Diploma of Community Services CHC52021


Our nationally accredited CHC52021 Diploma of Community Services is perfect for those who enjoy helping people and would like to take the next step in their career by pursuing an exciting leadership role. The booming community services industry needs more workers, so get ready to enter a highly rewarding sector with the ability to specialise in a variety of directions today.

Course Breakdown


CHC52021 Diploma of Community Services

Course duration: Self-paced - maximum of 24 months

Recommended hours per week: 15h

Qualification level: Diploma

Delivery method: Online with Work Placement

Awarded by: Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197)


Industry Overview

According to Job Outlook, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business, the demand for Welfare Support Workers, which includes Community Workers, is expected to grow moderately (25.2%) over the next 5 years (2021-2026).

Source: [Accessed 2/11/23]

Is this course for you?

Learners may choose to enrol in the CHC52021 Diploma of Community Services as an entry point to youth work or to be able to apply for positions at a supervisor or manager level. Alternatively, they may undertake the qualification as a pathway to the CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling.

This qualification reflects the role of community services workers involved in the delivery, management and coordination of person-centred services to individuals, groups, and communities.

At this level, workers have specialised skills in community services and work autonomously within their scope of practice under broad directions from senior management.

Workers support people to make change in their lives to improve personal and social wellbeing and may also have responsibility for the supervision of other workers and volunteers. They may also undertake case management and program coordination.

If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation. You may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and complete your studies faster. Please note - limitations do apply.

What you will learn

During this course, you'll learn how to:

  • Develop workplace communication strategies
  • Work with diverse people
  • Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
  • Manage legal and ethical compliance
  • Maintain work health and safety
  • Analyse impacts of sociological factors on people in community work and services Establish and confirm the counselling relationship
  • Facilitate the counselling relationship and process
  • Assess co-existing needs
  • Work with people with mental health issues
  • Develop and implement service programs
  • Confirm developmental status
  • Provide case management supervision
  • Facilitate and review case management
  • Recognise and respond to crisis situations
  • Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence
  • Identify and respond to children and young people at risk
  • Facilitate workplace debriefing and support processes
  • Provide first aid
  • Reflect on and improve own professional practice

Learning Material

Your learning materials are accessed through our online platform OpenSpace. These learning materials include:

  • Learning content
  • Media
  • Additional resources
  • Practice activities

Your trainer


Academic Information

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.

Diploma of Community Services

Develop workplace communication strategies
  • Develop communication strategies
  • Establish communication protocols
  • Promote the use of communication strategies
  • Review communication practices
Work with diverse people
  • Reflect on own perspectives
  • Appreciate diversity and inclusiveness, and their benefits
  • Communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and situations
  • Promote understanding across diverse groups
Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
  • Identify cultural safety issues in the workplace
  • Model cultural safety in own work
  • Develop strategies for improved cultural safety
  • Evaluate cultural safety strategies
Manage legal and ethical compliance
  • Research information required for legal compliance
  • Determine ethical responsibilities 
  • Develop and communicate policies and procedures 
  • Monitor compliance
  • Maintain knowledge of compliance requirements
Maintain work health and safety
  • Contribute to workplace procedures for identifying hazards and controlling risks
  • Implement policies and procedures into work team processes
  • Support consultation, cooperation and communication
5/ modules
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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

We understand that you may already have many skills and areas of expertise that you have obtained in different ways and these are recognised through our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

Our Credit Transfer & Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, available in the Key Student Information section of our website, provides more information about our RPL process. Alternatively, you can contact an Enrolment Consultant to discuss your RPL options.

Course Duration

The duration for the course is maximum 24 months. As a self-paced online course, the time it will take you to complete is flexible and dependent on ability and time available.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

There are no mandated training package entry requirements for this qualification. There are no mandatory Open Colleges entry requirements. It is also recommended that students:

· Are 18 years old at the time of placement.

· Have language, literacy and numeracy skills that ensure the ability to:

o work independently and initiate and use support from a range of established resources,

o Locates, analyses, integrates and applies relevant information from a range of sources Applies research skills to obtain specific information using a range of documents, then summarises the data collected to produce a written report

o reads and discusses data from simple charts or tables provided

o These skills are equivalent to those that would be required to successfully work at and ACSF Level 4 or have previously completed a Certificate IV level qualification.

· Access to a modern computer with high-speed internet

· Access to Microsoft office or equivalent

· Basic computing skills including the ability to make a short video.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

It is recommended that a student achieves the following ACSF levels to successfully complete this course and be able to learn effectively in an self-paced online environment:

· Reading, Writing – Working at a Level 4

· Numeracy – Working at a Level 3

If students are concerned about whether they have the skills to complete the course, they will be referred to admissions as part of the enrolment process to complete a formal LLN assessment through BKSB. If the student does not achieve the recommended ACSF levels their application will be sent to the Education Manager to determine if Open Colleges has the required level of support services available to support the needs of the student. In some cases, the student may be referred to an external provider such as their local TAFE to complete additional foundation skills training before being enrolled into the course.

Additionally, if a student does not indicate that they may need an LLN assessment, students will also be referred by Enrolment Consultants for an LLN assessment for any of the below identified triggers:

· Does not meet the recommended entry requirements for study

· Has not completed any study in the past

· Puts another person on the line to talk on their behalf

· Not able to answer questions without being prompted by a third party in the background

· Having difficulty understanding questions asked of them

· Responding to questions with answers that don’t match the question asked

· That they need help with English or is unsure if they need help with English

· Chooses “Not very well”, “Not at all”, or “Not provided” to the “English Proficiency” question

· Student has concerns they may not understand the course content doing it online

· Student found the training and/or assessment component of a course at the same AQF level or lower difficult to complete · They needed a lot of one-on-one time with their trainer during previous study

· They needed their trainer to explain concepts to them before they were able to understand.

Physical Requirements

Have the physical ability to kneel down on the floor and apply CPR.

Tools and Equipment

To successfully complete their studies, learners will need access to the following resources and equipment.

· computer with access to the internet.

· digital recording device to record simulated role-play tasks for submission.

· tripod to provide a stable and secure platform to mount the digital recording device.

· a simulated environment that reflects workplace conditions for role-play with suitable facilities and equipment including tables and chairs for meetings.

· up to 3 people to support you in the role-play. For some role-play scenarios, this may include people from diverse backgrounds. It is the responsibility of the learner to find suitable role-play participants.

· persons approved of by relevant local First Nation community elders.

· opportunities for engagement with real people utilising community services

Additional Work Placement Requirements

Students who are not currently employed at an appropriate workplace are required to find a host organisation to undertake work placement. Depending on the nature of the individual workplace, the student may need to undertake this at more than one workplace.

While undertaking their training and assessment in industry, the student must abide by the policies and procedures of the workplace. The workplace may require the student to meet workplace specific requirements. These will vary by state and by organisation. Some of the statutory checks and requirements the student may need to provide to commence work placement are:

  • Police Check 
  • NDIS Worker Screening 
  • Working with Children Check 
  • Occupational Assessment 
  • Screening and vaccination against infectious disease, including COVID-19 
  • Signing of Codes of Conduct and Confidentiality Agreements
  •  First Aid Certificate 
  • Psychological testing

Students are able to link their NDIS worker screening and blue card to Integrated Care and Management Training. Students are provided a link on how to do this in Open Space in the FAQs.

The cost of obtaining any of above is at the cost of the student and will vary based on the student’s location and their personal circumstances. The costs will range between $50 - $250 per requirement.


Work Placement

This course contains a minimum of 240 hours of work placement.

What are the benefits?

  • By undertaking a work placement you’ll get a chance to put the knowledge you’ve learned on your course into practice.
  • You’ll also develop practical, on-the-job skills and could make contacts that could help you find a job once you graduate.
  • Work placement is often the most rewarding part of a student’s course. Working face-to-face with clients and colleagues in your chosen field makes a huge difference to your career confidence.

How do I find a work placement?

You’ll need to find a work placement yourself and ensure it’s approved by Open Colleges. When looking for a suitable work placement host organisation, have a think about the following:

  • Are you already working or volunteering in the industry your course is related to? You could potentially do your work placement at your current place of work or have contacts that could recommend a suitable work place. Ask around!
  • If you’re entering a new industry, do some research and start thinking about organisations you could approach. We have plenty of resources available to help with approaching and finding a suitable work placement organisation.

Cost of work placement

All costs of work placement, including any placement fees charged by the host organisation (whether to the student or Open Colleges), cost of statutory checks and vaccinations, travel, accommodation, and uniforms are the responsibility of the student. These fees will vary and are dependent on your location within Australia.

  • Costs for statutory checks will range between $50 - $250 dependent on the type of check you select and your state.
  • Costs for vaccinations will very between practitioners, please refer to your GP for approximate costs.
  • Placement fees will vary, please discuss this with your intended host organisation for approximate costs.

Host organisation

The Host Organisation needs to be able to provide the student with access to equipment and resources necessary to undertake Workplace Assessments. The host organisation must be operating in accordance with Commonwealth and State or Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.

Examples of suitable workplaces are:

· Home and Community Care

· Disability Support

· Homelessness Support and Social Housing

· Mental Health Services

· Foster Care and Out of Home Care

· Child Safety and Support

· Employment Services (government funded and community based services only)

· Family and Domestic Violence Services

· Community Education

· Youth Support

Students are required to complete a minimum of 240 hours of placement. This enables them sufficient time to practice the skills they have learnt and get familiar with their organisations ways of working before commencing their assessment tasks.

These 240 hours are split into two sections

· 40 hours – attributed to workplace learning

· 200 hours – attributed to workplace assessment

For students that are already working in industry and completing placement with their current employer, this may be reduced to 200 hours. To be eligible for this reduction existing workers must be able to provide a job description that shows they are employed in a relevant job role and a recent payslip to show that their employment is current. These documents should be provided as part of the workplace approval process. The reason for this reduction is that existing workers can practice during their work time and are already familiar with the organisations policies and procedures.


Please note that your host organisation may require you to provide an up to date immunisation history prior to the commencement of your work placement. Open Colleges has no control over this requirement so if you are unable to provide this, you will need to discuss it with your intended Host Organisation.

It should also be noted that some immunisations, such as Hepatitis B and COVID-19, need multiple injections to be administered over a specific time period before you are deemed immune. It is important that you consult with your GP as soon as possible to avoid delays in starting your work placement.

Supervisor requirements

Workplace supervisors are required to have 3 years experience in the community services sector with at least 1 year experience as a supervisor and/or any of the following qualifications

· Diploma of Youth Work

· Diploma of Community Services

· Bachelor of Social Services

· Any other community services based degree or qualification

Open Colleges may need to obtain further evidence to show confirm that the supervisor has the skills and experience to sign off on the required tasks.


Study and pay, your way

Payment Options

Pay Upfront
Save 35%
$5,018.00 Save $2,702.00
was $7,720.00
Week to week
Pay as you go
Save 11%
Pay in 88 instalments over the length of your course.
$77.50 Weekly
Total course cost: $6,820.00
was $7,720.00
Full course breakdown

Studying online with Open Colleges

Flexibility - study at your own pace

When you study online with Open Colleges you’re in control.

You can choose to complete your course quickly, or keep to a steady pace. Learning is fully flexible so you can fit your everyday commitments around your studies.

Everything you need to study is online so you can study wherever you like – but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own.

OpenSpace is our online learning platform. It’s where you’ll go to access your learning materials, contact your expert trainers and assessors and upload your assessments.

What is OpenSpace?

It’s important to us that we deliver a superior, online learning platform that meets our students’ needs. That’s why we have upgraded to our brand new, custom-designed learning platform, OpenSpace.

OpenSpace provides you with a user-friendly interface, that is mobile responsive. This means that you can complete your coursework using your laptop, iPad, or mobile device. All coursework is automatically saved, providing you with the flexibility you need to complete your studies anywhere, anytime.

How to get support?

Learning Support

The learning support team will be with you every step of the way, from enrolment to graduation. They’re here to help you get the most out of your online course. They can assist by providing non-academic support - like helping you craft an achievable study plan so that you can graduate in a realistic timeframe. If you’re finding it tough to stay motivated throughout your course, they’ll be there to help keep you on track.

Student support

The Student Support team is your one-stop service centre for all student administrative issues – including enrolment, change of contact details, OpenSpace support, assessment results and certification.

You can access the Student Support team by email or phone

Diploma of Community Services

How would you like to pay for your course?

With Open Colleges, you can start your course orientation today. Select your preferred payment option & we’ll provide you with the next steps for enrolling with us.
  • Save 11%

    Total course cost: $6,820.00 was $7,720.00

    Paid weekly, over the length of your course.

  • Save 35%

    Total course cost: $5,018.00 was $7,720.00

    Get the best value when you pay upfront