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: C4352 - Certificate IV in Youth Work

Course Contact : Jennifer Brooker

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4115

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Iren Citler

Shannyn Harrison

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

In this course you will develop the knowledge and skills required to work with clients with alcohol and other drugs (AOD) issues.  This course 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 competency in the above elements.

Details of Learning Activities

The learning activities for this course will include:

  • class discussion
  • group work
  • case study analysis
  • media clips

Teaching Schedule

The teaching schedule for this course will be as follows:
Class 1:
Historical context of AOD sector
• Client needs and rights including duty of care
Current issues facing clients and existing services to address their needs and rights
Attitudes in AOD sector

Class 2: Exploring Professional Boundaries
Basic pharmacology relevant to the work being undertaken, including:
•types of drugs
•dose levels
•effects of specific drugs
•misuse and abuse of benzodiazepines and other pharmaceutical drugs
•treatment approaches broadly

Class 3: Demonstrate commitment to the central philosophies of the AOD sector -particularly:
•Harm minimisation.
•Awareness of risk and co-morbidity issues, including theoretical frameworks about motivation to change alcohol and/or other drug use
•Mental health issues and co-existing drug issues

Class 4: Communicate effectively in a community services setting
• Principles and practices of community support
• Principles and practices of ethics and values
• Principles of access and equity
• Principles of client and community empowerment / disempowerment
• Principles of health promotion (as per Ottawa Charter)
• Range of different settings
• Demonstrate interpersonal communication with clients and other stakeholders
• Prepare reports so that the information and the organisation of this information is appropriate to its purposes and audience
• Recognise and act upon opportunities to enhance sustainability in the workplace
• Work individually or as part of a team

Class 5: Work ethically in workplace
• Take appropriate measures to resolve conflict and interpersonal differences in the workplace

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Additional resources will also be available ‘Blackboard’. A set of readings will be made available to you including journals and texts that may support you in the program.

Overview of Assessment

There are two assessment tasks for this course:

1. Course Quiz on Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

2. Completion of a Case study/ written response

Assessment Tasks

  • Drug Effects Quiz
  • Throughout week’s one to three (1-3) information will be given relating to different substances (legal and illegal), their effects on the central nervous system and body.
  • Students will be required to undertake a small amount of research of terms relating to substance use, abuse and dependence.
  • During class three (3), date as indicated on page one (1), students will complete a drug effects matrix template (given in class) using the knowledge they have gained in class time and researched independently.

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant course. These are available from the Program Co-ordinator.

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.

Attendance: 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.

Feedback: 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

  • A Police Check and a Working With Children Check are required to do this course and must be shown to staff before placement can commence and be counted towards your hours.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview