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CHC51115 Diploma of Financial Counselling

In this course you will gain the skills and knowledge required to work as a qualified financial counsellor within community services and community legal organisations, supporting people in need, providing 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.

The total number of units required for completion for the course is 17 units (14 core, 3 electives). Students may select 3 electives to best meet their workplace requirements.

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  • Duration2 years
  • DateEnrolments for 2020 open on February 1. (Participants can enrol at any time during the calendar year)
  • Delivery ModeOnline
  • Trainer(s) Carolyn Joy | Debbie Smyth | Fiona Hills | Sally McDonald
  • Fees$5100

    Further subsidies are available for The Salvation Army personnel.

Financial Counsellors work with people who have money and debt problems and provide free, impartial and confidential advice about all the options available to people in financial difficulty. Financial Counsellors are non-judgmental, offer emotional support at a time when people most need it, and understand that people are usually experiencing a number of other stresses when they are in financial difficulty. The role therefore requires Financial Counsellors to take a holistic approach.

Financial Counsellors require specific attributes to be effective when working with people who are often vulnerable and highly stressed. These include the ability to be empathetic, patient, dependable, flexible and curious.

Financial Counsellors need to show competency in a number of skills, including managing relationships with colleagues, clients and creditors; good communication skills; understanding the importance of cultural competency; and how to build rapport with clients. Good professional development can help nurture these competencies.

The CHC51115 Diploma of Financial Counselling is a nationally recognised qualification. This is a self-paced, online course and students have a maximum of 2 years to complete this course.

To ensure that you are well equipped for the Financial Counsellor’s role, this qualification also includes a mandatory 220 hours of work placement. Placement is a structured approach to learning in a financial counselling agency so that you can gain hands on experience by observing how Financial Counsellors operate. The required 220 hours must be undertaken in a financial counselling agency and overseen by a suitable work placement supervisor. A work placement supervisor must be a practicing Financial Counsellor or Rural Financial Counsellor with at least two years’ experience. 

Credit (or recognition) for modules/units may be granted based on previous learning, studies, work and/or life experiences. Please discuss this with our course coordinator when you enrol.

The total number of units required for completion for the course is 17 units (14 core, 3 electives). Students may select 3 electives to best meet their workplace requirements.

On graduation some of the career prospects could include roles as: 

- Generalist Financial Counsellor: Generalist financial counsellors who work in a variety of agencies that meet the requirements for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) exemption from a financial services or credit licence under ASIC class order 10/1063. Financial counsellors work across a variety of metropolitan, rural and remote settings. 

- Rural Financial Counsellor: Rural financial counsellors who undertake specialised financial counselling work that assists primary producers and rural small business owners in debt, and are employed in agencies funded for this purpose.

These agencies meet the requirements for the ASIC exemption from a financial services/credit licence by meeting the conditions of ASIC class order 11/926.


  • CHCADV001 Facilitate the interests and rights of clients

  • CHCADV005 Provide systems advocacy services

  • CHCCCS019 Recognise and respond to crisis situations

  • CHCCDE002 Develop and implement community programs

  • CHCCSL001 Establish and confirm the counselling relationship

  • CHCCSL002 Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills

  • CHCCSL003 Facilitate the counselling relationship and process

  • CHCCSL007 Support counselling clients in decision-making processes

  • CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people

  • CHCFIN001 Facilitate the financial counselling process

  • CHCFIN002 Identify and apply technical information to assist clients with financial issues

  • CHCFIN003 Develop and use financial counselling tools and techniques

  • CHCLEG002 Interpret and use legal information

  • CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice


  • AHCBUS506A Develop and review a business plan

  • AHCBUS508A Prepare and monitor budgets and financial reports

  • CHCCCS003 Increase the safety of individuals at risk of suicide

  • CHCCCS004 Assess co-existing needs

  • CHCCOM005 Communicate and work in health or community services

  • CHCCSM005 Develop, facilitate and review all aspects of case management

  • CHCFIN004 Provide rural financial counselling services

  • CHCGMB001 Assess the needs of clients with problem gambling issues

  • CHCGMB002 Provide counselling for clients with problem gambling issues

For information on what you could study after graduating from this course email or speak to our Course Coordinator who may be able to guide you.

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