Commission launches consumer representative training guide

3 Nov 2014 | Partners in Care

The Health Quality & Safety Commission has launched a new guide for training health and disability consumer representatives.

The guide includes four training and education modules and a series of lesson plans to help consumer facilitators prepare and deliver the training.

The four modules – health and disability context, experience base, evidence base and partnership – can be delivered in one day. Each module begins with goals for the day, and is accompanied by PowerPoint presentations, videos, articles and website links about the topic areas.

The Commission has a key role in helping providers improve the quality and safety of health and disability support services. There is increasing evidence of the link between consumer participation and clinical effectiveness, and having trained health and disability consumers gives confidence that health care includes the consumer perspective.

Consumers gain expertise through their experience of health care. This training will help them use this experience and build their knowledge to improve the quality of services.

The guide, adapted from the National Cancer Consumer Representative Advisory Group’s successful consumer training guide, was developed in response to requests from consumers who felt under-prepared and lacked confidence to contribute and advise.

Eight consumers were trained in use of the guide at a recent orientation day, so they can deliver consumer representative training in their regions.

Joanne Henare, family whānau advisor mental health & addiction at MidCentral District Health Board (DHB), attended the orientation.

‘These education modules will support consumers to expand their knowledge and understanding of the health care system, and understand the critical role consumer representatives have to play,’ says Ms Henare.

Support for DHBs to deliver consumer training will be provided by the Commission until the end of June 2015. Gary Sutcliffe, an experienced consumer advisor, will be available to work with the regional facilitators by providing guidance and assistance to deliver the four modules.

The health and disability context is constantly and sometimes subtly changing, with shifting policies, emerging evidence and changing dynamics. The guide will be updated regularly to reflect these changes, taking into account local services.

The Commission would like to keep track of how this resource is used, when and by whom. We welcome and appreciate any feedback you have – please send it to, and include the following information:

  • your name and contact details
  • the organisation or service the training is being delivered in
  • how the training is being used and for whom
  • any other comments.

The Commission has produced a list of consumers who have received training and can deliver training to consumers.

Email for further information.

Last updated 03/11/2014