Welcome to the ATDP Newsroom

This newsroom provides messages to the ATDP affiliated community about ATDP specific activities, and other important information relevant to the provision of the Course in Military Advocacy.

1800 SeMPRO information for ATDP trained advocates

Attention advocates: 1800 SeMPRO have provided a short information package to explain what 1800 SeMPRO is, how it can help the veterans you support, and why advocates should include 1800 SeMPRO in the list of support options offered to veterans and their families.

Please navigate to the resources tab within your ATDP profile to view this information.

CPD External Events

DVA are aware that many ATDP trained advocates have a vested interest in the Veterans' Legislation Reform and will be attending various forums, workshops, and Community of Practice activities.

As a reminder, we encourage advocates to speak with the event organiser and ask the organiser to submit their event for CPD consideration. Submissions can be made via the ATDP website - External CPD event application.

Once the event is completed and attendance records have been lodged, points will be assessed and allocated as appropriate.

DVA would like to remind advocates that CPD activities are not restricted to those available within the CPD portal. There are many courses, events, workshops etc. in the community that would provide skills to an advocate, and increase the provision of services to veterans and their families. Please reach out to cpd@atdp.org.au if you have any questions.

How to Guide – Consolidation and Assessment

A new How to Guide has been uploaded to the ATDP website, located here.

If you have any questions about the Consolidation and Assessment process, then this guide may be able to help answer them. It also gives a step by step process of what happens throughout the whole process and who is involved at each milestone.

As always, if you have any further questions about this guide, please feel free to reach out to the Program Support Officer for your region.

Exploring DVA's Compensation Claims Staff Training

Your feedback matters! DVA has received a lot of interest from Veterans and Advocates to understand the distinctions between DVA’s new Claim Support Officer (CSO) and Delegate roles. This page provides information on the differences between these two roles along with a glimpse into the tailored training provided to our dedicated compensation claims staff.

At DVA we are committed to providing staff with a comprehensive and structured learning pathway. This pathway unfolds in stages across DVA staff careers in the Department, building on fundamental principles and concepts. Our training approach adopts a modularised structure, ensuring that programs support the diverse responsibilities of staff in the Client Benefits Division undertaking claims processing activities.

Click here for more in-depth insights into the training journey that equips our dedicated staff with the knowledge and skills essential for effective service delivery to Veterans and families.

As always, we are committed to transparency and continuous improvement at DVA.

ATDP Statistics

Whilst we might love numbers, we appreciate that they are not for everyone.

ATDP statistics will no longer be provided in the bi-monthly ATDP Update newsletter. If you have a love for numbers, you can access ATDP statistics under the News and Information tab, located at the top of this website.

If you have any questions, or require any further assistance, please contact your region’s Program Support Officer or ATDPEnquiries@dva.gov.au

MTS (RTO) Update

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Combined Level One Pilots

A pilot program for Combined Level 1 using face-to-face delivery was conducted in Canberra during the period 6-8 Feb (Modules 1 and 2). Module 3 will be delivered in Canberra 16-18 Apr 24. Seven ACT-based Advocates are participating in this program.

A third pilot program for Combined Level 1 is being planned to be conducted during the period February to April 2024. The program will be conducted via the Zoom platform.

Dates will be:

  • 15 Feb 24 – Introduction
  • 5 - 7 Mar 24 – Modules 1 and 2
  • 30 Apr - 2 May 24 – Module 3

Trainees will be required to complete several eLearning packages during the gaps in the program.

Six new starters – those that have not already commenced (or have just commenced) their Level 1 training with a WEL and mentor. The aim is to confirm that this method of training will provide the required skills and knowledge for these Advocates to progress to Level 2 training.

ATDP Compensation Advocate’s Handbook

An amended version of the ATDP Compensation Advocate’s Handbook has been released and uploaded to the DVA website. Changes include:

  • Information of catastrophic injuries and diseases added to Chapter 4.B.16 and 4.C.8.8.3
  • Information on oaths and affirmations added to Chapter 2.E.6
  • Information on onus of proof added at Chapter 2.E.2

Note that the current version of the Handbook is Amendment 19 (amendments are listed on Page 4). Advocates should ensure that they are always referring to the latest version. The Handbook is available through the DVA Homepage at Get Support > For advocates and organisations > Advocacy handbooks.


ATDP is constantly looking for experienced Advocates to take on the role of trainer/assessor for ATDP programs. The requirements are:

  • Level 2 or higher Compensation Advocate or Level 2 Wellbeing Advocate
  • A minimum of 12 months experience working as a Level 2 Advocate
  • Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (2022 or 2016 qualification preferred, or willing to update to current qualification). Trainer and Assessor Skill Set is acceptable as a minimum
  • Available to participate in ATDP programs

If you are interested in this role, please contact atdpenquiries@dva.gov.au

ATDP Portal – Contact Details Prompt

We have recently added another feature to the ATDP portal to assist you to update your ATDP contact information. This reminder will occur every 6 months if you have not made any changes to your contact information within that time.

The below Pop-Up box will appear when you log into your ATDP profile.

Prompt Box

If your contact information has not changed: Click the green button “I confirm that the above information is correct”. The ATDP Portal will record the date that you confirmed your contact details.

If your contact information has changed: Click on the yellow button “The above information is incorrect”. It will bring up the following pop-up which will take you to EDIT Profile.

Prompt Box

You can then update your records accordingly.

You do not have to wait for the checkbox reminder to update your details. If you have a change of contact details, please remember to update your ATDP profile at that time.

If you require any further assistance, please contact your region’s Program Support Officer or ATDPEnquiries@dva.gov.au

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Policy (Draft) - Consultation Process

DVA is currently in the process of revising the CPD program. As part of this process, a CPD policy is being shaped which is informed by the feedback received from the ATDP advocacy community since 2018, alongside structured reviews of various CPD policies, procedures and systems.

The initial draft version was sent for feedback on 31st October 2023 to the CPD committee, Regional Managers, and members of the advocacy community and ESO representatives who provided a response to the request for ATDP CPD feedback (ATDP Newsletter and newsroom) in August and September 2023.

Once this feedback has been reviewed, and second version will be drafted and provided to the ATDP advocacy community for wider feedback.

As we strive to embrace a culture of continual improvement, it is crucial for us to engage with stakeholders who possess a broader perspective and diverse insights. Your expertise and knowledge have always been instrumental in shaping our decision making process, and we firmly believe that your input will be invaluable in further enhancing the effectiveness of our CPD policy.

We look forward to receiving your feedback in due course.

WA Advocates and Support Officers' Seminar - 21 November 2023

The WA Advocates' and Support Officers' Seminar (WAAS) will be held on 21 Nov 2023 at the South of Perth Yacht Club. The WAAS will start at 08:30am for 08:55am and conclude at 16:30pm. The Seminar is free with all day tea and coffee and lunch provided. There is ample free parking at the venue.

The Seminar is an excellent opportunity for WA Advocates and Support Officers to come together, share experiences and learn from Veteran Community Specialists.

The WAAS Program is highlighted by Guest Speakers including The Hon. Paul Papalia CSC MLA, Mr Peter King (DC WA), and the new Repatriation Commissioner Mr Kahlil Fegan DSC AM. The theme for the Seminar is "The Advocate Community - a collaborative approach to Veteran and Family support" and the Program will cover the full range of Wellbeing and Compensation topics.

For Advocates who have a CPD obligation, CPD points have been allocated.

All Advocates can register online through the ATDP web site.

If you have any questions then please contact Geoff Harrison: rm2@atdp.org.au

CPD Feedback Request

The ATDP Update - August sought your feedback on CPD by 07/09/2023 prior to a workshop being held on 11-15 September with the volunteer CPD Team and Regional Managers.

Although the workshop will now not go ahead on the planned dates, your feedback and thoughts about CPD are still welcome.

Feedback can be provided to cpd@atdp.org.au

So far, we have received 23 responses. Your insights and suggestions are much appreciated - Thank you!

Release of Defence Advocates and Superannuation Information / Fact Sheets

Last week, the Department of Defence released an Advocacy Information / Fact Sheet, which is available on the Defence internet site. The information sheet was developed with DVA's assistance and input and seeks to advise veterans and their families their options when considering engaging an advocate.

In addition, Defence published two fact sheets on Superannuation considerations for transitioning ADF members (one is general in nature and the other is related to medically separating ADF members). These were developed in consultation with CSC and the ADF Financial Services Consumer Centre (ADFFSCC).

These fact sheets are available on the Defence internet site

Attached: Defence Advocacy Information / Fact Sheet

Advocate Audit

We are pleased to confirm that we have completed the audit of the Advocacy Register in regards to individual advocates and trainees.

The audit was rolled out state by state as per below:

State Start of Audit No of Advocates No of Trainees
ACT 21/04/2023 22 16
TAS 08/05/2023 20 20
NT 16/05/2023 6 5
WA 26/05/2023 33 34
SA 30/05/2023 35 12
VIC 31/05/2023 131 73
NSW 01/06/2023 162 129
QLD 02/06/2023 268 163
Totals 677 452

Note: There is a duplication in trainees and advocates. If an individual is both a qualified advocate and a trainee, they received one email.

Advocate Audit Summary

Emails were sent to:

  • the Authorised Person/s of each ESO informing them of the audit process and
  • Each qualified advocate on the register

Each advocate was requested to confirm their contact information and the ESO that they provide support to.

Advocate Audit ACT NSW VIC QLD SA TAS NT WA Total
Current Advocates 19 135 124 250 31 20 5 32 616
Resigned/Retired Advocates 3 27 7 18 4 0 1 1 61
Total 677

Trainee Audit Summary

Emails were sent to:

  • the Authorised Person/s of each ESO informing them of the audit process and
  • Each trainee on the register

Each trainee was requested to confirm their contact information and the ESO that they provide support to.

Trainee Audit ACT NSW VIC QLD SA TAS NT WA Total
Current Trainees 16 115 71 152 12 17 5 31 419
Resigned/Retired Trainees 0 14 2 11 0 3 0 3 33
Total 452

Current Statistics

Since the audit, we have has a number of our trainees complete their Statement of Attainment, as well as additional trainees join the program.

Total numbers as of 14/08/2023

Total number of individual qualified advocates: 630
Total number of unique trainees: 437

The ATDP Update Newsletter will have further information regarding the location of current advocates and trainees.

We thank you for your support during this process.

QUEST Recording Release - FY Q1 2023-24

The Quarterly Update - Education, Support and Training (QUEST) recordings for FY Quarter 1 2023-2024 are now available in the QUEST Newsroom

These recording are available to assist with the professional and technical development of advocates, and provide information about changes and updates in DVA legislation, policy and procedures.

Each quarter, we will aim to add additional resources in this section, which may be of interest to the advocacy community.

The new videos available for your viewing are:

  • Medical Forms Review Project
  • DVA Overpayments Policy
  • Granny Flat Arrangement
  • Above General Rate of Pension VEA Section 24
  • DRCA Non-Economic Loss (NEL) Compensation

Combined Level 1 Pilot Program

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As advised in a previous ATDP News release, planning has been underway for some time on combining and changing the methodology for Wellbeing and Compensation Level 1 training.

A Discussion Paper proposing options was distributed Mar-Apr 23, with an online Consultation Workshop conducted in late Jun 23. Written feedback was received from 10 ESOs and 20 individual Advocates. Feedback ranged from maintaining the status quo to a complete redesign, however analysis of the feedback led to the following conclusions:

  • There is general agreement that there are common skills and knowledge across both streams.
  • Most Advocates believe knowledge of the other stream is important, but many Advocates do not want to undertake Advocacy work in the other stream.
  • Some ESOs want to keep Wellbeing and Compensation totally separate.

In order to meet the needs of ESOs and Advocates, while also achieving the aims of reducing the workload of ESO mentors and reducing the time taken to complete Advocacy training, a redesign of Level 1 training has resulted in a modularised program consisting of:

  • Introduction. Introduction to advocacy, the ATDP and the Level 1 program.
  • Module 1. Common skills and knowledge.
  • Module 2. Wellbeing, with a brief introduction to compensation benefits.
  • Module 3. Compensation, with a brief introduction to wellbeing services.

Each module is separated by time to complete eLearning packages.

While it is preferred that trainees attend all modules, ESOs can nominate trainees for Wellbeing only (Introduction, Module 1 and Module 2) or Compensation only (Introduction, Module 1 and Module 3).

A Pilot Program commenced on 21 July with 8 trainees. These trainees were selected to ensure a mix of Wellbeing and Compensation, large and small ESOs, and volunteer and paid Advocates. A copy of the Outline Program for the Pilot is attached.

Following completion of the Pilot, any recommended changes to the program will be completed and a second pilot conducted. It is anticipated that the Combined Level 1 program will be widely available from Jan 2024. Level 1 Advocates already undergoing training will be given the option of completing their training under the existing methodology (WEL, mentor, C&A) or transferring to the Combined Level 1 methodology.

Attached: Level 1 Program Outline Structure


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Compensation Advocate Level 4

Recently it was announced that the WEL for Compensation Advocate Level 4 had been released and that nominations from ESOs with qualified Level 3 Advocates wishing for them to be qualified at Level 4 were open through the Advocates Register.

Please note that the Level 4 nomination process has been delayed. More information on Level 4 training and assessment will be issued shortly.

Darryl Proud
National Training Manager
Major Training Services Pty Ltd

RTO Update – June 2023

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Advocate/ESO Consultation – Combined Level 1

The consultation stage with ESOs and Advocates has concluded. Feedback on the Discussion Paper was received from 10 ESOs and 21 individual Advocates, while 6 individual Advocates participated in an online discussion forum. While the feedback spanned the full spectrum of options (from no change to the status quo to a total revamp of Level 1 training), the majority of feedback pointed to a requirement for combining much of the knowledge requirements for Level 1 Advocates, but not the full skills requirements.

In other words, while there are some common skills and knowledge required by both streams, the majority of Wellbeing Advocates wanted to know about compensation but did not want to be involved in lodging claims, while the majority of Compensation Advocates wanted to know about the support Wellbeing Advocates could provide but did not want be involved in developing and implementing wellbeing support plans. This was backed up by the majority of feedback from ESOs, particularly those who provide separate Compensation and Wellbeing support services.

We have commenced the Design phase, assessing various models for providing flexible training options to satisfy the needs of both ESOs and individual trainee Advocates. More information on the way forward will be provided shortly.     

Attendance on C&A Programs

The ATDP PSOs have received a number of requests from ESOs and individuals to allow some flexibility for trainees attending C&A programs. The issues relate to an individual’s inability to attend three or four consecutive days of training due to family or work commitments or health problems.

While it is preferable for trainees to attend all days of a C&A consecutively, flexibility can be provided on a case-by-case basis. For example, a single parent unable to commit to 3 three consecutive days could be approved to attend one day on each of three C&A programs.

Requests with justification should be directed to the Regional PSO and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Portfolio of Evidence Checklists

Portfolio of Evidence Checklists we introduced in response to a number of candidates attending either a C&A Program or RPL Workshop without the evidence required to complete their assessment. The requirements for evidence to be provided at a C&A has now been built in to WELs, either at individual milestones or as the last milestone in the WEL, so a separate Portfolio of Evidence Checklist is no longer necessary.

For candidates completing WELs that include Portfolio of Evidence requirements, the mentor’s signoff of the completed WEL will be sufficient assurance that the required evidence has been compiled. For candidates completing older WELs, both the candidate and mentor will be of the reminded of the Portfolio of Evidence requirement when the candidate is invited to attend a C&A program.              

ATDP Validation of Assessment

As part of its responsibilities as a Registered Training Organization, MTS is conducting a Validation of Assessment Workshop during the period 15-16 Jun 23. The purpose of this workshop is to review assessment judgements and tools as a quality review of the units of competencies that form NAT11019 Course in Military Advocacy, to ensure valid assessment judgements are consistently being made by the ATDP assessors.

A valid assessment judgement confirms that an advocate possesses all the knowledge and skills described against the training product they have been assessed against and the assessment tools have produced valid, reliable, sufficient, current and authentic evidence.

The Worksop will involve MTS staff, ATDP assessors and an independent validation expert.

Darryl Proud
National Training Manager
Major Training Services Pty Ltd

Multi-Factor Authentication – Implementation 20 June 2023

As advised on 18 May, DVA are introducing a multi-factor authentication process to ensure that the information contained in the ATDP Portal and Advocacy Register remains protected.
We have completed an initial roll out with Regional Mentors and Regional Managers and are now ready to fully implement.

From 10am on Tuesday 20 June, you will find the login process to the ATDP Portal has a couple of additional steps:

Login to the portal as normal;

  1. Next screen will ask where you’d like to receive a four digit code (SMS or email);
  2. The code will be sent to your mobile/email;
  3. Enter that code into the portal and proceed as normal.

The instruction guide (including screenshots) is located here: 

MFA Guideline for users

You will also receive an email confirming the process.

Don’t forget to ensure that your mobile is correctly recorded in the ATDP Portal!

Our friendly PSO’s remain on hand ready to support you with the change.

A National Audit on ATDP Advocacy Register

We are now focussing on the final two States for the National Audit on the ATDP Advocacy Register (AR). We will be shortly sending out emails to the ESO Authorised Persons as well as to the advocates and trainees for Queensland and New South Wales.

We have undertaken this task to ensure the veterans can find accurate up-to-date information when seeking support from advocates and ESOs in their region.

A big thank you for those who have responded so far!

Audit on ATDP Advocacy Register – South Australia and Victoria

The ATDP Team are continuing on with the audit of the ATDP Advocacy Register details to verify the validity and veracity of the information.

We have already contacted the ACT, TAS, NT and WA advocates and trainees in the past couple of weeks, and this week we will be sending out emails to the South Australian and Victorian advocates and trainees. Keep an eye out in your Inbox and please respond this week.

Audit on ATDP Advocacy Register – Western Australia

The ATDP Team are continuing on with the audit of the ATDP Advocacy Register details to verify the validity and veracity of the information. We have already contacted the ACT, TAS and NT advocates and trainees and this week we will be sending out emails to Western Australian advocates and trainees.

The ATDP Team are continuing on with the audit of the ATDP Advocacy Register details to verify the validity and veracity of the information. We have already contacted the ACT, TAS and NT advocates and trainees and this week we will be sending out emails to Western Australian advocates and trainees.

Protecting Your Information – Introduction of Multi-Factor Authentication

The ATDP Portal and Advocacy Register contain advocates’ personal information that requires protection.  

As required under the Privacy Act, 1988, DVA takes its responsibility of protecting your information very seriously.  To this end, we’ve contracted an organisation specialising in ICT security to review how the ATDP Portal and Advocacy Register are accessed and to make recommendations to ensure your information remains secure.

One of the recommendations is that DVA introduce a multi-factor authentication process.  This simply means that there will be a two-step authentication process before you can access any information in the ATDP portal.  This will be similar to online banking applications you may already be familiar with.

Once implemented, the steps will be:

  1. Log in to the portal as normal;
  2. Next screen will ask where you’d like to receive a four digit code (SMS or email)
  3. The code will be sent to your mobile/email.
  4.  Enter that code into the portal and proceed as normal.

We’re aiming to introduce this process by the 30 June, 2023.  Detailed instructions, including screen shots, will be provided – so stay tuned!  We’ll also email these instructions to all users of the ATDP Portal.

To help with this process, now would be a good time to check that your mobile number is correctly recorded in the ATDP portal.

Our PSO’s will also be on hand ready to support you with the change.

Thank you for supporting us to ensure your information stays secure.

Audit on ATDP Advocacy Register – ACT and Northern Territory

The ATDP team are currently conducting an audit across all States to verify the validity and veracity of the information that is currently found in the ATDP Advocacy Register (AR). We began our audit a few weeks ago for those in the ACT and are in the final stages. We focussed on Tasmania last week and this week we’re heading to the Northern Territory.

If you are an ESO Authorised person, advocate or trainee in Northern Territory you will shortly receive an email to request that you confirm a number of details. We appreciate your assistance in ensuring that our data is accurate so that veterans and their families can find the support that they need.

New Regional Manager for Region 2

Lorraine Grey recently resigned as the Regional Manager for Region 2.   Lorraine took on the position in October 2021.  A big thanks to Lorraine for her contribution and support of the ATDP!

Following a formal selection process, we can now confirm that Geoff Harrison is the new Regional Manager for Region 2.

Congratulations and welcome to the team!


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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

In the Jan 2023 ATDP Update, I outlined the process used for candidates being assessed via the RPL pathway. RPL is designed as an alternative assessment methodology for experienced Advocates who have developed the skills and knowledge required by the Course in Military Advocacy units of competency by means other than through the ATDP. The ATDP RPL process was designed primarily for practicing Advocates trained under the Training and Information Program (TIP) to gain ATDP recognition. 

It appears that some ESOs are enrolling candidates on the training pathway, having them complete the eLearning packages associated with a unit of competency, complete several of the workplace experiences required in the WEL so that they can produce the minimum evidence requirements, then requesting a transfer to the RPL pathway.

The result of this practice is a growing number of RPL candidates failing to meet the assessment standards required of the units of competency and being returned to the training pathway. Those who have been successful in their assessment have demonstrated only the bare minimum of skills and knowledge to be assessed as competent.   

When a candidate is nominated by their ESO for a specific unit of competency, the ESO is to select either the Training pathway or the RPL pathway. The RPL pathway should only be selected if the candidate already possesses ALL of the skills, knowledge and experience required of that unit of competency and is able to produce ALL of the required evidence of their Advocacy practice at that level. If the candidate does not meet these requirements, they should be nominated for the Training pathway.

Transfer to the RPL pathway will only be approved under exceptional circumstances. 

Advocate/ESO Consultation – Combined Level 1

A Discussion Paper providing background to the proposed combining of Level 1 Compensation and Wellbeing Advocacy training has been distributed to the ESO network. Feedback of the proposal has been sought, to be concluded with several online Discussion Forums to be conducted in late May.

A copy of the Discussion Paper is attached and may be distributed widely to Advocates and ESOs. Written feedback is welcomed – please forward to the ATDP National Training Manager at darryl.proud@majortraining.com.au. Written feedback should be provided by no later than 22 May 23.

Those who wish to participate in the online Discussion Forums, please provide your email address and preferred date/session to the ATDP National Training Manager at darryl.proud@majortraining.com.au by no later than 22 May 23. The Discussion Forms will be conducted on Zoom on 25 and 26 May 23 at the following times:

25 May 23

Session 1 – 10.00 to 11.30 am

Session 2 – 2.00 to 3.30 pm

26 May 23

Session 3 – 10.00 to 11.30 am

Session 4 – 2.00 to 3.30 pm

For further information, refer to the discussion paper - Combined Level 1 advocacy training

Darryl Proud
National Training Manager
Major Training Services Pty Ltd

Advocacy Handbooks update

The Wellbeing and Compensation Advocacy Handbooks have been reviewed and updated to ensure the information is up-to-date and consistent with the Department’s policy, legislation and procedures. The updated handbooks are available at the DVA Website: https://www.dva.gov.au/civilian-life/support-ex-service-organisations-and-advocates/advocacy-handbooks

Handbooks for wellbeing and compensation support officers will be reviewed and updated in due course.

To provide feedback in relation to this matter, please email ATDPENQUIRIES@dva.gov.au

Important message – Fee for Service Advocacy

The Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP) would like to remind the advocacy community that access to the Course in Military Advocacy (CiMA), is intended to be made available only to those Ex-Service Organisations (ESOs), providing free wellbeing and compensation advocacy services.

A founding principle of DVA’s association with ESOs, in relation to advocacy services, was that these services be provided at no charge to veterans and their families.  This principle continues to underpin the ATDP.

As per the ATDP ESO Advocate Code of Ethics (section 2,g), in all of their actions, advocates must not charge a service fee or solicit donations for services they are providing, other than the permitted fee under Veterans’ Indemnity Training Association guidelines for administrative costs relating directly to the handling of a case. The Code of Ethics is available at:


The ATDP will continue to provide nationally consistent training for ESO advocates who provide free services to the veteran community.

To provide feedback in relation to this matter, please email ATDPENQUIRIES@dva.gov.au

Mentor “How To” Guides

As a mentor are you a bit rusty on what to do on the ATDP Online Portal for your mentee? We’ve had some recent Frequently Asked Questions which we have put into a simple and easy to follow Mentor Admin “How To” guide. It outlines the online tasks that are required from the Mentor.

The guide is located on the front page of the ATDP Website within the “How To Guides” box. Click here for the direct link: ATDP – Mentor Admin  

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DVA Train Accounts

When you engage with training at ATDP, you will first receive your login details for the ATDP Online Portal. This is where you will find your Workplace Experience Logbook (WEL). At the beginning of your training journey, the ATDP Program Support Officer (PSO) will create an e-learning DVA Train account for you and you will be sent a separate email with login details. You do not need to create your own DVA Train account through DVA.

Please contact your region’s PSO for further information.

Advocate/ESO Consultation paper– Combined Level 1

Feedback from ESOs and from consultation with Advocates and Advocacy groups as part of the reaccreditation of the Course in Military Advocacy in late 2021 have indicated a need in some ESOs for Advocates trained in both Compensation and Wellbeing to allow a more holistic approach to supporting veterans and their dependants. The indication is that this would be appropriate at Level 1, with Advocates then specialising in either Compensation or Wellbeing at Level 2 (or continuing on in both streams if desired).

Planning is underway to undertake a wide consultation with ESO and Advocates to ascertain:

  • whether there is need for dual-streamed Level 1 Advocates in ESOs;
  • if such a need is identified, whether this need is universal, or if single-streamed Level 1 Advocates are still required;
  • what skills and knowledge are required of a combined-stream Level 1 Advocate;
  • options for training/assessing candidates.

For further information, refer to the discussion paper - Combined Level 1 advocacy training

How E-Learning Fits into the Training

We have recently had some feedback from advocates that their mentors have directed them to complete the E-learning modules as the only component of their training. In actuality, the training should be guided by the Workplace Experience Logbook (WEL) milestones. Some of these milestones include completing the E-learning modules but there are other tasks.

If you are a mentor and require assistance, we do have Regional Mentors who can answer any questions. These Regional Mentors can be contacted via the Program Support Officer (PSO).

What’s in a Name? Regional Support Group (RSG)

The Regional Implementation Group (RIG) was formed at the inception of the ATDP and was instrumental in setting up the framework and promotion for the program. We are now well past the “implementation” stage of the program and as such the group decided it was time to update their name.

The new name for the Group is now “Regional Support Group (RSG)”. We have updated the ATDP website with this change. We work collaboratively with the Regional Support Group who, as the name implies, give valued support for the program.

RTO Update - Jan 23

Online Consolidation and Assessment Programs

Consolidation and Assessment (C&A) programs continue to be conducted via the Zoom meeting platform. Delivery and assessment by this method has continued to improve with time and practice, with positive feedback from both attendees and assessors. 2023 commences with a Compensation Level 3 C&A scheduled for 31 Jan - 3 Feb, followed by a Wellbeing Level 2 C&A 14 - 16 Feb and a Compensation Level 1 C&A 21 - 23 Feb. Further programs will be scheduled as candidates complete their WELs and become eligible for assessment.

One-on-One RPL Meetings

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) remains available to experienced Advocates who believe they can meet the assessment requirements of the Course in Military Advocacy without the need for further training. It should be noted that this is not meant to be a method of avoiding the training pathway, but rather recognition that the skills and knowledge required of the Units of Competency may have been acquired through other training and workplace experience. The RPL process consists of:

  • Completion and submission of an Underpinning Knowledge Quiz for the level of competency being sought
  • A one-on-one interview with an assessor who will ask questions about the candidate’s skills and knowledge in providing Advocacy services at the level of competency being sought
  • A review of evidence of the candidate providing Advocacy services at the level of competency being sought.

Candidate’s will be provided with a checklist of evidence that must be shown to their assessor during the RPL interview. As the interviews are being conducted online, the evidence must be in electronic format so that it can be view by the assessor through screen-sharing. Instructions on how to do this will be explained to candidates by their assessor. Candidates who cannot access electronic copies of their evidence find completion of their assessment significantly delayed.
Those Advocates who wish to undergo assessment via the RPL process need to be nominated by their ESO in the normal manner.

Compensation Level 4

Planning is underway to resurrect Compensation Level 4 Advocacy training. Consultation with the principal providers of this Level 4 training is being conducted with the aim of scheduling a Level 4 C&A in late 2023 or early 2024. If you believe you already have the relevant experience at the AAT, and would like to be recognised as a Level 4 Advocate then you may be able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Contact ATDPenquiries@dva.gov.au for a guide to the RPL process and a list of the evidence you would need to produce.

Mentor Training

When ATDP commenced in 2016, the training of Mentors to undertake workplace training of new Advocates was conducted as part of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Workshops. RPL Workshops were being conducted regularly to allow practicing Advocates trained under the TIP program to gain ATDP Statements of Attainment. Those assessed at Level 2 or above were also trained as Mentors at the conclusion of the RPL process.

As the need for RPL Workshops reduced (concurrent with the outbreak of COVID), the process for RPL assessments was changed to individual presentations of evidence via the Zoom platform. This meant that training of Mentors also had to change.

From mid-2020, two types of Mentor training were introduced:

  • Basics in Mentoring. Designed for all ATDP Mentors, this half-day program was designed to introduce the concepts of mentoring and provide information of the specific requirements for mentoring in the context of the Course in Military Advocacy.
  • Mentoring in the ATDP. Designed for Regional Mentors and experienced Advocates managing multiple mentors, this two-day assessed program expanded on the content of the Basics course and provided a nationally accredited Statement of Attainment.

When first introduced, the Mentoring in the ATDP program was based on TAEDEL404 Mentor in the workplace, a unit from the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. From April 2022, when MTS dropped this qualification from its scope, the unit was replaced with PSPGEN035 Provide workplace mentoring from the Certificate IV in Government. Due to a restructure of that qualification, MTS becomes unable to issue Statements of Attainment for that unit after April 2023.

Options for adding a stand-alone Mentoring unit of competency from another Training Package to MTS’s scope were discussed. A decision was made that instead, the Basics in Mentoring program would be increased to a full day and would be attended by all Advocates conducting workplace mentoring of trainees in the Course in Military Advocacy.

The available program is now titled Mentoring Workshop. It is a full day of training conducted via Zoom, contextualised specifically for Advocates providing workplace mentoring to trainees undertaking any level of the Course in Military Advocacy. It must be undertaken before an Advocate is appointed as a trainee’s mentor. Advocates who were trained as mentors via an RPL Workshop are strongly encouraged to attend to refresh and update their knowledge and skills. Participants are provided with a Mentor Handbook to guide them in the future.

Options for progressing your Workplace Experience Logbooks (WEL)

Each WEL consists of a number of workplace experiences that trainees are required to complete as part of their workplace learning. It is important that these experiences be undertaken, wherever possible, using actual clients in real time. It is acknowledged, however, that this may not be possible or may cause excessive delays in the trainee’s progression. For example, the ESO may have no DRCA or MRCA clients applying for Incapacity Payments when a trainee has reached this milestone in their WEL. Or no determinations have been received requiring a Needs Assessment to be undertaken, causing a long delay in completing that milestone.  Where a Mentor has difficulty is providing a trainee with a workplace experience to match a WEL milestone, alternative methods can be employed. In order of preference, these are:

  • The Mentor may chose a historical real case from the ESOs files (preferably one of the Mentor’s own clients) that matches the milestone and have the trainee work through that case as if it was the trainee’s client.
  • The Mentor may arrange a simulated client (played by either the Mentor or another Advocate) who’s needs match the milestone requirements and have the trainee work through that case as if it was the trainee’s client.
  • The Mentor may email the National Training Manager and request that a Case Study be provided which the trainee can complete to meet a particular milestone.

Note that these alternative should only be employed after all efforts are made to provide the trainee with a real workplace experience. Where one of these alternatives are employed, a note to that effect must be entered against that milestone in the trainee’s WEL.

Tidying Up the ATDP Advocacy Register – Archived records

Even though the archived trainees and advocates are not displayed in the Search Results in the ATDP Advocacy Register, there are still some that are linked to an ESO.

We are reaching out to all ESO Authorised Persons (over 300 in total) to ask whether they can remove those no longer associated with the ESO.

Advocacy Capacity Research Project report

The Baseline Study of Current and Future Availability of Ex-Service Organisation Advocacy Services Research Project was commissioned by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to collect data on the capacity of the advocacy workforce.

The study was completed by the University of NSW in May 2021 and released on 22 October 2021. Nearly 600 advocates and nearly 60 ESOs responded to the voluntary survey to provide data for the researchers. Respondents were from across the advocacy community.

The information presented in the independent research report is available to ESOs, DVA, and others for planning evaluation purposes for advocacy services and advocates.

Some more information and a link to the copy of the research report is at www.dva.gov.au/about-us/overview/research/veterans-advocacy-research-project


VITA Transition Cover deadline of 31 December 2021: TIP Level Three and Four Advocates

To speak with someone at DVA, call 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372)

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