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Diploma of Community Services


Diploma of Community Services CHC52015

Course Overview

The Diploma of Community Services is the recognised qualification to work in a number of roles in the Community Services industry.

Make a real difference in the community, working to improve people's lives. Learn from industry-qualified, experienced trainers, and undertake a work placement through our partnerships with local community services.

Students will gain skills in coordinating and delivering services to individuals, groups, and communities.

This course is available as part of the Free TAFE scheme as well as the JobTrainer initiative, for eligible students.

Please note: the information on this page is relevant for 2022 enrolments.

Studying during COVID-19 Restrictions

During COVID‐19 lockdown periods, this course will have the majority of the training delivered using online methods of teaching and communication while students engage from home with their trainers. Any required practical components of the course will be moved to a more appropriate time later in the year.

Career Pathways

This course prepares you to work in the Community Services industry. Roles students may be eligible for include:

  • Family Support Worker
  • Welfare Worker
  • Community Services Worker
  • Case Worker or Manager
  • Early Intervention Worker
  • Pastoral Care Counsellor
  • Senior Youth Officer/Chaplain

At this level, workers have specialised skills in community services and work autonomously under broad directions from senior management. Workers are usually providing direct support to individuals or groups of individuals.

Working in this industry:

  • may involve supervision of other workers and volunteers and/or case management, program coordination or the development of new business opportunities and may involve shift and weekend work.
  • usually requires a Working With Childrens Check and Police check.

Further Study

After graduating, you might like to undertake further study in Community Services at the university level, such as the Bachelor of Community Services or a Masters in Social Work at LaTrobe University.

Course Dates & Times

Currently there are no upcoming sessions available for this course. To register your interest in this course, click the "Register Your Interest" button at the top of this page.

1. Subsidised Standard
2. Subsidised Trainee
3. Subsidised Trainee (Concession)
4. Full Fee
Course Materials
Student Services Fees (per year)

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding to eligible individuals.

Please note that the fees on this webpage, for this particular course:

  • are correct at the time of publishing for those enrolling in 2022 and may change without notice.
  • will be discussed with applications as part of the application process to ensure it is understood what is being paid for and which fee rates they may be eligible for.

Course Fees consist of 3 different components:

  1. Student Tuition Fee - cover the costs of training and assessment. These fees vary across courses and are calculated based on a rate per nominal hour enrolled in. The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. Circumstances may include:
    1. an individual’s eligibility for Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    2. an individual’s eligibility for concession rates on Victorian (Skills First) and Commonwealth government-funded training
    3. ineligible individuals who are required to pay the full fees for tuition and other costs.
  2. Material Fee - where applicable, cover the costs of classroom consumables, handouts and booklets, e-Learning resources and associated license access fees and excursions.
  3. Student Services Fee (SSF) - contributes to the provision of student engagement, learning and support services. SSF is a non-refundable annual fee that does not apply to short course participants.

Additionally, some courses require students to purchase or supply textbooks, kits, tools, uniforms and personal protection equipment. Some specific materials may be purchased through the GOTAFE Bookshop. A full list with associated costs will be provided to you at your course information session or during the pre-training review Interview.

GOTAFE offers a range of payment options to help you pay your fees.
Learn more about fees, charges, refunds and payment options

Training package entry requirements

There are no training package entry requirements for this qualification.

GOTAFE preferred entry requirements

Before being accepted into the course applicants must:

  • Complete a Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) online test to ensure the required literacy & numeracy levels for the course are met.
  • Undertake a Pre-training Review by interview to ensure the course suits their needs and aspirations, and that they are likely to complete the course successfully.
  • As a pathway into this qualification GOTAFE requires applicants to have successful completion of CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Services, or a similar specialised qualification or have relevant experience in the community services sector within the last 3 years.
  • Prospective Traineeship or Apprenticeship students are required to apply through an Apprenticeship Network Provider with their employer to organise their apprenticeship contract prior to applying for this course.

Students will be required to have access to the following in order to complete this course:

  • Access to a computer /device which allows access to virtual classrooms
  • Internet access

Working in this industry

It is a Community & Disability Services Industry/work requirement for staff to have the following

  • National Police Check for workers
  • WWWC (Working with Children’s Check for workers)
  • NDIS Credentials (NDIS Screening)

Students are advised that prior to placement, students are required to have:

  • National Police Check for workers, not less than 6 months old at time of commencement of placement
  • WWWC (Working with Children’s Check for workers) with at least 1 year before expiry
  • NDIS Credentials (NDIS Screening)
  • Psychological stamina to carry out work shifts and have empathy and resilience required for working with vulnerable clients
Core Units
Develop and implement service programs
Develop workplace communication strategies
Analyse impacts of sociological factors on clients in community work and services
Manage and promote diversity
Manage legal and ethical compliance
Facilitate workplace debriefing and support processes
Reflect on and improve own professional practice
Manage work health and safety
Elective Units
Provide advocacy and representation services
Assess co-existing needs
Implement community development strategies
Establish and confirm the counselling relationship
Coordinate complex case requirements
Develop, facilitate and review all aspects of case management
Undertake case management in a child protection framework
Confirm client developmental status
Implement trauma informed care
Identify and respond to children and young people at risk
Work collaboratively to maintain an environment safe for children and young people

There are no tests or exams in this course, there are between 32-36 assessment tasks which may include:

  • Role plays
  • Portfolios
  • Essays
  • Oral Presentations
  • Workplace observation/demonstration
  • Written tasks

Assessments are due 2 weeks after unit/cluster concludes.

There are no books required to be purchased to complete this course.

This course is currently registered with the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA).

The Training Package states the following:

  • The Statutory & forensic child, youth & family welfare specialisation must be achieved in order to meet the minimum education requirements for child protection and youth justice practice in Victoria. In addition, to meet the minimum education requirements for entry into child protection practice in Victoria, diploma qualifications must be approved by the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA)

This course is delivered full-time over an 18-month period. Students attend classes 2 days a week, with an additional support day with Trainer access provided.

There are remote/flexible study options available.

Details of attendance for on-campus delivery mode are as follows:

  • There is a weekly face-to-face, on-campus class (6hrs) & a weekly virtual class (6hrs)
  • On the day students attend their virtual webinar the trainer is available for the remainder of the day for 1:1 / small group training support.
  • In addition, students are expected to spend at least 6 hours per week working through their online course materials.
  • Research, revision, and completion of assessments are anticipated to take 8-10 hours per month.
  • A study plan will be provided to enrolled students, outlining the course structure
  • An induction to goLearn - LMS will be conducted

Details of attendance for the Traineeship delivery mode are as follows

  • 3 hours structured withdrawal from work during which time they can attend the weekly 3-hour webinar class.
  • learning materials are provided through goLearn, which can be worked through in their own time/during structured withdrawal.

RPL for placement hours:

  • Students are required to complete 400 hours into two separate placements, with not less than 140 hours in duration in any one placement, with each placement meeting the placement specifics as outlined in the ACWA course accreditation guidelines.
  • Students can apply for Placement RPL for 1 placement. (This is in relation to the additional placement hours mandated by the ACWA, not the mandated 100 hours as per the training package rules - Assessment RPL pathway would need to be applied for in this scenario.)

As this cohort is based in the workplace they have the following options available:

  • Option 1
    Placement 1: Apply for RPL for earlier or current work experience.
    Placement 2: Complete a fieldwork placement where the tasks, client group and supervision are different from the regular work undertaken by the student in their workplace.
  • Option 2
    Placement 1: Use existing workplace as one fieldwork placement.
    Placement 2: A fieldwork placement where the tasks, client group and supervision are different from the regular work undertaken by the student in their workplace.


  • Is organised by GOTAFE
  • prior to starting placement, students must ensure they have:
    • National Police Check for workers, not less than 6 months old at time of commencement of placement
    • WWWC (Working with Children’s Check for workers) with at least 1 year before expiry
    • NDIS Credentials (NDIS Screening)
  • This qualification has a mandated work placement of 100 hours as per the training package requirements.
  • As an ACWA accredited course this qualification requires a 400-hour work placement to meet accreditation requirements.
  • Completed over two blocks of 5 – 6 weeks full time (Mon – Fri), where the hours will vary according to the needs of the placement host and may involve shift work.

Please read the ACWA course accreditation guidelines which outline the placement specifics which need to be complied with.

Summary of placement requirements for ACWA:

Please read the ACWA course accreditation guidelines which outline the placement specifics which need to be complied with.

  • At least 400 hours duration in two separate placements, with students completing a minimum of 140 hours in one placement.
  • It must not occur in the first semester of the course to ensure students have been exposed to the underpinning practical and theoretical concepts prior to placement.
  • It must occur at least one term apart to ensure that appropriate classroom instruction occurs to facilitate adequate integration of learning and practical experience
  • It must occur for a minimum of two full days per week, working no more than eight placement hours per day during normal agency hours when agency staff are present
  • It must vary significantly, in context and role, between each placement and to occur in a different field of practice with a different agency supervisor.
  • It must have a formal written agreement prepared that details the tasks, roles and responsibilities to be undertaken by the student; this agreement must be signed at the beginning of the placement and signed off at the end of the placement by the student, the agency supervisor, the task supervisor (if applicable) and the fieldwork placement supervisor.

As an enrolled student at GOTAFE you may access a wide range of academic support services to assist you to meet the academic challenges of your course from our Learning Support Unit.

Learning support

A free and confidential service to help you build the foundation skills you need to be successful at TAFE. Improve your english language, maths and/or writing skills; enhance your computer, exam and study skills.

Learn more about our learning support services


Our library team are passionate about supporting students to achieve their study goals. They have subject guides, referencing help, and online resources to assist you with you assessments.

Find how to reach out to our library in Shepparton

Jobs and study options

Our Skills and Jobs Centres can assist and talk through options for courses, careers, assistance with job applications and more.

Reach out to our Skills and Jobs Centres

Whether you need support with time management, your mental health, grief and loss, a diagnosed disability, financial hardship, or any other challenge life through your way, we are here to help.

Support for personal issues

We have a dedicated team to ensure students have the help they need with personal issues impacting studies such as homelessness, family problems & setting up payment plans.

Find out how the Student Experience Team can help you

Disability support

Get access to the supports and adjustments you need for your disability or medical condition to be successful in your studies.

Seek support from our Equitable Learning Advisors

Counselling services

We offer free counselling services to help you work through life's challenges including grief and loss, mental health or relationships.

Learn about our Student Wellbeing Advisors

Refer to the Student Handbook for information regarding Learner’s Rights Student Handbook.

Further information is provided at course induction.

Please note: Eligible individuals who wish to access a government subsidised place, must participate in a Pre-training Review. This will consider your:

  • Aspirations/career goals
  • Educational attainment and capability
  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Suitability for Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer

Enrolment in general public entry courses will require a selection interview. Please call 1300 468 233 to enquire further.

Skills Recognition is an assessment only process that may result in credits towards a part or full qualification. There is no formal training involved, although you may choose to complete further training as a result of the assessment process.

You can apply for Skills Recognition before you enrol in the qualification you are seeking. You can apply for Skills Recognition through one or both of the following processes:

  • Credit Transfer for formal training that might be equivalent to a new qualification or partial qualification.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for people who have relevant and current skills and knowledge that they have gained through non-formal or informal learning i.e. work or life experience.

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