A national palliative care strategy and workforce framework

The delivery of nationally consistent palliative care education and training must reflect the core values within national standards and generalist or specialist capabilities and best practice teaching and learning strategies.

The capabilities in palliative care are intended to complement existing professional and workforce standards with respect to graduate outcomes that are specific to each of the various health disciplines.

The National Palliative Care Strategy

The National Palliative Care Strategy 2018 (the Strategy) builds on previous strategies and the 2016 evaluation of the National Palliative Care Strategy 2010. It has been developed through extensive consultation with Commonwealth, state and territory health departments, carers, peak bodies for consumers and service providers, clinicians, service managers, and a range of public, private and not-for-profit organisations involved in palliative care.

The purpose of the National Palliative Care Strategy 2018 is for it to guide the improvement of palliative care across Australia so that people affected by life-limiting illnesses get the care they need to live well. The Strategy provides a shared direction and an authorising environment for the continual improvement of palliative care services in Australia. Other related documents include:

National Palliative Care Strategy 2018

Palliative Care Workforce Development Framework

A National Palliative Care Workforce Development Framework has been developed to provide guidance for individual health care providers, education providers, health service managers and policy makers to ensure all health care providers are equipped with capabilities relevant to their context to provide care for people who are dying. The aim of this Framework is to enhance the quality of palliative care service delivery and increase support for people affected by life limiting illnesses in all care contexts. Although not yet publicly available, core elements within the model include:

  • Defining palliative care
  • Core values underpinning palliative care in Australia
  • Purpose and scope
  • Defining characteristics of the palliative care workforce in Australia
  • Palliative Care capabilities for specialist and non-specialist health care providers
  • Principles to support the development of palliative care capabilities.

The Palliative Care Education and Training Collaborative (the Collaborative) (PCC4U) has developed the Framework and will use this to develop a National Palliative Care Workforce Action Plan. The framework has also been used to develop the PaCE App which was designed to help the health workforce access education developed as part of the National Palliative Care Projects program of work. You can contact pcc4u@qut.edu.au or visit the PCC4U website to learn more.

Other education and training frameworks

State-based and regional frameworks have also been developed to guide education and training in palliative care. Examples include:

Palliative care guidelines for the aged care sector

In 2017, backed by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, CareSearch at Flinders University launched updated and revised content of the Guidelines for a Palliative Approach in Residential Aged Care (APRAC) and Guidelines for a Palliative Approach for Aged Care in the Community Setting (COMPAC) to provide Evidence and Practice support information and resources to support people caring for older Australians approaching the end of their life. This guidance is provided online, visit the palliAGED website to learn more.

Palliative Care Australia - The National Standards and Service Development Guidelines 

The National Palliative Care Standards (5th edition) and accompanying service guidelines clearly articulate and promote a vision for compassionate and appropriate specialist palliative care.

They are designed to complement other standards and programmes including:

Last updated 05 March 2024