New ways to build worker capability


The NDIS opens opportunities to rethink what support means and how it is delivered. New types of work requires more and/or different types of skills and means changing the way we train and develop support workers. These projects demonstrate different approaches to building worker capabilities.

Enabler Interactive is drawing on experience in the gaming world to deliver interactive, engaging training solutions on mobile devices. Unlike much existing training, service users will be able to adjust training scenarios to meet their individual needs. Lifestart is developing a web-based resource to deliver relevant, just-in-time training and support for their allied health workers. Their approach is based on an online, interactive resource hub and will provide insights about their experience in what works best for workers. Spinal Life and House With No Steps are using virtual reality platforms to provide immersive learning experiences. Their projects yielded answers about when and how these approaches can be useful and what it takes to develop them and make them work.

The Monash University project draws on their experience in training clinicians in related sectors to respond to the workforce demands of the disability sector. What can we learn from successful, person-centred models of support used in other sectors; what are the opportunities to access students as a partial solution to workforce supply challenges; and, how can we repurpose aspects of clinical training to build capability of specialised support workers? These are some of the questions these projects are exploring.

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What we found

  • Did projects seek to build new capability, or to use a new approach to building existing capability?
  • What was different in the way these projects built worker capability?
  • For technology-enabled projects why was the specific technology chosen, and were the anticipated results realised?
  • How was the workforce engaged in the learning and development?
  • In addition to training, what is needed for these approaches to work well?


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Christie Centre

Project: Active and Positive Behaviour Support Program

This project tested collaborative person centred positive behaviour support for people with complex support needs who live in rural settings w...

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Enabler Interactive Pty Ltd

Project: Developing an online support worker training module to guide the user through supp...

This project aimed to develop a training module for modern website browsers and mobile devices that uses a familiar video game aesthetic to gu...

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House with No Steps

Project: Virtual reality training tools for disability services

This project explored a prototype virtual reality technology to train both support workers and NDIS participants in responding appropriately t...

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Lifestart Co-operative Ltd

Project: Lifestart Online Learning and Practice Hub

This project built and launched a central online platform or ‘hub’ for Lifestart’s 250 employees to access information, resources...

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Monash University

Project: Building direct support and health professional workforce capacity: Embedded and d...

This project aimed to increase the number of support workers skilled in working with people with neurological disability in group homes.

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Parkside Foundation

Project: Parkside Self Management Initiative

This project evaluated and documented the impacts of implementing a self-managed team in a rural location.

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Spinal Life Australia

Project: Virtually Here

This project engaged some of the workforce of Spinal Life Australia (personal support workers, peer support workers, allied health professionals an...

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University of Melbourne

Project: Customised Employment

This project developed and demonstrated a model of employment support using the evidence-based approach of customised employment.

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