Consumer representative training resources

This facilitators’ training package will help health and disability consumers participate confidently when sharing their views and experiences in decision-making forums across the sector.

After using the training resources, please provide us with feedback on how the training was received and any comments you may have on the material. Email your feedback or comments to

The package is made up of four education modules:

consumer training chart Oct 2018

Each module is designed to be delivered as a one-day training programme. The modular approach provides flexibility to adapt as needed. For example, you could deliver two modules in one day if time constraints are a problem. However, there is a lot of information to be absorbed in the modules, so you should consider this when planning the timing of sessions.

The modules can be delivered in any order depending on the identified needs or knowledge of the participants. They are currently numbered one to four but can be altered to suit.

This training has been adapted from the New Zealand National Cancer Consumer Representative Advisory Group’s successful consumer training. It comprises of four training modules including notes for facilitators. We have developed this training to help consumers understand the health system, gain more knowledge about how to contribute at forums as a consumer representative on various groups and increase their confidence in the role.

There are four PowerPoint presentations (one for each module), with instructions and tips included in the ‘notes pages’ to help you prepare to deliver the training. Links to other resources are also included, as well as handouts, videos and website links about the topic areas.

Guide to using the modules

The material is ideally delivered to groups of 6–10 people.

1. Know your audience

  • Learn about participants’ knowledge and expertise. This will help you to tailor the materials to best fit their needs/interests, and how to involve them to share their personal experiences as examples.
  • When organising the programme, check whether participants have disabilities or individual needs you need to take account of.
  • Take note of the cultural make-up of the group. You could consider opening and closing with a karakia or hosting the sessions on a marae if appropriate.

2. Plan the venue

  • Find a venue that meets the needs of participants, for example:
    • meets any disability needs indicated on the registrations (access, furniture, lighting etc)
    • has suitable parking and/or public transport access.
  • Invite speakers with relevant expertise to present on specialist topics.
  • Arrange morning/afternoon teas and lunch if required.
  • Ensure technical resources are available and you know how to operate them.

3. Plan the sessions and prepare your materials

  • Start by reviewing the modules to check the information is up to date. You can also adapt it for any regional differences or things that are of specific interest to your group.
  • Group exercises are a good way to get people involved, and suggestions are included in the modules. The key is to make the sessions interactive wherever possible.
  • It is recommended that you involve both health professionals and experienced consumer representatives, to model consumer engagement and partnership.
  • Familiarise yourself with the information, materials and resources.
  • Print a copy of the PowerPoint presentation (in notes pages format) for each participant.
  • Print copies of relevant/useful handouts, such as:
  • There are also some ‘tools of trade’ you may find helpful to bring, such as:
    • squish balls
    • marker pens
    • yellow stickers/Post-it notes
    • butcher paper.

4. On the day

  • Arrive early.
  • Check any technical equipment is working as expected.
  • Check the environment meets the needs of the group in terms of any disabilities or preferences, such as access, seating, and lighting.
  • Ground rules should be discussed at the start of each module. They can include but are not exclusive: respect for each other’s views, to listen, confidentiality and phone protocol).
  • Understand participants’ expectations.
  • Aim to keep to time, but allow flexibility for extra focus on areas that the group are particularly interested in, or when a discussion is going well.
  • Finish the day by thanking everyone for their contributions and their openness in sharing their personal experiences. Let them know what the next steps are.
  • Ask the participants to fill in an evaluation form, so we can make any improvements needed to ensure the training is useful and relevant.

Last updated 15/08/2019