Work effectively in the community sector

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in a community work or service delivery setting with communities, clients, carers, staff, visitors, suppliers and others to meet established work requirements


This unit applies to work in a range of community work or service delivery settings such as:

specific communities

community, regional or remote service provider

department of a large institution or organisation

specialised service or organisation

private provider

non government services

Application of this unit should be contextualised within the qualification in which its is being delivered to reflect specific workplace requirements and practices


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Work ethically

1.1 Follow ethical guidelines in decision-making in all work undertaken with an awareness of potential ethical complexity in own work role

1.2 Reflect understanding and compliance with the principles of duty of care and legal responsibilities in all work undertaken

1.3 Refer any breach or non adherence to standard procedures or adverse event to appropriate personnel

1.4 Maintain confidentiality of any client matter in line with organisation policy and procedure, regulatory requirements and/or code of practice

1.5 Show respect for rights and responsibilities of others through considered application of work practices

1.6 Reflect current working knowledge and understanding of employee and employer rights and responsibilities in all work undertaken

1.7 Recognise, avoid and/or address any conflict of interest

2. Communicate effectively in a community work or service delivery setting

2.1 Develop, review and revise personal skills in communication as an ongoing priority to address work role requirements

2.2 Exercise caution in communicating personal information by oral and written means to ensure confidentiality of client and staff matters

2.3 Routinely apply workplace protocols and procedures in all workplace communication to support accuracy and understanding of information provided and received

2.4 Recognise individual and cultural differences and make any adjustments in communication needed to facilitate the achievement of identified outcomes

2.5 Conduct interpersonal communication with clients and colleagues in a manner that enhances a person-centred or community-centred approach consistent with work role requirements

2.6 Take appropriate measures to resolve conflict and interpersonal differences in the workplace

3. Work effectively within the community services system

3.1 Develop knowledge of different sectors involving community work and/or service delivery and how inter-relationships between these sectors affect own work

3.2 Work with awareness of the roles of various organisations involved in community work and/or service delivery

3.3 Demonstrate respect for workers from different sectors, levels and agencies within the industry

3.4 Gain and maintain awareness of current issues influencing community work and/or service delivery, including issues for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

4. Demonstrate commitment to relevant values and philosophy underpinning work in the sector

4.1 Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the underpinning values and philosophy of the sector and the work area

4.2 Demonstrate a commitment to access and equity principles in work in the sector

4.3 Identify personal values and attitudes and take into account when implementing work activities

5. Maintain work standards

5.1 Identify relevant organisation policies and procedures relating to awards, standards and legislative requirements of own work role and clarify any uncertainties with appropriate personnel

5.2 Contribute to identifying and implementing improved work practices

5.3 Comply with relevant accreditation and standards applying to work undertaken

5.4 Demonstrate understanding and focus on achieving organisation goals and objectives in all work undertaken

5.5 Respond positively to changes to improve work practices and procedures in accordance with organisation requirements

5.6 Identify issues requiring mandatory notification and report to supervisor and/or an appropriate authority

5.7 Reflect and identify own scope of practice within each work context

6. Take responsibility for personal skill development

6.1 Seek advice from appropriate persons on areas for skill and knowledge development

6.2 Identify options for accessing relevant skill development opportunities and initiate action in consultation with manager

6.3 Undertake designated skill and knowledge development and maintenance activities of the organisation

6.4 Identify and prioritise personal work goals in accordance with organisation requirements

7. Reflect on own practice

7.1 Undertake self-evaluation in conjunction with supervisors and/or peers

7.2 Provide and receive open and evaluative feedback to and from co-workers

7.3 Actively seek constructive feedback relevant to work role and accept it non-defensively

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

Awareness of own biases, beliefs and emotional issues

Basic knowledge of contemporary employment terms and conditions in the workplace

Broad knowledge of legal and ethical framework in community work and/or service delivery, including:

occupational health and safety (OHS)

access, equity and anti-discrimination


responsibilities in relation to child protection and other mandatory reporting requirements where relevant

Broad understanding of relevant organisation procedures, policies, awards, standards and legislation and how to access them

Contemporary approaches to work in the industry, associated rationales and supporting behaviours

Current issues facing people and the sector

Knowledge and understanding of professional boundaries and need to refer appropriately

Meaning of duty of care, confidentiality of information and ethical decision-making in relation to specific work role duties and responsibilities, as well as understanding of what constitutes a breach of these and potential ramifications of such a breach

Organisation procedures relating to:

safety issues and prevention in community services work, including basic home fire safety

emergency response


Own responsibilities within the workplace

Purpose of accreditation process and quality improvement practice and their application in specific work area

Relevance of the work role and functions to maintaining sustainability of the workplace, including environmental, economic, workforce and social sustainability

Role, function and objectives of the organisation, and relevance to specific work role

Understanding of difference and diversity in relation to individual needs, discrimination and social vulnerability

continued ...

Essential knowledge (contd):

Values, principles and ethics underpinning work in the sector including:

holistic and person-centred support and services

community work

people's needs and rights including duty of care

principles of access and equity and human rights

principles of client safety

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Demonstrate knowledge of the ramifications of breaches of duty of care, confidentiality, ethical guidelines and other relevant policies and legislation

Identify own responsibilities and role within the workplace

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

Accurately follow organisation procedures relevant to own role

Address safety issues relevant to own work role

Apply decision-making and problem solving skills as required to constructively achieve identified outcomes in line with work role

Communicate effectively about the importance of issues relating to environmental responsibility and sustainable practice and opportunities to address them

Demonstrate interpersonal communication with people

Demonstrate functional literacy skills needed for written and oral information about workplace requirements

Demonstrate communication skills as required by specific work role, including:

interpreting and following verbal and/or written instructions

seeking clarification of tasks

providing information

reporting incidents in line with organisation requirements

Participate in appropriate professional development activities on an ongoing basis, including:

maintaining own skills and knowledge and ongoing development

being open to learning new ideas and techniques in a range of settings

sharing workplace information with others

Use initiative in responding to challenging situations and individuals

Work as part of a team or as a sole worker

Work in a non-judgemental manner

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

This unit is most appropriately assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace setting under the normal range of workplace conditions

Consistency in performance should consider the work environment, worker's role and responsibilities in the workplace

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

Assessment should relate to an identified work role and associated workplace conditions

Resources essential for assessment include any documents specific to the work context such as:

instructions for the use of equipment

specific instructions for staff

emergency response procedures

fire safety policies and procedures

security procedures

relevant accreditation standards

waste management policies and procedures

Method of assessment:

In cases where the learner does not have the opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment, the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations, projects, previous relevant experience or oral questioning on 'What if?' scenarios

Assessment of this unit of competence will usually include observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questioning on Essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes

Where performance is not directly observed and/or is required to be demonstrated over a 'period of time' and/or in a 'number of locations', any evidence should be authenticated by colleagues, supervisors, clients or other appropriate persons

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Requirements of own work role may include:

Accreditation standards

Individual awards and benchmarks

Legislation relevant to work area

Level of responsibility

Organisation guidelines

Organisation policy on confidentiality may relate to:

Access to records

Destruction of records

Release of information

Storage of records

Verbal and written communication

Organisationpolicies, protocols and procedures refer to:

Guidelines and practices to be applied in the work role, such as:

Formal, documented guidelines of an organisation

Informal practices used by an organisation or individual owner/operator

Organisation procedures, policies, awards, standards and legislation may relate to:

Accreditation and service provision standards of other relevant industry organisations

Current Australian standards

Employment and vocational training standards

Federal and state legislation

Quality management policy and practice

Sector specific legislation and standards, for example:

home and community care standards

aged care accreditation standards

disability service standards

housing regulation and standards

Service delivery standards

Client may include

Communities or groups

Family, carers, significant others, legal guardians

Individual person

Stakeholders and representatives may include:


Community organisations

Families and care givers

Friends, peers and target group

Government representatives and service providers

Local community

Management, colleagues, supervisor, team members

Peak bodies and networks in the sector



Different sectors within community services may include but are not limited to:

Aged care

Alcohol and other drugs

Child protection

Children's services

Community development

Community work

Disability services

Employment services

Family and domestic violence

Home and community care


Mental Health

Youth work and juvenile justice

Different models of work in the sector may include:


Case management

Community development

Community education


Inter-agency approach



Service delivery

Working with families

Values and philosophy underpinning work in the sector may include:

A holistic and person-centred approach, embracing:

promotion of well being of staff, clients and communities

early identification of problems

delivery of appropriate services

commitment to meeting the needs and upholding the rights of people

commitment to empowering the person and/or the community

ethical behaviour

preventative strategies

exercise of responsibilities and accountabilities within the context of duty of care for clients

A commitment to access and equity principles must be demonstrated by:

A non-discriminatory approach to all people using the service, their family and friends, the general public and co-workers

A person-centred approach includes:

Putting people and carers at the centre of service delivery

When the person is a child or young person, service delivery strategies may need to be modified to ensure child safety and provide a child friendly, supportive environment

Including people in decision-making relating to their care

Involving people in discussions about service delivery options and issues

Obtaining the person's consent to examine, treat or work with them

Effective customer service

Listening to and addressing complaints within scope of own work role

Employee rights and responsibilities may relate to:

Adherence to OHS

Attendance requirements

Confidentiality and privacy of organisation, client and colleague information

Duty of care responsibilities

Leave entitlements

Obeying lawful orders

Organisation policies and procedures

Protection from discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace

The right to union representation

Issues requiring mandatory notification may include:

Issues defined by jurisdictional legislation and/or regulatory requirements

Issues specifically identified by under organisation policies

Protection of children and others identified to be at risk

Identifying and implementing improved work practices may include:

Application of safety practices, including for work in a range of contexts, such the person's home

Assessing/observing/measuring environmental factors

Checking equipment

Developing and implementing child safe, child friendly resources, environment and work tools to support staff and volunteers working with people under 18 years of age

Monitoring tasks

Reporting and implementing suggested improvements

Responding to surveys and questionnaires

Seeking and addressing customer feedback

Basic home fire safety includes knowledge of:

Behaviour that may contribute to fire injury and/or fatality

High fire risk groups

Optimum placement of smoke alarms

Referring client for smoke alarm installation and maintenance

Role of a working smoke alarm

Smoke alarm testing and cleaning

Types of smoke alarms

Employer rights and responsibilities may relate to:

Enterprise workplace agreements

Legislative requirements for employee dismissal i.e. Workplace Relations Act

Legislative requirements to provide a safe work environment free from discrimination and sexual harassment (see State and Commonwealth anti-discrimination legislation)

Relevant State and Territory employment legislation i.e. wage rates, employment conditions

Designated skill and knowledge development may, for example, relate to:

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation emergency response and notification protocols

Child protection

Communication, conflict resolution

Cultural awareness

Customer service, including the provision of a child friendly environment that values, respects and welcomes children and young people

Discrimination, harassment and bullying in the workplace

Fire emergency response procedures for notification and containment of fire, use of fire fighting equipment and fire safety procedures

First aid

Formal and informal resolution of grievances

Hazard control

Manual handling


Quality improvement policy and practice

Security procedures

Waste management


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable