Resources to improve knowledge and understanding of advocacy


HIQA has launched new resources on The Fundamentals of Advocacy in health and social care. 

It says these resources are designed to improve knowledge and understanding of advocacy and to support people to have their human rights met.

They include:

  • The Fundamentals of Advocacy in health and social care, an online learning course aimed at improving knowledge and understanding of advocacy among health and social care staff.
  • A booklet on advocacy in health and social care, which complements the material in HIQA’s online learning course.
  • An educational video on advocacy, including interviews with nursing home staff, an advocacy expert and people who use services.

These resources are available on the HIQA website and the online learning course is available at HSeLanD.

HIQA says that historically, there has been a lack of clear guidance and information on what advocacy means within health and social care settings. HIQA’s new advocacy resources were developed in response to the COVID-19 Nursing Homes Expert Panel Report, which recommended that HIQA ‘continue to highlight and promote independent advocacy services to residents’, and that the rights of residents – in terms of dignity, freedom, choice and equality – need to be respected and to remain at the forefront of policy in the future.

“HIQA’s new resources describe what advocacy is, the different types of advocacy, and how people working in health and social care can support person-centred care within their service.

“Learners who complete the online course will understand:

  • What advocacy is and why it is important.
  • How to support people to have their will and preference met and have their voices heard.
  • That advocacy is a necessary part of the role of a health and social care worker, and what they can do to ensure people’s autonomy and human rights are upheld.
  • The boundaries of their role as an advocate, including identifying possible conflicts of interest.
  • How to ensure people are aware of independent advocacy services and when to support people to access independent advocacy services.

“The online course has examples of advocacy in action, scenarios to help learners test their knowledge, and interviews with staff and service users who have experience of advocacy. The development of HIQA’s new advocacy resources was informed by meetings with key stakeholders, a working group, focus groups and user testing.

“At HIQA we are committed to promoting a person’s human rights, through supporting staff to uphold a human rights-based approach to care. If you wish to learn more about advocacy in national standards, you can find the National Standards for Adult Safeguarding and the Guidance on a Human Rights-Based Approach in Health and Social Care on our website. You can also visit HSeLanD to access our online learning courses National Standards for Adult Safeguarding: Putting the standards into practice and Applying a Human Rights-based Approach in Health and Social Care.”