Course Title: Work within a relevant legal and ethical framework

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

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 and Community Services Work Programs, (03) 99254598,

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


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

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Demonstrate in all work, an understanding of the legal responsibilities and obligations of the work role

1.2 Demonstrate key statutory and regulatory requirements relevant to the work role

1.3 Fulfil duty of care responsibilities in the course of practice

1.4 Accept responsibility for own actions

1.5 Maintain confidentiality

1.6 Where possible, seek the agreement of the client prior to providing services


2. Follow identified policies and practices

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Perform work within identified policies, protocols and procedures

2.2 Contribute to the review and development of policies and protocols as appropriate

2.3 Work within position specifications and role responsibilities

2.4 Seek clarification when unsure of scope of practice as defined by position description or specific work role requirements

2.5 Seek clarification of unclear instructions


3. Work ethically

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Protect the rights of the client when delivering services

3.2 Use effective problem solving techniques when exposed to competing value systems

3.3 Ensure services are available to all clients regardless of personal values, beliefs, attitudes and culture

3.4 Recognise potential ethical issues and ethical dilemmas in the workplace and discuss with an appropriate person

3.5 Recognise unethical conduct and report to an appropriate person

3.6 Work within boundaries applicable to work role

3.7 Demonstrate effective application of guidelines and legal requirements relating to disclosure and confidentiality

3.8 Demonstrate awareness of own personal values and attitudes and take into account to ensure non-judgemental practice

3.9 Recognise, avoid and/or address any conflict of interest


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

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Support the client and/or their advocate/s to identify and express their concerns

4.2 Refer client and/or their advocate/s to advocacy services if appropriate

4.3 Follow identified policy and protocols when managing a complaint

4.4 Recognise witnessed signs consistent with financial, physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect of the client and report to an appropriate person as required

4.5 Recognise and respond to cultural/linguistic religious diversity, for example providing interpreters where necessary

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 including duty of care, dignity of risk and least restrictive alternatives, services standards 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 through that field placement.  We will also organise guest speakers from industry and field visits to community services agencies. 

Teaching Schedule


1Introduction to the course, links to work in community services and disability services. Assessment tasks
2Legislative Frameworks in the sector - the Disability Act 2006, Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and other disability specific and related acts. 
3Duty of Care and the dignity of risk - balancing legal frameworks and individual rights.
4Duty of Care (cont.) including in-class Assessment Task 2
5Service standards - federal and state standards and how they impact on day to day services and supports for people with a disability
6Codes of Practice - staff practice and behaviour
7Past and current ethical issues - abuse and neglect of people with disabilities - the Royal Commissions, government and judicial responses
8Field visits or guest speakers - public statutory authorities e.g. Office of the Public Advocate (OPA), Victorian Civil and Administrative (VCAT), advocacy organisations e.g. Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with a Disability (VALID).
9 Mid semester break - no class
10My home/your workplace, my day to day  life/your working life - when someone’s home is your workplace, what are the challenges?
11Organisational roles and responsibilities in the disability sector - government and community support organisations (CSOs)
12Field Placement preparation
13Field placement
14Field placement
15Field placement
16Field placement review
17The community sector - a panel of professionals who represent the sector.
18Course review - personal values and beliefs, matching those with the legal and ethical frameworks.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

During sessions you will be directed to local, state and federal government websites, non-government and industry sources of information, statutory authorities such as the Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  These bodies provide current information about legislative and policy requirements and processes that will be relevant to your studies and 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 course:

  1. Research and report: undertake research into and report on relevant state and federal legislations including detailed research in the Disability Act 2006. 
  2. In-class: a quiz on the topic the Duty of Care including true/false questions, definitions and issues and factors in disability support class.  Students will be able to use the class presentation and their notes to answer the questions.
  3. In-class group task:  developing standards of practice for early career workers. Students work together to identify standards and document examples of work practice.
  4. Field placement research and report: Organisational Policy - students read, discuss and report on the Occupational Health and Safety policy and practice guidelines for their field placement agency.     

Assessment Matrix

A detailed assessment 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 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 and classes in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.
You will receive verbal and written feedback from your 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 found at:;ID=9pp3ic9obks7  
Student progress
Monitoring student progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. The Student Progress policy can be found at:;IDvj2g89cve4uj1  
Special Consideration Policy
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment buy 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 website:;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n  

Course Overview: Access Course Overview