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

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: HWSS5661C

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

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4328 - Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs

Course Contact : Xenia Girdler

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4660

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Chris Walters


Phone: 9925 8268

Nominal Hours: 50

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

Not applicable

Course Description

This course describes the knowledge and skills required by all workers who may be working primarily with clients with alcohol and other drugs (AOD) issues and provides 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 successful completion of this course, you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate your competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

An important part of the learning in this course is to understand the complex and interconnected nature of addiction and drug use. Therefore learning activities have been designed to be holistic and take into account the many and varied aspects of alcohol and other drug use and the relationship it has with mental health. Therefore, your learning in this course will complement and enhance your learning in other courses over the year.

In class activities may include:

  • class exercises to review discussions/lectures
  • practical demonstrations
  • group projects
  • guest lecture
  • peer teaching and class presentations
  • group discussion
  • workshops
  • online research
  • independent project based work

However there are also activities which take place outside the nominated class time. In first semester you will go on a number of field trips:

  • Dax Gallery - an art gallery which houses one of the largest displays of art work created by people with mental illness (including addiction). This exhibition provides you with further understanding of our recent treatment of people experiencing a range of complex care issues.

In addition to these field trips, you will also undertake:

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid program. This fourteen (14) hour program will be delivered in the first three weeks of semester one. Completing the Mental Health First Aid program will provide you with basic skills and knowledge to assist people experiencing a range of mental health issues - including addiction.
  • Two day Motivational Interviewing workshop
  • Two day workshop exploring the impact of addiction and incarceration on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island population

Teaching Schedule

This course is delivered as part of a cluster "Orientation to the Sector" which includes the course CHCMH401A Work Effectively in mental health settings. Classes specific to this course will commencing Feb 16th February and will run over six  (6) weeks. However the connected learning activities as outlined above will take place outside this time and a complete timetable will be provided to you during orientation in the first week of February. 

<thead> <th scope="col">Session</th> <th scope="col">Topics </th> </thead>
1Overview of the current AOD service system, community values and attitudes and an historical perspective of the system as a whole.
2 Health promotion, models of drug problems and cultural issues
3 Classification of drugs, Australian Drug Foundation material introduced and Assignment  1 handed out (this task is due in session 6)
4 Stages of change and Motivational Interviewing
5 Introduction to Harm minimisation, dependence and withdrawal
6 Harm minimisation revisited and explored. Assignment 2 - in-class test.

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material outlined in this schedule the weekly order may change subject to class need and the availability of guest speakers and other resources.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software.

The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVD’s, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information on library resources and services can be found at: 
If you need additional support, visit RMIT’s Learning Lab, either in person or online:

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is the successful completion of one hundred and sixty hours (160) of practical placement which is assessed via professional conversations conducted during the year.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you must complete following assignments tasks:

Assignment one - You will be required to apply for and successfully gain a position within the simulated workplace environment

Assignment two - You will be introduced to a case study client for whom a sector-standard client file must be created

Assignment three - You will be required to complete a collection of sector-specific client contact screening and assessment tools

Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant course is available from the course contact person.

This course is delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment, grades include:

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

Other Information

Assessment Tasks Submission Cover Sheet
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 the plagiarism implications.

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

You will receive verbal and written feedback by teacher on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your competency. Information regarding student feedback can be found at:;ID=9pp3ic9obks7

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. The Student progress policy can be found at:;ID=vj2g89cve4uj1

Special consideration Policy (Late Submission)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Information regarding application for special consideration can be found at:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. For more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity Web site:;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n

Course Overview: Access Course Overview