Course Title: Facilitate the financial counselling process

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

Course Code: BAFI5232C

Course Title: Facilitate the financial counselling process

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5360 - Diploma of Financial Counselling

Course Contact: Jo Wallwork

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 3983

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 85

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


Course Description


This course 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 is clustered with four (4) other courses:

  • 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

These five courses are delivered and assessed together.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCFIN001 Facilitate the financial counselling process


E1. Respond to initial client contact

Performance Criteria:

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

1.3 Identify appropriateness of financial counselling on the basis of routine client information collected and analysed

1.4 Clarify with client the role of financial counsellor and expectations of the representative agency

1.5 Explain rights and responsibilities of client and counsellor in the financial counselling process

1.6 Clarify client expectations and needs to ensure their issues and motivations are suited to financial counselling

1.7 Make an appropriate referral with client consent if client need is identified as outside scope of own work role

1.8 Explain confidentiality policy of the representative agency


E2. Assess client's financial situation

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Collect information on client’s financial and extended situation including relevant personal issues that may impact on this situation

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

2.7 Make technically sound and substantiated assessment of client issues


E3. Discuss options with the client

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Work with the client to establish a list of concerns

3.2 Proactively 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, options and potential consequences


E4. Develop an action plan in partnership with client

Performance Criteria:

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 plan to address their circumstances

4.4 Discuss need for advocacy or negotiation by client and/or financial counsellor

4.5 Write and maintain a client service plan which identifies the assessed issues, the client and financial counsellor strategies and responsibilities


E5. Provide and evaluate ongoing support

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Identify areas for ongoing support and opportunities for specialist referral to other agencies or professionals

5.2 Identify range of support services able to be provided by the organisation and others

5.3 Work through with the client, the roles and responsibilities of client and counsellor in the support framework

5.4 Implement processes to evaluate effectiveness of support provided to the client by the financial counsellor

5.5 Revise support services in the light of evaluation feedback

5.6 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

Performance Criteria:

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

6.6 Enter and maintain electronic databases as required by an organisation


E7. Reflect on practice

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Implement professional supervision in accordance with policy and procedures of the professional association and the organisation

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 State, 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.

Details of Learning Activities

  • Group discussion
  • Industry speakers
  • Analysis/critique of work
  • Teacher-directed group activities/projects

Teaching Schedule


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

Class no.




Introduction to Financial Counselling


Ethical considerations

  • conflict of interest
  • appropriateness of FC for client, i.e., is client seeing the right person?
  • Introduce FCA Code of Ethical Conduct

Role – client’s expectations

Role & responsibilities of both client and FC

Referrals – (this will be picked up further and in other units)

Legal requirements – such as confidentiality




How to collect financial information and other relevant information

Examine and analyse information/client material


Highlight important features of financial position

Assist client to identify areas for action

Client’ s legal rights and responsibilities

Assessing client’s issues



Options (including debt)

Documentation (legal)

Debt and debt recovery

Introduction: credit reporting

  • (students access own credit report)

consequences of options for clients  - credit report




Action plans

How to identify the need for legal advice



Consumer Law  CALC


Consumer protection and legal rights



Bankruptcy – AFSA

Debt agreements




Resources and Referral

  • Finding and managing resource
  • Appropriate ones for client (referrals)

Introduce Reflective practice




Credit Law – CALC

Case Studies and Assessment



National Hardship Register

FC to speak re grants/benevolent funds etc

Micro-finance: Good Shepherd to present re NILS, STEP UP, etc.

Courts Process – Small Claims: where do clients go/ who attends this/ Home repossession Court

Reflective practice


Review of practices including reflection of placement and learning activities/case studies – Day 1


Industry speakers –

  • debt
  • bankruptcy
  • options
  • complex cases
  • referrals





Final Role Play Assessment – bringing all parts together

Groups: FC/Client/Observer




Final Role Play Assessment – bringing all parts together

Groups: FC/Client/Observer


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

RMIT will provide learning resources for this course.  Students are expected to use Blackboard to access learning resources and assessment material for this course.

Overview of Assessment

 Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through:

  • Case study scenarios and questions
  • Knowledge questions
  • Research projects
  • Simulated activities such as role play activities
  • the 220-hour work placement

Assessment Tasks


This course is assessed in accordance with competency-based assessment.


To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following assessment tasks to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher when you have completed the assessment tasks.


This course will be assessed through WIL placement as well as through the tasks detailed below.


You should refer to the assessment plan which is available on Blackboard for details of each assessment task and for detailed assessment criteria. The dates noted below are provisional and may be subject to change.


Assessment Task 1: Case study scenario and questions & written task

Due date: March 2017

Assessment Task 2: Case study scenario (financial assessment) & written questions

Due date: end of March 2017

Assessment Task 3: Case study scenarios and written questions

Due date: 15 May 2017

Assessment Task 4: Short answer questions & Case study scenarios

Due date: 30 June 2017

Assessment Task 5: Short answer questions & research report

Due date: 20 August 2017

Assessment Task 6: Group activity and Short answer questions

Due date: In-class 20 & 21 September 2017

Assessment Task 7: Role play (simulated financial counselling session)

Due date: In-class 1 & 2 November 2017

WIL Assessments will include: reflective journal,; third-party supervisor report; written report; oral questioning

Due date: after completion of work placement


Grades that apply to courses that are delivered and assessed in accordance with competency-based assessment are:

CA: Competency Achieved
NYC: Not Yet Competent
DNS: Did not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix


The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrices are available through BlackBoard.

Other Information


This is a Work Integrated Learning course in which you will complete a 220-hour placement in an organisation, undertaking the kinds of professional tasks you could expect in your work after graduation.

Police Check

You must obtain evidence of a satisfactory National Police Records Check before undertaking work placements and will need to pay the associated costs.


You may be required to obtain a satisfactory Working with Children Check at the request of their placement agency.


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 work submitted in hardcopy. For every piece of work submitted online you will complete an e-Declaration. The signed cover sheet or e-Declaration acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.


Examples of other information that could be included in this section are listed below.  Please discuss with your Program Coordinator/Manager. Information needs to be consistent across the whole program.


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 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:


Assessment Appeals

If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:

  1. a) You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
  2. b) You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
  3. c) You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:


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:

  • 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;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student's work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  • 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:


Working with Children Check – This course requires a Working with Children Check

Police Check – This course requires a satisfactory police check



Course Overview: Access Course Overview