Model 1: Advice and support network

Setting up a simple shared services arrangement, such as an advice and support network, is relatively easy. The main task is to identify what you would like to achieve from the arrangement and how you will work together. This can be a good basis for establishing stronger relationships with other organisations and entering into more complex shared service arrangements down the track.

As a group you should: 

  • agree on the purpose of the group – it’s important that there is a reason and a mutual benefit for coming together, otherwise people will not give up their time to attend meetings or connect with each other
  • agree to the mode and frequency of communication – this is entirely up to the group, but it’s advised that you meet at least a few times each year to maintain some level of face-to-face contact
  • agree on how and when new members might be able to join
  • agree to privacy protocols – if you are going to be sharing sensitive information within the group it’s important that you discuss what is expected of each group member 
  • talk to your peak body to see if they can help you tap into existing networks.

Checklist for setting up an advice and support network:

  1. Can all organisations describe the purpose of the group?
  2. Do all organisations share an interest in the group?
  3. Are all organisations clear on how the group will meet and how often?