Course Title: Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

Course Code: HWSS6120C

Course Title: Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5360 - Diploma of Financial Counselling

Course Contact: Jo Wallwork

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 3983

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 60

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


Course Description

This course describes the skills and knowledge required to support clients to identify and work through their concerns using advanced and specialised communication skills.

The counselling skills developed within this course will be considered in a financial counselling context.

This course is clustered with three (3) other courses:

  • Establish and confirm the counselling relationship CHCCSL001
  • Facilitate the counselling relationship and process CHCCSL003
  • Support counselling clients in decision-making processes CHCCSL007

These four courses are delivered and assessed together. 

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCCSL002 Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills


E1. Communicate effectively

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify communication barriers and use strategies to overcome these barriers in the client-counsellor relationship

1.2 Facilitate the client-counsellor relationship through selection and use of micro skills

1.3 Integrate the principles of effective communication into work practices

1.4 Observe and respond to non-verbal communication cues

1.5 Consider and respond to the impacts of different communication techniques on the client-counsellor relationship in the context of individual clients

1.6 Integrate case note taking with minimum distraction


E2. Use specialised counselling interviewing skills

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Select and use communication skills according to the sequence of a counselling interview

2.2 Identify points at which specialised counselling interviewing skills are appropriate for inclusion

2.3 Use specialised counselling communication techniques based on their impacts and potential to enhance client development and growth

2.4 Identify and respond appropriately to strong client emotional reactions


E3. Evaluate own communication

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Reflect on and evaluate own communication with clients

3.2 Recognise the effect of own values and beliefs on communication with clients

3.3 Identify and respond to the need for development of own skills and knowledge

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. By applying these skills and this knowledge, you will be able to use specialised communication skills within a counselling process.  You will be able to use a structured approach to establish the counselling process; work with clients to clarify goals, options, and courses of action; and manage the counselling process to its conclusion.

Details of Learning Activities


In-class activities

  • Teacher directed group activities/projects
  • Peer teaching
  • Group discussion
  • Analysis/critique of work
  • Industry speakers
  • Class exercises to review discussions/lectures

Out-of-class activities

  • Independent project based work
  • Online and other research
  • Independent study

Teaching Schedule

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.



Assessment due

Units of competency addressed



  • Introduction to the course structure and assessment
  • Introduction and overview of counselling
  • Introduction to counselling relationship
  • Ethics
  • Boundaries
  • Values & Beliefs
  • Self-care
  • Barriers
  • Listening skills
  • Paraphrasing
  • Reflection of practice
  • Role Play Activities – Active listening

Assessment 1 Due: 24 March 2016

(in class activity)


E1. E2. E3.



  • Stages of counselling
  • Open Communication
  • Working with clients
  • Working as a financial counsellor and the role of counselling with the clients
  • Rapport building
  • Supporting the client’s
  • Working with the client’s concerns and expectations
  • Empathy and its place as a FC 
  • Assessment 1- Role Play  (in class activity)

Assessment 2

Due 13 April 2016


E1. E2. E3.


  • Understanding open and closed question
  • Working with client strength (strengths-based approach)
  • Opening barriers
  • Using effective communication
  • Open and close questions 
  • Reading Non-Verbal cues
  • Role Play in class
  • Reflective practice



E1. E2. E3.


  • Working as a financial counsellor and the role of counselling with the clients
  • Listen to client story
  • Understand sequence as a financial counselling
  • Working with the client’s emotions
  • Working in financial counselling - own values and beliefs
  • Professional Development for the financial counsellor – role of FCRC
  • Role Play in class



E1. E2. E3.


  • Client concerns  – your role
  • Active listening
  • Open questions
  • Closed questions
  • Body languages
  • Linking their concerns to financial counselling  
  • Reflecting back  on client concerns
  • Monitoring where the client is at
  • Working through the counselling and financial counselling process
  • Supporting the client’s with an action plan
  • Role Play in class
  • Self-care 

Assessment 3

Due 9 August 2016


E1. E2. E3. E4.


  • Code of conduct – Financial Counselling
  • Acknowledgement of client’s story
  • Your role as a financial counsellor
  • Being able to identify all issues and work with the client 
  • Reporting to your agency
  • Case Management
  • End the counselling session and give an outcome to the client
  • Role Plays in class
  • Self-Care



E1. E2. E3. E4.


  • Confidentiality
  • The role of case-management
  • Working with the client’s aims and goals
  • Working through the client’s strengths
  • Role Plays in class
  • Self-Care

Assessment 4

Due 1 November 2016


E1. E2. E3.


  • Working thought the counselling process with the client
  • Working on empowering the client
  • Being solution-focused
  • Working on alternatives with the client
  • Referrals when needed
  • Understanding how to end an interview
  • Role plays in class
  • Self care



E1. E2. E3.


  • Overview of all counselling units
  • Self care



Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through:

  • Practical demonstration of skills
  • Case study scenarios
  • Written assignments/questions

Assessment Tasks


Assessment Task 1: Case Study and questions; Role Play (group)

Due date: 13 April 2016

Assessment Task 2: Case Study and questions; Role Play (group); Written responses

Due date: 4 July 2016

Assessment Task 3:Case Studies and questions; Role Play (group); Written responses

Due date: 9 August 2016

Assessment Task4:Case Studies and questions; Role Play (group); Written responses

Due date: 1 November 2016

Assessment Matrix


The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrices are available through Program Administration.

Other Information


Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview