Professional Certificate in Health Consumer Engagement

Course overview

This Professional Certificate has resulted from a valued collaboration between the International Centre for Allied Health Evidence, University of South Australia, and Health Consumers Alliance SA.  It provides a rare opportunity to learn about health consumer engagement, and making research relevant to consumer evidence consumption and implementation.

The Health Consumers Engagement Professional Certificate consists of two courses:

  • Course 1 (SCHLS 90008) (theory and practice): Health Consumer Engagement – Best Evidence, Policy and Practice for Health
  • Course 2 (SCHLS 90009) (application): Health Consumer Engagement – Application of Best Evidence in Health.

This Professional Certificate articulates with the University of South Australia Masters of Health degree (IMHX)

This Professional Certificate will be attractive to health consumers, health consumer representatives, health care professionals, managers, and policy makers. Postgraduate students in other degrees may also find this professional certificate attractive as an elective.  Students do not need to have previously completed tertiary study to enrol.

Professional Certificate course weighting

The Professional Certificate is equivalent to 13.5 units.  Course 1 (SCHLS 90008) is equivalent to 4.5 units, and Course 2 (SCHLS 90009) is equivalent to 9 units.

Course duration

Course 1 runs from 27th Feb until 30th June 2017

Course 2 runs from 31st July until 15th November.

Course delivery mode

Course 1 is delivered via blended learning (online material and two days intensive face-to-face).  Course 2 is self-directed learning, and conducted totally online, except for face-to-face meetings with mentors

Entry requirements

Domestic and international students can enrol in Course 1, and there are no pre-requisites.  Students do not need to have a prior exposure to tertiary training.


Aims, outcomes and content


The aim of Course 1 is to provide students with the best research and frameworks for consumer engagement in health service governance, policy and practice and shared decision making in patient care. Course participants will identify evidence-based consumer engagement policy and practice principles and reflect on and challenge current practice using best evidence, and policy and practice frameworks, to inform the design of consumer engagement intervention to enhance health outcomes.

The aim of Course 2 is to provide students with a mentored process of applying their learning about evidence informed health consumer engagement in a workplace intervention and evaluating the intervention reach and impact.


Students will complete the Professional Certificate being able to:

  • Understand the history and application of best research evidence for consumer engagement in health sector governance, policy and practice and in clinical patient care.
  • Identify evidence-informed principles for best practice health consumer engagement
  • Debate and advocate for best practice health consumer engagement in health services and clinical care.
  • Design and advocate for a workplace project that incorporates best practice health consumer engagement.


Health consumer engagement policy and best evidence: Safety and Quality Standards, consumer centred care, health literacy, co-design, co-delivery and co-evaluation in health service delivery; principles of effective consumer engagement in clinical patient care: what the evidence says, what consumers say, ethics, informed consent, informed financial consent and shared decision making; principles of consumer engagement in systems change; health system enablers of and barriers to consumer engagement; planning and advocating for evidence-based consumer interventions; understanding evidence based practice in consumer engagement in patient care and systems change.

Course commitment

Students enrolled in Course 1 (SCHLS 90008) should expect to spend approximately 160 hours on the learning activities. This includes attendance at the face to face delivery components, participation in online activities, completion of assessment tasks, and self-directed, independent course-related reading, research and reflection.  Students who are not experienced in tertiary education should aim to set aside 10-15 hours per week for this course, to allow sufficient time for reading and reflection, and use of the Discussion Board.   There are no hardcopy materials for this online course. All the materials you require can be accessed online.

Students in Course 2 (SCHLS 90009) should expect to spend approximately 320 hours on the learning activities.  This course is self-directed, and the time commitments reflect approximately 10-15 hours spent with the student’s mentor, and the remainder completing the self-directed study required to complete the workplace assignment. 


Course 1 assessment consists of two written assignments (1000 and 3000 words), and a 10 minute podcast presentation.  Students do not have to undertake the assignments for Course 1 if they do not wish to progress to the Professional Certificate completion.  If this is their preference, they will receive a Certificate of Participation. However, there are many advantages to completing the assignments, and thus all students enrolled in Course 1 are actively encouraged to do so. By completing the assignments and receiving a Pass mark (or better), students will complete the course to the satisfaction of the University of South Australia, and then can progress to Course 2 in the Professional Certificate.  This will give them 13.5 units towards a Master of Health degree.   

Course 2 assessment consists of a business case (1000 words), a summary reflective diary (1000 words), an evaluation assignment (1000 words) and a final report (5000 words)

Course dates and fees


The teaching and learning activities in Course 1 run from 27th Feb until 28th May 2017, and the course completes on 30th June (allowing time to complete assignments and receive feedback).  Two days intensive face-to-face training are offered 27th – 28th April 2017. 

Course 2 commences on 24th July 2017 and completes on 24th Nov. 


Course 1: $1300

Course 2: $1600


Download the Application Form

Applications should be emailed to:

Ms Lauren Grant
iCAHE administrative officer

University of South Australia
City East Campus
North Terrace
Adelaide, South Australia, 5000

Telephone: +61 8 8302 1163
Fax: +61 8 8302 2168

Application Closing Date

Students can apply for both courses at the same time if they intend to complete both in 2017. However, students cannot apply for Course 2 unless Course 1 is completed first and a passing grade has been awarded. If students are unsure about their enrolment into Course 2, then apply only for Course 1 initially. Applications for Course 1 close on Friday 17th February 2017. Applications for Course 2 close on 24th July 2017. Students may also like to consider completing Course 1 in 2017, and enrolling in Course 2 up until 2019. Thus students who satisfactorily complete Course 1 in 2017 may consider enrolling in Course 2 in 2018, or 2019. Course 1 currency is three years. 

Withdrawal Policy

Please Note - Students must also agree to the conditions of the Withdrawal Policy (79KB DOC)

To withdraw from this course, please complete the Withdrawal Form (64KB DOC) and forward it to the address above.

Areas of study and research

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