Course Title: Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: HWSS6007C

Course Title: Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5315 - Diploma of Justice

Course Contact: Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 40

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

Successful completion of, or demonstrated equivalence to, the following units of competency:

VU20868 Apply foundation legal principles
VU20869 Work within the criminal justice system
VU20870 Apply writing and presentation skills within a justice environment
VU20871 Support the management of adult offenders within the Victorian correctional framework
PSPOHS401B Implement workplace safety procedures and programs
PSPETHC401A Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

And ONE of the following electives:

VU20867 Support policing processes within justice environment contexts
CHCCHILD401B Identify and respond to children and young people at risk

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required by all workers who may be working primarily with clients with alcohol and other drugs (AOD) issues, and provide a basic introduction to values, services and approaches applied to work in this sector.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector


1. Work within the context of the AOD sector

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Reflect consideration in all work in the sector of the historical context of the sector 1.2 Reflect consideration in all work of the changing social, political and economic context 1.3 Reflect consideration of the interrelationship of issues affecting clients in all work in the AOD sector


2. Develop knowledge of the AOD sector

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Demonstrate consideration and basic understanding of the essential values and philosophy of the sector in work undertaken 2.2 Demonstrate in all work basic knowledge of the current issues which impact on the sector and different models of work 2.3 In collecting information about the AOD sector, collect and use the views of key stakeholders and representatives from relevant target groups 2.4 Apply understanding of risks related to personal safety when working in AOD sector


3. Develop knowledge of work requirements across a range of settings

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the range of settings supporting people with alcohol and other drug needs 3.2 Demonstrate the client variables that might indicate the most appropriate service delivery setting


4. Demonstrate commitment to the central philosophies of the AOD sector

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Demonstrate consideration and understanding of the essential values and philosophy of the sector in all work undertaken 4.2 Demonstrate a commitment to access and equity principles in all work in the sector 4.3 Identify personal values and attitudes regarding AOD use and take these values and attitudes into account when planning and implementing all work activities


5. Communicate effectively in a community services setting

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Develop, review and revise personal skills in communication as an ongoing priority to address organisation standards 5.2 Exercise caution in communicating personal information by oral and written means to ensure confidentiality of client and staff matters 5.3 Routinely apply workplace protocols and procedures in all workplace communication to support accuracy and understanding of information provided and received 5.4 Recognise individual and cultural differences and make any adjustments needed to facilitate the achievement of identified outcomes 5.5 Conduct interpersonal communication with clients and colleagues in a manner that enhances a client-centred approach consistent with organisation standards 5.6 Take appropriate measures to resolve conflict and interpersonal differences in the workplace


6. Work ethically

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Follow ethical guidelines in decision-making in all work undertaken with an awareness of potential ethical complexity in own work role 6.2 Reflect understanding and compliance with the principles of duty of care and legal responsibilities in all work undertaken 6.3 Refer any breach or non adherence to standard procedures or adverse event to appropriate personnel 6.4 Maintain confidentiality of any client matter in line with organisation policy and procedure 6.5 Show respect for rights and responsibilities of others through considered application of work practices 6.6 Reflect current working knowledge and understanding of employee and employer rights and responsibilities in all work undertaken 6.7 Recognise, avoid and/or address any conflict of interest

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

- Provide evidence of specified essential knowledge and skills in:

• Demonstrated awareness of risk and co-morbidity issues, including theoretical frameworks about motivation to change alcohol and/or other drug use
• Basic pharmacology knowledge relevant to:
• types of drugs
• dose levels
• effects of specific drugs
• misuse and abuse of benzodiazepines and other pharmaceutical drugs
• tolerance
• treatment approaches broadly
• Client needs and rights including duty of care
• Current issues facing clients and existing services to address their needs and rights
• Harm minimisation approach to work in the sector and a range of support activities
• Holistic and client-centred care
• In depth knowledge of alcohol and other drug issues and their impact on individuals and the community
• Mental health issues and co-existing drug issues
• Political and economic context as listed in the Range Statement including early intervention and health promotion
• Principles and practices of community support
• Principles and practices of ethics and values
• Principles of access and equity
• Principles of client and community empowerment/disempowerment
• Principles of health promotion (as per Ottawa Charter)
• Relevance of the work role and functions to maintaining sustainability of the workplace, including environmental, economic, workforce and social sustainability
• Statutory and legislative framework within which work takes place, including legal issues facing workers in the AOD sector
• Understanding of risks related to personal safety when working in AOD sector

Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in a variety of learning activities and include:
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• Blog/Wiki or other online discussions and participation
• analysis/critique of relevant reading material
• seminars/workshops
• group activities/projects
• group discussion
• research
• independent project based work
• Simulated and/or practical placement.

Teaching Schedule

7th July
180 min

 Introduction to Work with Alcohol and Other Drugs Unit
 Assessments and Guidelines in Working within the sector.
 History of Drug Use –
 Legislation in the AOD sector.
 ( Ice use )
• Course guides
• Handout: 1 assessment criteria

• Handout: Referencing APA

• Visit to Library

• What is a Drug? .

14th July

180 min
 Values and Attitudes in the Sector – Why people use drugs?
 The Victorian Alcohol and Other Drugs sector. Marijuana

Formative Assessment:
Activity 2.
Handout – Students to complete in class – (Value 10%)


180 21st July  Session 3 – The Victorian Alcohol and Other Drug Sector
 An analysis of Drug Models -
• Research Task in class –Group discussion and Case studies
• Case File assessment starts. Assessment 1 due.

28thh July 180 min
 Session: Four: Ethical practice and dilemmas within the Alcohol and Other Drug Sector.
Case study – Group Discussion on Case study and analysis on Ethics in the sector.



4th of August


Session: Five:
What is a Drug?
Types of Drugs?
Drugs and The Brain
Classification of Drugs – The great debate.
• Screening in groups for AOD use -Activity – Formative Assessment.
Completion of Assessment 1 in class.

11th August


• Session 6 – Risk Assessment
• Assessment of AOD clients. = Comprehensive Adult screening and Youth Screening tools.

Collective feedback to class
Case studies – Group and Individual reading and discussion in class. Role-plays in class interviewing clients and other students using tools.




180 min
Session: Seven

• Assessment of AOD clients – Risk assessments and case studies continued.

• Assessment on Case study – Group work.

21st August

Min Session 8 Working with people in the Alcohol and Other Drug sector – Role plays in class – Communication strategies in identifying issues and motivational interviewing techniques.
Communication exercises and role-plays – in class discussion n groups.
28h August.

Session 9 Stages of Change in the Sector. Brief Interventions continued in the alcohol and other drug sector. Film and analysis on stages of change – group discussion
Handout – Stages of Change and Interventions – practice
28- 3 September. . Holidays . No classes.

8thth September 180 min
Session 10 Case Notes – Writing and Documentation in the sector.
• Assessment 2 (Report and Feedback due)
• Writing case notes in class.
15thh September
Session: Eleven Case Notes and Assessments in class. (Case study analysis). Case files to be presented.

180 min
22ndth September

• Session: Twelve: –. Case Notes and Role plays.
• In class task – case study analysis.


Session: Thirteen
• Referrals within the sector and Networking – Role plays.






Session Fourteen

Role plays and Case study analysis









Final Assessment due.
Case study discussion
Hand in case notes.
Guest speaker
Students to begin role plays and discuss case study analysis.






Each student in groups to discuss case study and play out roles and discuss in groups to determine effective outcome









Session Fifteen – Evaluation strategies in the AOD sector Each student in groups to discuss case study and play out roles and discuss in groups to determine effective outcome.


180 mins


Session Sixteen

Summary of Sector and Evaluation of unit. Summary of Sector and Evaluation of unit. Final Evaluation and Feedback – Group Discussion from students.

NOTE: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and   resources.


It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain competency.

You are expected to attend all scheduled classes and some classes will have sessions that are compulsory to attend (please see individual course guides). If you cannot attend a class you should advise your RMIT Educator, as RMIT monitors all student attendance.

As a student, competency is demonstrated through both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content and within the classroom environment. Engagement with educators and other students is critical to you maximising learning opportunities and achieving satisfactory results. Participation in classroom discussion and activities will allow educators to apply observational assessment during role-plays, exercises and assignments and provide you with feedback.

Absence from class can seriously limit your ability to pass or achieve good results. You may be asked to attend a meeting to explain more than three absences from a subject and enter into a negotiated plan of action with your Educator.  This meeting is recommended as an early intervention approach that may possibly identify any underlying issues which may be affecting your attendance and identify support that RMIT may be able to give you.

Clearly, non-attendance at an assessment will result in failure of that assessment.  If your academic progress is reviewed, a good class attendance may be helpful in showing evidence of your commitment to your studies in Justice.


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

PowerPoint’s for the lectures will generally be made available AFTER the class; however these are not a replacement for attending lectures. Lectures may have additional information, activities or visual material, which will not be available through Blackboard.

It is essential that you access the Blackboard site at least once a week, as announcements and emails are considered an effective means of communication between educators and students.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including role plays, observations, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, reports, group/individual training workshops, and audio-visual presentations.

Assessment Tasks

Task 1:

Research task to develop up-to-date knowledge of the AOD sector, including policy, legal and historical contexts.

Value 20% 

Due date 3 August 2017

Task 2:

(Part A) Working with clients who have AOD issues on values and practice. This assessment requires you to read a case study scenario and answer the questions.

Part A - Value 50%

Due date: 21 September 2017

(Part B) For this task, you will be working in groups of three (3) to develop a role play based on a case study.

You will be observed by the facilitator on taking different roles within this role play.

Value - 30%

Due date: 5 October 2017


Note: Students must achieve competency in  all tasks in order to pass the subject. 

Assessment Matrix

The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table which is as follows:

Assessment Grading Table

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did not Submit for Assessment

Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded)

CA Competency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit For Assessment

Assessment Deadlines

Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. You can submit work at any time prior to the submission date, but it must be into the Administration office by close of business (5pm) of the day the submission is due.

Assessment Format

A major part of your course requires writing, for essays, research and reports. ALL Justice VE educators will expect you to maintain a high standard of presentation in your writing. These standards include the following:

  1. For a CERTIFICATE IV each written assessment task/s – up to 1500 words, 3 academic references and ONE in-text citation per paragraph.
    A paragraph is usually between 200 – 250 words.
    3. A sentence is usually between 20 - 25 words.
    4. American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style is the EXPECTED referencing style for the school of Criminal Justice (VE).
    5. We highly recommend that all students download a copy of the APA Referencing Guide which is available on the Blackboard or purchase a Pocket Guide to APA style from the campus bookshop.
    6. APA Referencing system is to be used and all in-text citations must be recorded according to APA standards.
    7. An academic reference is a scholarly source (journal articles that are peer reviewed, a published book, an approved government or organisation website etc).
    8. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
    9. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical ordered and organised manner.
    10. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research.
    11. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in either Arial or Times Roman. Do not submit double paged assessments.
    12. All assignments to be submitted via the Drop Box (Building 37, level 2) and submitted via email to the Advanced Diploma email address to verify submission

Assessments must be submitted by 5pm (close of business).
13. Written assessments will also be submitted with a Turnitin Report attached (as instructed by your Educator).

If you have any difficult with understanding or completing these writing standards, please speak with your Educator or the Program Manager.

Other Information

Other Information:

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of implications of plagiarism.

Please refer to the following link for on-line submission statements;


Cover sheets do NOT form part of your word limit for written assessment tasks.


Assignment Submissions:

The submission of assessments on the due date is the responsibility solely of the student. Students should not leave assignment preparation until the last minute and must plan their workloads so as to be able to meet advertised or notified deadlines.

If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, you need to submit any work that has been completed on the due date.

For assignments 1 to 10 days late, a penalty of 10% (of the marks awarded) per day will apply. For assignments more than 10 days late, a penalty of 100% will apply. Weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) are considered when counting total late days for electronic submissions but not for hardcopy submissions.


It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Applying for an Extension

Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. Speak with your teacher or course coordinator regarding applying for an extension.

Applying for Special Consideration

If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.


If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion

Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Examples of plagiarism include:

  1. Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
  2. Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  3. Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  4. Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  5. Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  6. Copying a whole or any part of another student's work; and
  7. Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  8. Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.


For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 (unresolved) – and the RMIT Student Conduct Regulations –;ID=r7a7an6qug93


Plagiarism Software

The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:


Complaints Procedure:

RMIT University is committed to providing a harmonious study and work environment for all students and staff. The University recognises your right to raise concerns about academic, administrative or support services without recrimination and has policies and procedures to assist in the resolution of complaints.

Most issues are resolved at the local level and you are encouraged to take steps to resolve your issue locally. The student complaint procedure details steps to take if your problem is not resolved or you believe the response you received is unreasonable.


Student Complaints Policy:

Student complaints Procedure:;ID=i1lexipvjt22

Student Complaints Form:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview