Course Description

The CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling will teach you a range of therapy techniques that you can use to get the best result for your clients. It will also give you the skills necessary to communicate effectively, work within a case management framework, and to refer clients to other services when necessary. Upon completion of the counselling course, you will be job-ready and fully qualified for a career as a professional Counsellor.

Under the guidance of industry experts, you will learn:

  • The theory of core counselling methodologies used to assist clients and how to select and apply these on an individual basis.
  • The art of establishing and maintaining counselling relationships.
  • How to communicate effectively with clients and co-workers.
  • The knowledge and skills to work within a case management framework.

Studying Open Colleges’ CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling provides you with a great mix of theory and practice, ensures you get the most up-to-date training for in-demand treatment areas, and makes certain you are able to deal effectively with paperwork and case management.

Delivered by Open Colleges in partnership with industry leader Integrated Care & Management Training (ICMT), this course is perfect for caring individuals who want to make a meaningful difference in their clients’ lives.

This course is offered by Open Colleges on behalf of Integrated Care and Management Training.

Articulation pathway with Charles Sturt University:

Open Colleges has formalised articulation with Charles Sturt University. After graduation from this course you may wish to undertake the:

  • Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) and receive 18 months of credit transfer into a 3 year degree; OR

  • Bachelor of Social Work and receive 12 months of credit transfer into a 4 year degree.

Hoping to go to uni?

If you plan to enrol in a social science or social work degree with Charles Sturt University when you complete this course, you’d be entitled to apply for the Open Colleges $2,000 scholarship to spend however you like. You could use it to assist with your tuition fees, to buy textbooks or to stock up on supplies for your new course. The scholarship is sponsored by Open Colleges and is awarded exclusively to four Open Colleges students per year.


This course involves work placement that currently needs to be undertaken in Australia. More information available in our FAQs

Potential career outcomes

  • Case Worker
  • Counsellor
  • Intake Counsellor
Course number E1202
Qualification name CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling
Course duration Maximum 24 months
Delivery Method Online with Work Placement
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Case studies, Demonstrations, Knowledge tests, Portfolio of evidence, Presentations, Workplace assessments, Written reports
Awarded by
  • Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading learning content and undertaking a range of written assessments and engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 12 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 12 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate III level or higher; or
  • 3 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
  • Accessing and searching the internet
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites
  • Uploading documents through websites
  • Participating in online discussions
  • Compressing image files
  • Recording, compressing and uploading videos.

Physical requirements

The Counselling role demands prioritising situations and managing time. As a counsellor, you may experience stress and stress related symptoms due to interacting with clients in crisis. You will also be responsible for your own safety, as well as the safety of others.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Once you are enrolled in this course, you will receive access to the first Module, which contains the first set of units for the course. When you have successfully completed those units, you'll be given access to the next Module. Modules 1 to 8 have been released and are available. The below Modules will be available on the following dates:

  • Module 9 - September 2017
Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Provide intake counselling legally and ethically

  • Use a structured approach to counselling
  • Establish the nature of the helping relationship
  • Confirm the helping relationship
  • Identify and respond to legal requirements
  • Identify and meet ethical responsibilities
  • Contribute to workplace improvements

Working with diversity

  • Reflect on own perspectives
  • Appreciate diversity and inclusiveness, and their benefits
  • Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations
  • Promote understanding across diverse groups
  • Identify cultural safety issues in the workplace
  • Model cultural safety in own work
  • Develop strategies for improved cultural safety
  • Evaluate cultural safety strategies

Build the relationship with the client

Therapy covered in this module: Person Centered Therapy

  • Communicate effectively
  • Use specialised counselling interviewing skills
  • Evaluate own communication
  • Support clients to identify concerns
  • Support clients to work through concerns
  • Monitor the counselling process
  • Bring the counselling process to an end

Research and apply counselling theories

Therapy covered in this module: Solution Focused Therapy

  • Research theories of personality and human development
  • Link theories to own practice
  • Update and maintain knowledge of theoretical trends
  • Research learning theories
  • Analyse behavioural outcomes of different modelling and reinforcement influences
  • Formulate a program for change in a counselling context

Use counselling therapies to support people experiencing loss and grief

Therapies covered in this module: Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Person Centered Therapy

  • Select counselling therapies
  • Use counselling therapies
  • Evaluate use of counselling therapies
  • Recognise reactions to loss and grief
  • Engage empathically
  • Offer support and information
  • Care for self
  • Review support provided

Manage case plans for the delivery of problem gambling services

Therapy covered in this module: Narrative Therapy

  • Determine appropriate response to case management in accordance with organisation and legislative requirements
  • Conduct case management meetings
  • Develop an appropriate case management plan
  • Monitor and review case work activities and processes
  • Prepare for assessment
  • Conduct assessment
  • Develop a case plan with the client
  • Refer clients

Support victims of domestic violence

Therapy covered in this module: Acceptance Commitment Therapy

  • Identify imminent crisis situations
  • Address immediate safety concerns
  • Provide referral for crisis intervention support
  • Care for self
  • Adopt work practices that support interactions with those affected by domestic and family violence
  • Identify client needs
  • Respond to client needs

Support people with mental health issues

Therapies covered in this module: Solution Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

  • Assist clients to clarify goals and requirements
  • Explore options with clients
  • Support client to reach decisions
  • Establish respectful relationships with people with mental health issues
  • Determine the needs of people with mental health issues
  • Work with people with mental health issues to meet aspirations and needs

Reflect on and improve own practices

  • Reflect on own practice
  • Enhance own practice
  • Facilitate ongoing professional development



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Angela McGrath

Angela McGrath has worked as counselling psychologist for over 18 years. She has worked in a variety of settings including private practice, tertiary education and community mental health. Angela uses a variety of therapeutic approaches including; mindfulness, solution focussed, CBT, emotion focussed and psychodynamic techniques. Angela has a special interest in working with people who experience anxiety, depression, grief and loss, stress, parenting and relationship issues. In addition to individual psychological service Angela is an experienced trainer and presenter.

Clare Grange

Originally from England, Clare completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Anthropology, and also holds a Graduate Diploma of Counselling, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and an Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy. Clare is passionate about counselling and has worked in the field for over 15 years, including working as an EAP counsellor, Lifeline supervisor/counsellor, Mission Australia training co-ordinator, Australian College of Applied Psychology workplace co-ordinator and Beyondblue counsellor. She has also run a private practice. Clare is looking forward to working with students and sharing some of her experience.

Desley Creedy

Desley has been teaching and assessing Counselling and Community Services courses in private training colleges and in TAFE NSW, designing and developing accredited courses to Advanced Diploma level since 1989. Recognition Award: TAFE NSW Excellence in Teaching Award 2007
Qualifications: BA in Leisure Studies, including studies in Psychology, Social Psychology & Sociology. Advanced Certificate in Counselling & Psychotherapy, Certificate IV in Workplace Training & Assessment. 
Her experience working as a counsellor, psychotherapist and group facilitator includes trauma counselling, including sexual assault and post-abortion trauma, grief and loss, AOD/addictions, mental health, depression, anxiety, PTSD and psychosis, victims of crime and family issues.

Kelly Kaciuba

Kelly is a registered counsellor with 10 years’ experience in difference environments, both in Australia and the United States. Kelly has a Bachelor in Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Psychology. At present, Kelly is a private practitioner working with a broad range of clients, using online tools to help service remote community needs, among others. Kelly has travelled widely and has lived in several different countries including Pakistan, Hong Kong and Ghana in West Africa. This real-world experience enables her to be culturally and ethnically sensitive and allows Kelly to communicate effectively in difficult and emotionally charged situations. Kelly has a passion for counselling which she hopes to pass onto students.

Prameend Singh

Prameend is the CEO of the Inner East Social Housing Group where he has worked since 2006. He has also worked as an educator in the community services sector both in an online and classroom-based capacity, working with both domestic and international students. Prameend graduated from La Trobe University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Social Work and has worked as a front line social worker for much of his career, first working with Homeground Services and then with the North East Housing Service.

Sally Lewry

Sally is a counsellor with over 20 years’ experience in the field. A trained psychologist, she has completed qualifications in rehabilitation counselling, and holds a Master of Counselling. 

During her career Sally has spent time specifically working with domestic violence victims, abuse victims and perpetrators, and survivors of torture and trauma.

University pathway

Open Colleges has formalised articulation with:

Open Colleges has formalised articulation with Charles Sturt University. After graduation from this course you may wish to undertake the:

  • Bachelor of Social Science (Social Welfare) and receive 18 months of credit transfer into a 3-year degree, or 
  • Bachelor of Social Work and receive 12 months of credit transfer into a 4-year degree.

Case Management Society of Australia and New Zealand (CMSA)

Open Colleges is proud to announce its affiliation with the Case Management Society of Australia and New Zealand (CMSA).

CMSA is the national registration and regulatory body for Certified Case Managers, and is also the peak body for professionals employed in case management roles within Australia and New Zealand.  

As a result of this affiliation, students now have unlimited access to CMSA’s Tertiary E-Resource Library, which includes:

  • National Standards of Practice for Case Management, 3rd Edition 2013
  • National Code of Ethics for Case Management, 2nd Edition 2013
  • National Self-Assessment for Case Management Practice Handbook, 1st Edition 2015
  • National Skill Set for Effective Case Management in Australia and New Zealand: Skills Workbook

This means that you will not only be able to gain a thorough insight into the core skill of case management in the health and community services industry, but also have fantastic learning resources to turn to when doing course assessments!

Hoping to go to uni?

If you plan to enrol in a social science or social work degree with Charles Sturt University when you complete this course, you’d be entitled to apply for the Open Colleges $2,000 scholarship to spend however you like. You could use it to assist with your tuition fees, to buy textbooks or to stock up on supplies for your new course. The scholarship is sponsored by Open Colleges and is awarded exclusively to four Open Colleges students per year.

The course contains a minimum of 160 hours of work placement

You will need to secure your own Work Placement, however Open Colleges can provide advice and direction through our Work Placement Support Team.

There are a number of statutory checks that may be required by workplaces, such as a National Police Check, Working with Children Check (or state equivalent), a First Aid Certificate and signing of a Confidentiality Agreement and Code of Conduct. These may vary by state. In addition, individual workplaces may impose additional requirements on students undertaking work placement. You will be responsible for the costs of any such checks or requirements.

Your work placement will need to be completed in Australia, and you will be responsible for the costs of any travel, accommodation, statutory checks or other requirements related to your work placement.

Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197). The testamur will be issued by Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd.

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