Consumer Engagement

The TasCOSS Home and Community Care (HACC) Consumer Engagement Program supports Tasmania’s HACC providers in their consumer engagement approaches and practices, and their key service objectives of independence and well-being for their consumers. 

The program is funded under the HACC Program, which is a joint Federal-State Government initiative providing basic support to older people, and to younger people with disabilities and their carers. The primary objective of the HACC Program is to enhance clients’ independence in order to avoid premature admission to residential care.

Read more on Our Approach and Our Story, and download consumer engagement resources below.

TasCOSS Consumer Engagement Handbook ›

The TasCOSS HACC Consumer Engagement Program has explored consumer engagement in a new light for over four years now. The program’s vision is a gradual paradigm shift from planning for and doing something to consumers to a “continuum of engagement” where the ultimate aim is one of working in partnership with consumers as this is meaningful and appropriate. 

A unique feature is the program’s relationships focus, which de-emphasises research and theory and highlights human connection, empowerment and the promotion of a fluid model of continuously shifting ownership between staff and consumers. 




The program equally focuses on purposefully engaging staff and team leaders as the key stakeholders who will eventually  facilitate sustainable consumer engagement. 

The overall program equally utilises a top-down approach to facilitate work and culture change outcomes.

Carefully designed and individual provider project outcomes are often exceeding anticipated expectations:

Our consumer engagement journey in HACC began in 2009. Good practice by Tasmanian providers was identified and highlighted through a statewide mapping project. It was complemented by extensive cross-sector consultations as well as national and international best practice research. 

 The first main program followed: this was a set of four statewide workshops with incremental learning outcomes built into them. The themes of the workshops were:

• Consolidate and share existing good practice.
• To introduce comprehensive and integrated best-practice approaches nationally and from outside Australia.
• Seek input into the direction of the overall program.
• To develop a shared Model of Consumer Engagement as a policy and good practice guide for services and for future, practical TasCOSS supported projects. 

We discovered that services were already engaging with consumers and there was a great deal of care and service quality in HACC. We also discovered that hardly any consumer engagement was being planned, strategically supported or benchmarked against relevant good practice. Equally the full range of benefits of good consumer engagement practices, for both the consumers and the organisation, was hardly realised nor in practice. 

In consultation with providers, experts and consumers, we developed additional practical workshops and pilots. This led to the delivery, for the first time in Tasmania by any service, of the nationally accredited Graduate Certificate in Consumer Engagement to program participants. 

The present mission is to practically and sustainably provide support services to organisations in order to enhance their consumer engagement policies and practices tailored for their and their consumers’ needs. 

Accredited consumer engagement training for project or team leaders is supplemented by executive, senior management consultations and training. Individual projects are developed to involve as many staff as possible and to maximise experiential learning and consumer outcomes.

For more information, contact TasCOSS on (03) 6231 0755.