Course Title: Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: HWSS5704C

Course Title: Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework

School: 365T Global, Urban & Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4329 - Certificate IV in Disability

Course Contact : Renee Costa

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 0886

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Mary Collins - Teacher, Disability Work, Oncampus programs (03) 99254598,  

Maura Lynch - Teacher, Disability Work -Industry programs (03) 99254577,  

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 to work within a legal and ethical framework that supports duty of care requirements within the community/disability sector.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCS400C Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework


3. Work ethically

Performance Criteria:

3.1Protect the rights of the client when delivering services
3.2Use effective problem solving techniques when exposed to competing value systems
3.3Ensure services are available to all clients regardless of personal values, beliefs, attitudes and culture
3.4Recognise potential ethical issues and ethical dilemmas in the workplace and discuss with an appropriate person
3.5Recognise unethical conduct and report to an appropriate person
3.6Work within boundaries applicable to work role
3.7Demonstrate effective application of guidelines and legal requirements relating to disclosure and confidentiality
3.8Demonstrate awareness of own personal values and attitudes and take into account to ensure non-judgemental practice
3.9Recognise, avoid and/or address any conflict of interest


4. Recognise and respond when client rights and interests are not being protected

Performance Criteria:

4.1Support the client and/or their advocate/s to identify and express their concerns
4.2Refer client and/or their advocate/s to advocacy services if appropriate
4.3Follow identified policy and protocols when managing a complaint
4.4Recognise witnessed signs consistent with financial, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect of the client and report to an appropriate person as required
4.5Recognise and respond to cultural/linguistic religious diversity, for example providing interpreters where necessary


1. Demonstrate an understanding of legislation and common law relevant to work role

Performance Criteria:

1.1Demonstrate in all work, an understanding of the legal responsibilities and obligations of the work role
1.2Demonstrate key statutory and regulatory requirements relevant to the work role
1.3Fulfil duty of care responsibilities in the course of practice
1.4Accept responsibility for own actions
1.5Maintain confidentiality
1.6Where possible, seek the agreement of the client prior to providing services


2. Follow identified policies and practices

Performance Criteria:

2.1Perform work within identified policies, protocols and procedures
2.2Contribute to the review and development of policies and protocols as appropriate
2.3Work within position specifications and role responsibilities
2.4Seek clarification when unsure of scope of practice as defined by position description or specific work role requirements
2.5Seek clarification of unclear instructions

Learning Outcomes

In this course you will explore the following topics:
• An understanding of the legal responsibilities and obligations of your work role
• The importance of ethics in practice
• An outline of common legal issues relevant to the workplace
• Relevant standards and codes of practice in the sector
• Rights and responsibilities of clients and workers
• Specific principles underpinning duty of care and associated legal requirements

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

In this course you will learn about the legal and ethical frameworks in the disability services and community services sectors.  You will consider important issues around the delivery of services for people with disability such as duty of care and least restrictive practices, service standards and accountability and staff codes of practice and behaviour.   The Certificate IV in Disability includes a field placement in a community disability service of 200 hours across the whole program.   You will demonstrate your knowledge and skills in aspects of this course thorugh that field placement. We will also organise field visits to community services agencies.

Teaching Schedule

1Introduction to the unit and overview of the field placement component and assessment tasks
2 Legislative framework for the disability field and application to the workplace 
3 Duty of Care - Dignity of Risk - balancing legal frameworks and individual rights.
4 Who are the people we support, and with whom do we work?
5 Service standards - state and federal service standards
6 Codes of Practice in disability work - staff work practices and behaviours
7 My home or your workplace, my life or your career.
8 Field visits - (to be confirmed) to authorities and agencies who support people with disabilties and their families and carers
9Panel discussion - working within the legal and ethical frameworks in practice
10Personal values and beliefs - matching and balancing, issues and solutions 
11 Field Placement preparation - student requirements and assessment tasks on placement.
12 Field Placement
13 Field Placement
14 Field Placement Review and discussion

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

During sessions you will be directed to government, non-government and industry sources of information such as the Department of Human Services (DHS) website, the Office of the Public Acvocate (OPA) and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  These provide information about curernt legislative and policy requirements and processes that will be relevant to your studies and your eventual practice in the field.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is ongoing throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include:

  • A research project
  • In class group activities
  • Self assessment
  • Supervisor assessment

Assessment Tasks

There are four assessment tasks for this unit:

1. Research Task:  You will undertake research into a relevant Act e.g. The Disability Act 2006, how it directs the work that the government, agencies and staff do. There will be a set of questions to guide your research on this. 

2.  In-class quiz: on the principle of "Duty of Care" as it applies to the disability services sector. 

3. In-class group assessment task:  Codes of Practice - you will work with your fellow students to develop a "code of practice" for disabilty support workers with rationales and examples for the code provisions.

4. Field Placement Research:  under the guidance of  your Field Placement supervisor you will select one of the agency’s policy documents and look into how it is put into practice  

Assessment Matrix

A detailed matrix will be available from the course teacher.

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