Department of Health

Healthy Workers Initiative

Quality Framework  for the  Healthy Workers Initiative

Access and Equity

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Providers enhance accessibility to promote equity.
RationaleProviders need to ensure that access and equity for these groups is given due consideration in program planning, program development, implementation and evaluation. Addressing inequity can be challenging. Providers need to consider and where possible reduce barriers to access for the employees they are targeting within individual workplaces.
Access and Equity
Why/How/Resources Suggested Evidence
2.1 The provider ensures all marketing and advertising is ethical, accurate and consistent with its scope of services.

(See also 4.1)
Information provided by providers to participants must be accurate and consistent with the scope of services. Providers have a social responsibility to protect consumer rights and not provide misleading information.

In order to help participants in their decision making process, providers must apply standards of fairness (without bias) and morality to marketing approaches, behaviour and practice. When a provider behaves ethically, participants develop a more positive perception of the provider, encouraging uptake and confidence in the program objectives and function.
Not employing ethical marketing and advertising can lead to:
  • unhappy participants
  • lack of trust
  • low participation
  • poor advertising
  • legal action.
  • Use agreed and consistent messages such as those developed and tested by governments or program developers (evidenced and/or endorsed by appropriate industry body)
  • Use evidence or industry best practice approaches and where possible use content endorsed by an appropriate industry body
  • Promotional material should be clear about which people the provider targets and how the program/s provide for them specifically
  • Do not include unsubstantiated and unrealistic claims of benefit in program marketing.
  • Identify marketing strategies that will reach the defined and intended target group e.g. those from non-English speaking backgrounds, those working shift work, particular occupational groupings.
Resources to consider include: Marketing Plan Template and Guide Complete Guide to Agency Ethics. Developing a Marketing Campaign for Community Organisations Weight Management Industry Code of Practice - Advertising
Examples include copies of:
  • promotional material used for programs
  • marketing strategy
  • client feedback
Access and Equity
Why/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
2.2 Access and equity are enhanced by reducing barriers for specific target groups.Why:
Access to programs can be affected by a range of barriers. The different types of barriers can include (but are not limited to):
  • cultural (including issues of shared gender programs)
  • transport
  • cost
  • literacy
  • language
  • physical access (including timing for shift workers)
  • physical and/or mental disability
  • stigma (particularly those with significant health risks)
  • working hours including shift work
  • work location including off site.

These barriers are significant and can have a major impact on the programs that people will access. Providers need to identify barriers that are relevant to their specific programs and clients and work to identify strategies to encourage access by removing or reducing barriers.
Culturally competent providers understand, accept and respect cultural and other diversities. Ensuring there is cultural respect when dealing with all clients from all backgrounds is paramount to achieving positive, sustainable program outcomes.
People from culturally diverse backgrounds, including those where English is not the primary language, those with low literacy levels, those with hearing or sight impairment or intellectual disability may need additional assistance to understand information presented in traditional written and spoken formats.
A focus on eliminating barriers to access a program:
  • encourages and promotes inclusion and participation by all in a non-discriminatory or stigmatised manner
  • encourages program participation by target groups
  • complies with national and state policy requirements
  • complies with anti-discrimination legislation
  • builds diversity (multiculturalism).

In keeping with the provider’s business scope and program requirements, consider also:
  • Consult with employer representatives and individual clients to identify specific barriers and strategies for removing or reducing them.
Provision of Information
  • Ensure program information meets the various cultural, linguistic and literacy needs of the clients / workplace
  • Identify marketing and communication strategies tailored to specific workplace needs (see also 2.1)
  • Source material (e.g. DVDs, websites, printed) that has been translated into relevant languages. Work with local cultural groups to translate / target key messages
  • Where possible consider using staff who are bilingual and can use their linguistic and cultural skills to assist with enquiries
  • Use interpreter services where required
  • Consider non-written modes of communicating – for example pictures, audio, technology
Ensure staff are trained to work with people in a culturally respectful way and know how to work with clients with special needs (also see 5.2)
  • Work with employer to determine cost sharing arrangements
  • Where costs to employees are involved provide a variety of payment options
  • Ensure fee information is provided to clients
  • Where relevant, assist with providing free/low cost equipment by partnering with suppliers and/or charitable organisations.
Cultural concerns:
  • Conduct cultural competency reviews of your program. Target clients at high risk of preventable disease.
Physical facilities to support frail, obese, disabled, cultural requirements
  • Consider flexible program delivery options
  • Consider the need for separate male and female exercise classes
  • Target measures and communication methods to reach all employee groups
  • Consider different delivery modes for interventions to cater for shift workers, off-site workers, casuals
Examples include copies of:
  • client profiles/target groups area of coverage and strategies to increase access and equity
  • policies and procedures
  • demographic reviews
  • brochures /printed material
  • case studies
  • staff roles and responsibilities e.g. job descriptions
  • consumer feedback
Access and Equity


Why/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
2.3 The provider works collaboratively with relevant professionals/groups/ organisations.Why:
A network where providers regularly communicate and understand what each organisation provides is more able to cater to the many and varied needs of individuals within a workplace and to better influence a workplace based approach to improving healthy lifestyles.
Environmental issues often require significant partnerships to rectify.
Broad networks, collaboration and partnerships with other relevant stakeholders increases opportunities to refer a client to appropriate services, market and provide a comprehensive program that caters for the varied needs of clients
Research and identify relevant groups. Link, partner or collaborate with other providers, academics, and researchers to supplement each others’ resources in order to provide a more comprehensive program
Participate in industry events/conferences/networks and meetings
Consider referral agreements / pathways as appropriate with:
  • dieticians/nutritionists
  • fitness professionals
  • exercise physiologists / sports scientists
  • general practitioners
  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapists
  • indigenous health care services/workers
  • culturally and linguistically diverse services/workers
  • health promotion professionals
  • chronic care providers
Provide feedback (with client consent) to relevant referring professionals/ groups/organisations of client acceptance/commencement for the referred program
Consider also establishing links with service providers in other locations if particular specialties are not available locally.
Information on relevant professionals/groups/organisations at the local, state and/or national level can be accessed via: internet, local directories, contact with national associations etc.
Examples may include copies of:
  • audit of referral sources and numbers
  • meeting memberships/ minutes
  • formalised partnerships relationships with relevant professionals.
  • policies / lists for referral contacts

Any of the above

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Published date: July 2012