Diploma of Community Services (Financial counselling)

This qualification applies to financial counselling, which is a specialist service assisting people faced with debt and other financial issues. This work requires:

specialist knowledge, paralegal skills and competencies especially in regard to credit and debt issues affecting clients and their rights and obligations

solid understanding of social and systemic issues that impact on financial counselling clients.

It may be applied in casework, community development and social justice contexts.

Occupational titles may include:

Financial counsellor

Rural financial counsellor

Senior financial counsellor


This qualification is NOT related to the work performed by financial planners or financial advisers whose role is to provide clients with strategies to address their investment options

This qualification does NOT refer to therapeutic counselling Psychological issues, which affect individuals, families and groups such as gambling, substance abuse, child abuse, and mental or physical health problems require referral to a professionally qualified practitioner However, a recognition of, and an ability to work within, a counselling framework on the way in which other issues may interact with personal financial issues is highly relevant to financial counselling practice.



17 units are required for award of this qualification including:

11 core units

6 elective units

A wide range of elective units is available, including:

Group A OHS electives of which one unit must be selected

Group B electives of which one unit must be selected

Group C electives of which three units are required for rural financial couselling as specified below

Group D elective which is recommended for culturally aware and respectful practice

Other relevant electives listed below

Units of competency to address workplace requirements and packaged at the level of this qualification or higher in Community Services and/or Health Training Packages

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A wide range of elective units is available, including:

Where appropriate, to address workplace requirements, up to 3 units of competency packaged at the level of this qualification or higher in other relevant Training Packages or accredited courses where the details of those courses are available on the NTIS or other public listing

Core units

add topic CHCAD401D Advocate for clients

add topic CHCCD404D Develop and implement community programs

add topic CHCCS411B Work effectively in the community sector

add topic CHCCSL501A Work within a structured counselling framework

add topic CHCCSL502A Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills

add topic CHCCSL503A Facilitate the counselling relationship

add topic CHCCSL507A Support clients in decision-making processes

add topic CHCCSL509A Reflect and improve upon counselling skills (Note pre-requisites add topic CHCCSL501A , add topic CHCCSL503A , add topic CHCCSL507A )

add topic CHCFIN501A Identify and apply technical information to assist clients with financial issues

add topic CHCFIN502A Facilitate the financial counselling process

add topic CHCFIN503A Develop and use financial counselling tools and techniques

Group A OHS electives - one unit must be selected

One of the following OHS units must be selected for this qualification

add topic HLTOHS300B Contribute to OHS processes

add topic HLTOHS401A Maintain workplace OHS processes

Group B electives - one unit must be selected

One of the following units must be selected for this qualification

add topic CHCLEG411A Use relevant legislation in response to client needs

add topic CHCCS522A Address complex legal and ethical issues in professional practice (Note pre-requisite add topic CHCCS400B )

Group C electives - required for rural financial counselling as specified

add topic CHCFIN504A and two other electives from the list below are required for work in rural financial counselling.

add topic CHCFIN504A Work effectively in rural financial counselling (Note pre-requisites: add topic CHCFIN501A , add topic CHCFIN502A , add topic CHCFIN503A )

add topic RTE5523A Develop climatic risk management strategies

add topic RTE5902A Develop and review a business plan

add topic RTE5912A Plan and monitor production processes

add topic RTE5916A Prepare and monitor budgets and financial reports

The importance of culturally aware and respectful practice

All workers undertaking financial counselling work need foundation knowledge to inform their work with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and co-workers and with clients and co-workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This foundation must be provided and assessed as part of a holistic approach to delivery and assessment of this qualification. Specific guidelines for assessment of this aspect of competency are provided in the Assessment Guidelines for the Community Services Training Package.

Group D electives - recommended for culturally aware and respectful practice

Where work involves a specific focus on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and/or culturally diverse clients or communities, one or more of the following electives is recommended:

add topic HLTHIR403C Work effectively with culturally diverse clients and co-workers

add topic HLTHIR404D Work effectively with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

add topic PSPMNGT605B Manage diversity

Other relevant electives

Electives are to be selected in line with specified Packaging Rules. The following grouping of relevant electives is provided to facilitate selection and does not necessarily reflect workplace requirements. Electives may be selected from one or more groups. Employers may specify that certain electives are required to address specific workplace needs.

add topic CHCAD603A Provide systems advocacy services

add topic CHCCOM504A Develop, implement and promote effective workplace communication

add topic CHCLLN403A Identify clients with language, literacy and numeracy needs and respond effectively

add topic CHCMH301B Work effectively in mental health


add topic CHCMH411A Work with people with mental health issues

Case management

add topic CHCCM401D Undertake case management

add topic CHCCM402D Establish and monitor a case plan

add topic CHCCM503C Develop, facilitate and monitor all aspects of case management

Social housing

add topic CHCCH301B Work effectively in social housing

add topic CHCCH427A Work effectively with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness

add topic CHCCH428A Work effectively within the Australian housing system

add topic CHCCH522A Undertake outreach work

Problem gambling electives

add topic CHCGMB501A Work effectively in the problem gambling sector

add topic CHCGMB502A Assess the needs of clients with problem gambling issues

add topic CHCGMB503A Provide counselling for clients with problem gambling issues

Settlement work electives

add topic CHCSW401A Work effectively with forced migrants

add topic CHCSW402A Undertake bicultural work with forced migrants in Australia


    Not Applicable

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements

To gain entry into CHC52108 Diploma of Community Services (Financial counselling) it is recommended that candidates have sufficient relevant work experience to indicate likely success at this level of qualification in a job role involving:

The self-directed application of knowledge with substantial depth in some areas

The exercise of independent judgement and decision-making

The application of relevant technical and other skills.

Licensing Information

Not Applicable

Employability Skills

Refer to the Topic: Introduction to the Employability Skills Qualification Summaries