The Australian College of Community and Disability Practitioners has been established in the first instance by the ASU to empower Community and Disability Practitioners in establishing standards of practice for work in the Social, Community and Disability Services Sector. The College will initially operate under the auspices of the ASU with the intention that it will become an independent entity as soon as is feasible.


Decisions about the meaning, purpose, and requirements of Community and Disability Practice are being made constantly. Currently, numerous stakeholders influence minimum standards for employment and for the delivery of services in the Community and Disability sectors. Employers influence standards through position descriptions outlining their expectations of the skills and qualifications required to perform work in our industries. But these are ad hoc, inconsistent and vary greatly across the industry.


Government influences standards through policy, legislative requirements, contracts and funding arrangements. Again, these are ad hoc and frequently not the result of best practice in service provision. 

The voice that is most often missing in this environment is that of practitioners. The people at the frontline of service provision who understand best the needs and demands of the work, and the standards necessary to meet them.

ACCDP - Vision, Aim and Objectives

Our vision: 


A social, community and disability services profession where practitioners are respected as a committed and skilled workforce; where good practice influences the development of the sector; where social and community services are valued as essential and built on an understanding that society can be transformed by the principles of social justice.


Our aim: 


The Australian College of Community and Disability Practitioners (ACCDP) is a member-led, whole of industry professional body that places skilled practice at the centre of the development of the social and community services sector.


The ACCDP is made up of the highly skilled workforce in the social and community services. The college will support practitioners to have a leading role in their profession, including in the development of practice standards for the profession.


Our objectives: 


The ACCDP promotes the recognition of the skilled work of practitioners in the social and community services industry.


To do that, the ACCDP will consult with practitioners to:


  • Serve and support the professional needs and interests of workers in the community and disability sectors; 

  • Develop social, community and disability practice, including practice standards; 

  • Influence the training and education of practitioners in the sector;

  • Encourage informed and ethical professional practice among members;

  • Increase knowledge of social and community services practice through research, forums, discussion and publications;

  • Collaborate with service users and their representative organisations where appropriate; and

  • Promote the needs and interests of the social and community services profession to governments, education institutions and organisations within the community.


For the purposes of the ACCDP, a practitioner is defined as any person working in social and community services in recognition of the specialist skills required to perform work in this industry.


Our members include practitioners from all areas of the social, community and disability sectors across Australia including: 


  • Disability services

  • Child protection, youth and family services

  • Health, mental health & alcohol and other drug services

  • Community and neighbourhood centres

  • Migrant and settlement services

  • Homelessness, housing and tenancy services

  • Community legal services

  • Aboriginal services

  • Women’s services

  • Policy, advocacy and campaigning

  • Employment services

  • Community transport

  • Aged care

ACCDP - Board Terms of Reference

The ACCDP Board will provide advice to support the advancement of the objectives and priorities of the College as a national body promoting the recognition of the skilled work of practitioners in the social and community services industry and supporting social, community and disability practitioners to have a leading role in their profession.


The Board is an independent advisory body established by the Australian Services Union (ASU) to provide guidance and recommendations but not to take responsibility for operational decisions, nor does the Board have an executive policy function. 


The ASU may from time to time authorise the Board to undertake activities on its behalf and it is expected that Board members will play an ambassadorial role for the ACCDP and the profession.


The ACCDP Board will report to the ASU as required. The Executive Director, ACCDP will report to the Board on strategic and development matters. 

Members of the ACCDP Board are honorary appointments made by the ASU.


Members of the ACCDP Board will be appointed for two year cycles.


The duties of the ACCDP Advisory Board are to:


a. Attend Board meetings
b. Promote the mission, aims and activities of the ACCDP, and in particular:


  • Provide strategic advice to the Executive Director in order to successfully achieve the ACCDP mission and ACCDP initiatives;

  • Identify issues both existing and arising relevant to the recognition and advancement of the social, community and disability sector profession;

  • Assist the ACCDP to contribute to the bodies of knowledge in the practice of social and community services;

  • Assist in the development of strong collaborative links  with relevant industry, the community, government agencies, universities and research centres;

  • Assist the College to maintain high visibility, engage with the profession, and develop partnerships and collaborations with industry, government and the broader community; and

  • Consider and provide advice on specific issues as requested by the ASU.

© 2016 ACCDP