Initial Assessment and Referral Decision Support Tool (IAR-DST)

Last updated 12 February 2024
Initial Assessment and Referral Decision Support Tool (IAR-DST)

What is the IAR-DST?

People seeking mental health support may present with a range of interrelated factors that can make it challenging to determine the most appropriate level of stepped care.

The Initial Assessment and Referral Decision Support Tool (IAR-DST) is an initiative of the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care. Used by Head to Health, the tool provides a standardised, evidence-based, and objective approach to assist GPs and other clinicians in determining the most appropriate level of care for a person seeking mental health support.

Brisbane South PHN is delivering training on the effective use of the IAR-DST and how it can be implemented into practice. 

Our training is designed to assist primary care professionals involved in the assessment and referral process, including GPs and other clinicians, intake teams, and commissioned mental health service providers. 

IAR-DST training is available online or in-practice

You can attend IAR group training workshops with the Brisbane South PHN either online or in person. Sessions are delivered in 2 hours online or in-person (may be split into smaller sessions to suit your availability).

Register for a training session

  • Visit our events page for upcoming training dates (type ‘IAR’ in the search box).

  • If you prefer in-person training, please contact the IAR team to arrange training at your practice. Email

Upon completing the training, GPs and GP Registrars will receive:

  • RACGP-approved activity or ACRRM-accredited activity hours

  • A one-off payment of $300 (GST excl.)*

    *Please note: Payment is not available for other medical staff or clinicians. Payment is also not available to GPs who have already received payment for their time from a Commonwealth-funded service (e.g., Adult Mental Health Centre, Aboriginal Medical Centre). Payment is available if GP attends training outside of their paid employment. Please email for further information.