Course Title: Assess needs of clients with alcohol and other drugs issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

Course Code: HWSS6084C

Course Title: Assess needs of clients with alcohol and other drugs issues

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5346 - Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Course Contact: Chris Walters

Course Contact Phone: 9925 8268

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 135

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

There are no stipulated pre-requisites or co-requisites for this unit.

Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and conduct assessments of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) clients to determine eligibility, service requirements and referral needs. This includes knowledge of factors affecting assessment for a range of different client groups including different genders, youth, older people, mandated and voluntary clients, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

This unit applies to people involved in the assessment of clients with AOD issues using established organisation or jurisdictional AOD assessment tools.

This unit is delivered and assessed in a cluster with:

  • CHCAOD001- Work in an alcohol and other drugs context
  • CHCAOD006 - Provide interventions for people with alcohol and other drugs issues
  • CHCDIV001 - Work with diverse people


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCAOD004 Assess needs of clients with alcohol and other drugs issues


1. Prepare for assessment

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Review existing information about the client and consult with relevant health or community services professionals based on client needs

1.2 Discuss with the client reasons for seeking help and other information that may assist in establishing a basis for further work

1.3 Explain organisation parameters of confidentiality and policy/procedures to client

1.4 Inform the client of the assessment purpose and process

1.5 Confirm client’s understanding of the purpose and process of assessment


2. Conduct assessment

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify history and pattern of client’s drug use through client discussion and questioning

2.2 Identify and clarify co-existing issues in consultation with the client

2.3 Identify the clients key familial and social relationships and how they are impacted by their AOD use

2.4 Assess current status, patterns of use and levels of dependence using standardised or approved AOD screening and assessment tools

2.5 Collaborate with other health processionals as indicated by assessment

2.6 Identify indicators of other issues that may affect work with the client through observation and questioning


3. Record assessment and provide feedback

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Accurately record assessment results according to defined guidelines

3.2 Apply organisation criteria to determine entry to, or exclusion from, services

3.3 Prepare clear and comprehensive client assessment report

3.4 Provide feedback to the client based on assessment report


4. Identify and respond to need for referral

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Identify client issues that are outside the scope of the service and/or the scope of the worker

4.2 Identify appropriate service and other support options for the client and their family members

4.3 Inform the client of possible options and reasons for seeking other service and support options

4.4 Confirm the client’s understanding of options

4.5 Work with the client to determine referral options and responsibilities

4.6 Make referral with client consent

4.7 Provide assessment information to others, including relevant health and/or community services professionals according to consent requirements

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

In class: Lectures, discussions and group activities
Outside class: Readings, research activities and site visits.

Teaching Schedule





The AOD sector

Philosophy, principles and values

The wider context

Historical and current approaches


Alcohol and drugs

Classes of drugs

Types of alcohol and drugs

Usage and effects


Working with diverse people

Diversity, cultural awareness and cultural safety

Communicating with diverse individuals and groups

Reflecting on own perspectives



Assessing needs


Victorian AOD framework

Assessing clients

Using screening tools


Providing interventions

Evidence-based interventions

Conducting interventions

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Learning Resources 

The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVDs, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information is available from the site library resources and services.

If you need additional support, visit RMIT’s Learning Lab, either in person or online.

Equitable Learning Services (ELS) provides support and equal opportunities for students with a disability, long-term illness and/or mental health condition and primary carers of individuals with a disability. 

Overview of Assessment

  • Research, analysis and presentation of AOD information
  • Practical demonstrations of skills and knowledge based on case studies

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Research, analyse and present information relating to an AOD model

Assessment Task 2: Conduct case study client intervention and assessment

Assessment Task 3: Conduct case study client intervention and assessment 

Assessment Matrix

Students may obtain an assessment matrix from the Program Coordinator.

Other Information

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


It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Applying for an Extension

Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. Speak with your teacher or course coordinator regarding applying for an extension.

Applying for Special Consideration

If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information. see Special consideration.

Academic Integrity, Plagiarism and Collusion

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.

Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student's work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  • Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please refer to Academic integrity and Student responsibilities.

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing.

Complaints Procedure

RMIT University is committed to providing a harmonious study and work environment for all students and staff. The University recognises your right to raise concerns about academic, administrative or support services without recrimination and has policies and procedures to assist in the resolution of complaints.

Most issues are resolved at the local level and you are encouraged to take steps to resolve your issue locally. The student complaint procedure details steps to take if your problem is not resolved or you believe the response you received is unreasonable. Visit Student complaints.

Police Checks

Students must obtain their own police check by the due date and pay the associated costs.

RMIT will not store Police Checks on student files.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview