Course Title: Communicate effectively with clients

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: EMPL5918C

Course Title: Communicate effectively with clients

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4319 - Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice

Course Contact: Joshua Davies

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4333

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Paul Bailey

Nominal Hours: 30

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

This course is delivered concurrently with the following courses:

BSBCWOR203B Work effectively with others
HLTCOM405D Administer a practice
HLTHIR301C Communicate and work effectively in health
HLTCOM406C Make referrals to other health care professionals when appropriate

Course Description

This course covers the skills required by practitioners to establish and maintain effective communication with the client throughout all interactions and provide basic counselling as required and as appropriate to facilitate the treatment or health service being provided.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTCOM404C Communicate effectively with clients


1. Establish professional relationship with the client

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Evaluate practice to maintain a high standard of client service
1.2 Identify and respond to special needs of clients
1.3 Use effective communication with clients
1.4 Encourage clients to voice queries and/or fears and address these appropriately
1.5 Take into consideration cultural and personal factors when consulting or interacting with clients
1.6 Exercise discretion and confidentiality appropriately, outlining and explaining to clients boundaries of confidentiality as required
1.7 Define and apply boundaries of the practitioner/ client relationship


2. Provide effective response to client enquiries

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Present relevant information clearly and comprehensively and in sufficient detail to meet the needs of the enquirer
2.2 Select appropriate modes of communication to suit the enquiry and the purpose and context of the enquiry
2.3 Identify and acknowledge enquirer's expectations
2.4 Discuss any unresolved concerns or issues with enquirers
2.5 Make appointments for clients according to workplace guidelines


3. Respond effectively to difficult or challenging behaviour

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Plan responses to difficult or challenging behaviour and manage appropriately
3.2 Maintain professional integrity at all times


4. Use basic counselling skills as required to facilitate treatment

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Determine need for basic counselling
4.2 Provide basic counselling to facilitate treatment/ services when necessary and in accordance with practice specific guidelines
4.3 Record details of services provided according to workplace guidelines


Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

All class learning materials, notes and other key learning resources can be accessed via myRMIT at
A combination of activities will support student’s learning in this course, such as:
• Face-to-face &/or online lectures to cover theoretical and practical concepts for each topic in the course
• Students will learn to apply their skills and knowledge to work integrated learning (WIL) in the student & clinical practice environment, during simulations and classroom based learning
• Work experience &/or placements observation of performance in the workplace will be a valuable part of your learning experience
• Tutorial activities (individually and in teams) to discuss, debate, critique and consolidate your ideas and extend your understanding around key concepts within specific topics
• Online discussions and activities to support and collaborate with other students in your course and debate and discuss ideas
• Utilise and develop critical research and cognitive skills to find credible sources of health information
• Self-directed study time (eg. readings or activities around theory) to enhance and strengthen your knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts
• To further facilitate learning students are strongly encouraged to use a range of communication tools between themselves and their course instructor as well as between themselves and fellow students by using the online learning platform
• It is strongly recommended that students partner up with fellow students in order to practice assessment, treatment and palpation techniques

Teaching Schedule

Week 6  17/3/15 - The organisation of work and workplace culture

Week 7  24/3/15 - Professionalism

Week 8  31/3/15 - Working in teams

Week 9  14/4/15 - Client services

Week 10 21/4/15 - Basic helping skills

Week 11 28/4/15 - Change management

Week 12 05/5/15 - Managing the self

Week 13 12/5/15 - Administration services

Week 14 19/5/15 - Managing your workload

Week 15 26/5/15 - Financial recods

Week 16 02/6/15 - Stock Procedures

Week 17 09/6/15 - Assessments

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Biel, A 2005 Trail guide to the body, Books of Discovery, CO, USA



Other Resources

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be expected to utilise a range of recent and appropriate library, electronic, text and other resources.
Students will be provided with resources and tools for leaning in this course through myRMIT.
Readings given in class times and relevant literature as it comes to hand are important in order to maintain an up to date knowledge of the industry.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course forms part of the Cert IV in Massage Therapy Practice.
Assessment is typically based around written and/or online tests, assignments, reflective journals, evidence portfolio’s, logbooks and/or practical demonstrations.
Assessment may also take place in a simulated work situation such as a supervised student clinic.
Competency based training requires the student to be in attendance in order for assessment to be undertaken.
Assessment is undertaken through successful completion of all assessment activities and classroom, project & industry participation.
Assessments are spaced across the duration of the course, in order for your teacher to provide you with progressive feedback.
Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
An RMIT assessment charter ( summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document, the Assessment policies and procedures manual (;ID=ln1kd66y87rc).

Assessment Tasks

Attendance and participation:
Competency based training requires the student to be in attendance in order for assessment to be undertaken.
Final assessment in this course is a combination of a number of "formative" assessments.
To achieve competency in this course students need to successfully complete and achieve sufficiency in ALL of these formative assessments.
Please refer to RMIT’s assessment policy for more details: (unresolved)
Should a student be unable to attend an assessment or require an extension to a due date please refer to the following webpage:

Direct credit transfer and RPL:
Direct credit transfer is available to students who have already completed the same or similar courses. Recognition of prior learning is available to students who have relevant prior skills or experience. Please refer to;ID=8u7jborsx9dy (unresolved)

Work submitted for assessment:
Assessments that require work to be submitted must be handed in by the due date designated by the course instructor.

Assessment Tasks

1. Successful Completion of Shifts and Practical Checklist sign off:
Each student is required to successfully complete all 13 rostered clinic shifts (signed off by the supervisor). Students must follow the guidelines outlined in the clinic manual in relation to changing shifts and absences. Students will need to put their theory into action and have their observation checklist checked off and signed by the clinic supervisor.
Due: 18 June 2015

2. Clinical Practice Portfolio:
Students are required to collate a folio of their learning materials and activities. Throughout the course class notes will contain learning activities for students to complete. Responses to these activities must be submitted as a hard copy, with notes printed and placed in a folder and handed in or submitted electronically. This folder should contain all subject notes, including completed learning activities, and will be submitted on:
Due: 1 June 2015

3. Reflective Journal:
Students are required to write a reflective piece of writing based on their experiences in the student clinic. There are two topics that must be reflected upon:
Details of the due date for each assessment item are included in this course guide and are in the Course Schedule in myRMIT (Blackboard).
Students are expected to prepare all assignments and other written work in a professional manner. More information on general academic study and writing skills can be found on the “Learning Lab”
All work submitted for assessment must be submitted electronically.
Harvard style is used for all referencing and for bibliography.
Care must be taken to reference all work correctly and to avoid plagiarism. Be sure not to plagiarise unintentionally.
Students must keep a copy of all submitted assessments including electronic copies.

4. Referral Letter:
Students are required to write a referral letter to a health care professional in relation to a Case Study given
Due 19 May 2015

Penalties for late submission:
All assignments will be marked as if submitted on time then the mark awarded will be reduced by 10% for each day (or part of a day) it is late, unless an extension is approved.
Assignments that are late will not be marked and will be awarded zero marks (unless prior extension has been requested and approved. Please refer to

Assessment Result Information:
All students will receive a CA (Competentency Achieved for the assessment), an NYC (Not Yet Competent for the assessment) or a DNS (Did Not Submit for the assessment).
Students must receive CA grades for all assessments in order to receive an overall competent mark for the course.

In order to gain competency in this course, students must complete ALL pieces of assessment AND receive CA (Competency Achieved) grades for all assessments.

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview