Health Literacy

What is a Health Literate Organisation?


Definition of a health literate organisation is:

“An organisation that makes it easy for anyone to find, understand, and use information and services.”


Why become a health literate organisation?


It’s our responsibility

We recognise that our services and systems can be complicated. It is our responsibility to reduce confusion for everyone by being health literate organisations.


The benefits of being a Health Literate Organisation

A Health Literate Organisation can:

  • Improve health and social outcomes.
  • Strengthen their strategic and operational advantage.
  • Improve consumer safety and reduce legal risk through effective communication.
  • Improve quality and meet accreditation requirements.
  • Improve consumer satisfaction and reduce complaints.
  • Improve efficiency and cost effectiveness.


The Health Literacy Initiative

In 2017 we teamed up with HealthWest Partnership to develop and deliver the Health Literacy Initiative. We are combining our resources and experience to deliver a group of strategic projects. The Initiative projects will support our member organisations to respond effectively to the health literacy needs of their communities.



Vic PCP Online Health Literacy Course

INW PCP and HealthWest Partnership contributed to the governance and development of the Vic PCP Online Health Literacy Course.

Read about and access the course here.

Online Health Literacy Course Flyer

The course was evaluated in late 2018.  You can access the Evaluation Report here.


Health Literacy Alliance

The Health Literacy Alliance supports the development of an effective and consistent regional approach to health literacy responsiveness in Melbourne’s west and inner north. The Alliance will:

  • Provide a forum for practical peer learning and support for health literacy practitioners.
  • Identify and respond to common issues and challenges faced by health literacy practitioners.
  • Explore and coordinate regional health literacy action as agreed by Alliance members

Find out more about the Health Literacy Alliance here.


Make it Easy: a handbook for becoming a health literate organisation

INW PCP and HealthWest Partnership partnered with consumers and professionals from our member organisations to adapt ‘The Gippsland Guide to Becoming a Health Literate Organisation.’ Our intention was to develop a small, practical and actionable self-assessment tool to guide organisations to make sustainable changes.

The result of this project is Make It Easy: A Handbook for Becoming a Health Literate Organisation.  This tool was piloted with three health and community organisations in the peer mentoring workshops and adapted with their feedback. The pilot demonstrated that the tool is easy to use, relevant and achievable.

The handbook will support you to:

  • Understand what it means to be a health literate organisation
  • Conduct a mini self-assessment of your organisation (16 indicators)
  • Give you specific ideas for making improvements
  • Direct you to high quality resources

You can access the handbook here

Lucio Naccarella (University of Melbourne) recently evaluated organisational health literacy projects from a consumer perspective in four organisations. The evaluation report is available to read here.


More info:

Health Literacy Peer Mentoring Project Evaluation Report
Peer Group Mentoring Evaluation Report
Make It Easy Evaluation Report

For more information please contact INW PCP A/Executive Officer, Rebecca Morgan on Tel (03) 9389 2249 or email



Health Literate Organisations Mentoring Project

In 2018 and 2019, INW PCP and HealthWest Partnership implemented a peer group mentoring program to support member organisations to assess and improve their organisational health literacy. This included:

  • Understanding what it means to be a health literate organisation.
  • Undertaking a short self- assessment to understand what the organisation is doing well, and what could be improved.
  • Developing an action plan for making improvements.
  • Implementing this action plan.

This project is unique in that participants receive one-on-one support from ‘mentors’– individuals who have experience improving health literacy responsiveness within their organisations. The evaluation report highlights improvements in the structure, delivery and content of the program resulting in greater participation and engagement from member organisations during the second series of the mentoring program.

More info:

Health Literacy Peer Mentoring Project Evaluation Report
Peer Group Mentoring Evaluation Report


Org-HLR Self-Assessment Tool Pilot Project

The Org-HLR Self-Assessment Tool was developed by Anita Trezona as part of her PhD at Deakin University. In late 2015 the INW PCP formed a research partnership with Deakin University to implement a health literacy project that formed part of Anita’s PhD study under the Ophelia Victoria Project. The aim of the project was to pilot the Org-HLR Tool with partner organisations across the north and west metropolitan regions.

Find out more about the project here




If you would like to learn more about the support we can offer to improve organisational health literacy responsiveness please contact Rebecca Morgan, INW PCP A/Executive Officer, on Tel (03) 9389 2249 or email



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