Course Title: Positive Behaviour Support

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Positive Behaviour Support

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


Bundoora Campus


360H Education


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016

Course Coordinator: Danielle Clark

Course Coordinator Phone: Contact via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Off-campus

Course Coordinator Availability: Please e-mail with suggested times

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course will build on capabilities developed in Professional Practices in Disability 2A , Professional Practices in Disability  2B, Practicum A and Practicum  B

Course Description

Positive Behaviour Support is a one-semester course designed to extend students’ knowledge and skills in the areas of supporting people with behaviours of concern and developmental disabilities. Graduates of the program are bound to come into frequent contact with people who have significant behaviour of concern, therefore it is essential that program graduates have skills in service provision for people with disabilities who have these additional complex needs.

Graduates will need to be familiar with definitions and theories of behaviours of concern, assessment of behaviour and approaches to intervention. In this context, students taking this course will need to identify limitations in their knowledge base and skills and will use ongoing learning and self-development to improve personal and professional practice.

The role of positive behaviour support programs as a component of service provision will be examined. Students will also examine ethical issues in behaviour support and factors affecting the social validity of intervention programs. They will be encouraged to articulate ethical issues clearly and apply an ethical position that guides personal behaviour in all aspects of professional practice. Organisational issues, including the impact of workplace culture and staff attitudes and causal attributions, will be considered.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the successful completion of this course you will be able to undertake:

Reflective Practice

The ability to recognise limitations in knowledge and skill and to use ongoing learning and self-development to improve personal and professional practice.

Evidence-based practice

The ability to ask the ‘right’ questions and identify the information required that ensure practices are supported by appropriate evidence; and

The ability to gather, synthesise and evaluate information that places practice within a global and local context.

Problem Solving Approaches

The ability to apply knowledge to diagnose and solve problems in situations that range from simple and discrete to complex and ill defined.

The Integration of Personal Values with Service Values

The ability to clearly articulate and apply an ethical position that guides personal behaviour in al aspects of professional practice.

At the conclusion of this course you will be able to:

Discuss a range of individual, social and environmental factors contributing to the manifestation of behaviours of concern;

Analyse the circumstances and service requirements of an individual who presents with behaviour support needs by using structured assessment techniques;

Analyse the needs of significant others, who are affected by the occurrence of behaviours of concern;

Develop basic strategies to minimise the occurrence of behaviours of concern, consistent with the positive approach to behaviour support;

Evaluate the effectiveness of an initial behaviour support programme;

Source additional supports and services to assist with the development, implementation and review of a behaviour support programme.

Overview of Learning Activities

Activities will include lectures, discussions, case studies and assignments conducted across the course of the semester. DVDs or videos may be used throughout the course of the semester. Students will be expected to read all the material provided on myRMIT and demonstrate in their assignments a breadth of reading beyond those articles and texts recommended in class. This course also includes an exam.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be directed to reading material throughout the semester.  They will also be encouraged to identify material themselves, to bring to class for discussion. 

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will include two assignments conducted during the course of the semester.  The assignments will be designed to link theory with professional practice. The assessment also includes an exam which will be held in the University exam period.