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Circular 20/21 Advocacy Training and Development Program governance changes

As many of you may be aware, several changes have been made to the governance and structure of the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP).

Under the changes, responsibility for the ongoing management of the ATDP will move from the Strategic Governance Board and Capability Management Framework Group to within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). The contracted registered training organisation, Major Training Services, will take responsibility for the training/assessment and Continued Professional Development management roles, including the National Training Manager role.

These changes followed a review of the governance structure of the ATDP and aim to recognise the maturity of the ATDP program and ensure the sustainability of its management.

While we recognise the concern this has caused some members, and particularly our ATDP-qualified advocates, both DVA and ATDP have stated that this change should have no impact on you or your practice in the field. The management of advocacy services, or of advocates, remain with Ex-Service organisations (ESOs), including RSL NSW and sub-Branches. The advisory and consultation role of ESOs will remain an integral feature of the program.

DVA and ATDP continue to work through transition arrangements and additional changes may be forthcoming. RSL NSW and other ESOs will work in consultation with DVA and ATDP to ensure the views of advocates and members are considered during this transition.

Our partner charity RSL DefenceCare is developing training that will be supplementary to the ATDP qualifications for advocates.

We will provide updates as more information about this training becomes available.

DVA ESO/Advocate access line

DVA has also recently created a dedicated Ex-Service Organisation/Advocate access line that can assist RSL sub-Branch advocates to connect with a delegate or case manager.

Although 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) is the primary point of entry for most calls to DVA from veterans and their families, this dedicated ESO/Advocate access line will provide a more direct route to the delegate. This is an important resource to assists you to support your fellow veterans.

The dedicated phone number for the ESO/Advocate line is 1300 363 475.

To use this access line, an advocate will need to know the 6-digit extension of the delegate/case manager and will be prompted to enter the extension number via their telephone keypad. Where the delegate/case manager is not available or an invalid extension number is entered, the call will divert to the Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) queue. If this occurs, the VAN will be able to provide support or assist in redirecting the call.

RSL DefenceCare

RSL DefenceCare provides free, specialist assistance with submitting claims to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or appealing rejected claims.

The dedicated RSL DefenceCare Claims and Advocacy Specialists can help veterans to achieve the best possible result with their DVA claim including advocating on their behalf at the Veterans’ Review Board.

Click here to find out more or call 02 8088 0388.

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