Back to accessibility links

CIAP Champion Program

Central Coast Local Health District
Project Added:
30 November 2012
Last updated:
9 October 2014

CIAP Champion Program

By Central Coast Local Health District


The project objective is to support clinicians to continually improve clinical practice through the introduction of a "CIAP Champion Program". The Clinical Information Access Portal (CIAP) is the NSW Health website of clinical information and resources to support evidence-based practice. The program aims to have at least one CIAP Champion on each ward/unit to support staff to use CIAP effectively at Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD).


It is the responsibility of all health professionals to practice within an evidence-based framework1,2. Access to clinical information and resources to support evidence-based practice (EBP) at the point of care is available to all staff working in the NSW public health system through the online CIAP3. CIAP is continually being developed and updated, therefore it is important that staff know how to navigate CIAP to get the best out of this resource. However, this can be a challenge in the busy clinical environment. The need for a designated, easily accessible CIAP resource person in the clinical setting was recognised and this was the impetus for the CIAP Champion Program.

The literature suggests that nurses use colleagues as a primary source of information.4 The program formalises what many staff are doing in their role currently, but provides them with support and training to do this more efficiently. Nominated Champions are recognised by all clinical staff in their ward/unit as the key resource person(s) to support the use of CIAP.

CIAP Champions Poster


The CIAP Champion Program was developed at CCLHD in late 2011 and implemented in 2012, with the initial focus on nursing, midwifery and allied health staff. The objective of the program is to support clinicians to continually improve their clinical practice. The steps to set up the program included:

  • Writing the Project Brief. This outlined the project aim; the role of the CIAP Champions; the recruitment process; the training and support provided; and the evaluation process
  • Defining the role of the CIAP Champion to include:
    • Promoting access and use of CIAP amongst colleagues
    • Continue learning how to navigate CIAP effectively, in order to direct staff to the most appropriate CIAP resource for their clinical question
    • Learning how to use database tools that facilitate managing search results and keeping up to date, for example, setting up personal accounts and Table of Contents Alerts
    • Assisting staff with troubleshooting (e.g. access issues)
    • Recognising how to use time most effectively, e.g. when to refer to Library Services staff for further support; requesting CIAP in-services
  • Presenting to the Directors of Nursing and Midwifery (DONMs), Operational Nurse Managers (ONM), Director of Allied Health, and Centre for Training and Development Manager to gain their support
  • Communicating (via email and flyer) with ONM/Nursing Unit Managers (NUMs) to invite them to nominate (or call for) at least one nurse/midwife to undertake the role as CIAP Champion(s) for their ward/unit. NUMs/Midwifery Unit Managers (MUMs) were asked to consider nominating CIAP Champions to support After Hours staff
  • Creating a pathway to becoming a CIAP Champion involving nomination, required attendance at a half-day workshop and provision of support resources
  • Promoting the program on the CCLHD intranet and regular updates in the CCLHD Newsletter
  • Posting notification of workshops via email and the Centre for Training and Development Handbook
  • Providing CIAP Champions with:
    • Training at a half-day workshop. The workshop aims to increase their confidence and competence in using CIAP nursing, midwifery and allied health resources; and to facilitate and enhance knowledge and skills in providing education and training to CIAP users. The workshop consisted of short sessions on various components of CIAP including:
      • Introduction and CIAP navigation
      • Medicines resources
      • Ovid databases
      • BMJ Best Practice and BMJ Learning
      • ProQuest
      • Online journals and books
    • Reflection for CPD (provided by CIAP staff) and presentations
    • An information package to support their learning. The package also includes promotional material to identify them as a CIAP Champion for their clinical area (ward poster; CIAP Champion badge; certificate)
    • Ongoing support provided by CCLHD Library Services including regular email CIAP updates and tips, in-services on request and troubleshooting
  • Maintaining an email communication list, intranet page and other supporting documentation
  • Evaluating the program via workshop evaluations and an online and hard copy survey

Outcomes and evaluation

Three workshops have been conducted since the program commenced in February 2012. The inaugural training workshop for CIAP Champions was held in February 2012. Forty-eight nurses, midwives and allied health staff attended the workshop to become our first CIAP Champions. This first workshop was a CIAP Introductory workshop conducted by CIAP staff on site at Gosford Hospital. Two further workshops were held in March and August 2012 and were conducted by the CIAP Champion Program team (Suzanne Lewis, Ingrid Tonnison and Jennie King). An individualised session was conducted for three midwives unable to attend the workshops.

To date, 95 nurses, midwives and allied health staff have completed their training as CIAP Champions. The participants were made up of:

Occupation No. of participants

Registered Nurses (RNs) / Midwives (RMs)


Clinical Nurse Educators / Continuing Medical Educators (CNE/CMEs)


Clinical Nurse Consultants / Clinical Midwifery Consultants (CNC/CMCs)


Clinical Nurse Specialist / Clinical Midwifery Specialist (CNS/CMSs)


Enrolled Nurses (ENs)


Nursing Unit Managers (NUMs)




Occupational Therapist


Social Worker


Speech Pathologist




Forty-eight out of 66 wards/units at CCLHD (72%) currently have at least one CIAP Champion.

Evaluation of the CIAP Champion Program has been conducted through workshop evaluations and via a follow-up survey of the CIAP Champions.

Workshop evaluation

CIAP Champions were invited to complete an evaluation survey where they could provide comments, experiences and suggestions for future workshops. All but five participants completed the workshop evaluation form.

Participants were asked, before and after the workshop, to rate their confidence in utilising CIAP resources:

  • 84 respondents (94%) reported that their confidence in using CIAP had increased post-workshop
    • 72 respondents now ranked themselves as confident
    • 12 respondents rated themselves at highly confident, in terms of confidence in using CIAP resources at the end of the workshop
  • 5 were unsure

Respondents identified a range of expectations from the workshop:

  • Overwhelmingly respondents wished to become more efficient at navigating CIAP
  • Most respondents wished to become more familiar with the range of resources available on CIAP
  • 22 respondents wished to teach others how to access and use CIAP effectively
  • 22 respondents wished to search a database more effectively.

In the post-workshop evaluation, respondents listed the most important gains from the workshop as increased navigation and searching skills, and increased awareness of the range of resources available on CIAP. The majority of respondents felt that their expectations at the beginning of the workshop had been met. 53 ranked themselves as very satisfied, and 34 as satisfied.

A high degree of post-workshop satisfaction and a significant increase in confidence were apparent as a result of the workshops.

CIAP Champion survey

A survey of CIAP Champions who attended the first two workshops (n=77) was conducted in July 2012 to follow-up their experience of the Program. An invitation to complete the survey was sent to all the CIAP Champions. Thirty-seven surveys were returned representing a response rate of 48%.

Awareness of CIAP Champions

The CIAP Champions reported that they raised awareness of their roles in the following ways:

  • 69% of respondents displayed the ward poster in their workplace
  • 51% used word of mouth
  • 57% used self-promotion
  • 14% were promoted by their manager
  • 40% wore their CIAP Champion badge.

CIAP usage

  • 71% of respondents had increased their use of CIAP since becoming a Champion
  • 86% reported that their skills in using CIAP resources had improved
  • All but one (36) respondents stated that staff in their workplace had easy access to a computer to use CIAP
  • The graph illustrates how frequently CIAP Champions had been asked by their colleagues for assistance with CIAP.
Graph of CIAP survey results

Graph of the question: how often have you been asked for assistance using CIAP because of your CIAP Champion role in the past month? Never=6, Once=11, 2-3 times=11, Once a week=8


Since becoming a CIAP Champion:

  • 63% reported that they had resolved a searching problem themselves if they encountered one while using CIAP
  • 57% had resolved a technical problem themselves
  • If in doubt, they were most likely to ring the hospital library, ring the CIAP 24 hour helpline or try again later.

Ongoing support

  • All but one (36) respondents read the emails sent to CIAP Champions from the CCLHD Libraries, and the majority (88%) stated that these were helpful and informative.
  • All respondents reported that they enjoyed their role as CIAP Champion.

Putting the role into practice

Respondents provided examples of how they had put their CIAP Champion role into practice in their workplace. These responses demonstrated that the Program has had a positive effect on clinical practice and professional development. Some examples are provided below:

"We have several AIN's studying to be RNs and they regularly ask for assistance to find information. I [also] arranged for library staff to do an inservice on CIAP use and … I will arrange another one with new staff starting soon."

"Promote CIAP as tool for staff to use in policy / procedure development. [There is] increased use of CIAP by colleagues, in particular two staff who I see looking for articles in any downtime in the lab."

"For evidence based care, when a colleague has a query I have been able to help, to provide consumer information. I have promoted the use of downloaded applications through CIAP on smartphones and iphones."

"[I] go with nurses to CIAP to look for answers when asked clinical questions, usually Nursing Consult."

"I was told by a member of staff that they were shown by the night ADON how to use the medication matrix and I had shown the night ADON the night before [on CIAP] so it was good to see that flow on of education."


The outcomes of this Program demonstrate that supporting clinicians to access and use evidence-based information at the point of care increases their confidence and leads to more effective use of these resources to support clinical care. The Program recognises the existing professional development efforts being made by staff and creates a pathway to formalise and improve this effort. Feedback from the participants is being used to develop further workshops, resources and training sessions.

Project team

  • Jennie King, Clinical Nurse Consultant Research
  • Suzanne Lewis, Manager Library Services
  • Ingrid Tonnison, Librarian
  • Executive sponsor: Jan-Maree Tweedie, Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery CCLHD.


  1. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council. National competency standards for the midwife. Dickson, ACT 2006 [updated January 2006; cited 18 September 2012].
  2. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council. National competency standards for the registered nurse. Dickson, ACT 2006 [updated January 2006; cited 18 September 2012].
  3. Clinical Information Access Portal. NSW Health Support Services; 2012 [cited 18 September 2012].
  4. Thompson, C., Cullum, N., McCaughan, D., et al. 2004. EBN notebook:
    Nurses, information use, and clinical decision making - the real world potential for evidence-based decisions in nursing. Evidence Based Nursing 7:3 p.68-72. doi:10.1136/ebn.7.3.68 


Manager Library Services
Central Coast Local Health District
Phone: 02 4320 3856

Central Coast Local Health District
Phone: 02 4320 2090

Search Projects

Browse Projects

Submit your local innovation
and improvement project