IPS has been successfully operating in New Zealand and Australia for some years, with the first randomised controlled trial conducted in Melbourne, Australia in 2005/06. The study found that those who received IPS services were more likely to find a job, work longer and for more hours per week than people who got jobs through the control vocational services.
In 2014, a large scale study across four Australian sites was published, comparing IPS services with non-integrated disability employment services.The study found that participants in the IPS services were 2.4 times more likely to get a job, however these sites did not reach the expected outcomes that were being achieved in the United States. The findings of this study, and experience of setting up IPS services in the UK and Europe, highlighted the importance of providing implementation support to enhance the quality and effectiveness of IPS services.
The first Australasian pilot of adding in an implementation manager alongside an IPS service was begun in Auckland and Counties Manukau DHBs 2015 in partnership with Workwise, a non-government provider of employment support services.
The pilot found that having implementation support significantly improved the fidelity of IPS services, increased the number of people referred to and accepted onto the programme, improved clinicians’ attitudes towards the employability of people on their caseload and improved the outcomes services were achieving.