Perhaps you already hire, or work alongside, allied health assistants. Or perhaps you run a practice and are considering employing an allied health assistant but are unsure as to their scope of practice – or even how to go about recruiting for such a role. This short guide can help to get you started.

Firstly, what does an allied health assistant do?

Allied health assistants (AHAs) are trained professionals who work under the supervision of allied health professionals, such as podiatrists, to provide clinical support and assistance to patients. They work in a range of settings, including hospitals, community health centres, aged care facilities, and private practices.

Their duties can vary depending on the field and setting they work in. There is plenty more information available online, such as documentation that explores the process involved in developing an allied health workforce. This same resource also links through to a video by the Victorian Government on some do’s and don’ts when delegating to an allied health assistant.

What are some of the benefits in hiring an allied health assistant?

Benefits are detailed in Australian Podiatry Association’s (APodA) member-only resource on allied health assistants, while some additional benefits include:

  1. Support for routine tasks: AHAs can provide support for routine tasks, such as patient preparation, record keeping, and scheduling appointments. By taking on these tasks, podiatrists can focus their skills and expertise on more complex care.
  2. Assistance with basic assessments and interventions: AHAs can assist podiatrists with basic assessments and interventions, such as taking basic measurements, performing foot care treatments, and providing patient education. This support can help increase the number of patients who can receive care, thereby reducing wait times and addressing workforce shortages.
  3. Increased access to care in rural and remote areas: AHAs can help to increase access to care in rural and remote areas, where there may be a shortage of podiatrists and other allied health professionals. By providing basic services and support, AHAs can help to bridge the gap in care provision – and ensure that patients in these areas have access to the basic services they need.
  4. More facilitated teamwork and collaboration: AHAs can facilitate teamwork and collaboration among podiatrists and other allied health professionals. By working closely with other members of the health care team, AHAs can help ensure that patients receive coordinated, informed, timely and integrated care.
  5. Cost-effective support: AHAs can provide cost-effective support for podiatrists. By taking on routine tasks and providing basic services, AHAs can help reduce the workload of podiatrists which frees up further time for additional patient contact hours or management related administrative tasks.

The member-only resource mentioned above also details some potential barriers to be aware of before hiring an AHA.

How much should I pay an allied health assistant?

The latest remuneration information is detailed in APodA’s member-only resource on AHAs, which is regularly updated for members.

What information does the Australian Podiatry Association have on allied health assistants?

The APodA has comprehensive information for its members when it comes to hiring or working alongside an AHA. This extends to the benefits and barriers in hiring an AHA, remuneration information, the role of AHAs in the context of private sector podiatry, clinical and non clinical duties of an AHA working in a podiatry practice, relevant tertiary insights, and modes of clinical supervision that are applicable to AHAs.

Do other entities offer support in this space?

Emerging associated bodies seek to offer support for allied health assistance. If you are an APodA member and you want to get involved in related developments, reach out to APodA’s Advocacy team via