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Consumer/Community Engagement Policy Framework Print E-mail

Consumer/Community Engagement Policy Framework
Approval Date: December 2013
Review Date: December 2016
Review By: Board

1. Background and Purpose

This policy framework outlines RACMA’s strategy for Consumer / Community representation and engagement. The College will form relationships with consumers to ensure its training programs for medical administrators are appropriate and of the highest quality. RACMA recognises that the engagement of consumer/community representatives is a valued means of supporting transparency and consistency in decision-making about its training programs and preparation of doctors for management roles in health services in Australia and New Zealand.

The Consumer Health Forum defines consumer representative/consumer on a Committee as

“A committee member who voices the consumer perspective and takes part in the decision making
process on behalf of consumers.”

The role of consumer/community representatives includes the following responsibilities:
  • To contribute to a robust, transparent decision-making process that aligns with the College’s mission;
  • To provide a societal perspective on issues; and
  • To support the committee to recognise and reflect the concerns of consumers/community in its decision-making.
In the pursuit of an evidence-based continuous improvement strategy, RACMA will engage with consumers by seeking input in the development of its curriculum and decision making about its suite of training programs for medical administrators.

The College will seek appropriate consumer/community engagement to enhance decision making in selected areas of the College business. Its selection of appropriate representatives will be made using the framework outlined by Consumer Health Forum (CHF):
  • Interaction with patients actively interacting with health services provision;
  • Interaction with consumers who have or will have future engagement with health services and whose interest will be in the provision of future effective health services;
  • Interaction with public representatives on matters relating to health services and systems on issues such as equity, access and cost effectiveness.
Utilising this framework the RACMA Board has determined it will engage with consumers who have or will have future engagement with health services and whose interest will be in the provision of future effective health services.

2. Scope

This policy framework will be implemented progressively commencing with consumer/community representation on the following College committees: Education and Training, Training and Continuing Education Program committees.
Engagement of these three consumer representatives is to be conducted in a manner consistent with the processes outlined below.

3. Responsibilities

3.1 Education and Training Committee
The Education and Training Committee (ETC) provides advice to the Board on the strategic directions and development of the educational activities of the College including the Fellowship Training Program (FTP) and the Continuing Professional Education (CEP) program.  The Chair of the Education and Training Committee will report to the Board.

3.2 Training Committee

The Training Committee is an advisory subcommittee of the Education and Training Committee.  The Committee provides advice and support for the implementation and monitoring of the College Medical and Leadership Management Curriculum, the Fellowship Training Program and AFRACMA Training Program

3.3 Continuing Education Program Committee

The CEPC provides advice and assistance regarding the College’s continuing professional development responsibilities to the Education and Training Committee (ETC).
3.4 Consumer/community representatives
The role of the consumer/community representative on the selected committees is to ensure that training programs delivered to our Fellows and Candidates are consumer informed and provide medical administrators with an appropriate understanding of community expectations of them and appreciation of the cultural context in which they will be practising.

RACMA has selected the following three committees to engage consumer/community representation:
  • Education and Training Committee;
  • Training Committee, and
  • Continuing Education Program Committee
The Chair of each committee will assist consumer/community representatives to fully understand their duties as specific to their individual role.

4. Recruitment

The Chief Executive (CE) or delegate will coordinate the recruitment process with input from relevant Committee Chairs. Applicants are assessed according to the following key selection criteria (and possibly additional criteria, pending vacancies):
  • A demonstrated interest in medical administration or in the health service sector 
  • Ability to provide a societal perspective and objective inquiry into issues
  • Ability to analyse the College’s activities in relation to health care and consumer outcomes
  • Capacity to negotiate on issues to achieve the best possible outcomes
  • Computer skills and access to email
  • Availability to participate in meetings at the College
Appointment as a consumer/community representative does not give an individual employee status of RACMA, nor does it infer an employee/employer relationship.
Following recruitment, appointees will be invited to attend an orientation program, designed to provide further information about the College’s structure and process, and appointees’ specific duties.

5. Confidentiality

During the course of service, consumer/community representatives have access to information regarding hospitals, Fellows, candidates/trainees and College activities and functions. Community representatives are required to complete a confidentiality agreement upon appointment, the purpose of which is to bring to the signatory’s attention the importance of confidentiality of information which is forwarded in good faith to the College and on the understanding that it is not used for any purpose other than as required in undertaking the College role.
6. Privacy

The College is committed to ensuring the privacy of individuals and complies with the National Privacy Principles – Australian Privacy Act 1998, Privacy Amendment: (Private Sector) Act 2001.
The RACMA privacy policy outlines how the College collects, uses and discloses personal information, and the procedures that allow access to this information. Community representatives are required to comply with this policy.

7. Representation of RACMA

Community representatives will not make public statements on behalf of RACMA unless given prior approval by the College. Examples include media interviews on College process, speaking at conferences or writing material for journals or other publications.

8. Conflicts of interest

The College’s conflict of interest policy provides guidance with regard to identifying and handling potential and actual conflicts of interest involving the College and its activities. The policy primarily relates to Fellows and RACMA managerial staff, but is intended to raise awareness of conflict of interest issues and provide guidance to all those who fulfil a representative role with RACMA such as committee members, examiners, community representatives or staff involved in College work.

Individuals appointed by RACMA as consumer/community representatives are requested to declare any potential conflicts of interest. Appointees will be asked and are obliged to declare any conflict of interest that may arise during service.
9. Remuneration

All reasonable expenses incurred by consumer/community representatives in participating in the activities of the committees will be reimbursed upon submission of proper receipts.  The hourly fee for participating in a RACMA committee assumes that approximately one hour of pre-reading is required prior to each committee meeting. Should pre-reading prove more onerous than this, individual consumer/community representatives are asked to raise this with their key staff contact so that suitable remuneration arrangements can be made, in liaison with the committee chair.

This does not apply to telephone calls, teleconferences, attending to emails, pre-reading, etc.

Individuals will be reimbursed for miscellaneous expenses such as travel (and, where applicable, accommodation), car parking, printing, telephone calls and childcare. All travel arrangements are required to comply with the RACMA travel policy for staff. Approval from the relevant responsible managers, chief executive and/or Chairs of relevant committees will be required.

Remuneration for participation and attendance will be in accordance with the schedule of hourly fees as informed by the Health Issues Centre (as at October 2013):

Contributing to a focus group - Fee $50
Participating in a consultation workshop - $50
Attendance fees /Participating in a committee - $55
Participating in RACMA structured interview panels (if required) - $55
Participating as a panel member at a conference - $65
Delivering a presentation at a workshop - $100
Delivering a presentation at a conference or forum - $120
Fees for pre-reading, reviewing and commenting on a draft document will be advised in consultation with the Committee members and Chair.

10. Duration of appointment

Appointments are made for a trial pilot period of 12 months. Consumer/Community representation is reviewed annually, in alignment with the College’s practice regarding committee membership. The CE or delegate (in consultation with relevant committee chairs) is responsible for reappointing existing consumer/community representatives for a further 12 months’ service or appointing other nominees. An individual’s continuation in the role of consumer/community representative is subject to the College’s discretion. A community representative may resign at any time by submitting a signed letter of resignation to the CE and the Chair of the committees.

11. Related Documents
  • RACMA Constitution 2009
  • College Handbook
  • RACMA Code of Conduct
  • Terms of reference for the Education and Training Committee
  • Terms of reference for the Training Committee
  • Terms of reference for the Continuing Education Program Committee
  • AMC standards for the accreditation of specialist medical education and training
  •  National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (September 2012)
  • Consumer Health Forum (CHF)

Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 16:07