If you have a large or multi-site organisation it may be more practical to have a team of advocates, but we would always advise at least two advocates so that they can support each other. The following information should help you in your choice:
• The Health Advocate should have the full support of all the management team, and have access to evidence required for the assessment process.
• Management must be committed to working with the Health Advocate to action any measures necessary to achieve the award.
• The Health Advocate will need time to collect evidence and work with the assessors to implement the health action plan. They should not be expected to do this on top of a full workload.
• Staff with knowledge of specific areas of the Award (Occupational Health, Health and safety, Personnel matters, Training, Communications, Trade Union matters) would be ideal but enthusiasm and commitment are equally as important.
The Health Advocates and your organisation will benefit in other ways:
- Learning new skills, accessing training from Health and other professionals which will make them much more valuable to your organisation. Advocates often cascade training back into their organisations
- Making contact with other advocates in a range of different sectors and sizes of businesses which may be mutually beneficial for your organisations
- Better staff engagement and cohesion
- Access to information, advice and support from trained health professionals to address specific issues in your organisation
- Exchanging good practice with other organisations and attracting publicity for your organisation
The Health Advocate Remit
- Key Contact person between organisation and Award Assessors
- Compilation of the portfolio of evidence required to achieve the award
- Work in consultation with the Award Assessors at initial and any follow up meetings to address any actions required
- Progress health action plan (if required) to achieve award
- Organise and promote health initiatives/activities within their workplace
Time Commitments for Remit
(The actual time spent will depend upon the size and complexity of the organisation and the number of Health Advocates in the team)
- Attending Award induction and any support or training events organised by the award co-ordinators
- Organisation of/running health campaigns and events
- Compilation of evidence portfolio
- Assessment visit facilitation
- Health action plan (if required)
- Attendance at award celebration event
- Health Advocates' time commitment
- Travelling expenses for Health Advocates to attend events
- Health promotion activities
- Identified training (initial training is provided free by a Workplace Health Specialist)