SMART Design for Care

About the project

The Australian Health Care and Social Assistance (H&SA) industry is large and diverse, employing more than 1.5 million workers from various backgrounds and in different occupations.  Our research project aims to develop a Design for Care intervention package, comprising of work design resources and well-being benchmarks support organisations with implementing transformative work practices to co-create mentally healthy workplaces and prevent psychological injury in workers.

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The Design for Care approach


Our approach is focused on prevention and sustainability.

Prevention is about shifting the focus from treating to preventing psychological injury before it even occurs. At its core, prevention involves ensuring good work design practices.


The Design for Care Program seeks to prevent psychological injury by identifying SMART work design opportunities and challenges in collaboration with individuals, teams, and team leaders.

Sustainability is about placing a long-term focus on developing interventions that generate a lasting impact for teams and organisations.

From a work design perspective, this is about building the work design capabilities in individuals, teams, team leaders, and organisations to continue to co-create mentally healthy workplaces, not only now but also in the future.

Join us in this exciting new research


We are seeking enthusiastic organisations and individuals in the NSW Health Care and Social Assistance (H&SA) industry to join us.

Interested? There are two ways you can participate:

Have your organisation to participate

in the PARRTH process

This is an exciting opportunity to get involved in research aimed at understanding how work design can be leveraged to prevent psychological injury and improve the well-being of workers in the H&SA industry.

By participating in the PARRTH process, your organisation will have access to work design experts who use evidence-based strategies to explore the work design challenges facing your workers and to co-create strategies to improve these challenges.  



The PARRTH process involves:

  • Preparing an organization for change;

  • Assessing work design and wellbeing;  

  • Reflecting with the organization staff and management about the assessment results;  

  • Redesigning work and/or organizational processes where appropriate and feasible;  

  • Tracking the effect of the redesign; and  

  • Habituating the change into the daily functioning of the organization.  

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Time commitments​

To get the best possible experience from your involvement with this research, the PARRTH process requires active participation from members of your organisation.  

Each organisation we work with is different so the length of each phase in the PARRTH process can vary. As a guide, we typically work with organisations for around 12 months to implement the PARRTH process.

Become a member

of our Design for Care Community of Practice

The Community of Practice will include representatives from committed organisations and departments who would like to contribute to better support for mental health and wellbeing in the care and community work industry. A key aim of creating this community of practice is to maximise the impact of this project by ensuring that the learnings from the research can reach and educate the diverse H&SA industry.

  • Members of government agencies with high engagement in the industry

  • Members of icare insured and non-insured H&SA industry organisations 

  • Professionals in the field · H&SA workers with lived experience dealing with and going through psychosocial injury, 

  • Members of associations representing the interests of H&SA industry organisations and workers


  • Help build and exchange knowledge 

  • Access to experts 

  • Professional development and networking, 

  • Connect with others on a meaningful purpose

Time commitments​
  • Attend 5x quarterly meetings (starting in December 2021) 

  • Engage with industry networks 

  • Contribute to and disseminate information to assist organisations in supporting workers mental health

Project team members

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Sharon Parker
Associate Professor
Anya Johnson
Associate Professor
Helena Nguyen
Alex Collie
Dr Giverny De Boeck
Dr Shanta Dey
Dr Anu Bharadwaj
Dr Jess Gilbert
Meredith Carr

Funded by