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This information will support you and your health service to partner with consumer representatives.

1. Plan

When planning to engage a consumer representative, it’s important to set clear goals and outcomes. 

Ask the following questions:

  • What skills, knowledge and experience are needed?
  • How will I recruit?
  • What are my timeframes?
  • What special provisions do I need to make so that consumers from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences can participate?

Consumers shouldn't work alone 

We recommend that all working groups have at least two consumers. This helps to support the consumers and provides diverse perspectives.

Consumers should be paid for their time

Factor these costs into your budget and engagement strategy.

Read our Guide to consumer remuneration or the whole-of-government guidelines. 

2. Prepare

Before you start recruiting...

You should have a clearly defined role and description of what is required from consumers.

Read our consumer recruitment checklist.

Reference materials

Prepare:

  • expression of interest
  • position descriptions
  • terms of reference (for a committee or working group).

Have clear processes in place

During the recruitment process, you should provide:

  • clear selection criteria and timeframes
  • regular contact
  • feedback for unsuccessful candidates and respectful communication
  • a written offer to successful candidates (this can be as simple as an email).

Preparing for your new starter

Prepare an orientation pack including information such as:

  • contact information for the organisation and committee members
  • background information on the committee they are joining
  • information on meeting locations and security access
  • how and when they will be paid (you may need to include tax file declaration, police check, superannuation choice)
  • conflict of interest declarations
  • confidentiality requirements.

3. Proceed

Now that your consumer partnership is active you may like to consider:

  • professional development
  • connecting your consumers
  • evaluating goals and outcomes.

Professional development for consumers

Training is an important way to support consumers and shows that you value them.

View Health Issues Centre courses.

Page last updated: 19 Nov 2020

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