Becoming a committed organisation


Committed organisations integrate consumer involvement in all aspects of organisational practice, processes and systems. This includes governance structures, service delivery, policy development, research and evaluation. A committed organisation includes consumers:

  • as part of its core values
  • at all levels of management, including at the board level
  • who are diverse
  • as part of the selection panel for executive recruitment.

If these characteristics are not already part of your organisation, you may need to address them before fully involving consumers.

Clear objectives

Your organisation’s consumer involvement activities should have clear objectives. To help define these, you’ll need:

  • a consumer participation policy
  • terms of reference documents for consumer involvement
  • multiple strategies to engage consumers.

Create effective inclusive groups

Inclusive groups are the core of all consumer involvement activities. To create and maintain an effective inclusive group, make sure that:

  • at least 2 consumers (if possible) are included from the very beginning
  • consumers are supported from the beginning so that they feel their opinion is being heard
  • you have staff champions who understand the value of consumer involvement and are committed to developing an inclusive group
  • all members support consumer involvement in the group
  • all group members have the information and skills necessary to ensure smooth collaboration and communication
  • meeting discussions and papers avoid acronyms and jargon, or spell them out or define them where necessary
  • your facilities and venue choices are appropriate and accessible.

Cultural engagement

Inclusive groups should include consumers from various cultural backgrounds and needs. Many of these groups have poorer health outcomes than the rest of the population, so targeted work with these groups is important.

Make sure that your organisation:

  • actively engages with
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    • culturally and linguistically diverse communities
    • other disadvantaged groups, such as rural, regional and older people
  • includes cultural engagement as one of its core values.

See Cultural engagement for more information.

Staff champions

Inclusive groups are led by champions who value the voice and expertise of the consumer experience. Champions should be involved at different levels across the organisation. Your most important champion will likely be the service manager or consumer participation officer.

The most successful staff champions must:

Resources and support

Consumer involvement activities need direct resourcing and support. Ensure your organisation can provide:

Education and training

Both consumers and staff will need specific training and development for successful consumer involvement. Consumers should be offered any training or professional development relevant to their consumer participation role. Likewise, staff should have targeted training to better their understanding of the benefits of consumer involvement.

Research, data and evaluation

The success of your consumer involvement can only be assessed if you collect data and aim to improve it. Consider how you would like to collect data about your consumer involvement and how you will use the information to improve your consumer engagement.