Course Title: Facilitate the financial counselling process

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

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

In-class activities: 

  • teacher directed group activities/projects 
  • peer teaching 
  • group discussion 
  • class exercises to review discussions/lectures 
  • role play activities

Out-of-class activities: 

  • independent project based work 
  • online and other research 
  • independent study

Teaching Schedule

Workshop 1 


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

Discussion of WIL placement, how/why this is assessed, what assessment activities for WIL 
 Workshop 2  

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 a client’s issue/s

Options (including debt)

Documentation (legal)

Debt and debt recovery

Introduction: credit reporting

  • (students access own credit report)
  • consequences of options for clients - credit report
Consumer Law  CALC
 Workshop 3  

Developing Action Plans/Debt Recovery and EDR

(CALC for Debt Collection & Going to Court for a Debt)

How to identify the need for legal advice


Consumer protection and legal rights

Introduce Reflective practice

 Workshop 4  

Consumer Law (CALC) and Fines Infringement Court/Special Circumstances

Bankruptcy – AFSA

Debt agreements


Resources and Referral

  • Finding and managing resources

Appropriate resources for client (referrals)

 Workshop 5  

Credit Law –

Case Studies and Assessment

Going to court for a debt

Credit Law/Other areas of law (CALC) and Bankruptcy (AFSA)

National Hardship Register

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

Reflective practice
 Workshop 6  

Ongoing Support/Reflective Practice/Resources and WIRE

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


 Workshop 7

Review and Final Assessment activity (in-class)


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.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

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.

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: Online Quiz and Written Questions

Due date:  25 February 2018

Assessment Task 2: Case studies and Written Questions

Due date: 15 April 2018

Assessment Task 3: Case studies and Written Questions

Due date: 27 May  2018

Assessment Task 4: Case studies and Online Quiz

Due date: 8 July 2018

Assessment Task 5: Case studies and Written Questions

Due date: 12 August 2018

Assessment Task 6: Personal Development Plan and Online Quiz

Due date: 14 October 2018

Assessment Task 7: Observation/Role Play 

In-class assessment October 31 and November 1


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 with the assessment tasks on Canvas

Other Information

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


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

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. See this link on the RMIT webpage for further information:

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


Course Overview: Access Course Overview