Health consumers play a critical role in improving our health system. This Model shows health consumers how they can effectively do this. It highlights opportunities that exist for consumers to contribute, for all experience levels. 

“This Model is the product of Safer Care Victoria, the Health Issues Centre, and consumers working in partnership to develop this helpful resource for consumers at all stages of their consumer journey. It is informative, practical, and empowering.” – Nora Refahi, Consumer Advisor on the co-production team. 

 It helps to:  

  • Support consumers to understand the types of roles they could engage in, that align with their skills and interests.
  • Map out for consumer leads, managers, researchers, and policy developers the innovative ways they can partner with consumers.
  • Open a dialogue between consumers and their leads about the ways the service can meaningfully support their growth and development.
  • Demonstrate to executive leadership and Board how consumers should and could be fitting in to the decision-making hierarchy. 

An updated version of the Consumer Model was created in July 2023 following feedback from consumers and health services who have been using it to guide their consumer engagement work.
Download resource

Watch the presentation below for an introductory outline of the Model and practical tips for activating it in practice.

New resources that support health organisations and consumers to work in partnership

From July 2022 to June 2023, HIC worked with consumers and health organisations to co-create a suite of resources that help to activate the Consumer Model in practice.

6 steps to becoming a consumer advisor

This graphic resource is designed for consumers. It gives a snapshot into what to expect when joining a health organisation’s consumer register. A printable version of the resource can be downloaded here

6 steps to successfully onboarding consumer advisors

This resource is for people who are responsible for managing or coordinating consumer engagement at a health organisation. It provides step by step guidance to creating processes that ensure consumer advisors are provided with the support, information and resources they need to be effective in their new role over the first 6-12 months.

Consumer Advisor Skills Checklist

This tool supports health organisations to better understand the broad spectrum of skills that a consumer brings, beyond their experience as a service user. By understanding a consumer’s holistic skills and experiences, it will help to inform the type of consumer roles they are best suited to and active their full potential. We suggest this tool be provided to the consumer once they have been accepted to the register and are moving through their induction process

Other helpful resources

Guide for consumer to self-assess the quality of their engagement in healthcare organisations

This guide is for consumer representatives or advisors to self-assess the quality of their engagement in healthcare organisations. 

Guide to engaging diverse consumers in organisational and governance structures 

This guide outlines the processes, planning stages and methods for engaging with consumers from diverse backgrounds; and resources and templates to recruit and select consumers to be engaged in governance and organisational committees.

Guide for inclusive community consultations

This Guide outlines the step-by-step process to set up and conduct successful inclusive consultations. It includes a description of 28 generic consultation methods and 32 methods to consult with specific communities.

For more information, to provide feedback, or if you would like support to implement anything you see in this Model, please contact Health Issues Centre at or call (03) 8676 9050.