must nominate you, using the Guidelines for the Selection of Trainee Advocates.
- You will need to complete an application form. Contact your ESO to apply.
The Veterans' Indemnity and Training Association (VITA) provides professional indemnity insurance for people who both:
- are a suitably qualified, trained and authorised members of an ESO
- give advice to the ex-service community on DVA pension and compensation entitlements and wellbeing support.
The VITA policy also covers their members' advocates for accidents that occur:
- at a client meeting
- while travelling to and from a client meeting
- while travelling to and from a training program
Our TIP page has information on insurance for advocates trained under TIP.
You can contact VITA on 02 6297 2904.Back to top
The Accredited Advocate Register (AAR)
The AAR is a list of ESOs which authorise accredited advocates. The veteran community can use this to search for an organisation, and thus an advocate, in their area.
The register does not list individual advocates, just organisations with accredited advocates.
ESOs can update their listings to include the number of qualified advocates they have, as well as their organisations' details.Back to top
Contact the ATDP
The ATDP website contains all up to date information about the program:
To contact the ATDP you can:
- phone 0484093016
- email ATDPENQUIRIES [at] dva.gov.au
- email ATDP.COMMUNICATIONS [at] dva.gov.au
- complete their online form at https://web.atdp.org.au/contact.php
Advocacy News provides updates on the ATDP and articles relevant to ESOs and the advocacy community.
You can view the newsletters on the home page of the ATDP website.
You can email ATDP.COMMUNICATIONS [at] dva.gov.au to subscribe to the newsletter.Back to top