Course Title: Facilitate the financial counselling process

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C5334 Diploma of Community Services (Financial counselling)

Course Title: Facilitate the financial counselling process

Portfolio: DSC Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 55

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.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365T Global, Urban and Social Studies


Term1 2016

Course Contact: Jo Wallwork

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 3983

Course Contact Email:

Course Description


This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to assess and respond to the immediate and ongoing needs of clients in the context of a strengths-based and client-focused financial counselling model.

This course addresses four (4) units of competency:

  • CHCFIN501A Facilitate the financial counselling process
  • CHCFIN502A Identify and apply technical information to assist clients with financial issues
  • CHCFIN503A Develop and use financial counselling tools and techniques
  • CHCLEG411A Use relevant legislation in response to client needs

These four units are delivered and assessed together.


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

CHCFIN502A Facilitate the financial counselling process


E1. Respond to initial client contact

1.1 Obtain informed consent from client to enter into a financial counselling process
1.2 Identify and address any conflicts of interest and/or other ethical considerations
1.2 Identify appropriateness of financial counselling on the basis of routine client information collected
1.3 Clarify with client the role of financial counsellor and expectations of the representative agency
1.4 Explain rights and responsibilities of client and counsellor in the financial counselling process
1.5 Clarify client expectations and needs to ensure their issues and motivations are suited to financial counselling
1.6 Make an appropriate referral if client need is identified as outside scope of own work role
1.7 Explain confidentiality policy of the representative agency

E2. Assess client's financial situation

2.1 Collect information on client's financial situation including relevant personal issues
2.2 Examine and analyse the material with client to identify areas for further investigation
2.3 Seek additional information as required, including the status and validity of contracts
2.4 Highlight important features of the client's financial position
2.5 Assist client to identify areas where they want to take action
2.6 Identify and discuss client's legal rights and responsibilities

E3. Discuss options with the client

3.1 Work with the client to establish a list of concerns
3.2 Identify areas for possible action and prioritise to reflect client's concerns
3.3 Provide information regarding client responsibilities and rights in relation to individual debts and overall financial situation
3.4 Discuss with client potential consequences of various options

E4. Develop action plan in partnership with client

4.1 Work with the client to prioritise areas for action immediately and in the longer term
4.2 Assist client to identify workable strategies to address their financial concerns
4.3 Assist client to develop their own action plans to address their circumstances
4.4 Discuss need for advocacy or negotiation by client and/or financial counsellor


E5. Provide and evaluate ongoing support

5.1 Ask client about their interest in ongoing support
5.2 Identify areas where clients may require referral to specialists agencies or professionals
5.3 Identify range of support services able to be provided by the organisation and others
5.4 Develop and implement with the client an ongoing plan defining any support to be provided
5.5 With the client, work through roles and responsibilities of client and counsellor in the support framework
5.6 Implement processes to evaluate effectiveness of support provided to the client by the financial counsellor
5.7 Revise support services in the light of evaluation feedback
5.8 Terminate the financial counselling process in line with organisation procedures and professional role requirements and provide referrals as agreed with client

E6. Maintain client records as required in a financial counselling agency

6.1 Implement processes to keep accurate records of financial counselling sessions in accordance with organisation and privacy requirements
6.2 Record appropriate file notes and retain relevant documentation taking into account professional and legal requirements
6.3 Maintain confidentiality of records in accordance with professional and legal requirements
6.4 Secure client records for storage, archiving and destruction as per organisation and privacy requirements
6.5 Prepare and maintain statistical records in line with organisation requirements

E7. Participate in reflective practice processes

7.1 Implement professional supervision in accordance with organisation policy and procedures
7.2 Maintain knowledge of current industry information and best practice in financial counselling and utilise in professional practice
7.3 Undertake professional development activities to meet organisation and industry requirements
7.4 Ensure reflective practice is consistent with relevant codes of practice and ethical guidelines

Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements. By applying these skills and this knowledge, you will be able to analyse and use technical and legal information and develop the appropriate written tools and resources to assist individuals to understand their rights and make informed decisions about financial issues within the context of a strengths-based and client-focused financial counselling model.

Overview of Assessment


Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through:

  • Case study scenarios and written responses
  • Research projects
  • Presentations
  • Construction of client files