Course Title: Assess needs of clients with alcohol and-or other drugs issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: HWSS5963C

Course Title: Assess needs of clients with alcohol and-or other drugs issues

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

9925 8268

Nominal Hours: 125

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 to assess client needs in the context of identifying options for delivery of community services to support their needs
This course includes applying standard processes and procedures to providing a comprehensive assessment of clients’ alcohol and other drugs (AOD) and other needs, developing case plans based on the assessment, and referring clients to other services as required.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCAOD408B Assess needs of clients with alcohol and-or other drugs issues


1. Prepare for assessment

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Conduct discussions with the client to identify reasons for seeking help and other related information that may assist in establishing a basis for further work
1.2 Explain to client organisation parameters of confidentiality and policy/procedures
1.3 Inform the client of the purpose and process of the assessment
1.4 Confirm the client's understanding of the purpose and process of assessment



2. Conduct assessment

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Take client's drug use history in accordance with organisation policies and procedures
2.2 Identify and clarify any previously identified co-morbidity / dual diagnosis in consultation with relevant health or community services professionals
2.3 Assess the current status of the client using standardised AOD screens and from discussion with client
2.4 Use established assessment procedures and protocols to identify issues related to client health in collaboration with relevant health professional as required
2.5 Assess patterns of use with established assessment procedures and protocols
2.6 Assess level of dependence with established assessment procedures and protocols
2.7 Identify indicators of other issues that may affect work with the client through observation and questioning
2.8 Provide a suitable and comfortable environment for the assessment
2.9 Comply with the guidelines when conducting the assessment
2.10 Conduct assessment in a fair manner


3. Identify and respond to need for referral

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify client issues that are outside the scope of the service and/or the scope of the worker
3.2 Identify appropriate service and other support options
3.3 Inform the client of possible options
3.4 Inform the client of the reasons for seeking other service and support options
3.5 Confirm the client's understanding of options
3.6 Work with the client to determine referral options and responsibilities
3.7 Where appropriate, make referral with client consent and within organisation policy and procedures


4. Interpret and report on assessment results

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Record assessment results according to defined guidelines
4.2 Interpret assessment results according to defined guidelines
4.3 Apply organisation criteria to determine entry or exclusion to services
4.4 Prepare assessment report based on guidelines and organisation policy and procedures


5. Provide assessment feedback and information

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Provide feedback to the person according to organisation policy and procedure
5.2 Provide assessment information to others, including relevant health and/or community services professionals according to consent requirements and organisation policy and procedure

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. As a result, learning in this course will complement and enhance your learning in other courses within the Certificate IV Alcohol and Other Drug Use over the year.

  • practical demonstrations
  • analysis/critique of relevant reading material
  • group projects
  • group discussion
  • workshops
  • independent project based work
  • teacher directed group activities/projects
  • tutorials
  • other activities as decided by teaching staff

Teaching Schedule

<thead> <th scope="col">Session</th> <th scope="col">Content</th> </thead>
1: Overview of Assessment practice within the context of AOD
2: Introduction to assessment and screening tools
3: Preparing clients for assessment
4: Undertaking assessments with clients - principles of current practice
5: Using assessment outcomes to inform best practice
6: Working with clients to ensure collaborative support and treatment

 Please note this course forms part of the "Understanding Client Need" cluster which includes the following courses:

CHCMH402B: Apply understanding of mental health issues and recovery processes & CHCMH403A: Establish and maintain communication and relationships to support the recovery process

and will be assessed holistically taking into account the critical aspects of assessment in each of the courses within that cluster. However the above information regarding content pertains to this course specifically.


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

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our on line 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, on line 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 on line:

Overview of Assessment

There are a variety of tools used to assess this course including one hundred and sixty (160) hours of practical placement providing you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate the skills knowledge and attitude required.

Other assessment tasks may involve:
The completion of a specialist assessment tool used in the AOD sector in Victoria.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment.

Task 1:  Complete a specialist assessment tool for a case study client you will have been working with all year.  Information enabling you to complete the specialist assessment tool will be provided to you and workshopped during class.

Task 2:  Undertake an observed role-play in class demonstrating your ability to undertake an assessment with a client

Task 3:  Enter a case note reflecting the assessment process into your client file


Assessment Matrix

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

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