University Of Tasmania
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Leading health reform: A critical review of 'leadership' within allied health competency standards

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Objective: To examine if, when, and how select allied health professional standards currently articulate the Health LEADS Australia themes.

Methods: Eighteen allied health professional standards were searched to locate references to leadership. Data were extracted and inductively, deductively and thematically analysed as a meta-synthesis. Frequencies were counted, with sub-analysis by professional area, classification level, competency type, and Blooms (1) level.

Results: There were 953 direct and indirect leadership statements. Only 2 leadership definitions were located: pharmacists and dentists. The principal theme Leadership only appeared as 18 (2%) of the total data set that made direct references to leadership, which were mostly vague and unclear. The remaining indirect references to leadership are reported as four overarching themes: Self leadership (289,31%); Leadership with and of others (263, 29%); Improvement and change leadership (223, 24%) and Health reform leadership (139, 18%).

Conclusions: Health leadership is not easily recognisable in the examined allied health practice standards. With some refinement they could play a critical role in preparing future allied health graduates to support ongoing health system reform needed to improve public health.


Publication title

Australian Health Review








School of Health Sciences


C S I R O Publishing

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2020 CSIRO

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)