Key messages

  • In Victoria, allied health incorporates 27 professions and more than 42,500 practitioners.
  • In practice, allied health is highly complex and involves many different professions with specific expertise, training pathways, sectors of practice and professional governance.
  • As healthcare increasingly requires interdisciplinary teamwork, it is critical that the allied health professions are fully engaged to maximise health outcomes.
  • Allied health in Victoria has been classified into two broad categories: ‘Science’ and ’Therapy’. This categorisation will help in establishing common ground to support informed debate and effective collaboration.

Diversity in allied health

Allied health covers a wide range of professions, skills, backgrounds and practices including registered and unregistered (self-regulated) and unregulated professions. In Victoria, allied health incorporates 27 professions and more than 42,500 practitioners.

While there is strength in such diversity, it is difficult for the full breadth of disciplines to operate with a sense of uniformity or have practical discussions about policies, directions and projects when roles and areas of technical skill are very different. Allied health in Victoria has been classified into two broad categories: science and therapy. Classification is based on:

  • their primary role in health
  • technical skill
  • natural and practical alignment.

The categorisation will better manage the diversity by providing a greater set of commonalties among like-minded groups within allied health. This will allow for more practical and targeted discussion.

Allied health categories position paper

The department prepared the Allied health categories position paper to further explain the categorisation of allied health.

Classification

The Department of Health & Human Services classifies allied health disciplines as ‘therapy’ or ‘science’. The table below is based on the model and research described in the Allied health categories position paper.

Therapy disciplines

Science disciplines

Art therapy

Audiology

Chiropractic

Biomedical science

Dietetics

Diagnostic imaging medical physics

Exercise physiology

Medical laboratory science

Music therapy

Nuclear medicine

Occupational therapy

Optometry

Oral health (not dentistry)

Orthoptics

Osteopathy

Pharmacy

Orthotics and prosthetics

Radiation oncology medical physics

Physiotherapy

Radiation therapy

Podiatry

Radiography

Psychology

Sonography

Social work

Speech therapy


Allied health assistant*


* Work under the supervision of some allied health professions in single or multidisciplinary roles.

Downloads

Contact details