About the Toolkit

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Health literacy is the art of making it easier, not harder, for people to make decisions about their health.

This HeLLO Tas! Toolkit will take you on a journey to explore your organisation’s health literacy.

Health literacy ( Tool #1) is not only about individuals being able to get health information. Organisations that are ‘health literate’ can help people to understand information, to find their way through the health and community services’ system, and to get the services they need.

The toolkit provides:

  • a step-by-step process for doing a self-assessment and developing a Health Literacy Action Plan
  • practical tools to help you with these tasks
  • links to accreditation standards, resources and further reading material.

It will help you see what you are already doing well and what else you might do to further enhance your services. It can also help you to meet quality improvement standards relating to outcomes for clients, consumer rights, evidence-based practice, and community development. 

Improving health literacy is all about communication, empowerment and being consumer-focused. These are things community services work hard to do well. Many of us have processes in place to ensure that we engage well with consumers and are friendly and welcoming. We provide clear information to consumers about their health and wellbeing that helps them to make informed choices. But no organisation is ever perfectly health literate. Improving health literacy is an ongoing cycle of action, evaluation and improvement.

In a health literate organisation, health literacy is part of all service planning, design, delivery and evaluation. It is everyone’s business. All aspects of the organisation are focussed on the needs of consumers and cater for everyone. There is no need to identify who is, or is not, health literate.

A toolkit for the Community Sector

This toolkit has been developed by community sector workers for community sector and smaller community health organisations. Our organisations are less complex than hospitals and other large institutions for which a lot of health literacy materials have been designed. Many of our organisations already have strong health literacy practices in place such as community engagement processes, easy access, and consumer involvement.

Component What is it? How can you use it?


The process to becoming a health literate organisation

This is a simple step-by-step quality improvement process to enhance your organisation’s health literacy.

The framework guides you through the process of doing a health literacy self- assessment and developing an action plan. Once you have completed these steps, you can undertake an ongoing process of information gathering, analysis, review and renewal.


The Checklist: How health literate is your organisation?

This is the core assessment tool used in the toolkit.

Completing the Checklist online will link you to resources and accreditation standards used by your organisation. You can also print a PDF of the Checklist

When filling out the Checklist, we suggest you involve as many people from your organisation as possible in discussions.


Health Literacy Action Plan template

The Action Plan captures the priorities you have identi ed through the Checklist.

You can use the Action Plan to decide what needs to happen, when, by whom, and how you will measure success. Some ideas for action, tools and resources are linked to the Plan.

Other tools and resources



There are tools to help with: