Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health)

These courses in Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health) and (Alcohol and Other Drugs) can help you further your career in community and mental health support services. It is designed for industry practitioners who are seeking to develop their understanding of this specialist area. With an emphasis on practical applications and work-related skills, the qualification provides graduates with the best possible results in terms of personal development and employment prospects.

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Please note: This course is now delivered fully online.

Level of study: What does Vocational mean?


Number of units: What are units?

20 units

How to enrol

  1. This is a restricted course. Enrolment is only available to students who have been accepted into this course.
Check eligibility
How to apply

Units in this course

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This qualification applies to workers providing services to clients in relation to mental health and alcohol and other drugs issues.

The qualification includes counselling, referral, advocacy and education/health promotion services

The qualification requires high level specialist knowledge, skills and competencies especially in regard to laws affecting clients, the range of services available to them and health issues related to mental health issues and alcohol and drug use and misuse.

You will be equipped to further your career and apply for more challenging roles such as an Alcohol and Drug Counsellor in a variety of settings. The course's teaching staff have extensive experience in their field, allowing them to provide practical knowledge and advice throughout the course. A focus on developing work related skills means successful employment outcomes for graduating students.

Career Outcomes

This course can enhance your employment prospects by preparing you for work within a wide variety of mental health/alcohol/other drugs counselling settings. Typical occupational titles include:

  • Alcohol and drugs worker
  • Community rehabilitation and support worker
  • Community support worker
  • Mental health outreach worker
  • Mental health rehabilitation support worker
  • Mental health support worker
  • Mental health community worker
  • Dual diagnosis worker

Pathways/ Articulation and pathways/ Career pathways

TAFE courses can be credited towards your OUA degree

Many OUA courses provide pathways through the qualifications needed to develop your career from TAFE Diplomas through to undergraduate Bachelors degrees and then on to the postgraduate qualifications:  Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Masters degrees. Your TAFE qualification may provide you with the eligibility to apply for a higher level course or can provide you with unit exemptions and credit towards your university degree.


Applicants must demonstrate their eligibility for this course to Gipps TAFE before enrolling in any units through OUA.

To gain entry into this qualification a candidate must:

1. Be recently appointed or currently working in a community support mental health and/or alcohol and other drugs work role and have a relevant recognised higher education or vocational education qualification at Certificate IV or above


2. Be recognised as competent, through a recognised training program or recognition process, against the core units of competency from one of the following qualifications (or equivalent):

CHC40512 Certificate IV in Mental Health

CHC40412 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs


3. Have sufficient work experience in the relevant sector to indicate likely success at this level of qualification in a job role involving:

  • The application of knowledge with depth in some areas and demonstration of a broad range of technical and other skills
  • A wide range of tasks and roles in a variety of contexts, with complexity in the range and choices of actions required
  • The exercise of discretionary judgement and decision making under general guidance.

How to Apply

Application process for the CHC50412 Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, other drugs and mental health).

Applications are due by Friday two weeks prior to the close of enrolment.

  1. Read information requirements

    • Select to apply for one or more courses listed on the application form, taking note of the eligibility criteria for each course. If you want to apply for a (restricted) course with a different university, you'll need to submit a separate application from the relevant course page.

    • Read all parts of the application form in advance:

      Receive a faster response by ensuring you have all the required information ready before you start. If you have a web account, sign in first to pre-fill personal details we already have for you on record.

      If you do not have a web account, you'll need to register one within the application form. Once you've registered an account, you'll then be signed in. From here you can choose to complete your application and submit it, or save and return to it later.

      Completing this application should take 15 to 20 minutes.

    • Need help completing your application? Contact us:

      If in doubt about any of the information required to support your application, the more information you can provide the better. If you have any academic queries including how to request credit transfer, contact GippsTAFE directly. For all other enquiries, contact us.

    • Next steps:

      After submitting your application, you should receive a confirmation email containing a copy of your application for your records.

      Your application will be assessed within 2-4 weeks, and if further information is required, we will contact you. Once your application has been assessed, we will be in touch via email to notify you of the outcome. At the latest this will be one week after the closing date for applications.

      If, after submitting your application, you wish to change your preferences or submit an additional document, please email apply@open.edu.au. Include your full name as it appeared on the application.

  2. Prepare supporting documents

    • Check that you have all the required documents, according to individual course requirements and your personal circumstances, specifically:

      1. Your curriculum vitae - required for entry into postgraduate courses only.
      2. Certified copies of academic transcripts - required in most cases but check course eligibility rules.
      3. A letter of recommendation from your employer on company letterhead - recommended for entry using work experience.
      4. Certified legal documentation - if you have changed your name e.g. a marriage certificate, deed poll name change certificate.
      5. Certified legal documentation - if you need to correct an error in your date of birth e.g. a birth certificate.
      6. English language test results - if your courses were not predominantly in English e.g. IELTS or equivalent test results.
      7. Official translations of any documents not in English.

      A "certified" copy is a copy bearing the recognised mark of a Justice of the Peace, Commission of Oaths or declarations, Public Notary or a Solicitor.

    • Create an electronic copy of your attachments:

      For each certified document, scan and save it on your computer. Save your curriculum vitae to your computer, then get ready to upload all documents in the form.

    • Do not send original documents as they will not be returned.

GippsTAFE_VET_Restricted_Application_Form (PDF, 172 KB)

PDF applications should be emailed to: apply@open.edu.au or faxed to: +61 3 8628 2989.

Special Requirements

Students will need access to a computer and an internet connection


Formative assessment is based on the activities throughout the unit. This is pivotal to the education experience and provides reinforcement of learning and must be in your own words. Summative assessment will be based on online questions and assignments and will provide the basis of your grade. This must also be in your own words with any references properly sourced.

Award Requirements

To qualify for the award of CHC50412 Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health) you must successfully complete 20 units.

The numbers of units to be undertaken may be reduced where a candidate is eligible for credit transfer through previous accredited training and presentation of appropriate statement of attainment in either Certificate IV in Mental Health or Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs.

Recognition of Prior Learning / Credit

Recognition of Prior Learning is a process that assesses the individual’s formal and informal learning to determine the extent to which that individual has achieved the required learning outcomes, competency outcomes or standards for entry to, and/or partial or total completion of, a qualification.

Applicants with relevant on-the-job experience or with successful completion of part of relevant units may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning. If you believe you may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning you will need to provide details of your relevant qualifications or experience in the Application form for the course.

The Recognition of Prior Learning/Credit section on each of the university course pages on the OUA website has information about credit or unit exemptions for your previous study at TAFE. The Eligibility section of some courses lists TAFE qualifications required before you can apply to be admitted to the course.

Further information is available from Credit for previous study

Course Structure

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CHC50408 Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health) - Core Total number of units to complete: 20 units
Unit code
Unit name
2013 Availability
Required Units: Complete the following 20 units
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If you would like to study this unit and enrol today, add it to your Study Cart. Alternatively if you are still exploring your options, you can save this unit to review later by clicking Save to Wishlist.

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