The aim of this web page is to provide a resource for practicing AES (or employers) who would like further information on how to work with clients who have access to compensable schemes to fund AES-run activities. This is an evolving resource which will be continually updated with more information over time.
What are Allied Health Assistants?
Allied Health Assistants (AHA) support the work of allied health professionals in various clinical and non-clinical tasks. This helps allied health professionals focus on their own work and allows for more care to be delivered to patients.
AHAs work across many disciplines including exercise physiology, dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, social work and speech pathology. They may work in hospital settings in acute care, rehabilitation, aged care, mental health and in community care. An AHA works under the supervision and delegation of an allied health professional to assist with therapeutic and program related activities. The level and form of supervision that the allied health professional provides is dependent on the experience, skills and qualifications of the assistant and the service context.
An AES can be employed as an AHA to deliver exercise programs or health and well-being services which have been prescribed by an AEP or other allied health professionals such as physiotherapists. Employment opportunities as an AHA exist throughout state health organisations, however, the key area for AES for this through a compensable scheme is through the NDIS.
Allied Health Assistants and the National Disability Insurance Services
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is implemented by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). In regards to funding supports, the NDIA provides information and referrals, links to services and activities, and individualised plans which provide a support package for individuals and their carers.
Within the NDIS, AHA roles are also labelled Therapy Assistants (TAs). Two support levels of TAs are included in the NDIS Price Guide and Support Catalogue 2019–20 as outlined below (also see Table 1: item 0128):
- Therapy Assistant (level 1): Allied health assistant working under the delegation of and direct supervision at all times of a therapist. The allied health assistant must be covered by the professional indemnity insurance of the supervising therapist (or the therapist’s employing provider).
- Therapy Assistant (level 2): Allied health assistant working under the delegation and supervision of a therapist, where the therapist is satisfied that the allied health assistant is able to work independently without direct supervision at all times. The allied health assistant must be covered by the professional indemnity insurance of the supervising therapist (or the therapists’ employing the provider).
NDIS and Personal Training
AES are also eligible to register under the Exercise Physiology & Personal Well-being Activities registration group as a personal trainer. The NDIS Practice Standards: Verification Module - Required Documentation outlines that the required qualifications for personal trainers include personal training qualification, Certificate III, IV or Diploma in Fitness or equivalent. Further information on this can be found on the ESSA Member’s Lounge page: Understanding the NDIS. ESSA will provide accredited members with notification that an Exercise Science degree is of a higher level than a Certificate III or IV for submission to the NDIS.
For an overview of all the NDIS support purposes, categories and line items that NDIS registered providers can claim for, please see the Price Guide 2020-21 and Support Catalogue 2020-21. Please refer to the Support Catalogue for price limits pertaining to PTs and TAs.
For more information on the NDIS: www.ndis.gov.au/understanding
Understanding the price guide and funding supports: www.ndis.gov.au/providers/price-guides-and-pricing#priceguides
How to register as an NDIS Provider: www.ndiscommission.gov.au/providers/new-providers
Last updated 29 May 2020