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Australian College of Community and Disability Practitioners: FAQs

What is the ACCDP?

The Australian College of Community and Disability Practitioners (ACCDP) is your professional voice in the community and disability services sector.

Membership of the ACCDP is an exclusive benefit of being an ASU member. Being a member of the ACCDP means that you have a say in your own
professional development and in the professional standards in our sector. Our sector needs a professional voice from front line workers not big business, employer or industry groups.

The ACCDP has an Advisory Board that guides its work – that Board is made up of frontline practitioners, expert academics and service providers who are committed to supporting workers acquire new skills and training in our sector. Your ACCDP membership gives you a voice at the table. The ACCDP has representatives on various industry bodies to be the voice of ASU members. Being a member of the ACCDP also means that you have exclusive access to research, training courses, webinars and interviews provided to you for free.

How did I become a member?

You have become a member of the ACCDP because you are member of the ASU. Like journey insurance and professional indemnity insurance that the ASU provides for members, and like access to other union resources, this is a benefit of union membership for SACS workers.

Am I a member of the ACCDP instead of the ASU now?

No. It is an addition to your ASU membership not a replacement for it. One of the benefits of being an ASU member is membership of the ACCDP. It is a new benefit for SACS members.

Will it cost me anything?

At the moment your membership of the ACCDP is free because you are an ASU member. You will never be charged a fee you do not agree to.

Why do we need a college?

Decisions about the way we work in the social, community and disability services sector are being made constantly but they are not usually made in a consistent or consultative way.  A lot of different people influence the minimum standards for employment and for the delivery of services in our workplaces. But all of this can vary a lot across the industry and is often not reflective of best practice in service delivery.

Also we know that our work in the SACS sector becoming increasingly complex and more responsibility is being spread out to services. In all of this change and decision making the voice that is most often missing is yours – the practitioner, who is at the frontline and who understand the needs and demands of the work, and the standards necessary to meet them.

The ACCDP is going to be that voice. It will develop into a presence in the SACS profession that consults with workers and practitioners and helps channel that direct experience into decision making across the social, community and disability sector.

How is that different from the Union, what exactly does a professional body do?

The ASU is your industrial voice – your ASU membership gives you access to support for individual workplace issues and helps you work together with your colleagues to improve working conditions like rosters, consultation and restructures and enforcing the award. The ASU also focuses on improving working conditions that affect the whole sector like the Award, Equal Pay and government policy changes.

The ACCDP is your professional voice – your ACCDP membership will help you participate in establishing minimum standards for service delivery, defining what skills are required to be a social, community and disability service worker, and it will work to influence policy and legislation around these issues at the highest levels.

What do I get out of being a member?

We are developing some member only resources for the college and those should be available soon. These will be evolving and kept up to date with new developments in the profession.

Members of the ACCDP will be asked to consult on any draft policies the ACCDP develops including a proposed Code of Conduct we will draft in the first 2 years of the ACCDP. Members of the ACCDP will also be able to be elected onto the board after the initial term of the ACCDP interim board and once the constitution and other foundation documents are finalised.

There may also be other committees or working groups ACCDP members can get involved with between now and the first elections. We will always keep members posted about opportunities to be involved in the ACCDP and any new benefits your college membership might give you.

How can I join?

Right now, the ACCDP is only for ASU members so the best way to become a member of the ACCDP is to join your ASU. If you join the ASU you get all the benefits of union membership AND all the benefits of ACCDP membership for the same price. If you prefer not to have an industrial voice and would prefer not to join the ASU we are working on setting up a membership system that will allow you to join the college only.

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