A national framework for disaster health education in Australia

Gerard J Fitzgerald, Peter Aitken, Paul Arbon, Frank Archer, David Cooper, Peter Leggat, Colin Myers, Andrew Robertson, Michael Tarrant, Elinor R. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Recent events have heightened awareness of disaster health issues and the need to prepare the health workforce to plan for and respond to major incidents. This has been reinforced at an international level by the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, which has proposed an international educational framework.Objective: The aim of this paper is to outline the development of a national educational framework for disaster health in Australia.Methods: The framework was developed on the basis of the literature and the previous experience of members of a National Collaborative for Disaster Health Education and Research. The Collaborative was brought together in a series of workshops and teleconferences, utilizing a modified Delphi technique to finalize the content at each level of the framework and to assign a value to the inclusion of that content at the various levels.Framework: The framework identifies seven educational levels along with educational outcomes for each level. The framework also identifies the recommended contents at each level and assigns a rating of depth for each component. The framework is not intended as a detailed curriculum, but rather as a guide for educationalists to develop specific programs at each level.Conclusions: This educational framework will provide an infrastructure around which future educational programs in Disaster Health in Australia may be designed and delivered. It will permit improved articulation for students between the various levels and greater consistency between programs so that operational responders may have a consistent language and operational approach to the management of major events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Australia
  • awareness
  • disaster health
  • education
  • framework

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