The Advocacy Training and Development Program
The Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) offers nationally accredited training in military advocacy and support, through our partnering Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Major Training Services P/L (RTO90748). 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 free advocacy services to the veteran community.
It is a partnership between us and ESOs.
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 11019NAT Course in Military Advocacy. This course has 6 units of competency (UoC):
- Compensation Level 1 NAT11019001 - Provide military rehabilitation and compensation advocacy services under supervision
- Compensation Level 2 NAT11019002 - Provide military rehabilitation and compensation advocacy services
- Compensation Level 3 NAT11019003 - Advocate on behalf of members of the military community for a merits review of a primary decision
- Compensation Level 4 NAT11019004 - Advocate on behalf of members of the military community before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal
- Wellbeing Stream:
- Wellbeing Level 1 NAT11019005 - Provide military wellbeing advocacy services under supervision
- Wellbeing Level 2 NAT11019006 - Provide military wellbeing advocacy services
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 issued by our partnering RTO, Major Training Services P/L (RTO90748).
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, on average, it takes approximately 12 months to complete a Unit of Competency (UoC).
Times may vary depending on volunteer allocated times.
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.
Further information regarding VITA, and their contact information can be found on the ATDP website.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:
- email ATDPenquiries [at] dva.gov.aurel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"
- complete their online contact form
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 ATDPenquiries [at] dva.gov.au to subscribe to the newsletter.Back to top