Department of Health

Healthy Workers Initiative

Quality Framework  for the  Healthy Workers Initiative

Effectiveness and Appropriateness

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Standard - Programs and interventions are consistent with national nutrition, physical activity, weight loss, alcohol and obesity prevention guidelines.

Rationale - Effective programs are those that do what has been demonstrated to be successful and does that well.

Appropriate programs are those that give due consideration to ensuring the right approach / program is provided to the right person, at the right time, in the right place.

Effective and appropriate programs are more likely to succeed and to use program funds efficiently.

Effectiveness and Appropriateness
Why/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
3.1 The provider bases its program planning on: current frameworks; local, state and national plans; and assessed need.

(See also 6.1)
Program planning that is appropriate for the identified target group and need and uses available resources has the best chance of producing the desired change.
Most providers will have limited planning expertise and capacity. Using current relevant plans will reduce workload. Plans that align with local, state and national plans and assessed needs:
  • provide a logical connection between goals, objectives and strategies
  • provide a tool for constructing and checking the basics of program design
  • incorporate geographic, demographic, cultural and organisational characteristics
  • indicate community assets and capacity
  • identify opportunities for collaboration and extensions of successful programs
  • identify resources and restraints
  • allow for effectiveness to be included for program evaluation.

Start by reviewing local, state, and national strategic directions, plans and frameworks that are relevant to your local area and business scope.
Research any additional information specific to your workplace/geographic / demographic/occupational group health and wellness needs.
Develop a plan for your programs with key stakeholders including management and employees.
Circulate the plan to relevant stakeholders.

Examples include:
  • Healthy Living Program descriptions
  • geographic, demographic, cultural and health needs characteristics of the population where the Healthy Living Program is delivered
Effectiveness and Appropriateness CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
3.2 Programs are provided according to relevant evidenced based approaches and/or best available evidence.Why:
Up to date and reliable information (evidence based or best available evidence) on what does and does not work in a program increases effectiveness of interventions and decreases the risk of receiving interventions that are ineffective or even harmful.
Applications for funding grants generally require planned programs to align with current evidence bases or use the best available industry endorsed evidence.
Not all proven interventions, approaches or programs will work optimally in all workplaces. A critical review of the evidence is therefore needed to guide program delivery. Best or available evidence combines:
  • research evidence
  • professional expertise
  • an understanding of individuals and their preferences
  • circumstances e.g. the similarity of the conditions and environment, the number of participants, their age, health, beliefs and practices, levels of engagement etc when compared to another individual or workplace setting
  • workplace and cultural needs, priorities and resources.
Decisions on which programs to provide should be based on need and consider factors such as:
  • values (What does the workplace need / want? What is the culture?)
  • available evidence (What works?)
  • resources (budget, employee availability, physical resources).
The linking of evidence based practice/guidelines into a provider’s programs and practice will assist to identify:

1. what is needed
2. what is known to work and how that is known
3. what could work in individual community settings.

There are different types of evidence (e.g. scientific, experimental, expert opinion, statistical, personal, physical evidence) and some are much better than others. High quality studies (e.g. qualitative or quantitative research) are best to use because these have considered the potential positive and negative effects of the program, the effect of other factors on the program and what has worked. However there will be times where there will be no strong evidence for the problem you are attempting to address, in your local context. Where this is the case you will need to identify those elements of other programs that are transferrable to your context and then consider evidence from other settings (for example specific cultural approaches) to build a program on the best available evidence.

Program delivery adhering to the requirements of a contract or license should be understood and followed.
If you are delivering a program listed on the HWI Portal a Program Registration will already have been completed and will not be required.
Where a program is not yet recognised on the HWI Portal, complete the Program Registration to review your chosen program.
If you need to develop a program use the Program Registration as a guide.
If you need to customise a program ensure that the evidence/reason is documented.
In development of a program or changes to a program seek expert input to ensure your program is appropriate.
Ensure the program is set up and structured to be delivered effectively.

HWI Program Registration
Healthy Workers website
Initiatives of A Healthy and Active Australia including Healthy Active website
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence website - providing national guidance for promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health.

Physical Activity Guidelines:
National Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults (Brochure)

National Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults (Scientific Background Report)

Physical Activity Recommendations for Older Australians (Recommendations and Discussion Document)

Weight Guidelines
Healthy Weight for Adults and Older Australians

Healthy eating Guidelines
Australian Guide to Healthy Eating: Background Information for Nutrition Educator

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating: Background Information for Consumers
Examples include:
  • a completed HWI Program Registration or evidence that the program used is a registered program on the HWI Portal
  • program descriptions and resources
  • records of interviews with program providers
  • client feedback
  • program outcomes
Effectiveness and Appropriateness CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
3.3 Programs promote behavioural change.Why:
Short term interventions can have positive effects on health and wellbeing. However, for long term benefits to be achieved and sustained, behavioural change is required at individual, organisational and societal levels.
Behaviour change can be difficult to achieve. Understanding readiness for change and the stages of change enables providers to tailor programs to change unhealthy behaviours, empower and motivate participants, prevent and manage relapses and promote sustainable change.

Understand how behaviour change can be promoted (see resources below).
Tailor messages and approaches to the participant’s stage of behaviour change.
Ensure messages are delivered in a way that does not create negative impacts – avoid blaming and stigmatisation.
Manage and monitor program progress, activities and responses of the audience and other stakeholders.
Make adjustments to the program based on monitoring of results.
As a provider, role model and support desirable behaviours (See also 6.2).
Respect the rights of individuals and groups.
Identify environmental factors that are inhibiting behaviour changes and communicate those to employers.
Provide suggestions as to how to promote a more supportive workplace culture and environment.

Examples include
  • evidence of behaviour modification approaches in program design and delivery
  • staff training on behavioural change
  • staff and client feedback
  • pre and post intervention behavioural measurement assessment tools
and program
Effectiveness and Appropriateness CriteriaWhy/How/ResourcesSuggested Evidence
3.4 Broader components of lifestyle modification and health awareness are promoted.Why:
Health awareness (or literacy) is the degree to which an individual has capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and programs in order to make appropriate health decisions.
Poor health awareness impacts negatively on health status and on accessing appropriate programs.
Clients or groups may be accessing very specific programs from providers – for example understanding nutrition labels or a walking program. In order to achieve significant improvements in healthy lifestyles, providers need to consider how they can use the opportunity of interacting with their clients to help them make improvements to other parts of their lifestyles.
In addition it is important workplaces understand how the environment and culture can impact on healthy lifestyle behaviours.

When providing information to clients and groups, ensure explanations of terms are provided.
Encourage general discussions of health topics.
Consider partnering with other professionals to provide information sessions (see 2.3).
Know what other services are available (see 2.3) and where appropriate suggest clients access relevant services. Provide referrals if appropriate.
Provide information (advice, brochures, direction on how to access support) on other healthy lifestyle approaches such as the Australian Alcohol Guidelines, Quit Now, the National Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign and Mental Health and Wellbeing Programs and Initiatives. Advice provided must be of a generic nature and within the scope of skills and qualifications of staff.
Encourage workplaces to adopt the Principles for Healthy Workplaces, audit their workplaces and implement integrated programs.

Examples include:
  • nationally endorsed healthy lifestyle information available / promoted e.g. promotional material lists
  • case examples/ studies
  • client feedback
  • staff feedback

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Published date: July 2012