Certificate IV in Mental Health

Certificate IV in Mental Health


Course Overview

This qualification reflects the role of workers who provide self-directed recovery oriented support for people affected by mental illness and psychiatric disability. Work involves implementing community based programs and activities focusing on mental health, mental illness and psychiatric disability. Work is undertaken in a range of community contexts such as community based non-government organisations; home based outreach; centre-based programs; respite care; residential services, rehabilitation programs; clinical settings; or supporting people in employment. Work is carried out autonomously under the broad guidance of other practitioners and professionals.

Career Outcomes

Those who complete the course could be expected to work in roles such as

  • Assistant Community Services Worker
  • Community Rehabilitation and Support Worker
  • Community Rehabilitation Worker
  • Mental Health Outreach Worker
  • Outreach Officer

Education Pathway

Successful completion of this course allows for advanced standing in the CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services.

Course Duration

Maximum duration: 52 weeks.  The program will be delivered over 35 weeks of scheduled tuition, 6 weeks of Work Placement and 11 weeks of holidays


This course is delivered in our purpose-built classrooms and nursing laboratories at Level 5 20-22 Macquarie Street Parramatta NSW 2150.

  • classroom with data projection and a whiteboard
  • Private study space
  • Campus with wi-fi capability

All practical placement is conducted in approved placement facilities.

Entry Requirements

AAON requires that all students:

  • Are over the age of 18
  • Demonstrate an interest in, knowledge of, and suitability for work in the aged care industry.
  • Demonstrate the level of maturity required to be responsible for the care and support of older people.
  • Possess a Police check (which is required for placement). This will be assessed during an interview conducted before enrolment. International students will be required to attend a Skype interview as parts of the course selection process.
  • Have a reasonable level of fitness to complete manual and physically demanding tasks, such as bending, lifting and standing for long periods.
  • Complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) assessment to demonstrate that they have the required level of LLN skills required by the course.
  • The LLN test will be conducted by a suitable Trainer and Assessor or the Training Manager. 
  • Students must receive a satisfactory result before enrolling in the course.
  • The LLN assessment includes a written test and interview to complete the verbal component of the test. For international students applying from their home country this will be completed during a Skype interview. For all students applying within Australia, the test will be completed during an interview at the RTO.
  • The LLN test assists the RTO to assess whether or not students’ LLN skills are at a level suited to the course requirements. It also assists our trainers to prepare individual learning plans for each successful applicant where skill weaknesses are identified. The RTO will work with successful applicants to ensure their skills are at the required level by the completion of their training.
  • Where a student has not met the minimum LLN level or AAON is unable to provide sufficient and appropriate additional support that the individual requires,  the students’ enrolment application will be rejected and they will be referred to appropriate external services or courses and advised that they may reapply in the future if they have improved their language, literacy and numeracy to the required level.

Further Information – International Students

This course is available to international students who are able to provide evidence that they:

  • meet one of the following English proficiency requirements:
  • a valid IELTS score of 5.0 or other minimum test scores indicated here, with no score below 5.0 in any skill area:
  • https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/stud/more/student-visa-english-language-requirements
  • that they have successfully completed their Year 12 or equivalent in English Language
  • It is a condition of entry that upon acceptance, students provide evidence of having an Australian Student Visa (subclass 500). Please refer to the government website for information about applying: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/500-
  • International students will be required to attend a Skype interview as part of the course selection process. This interview will also confirm that the photo used in the English proficiency test truly belongs to the student and will be used to conduct the oral component of the LLN test.

Units of Competency

Code Title Core/ Elective
CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people Core
CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Cultural safety Core
CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically Core
HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety Core
CHCMHS008 Promote and facilitate self advocacy Core
CHCMHS002 Establish self recovery establishment relationships Core
CHCMHS003 Provide recovery oriented mental health services Core
CHCMHS011 Assess and promote social, emotional and physical well Core
CHCMHS004 Work collaboratively with the care network and other services Core
CHCMHS005 Provide services to people with co-existing mental health and alcohol and other drug issues Core
CHCMHS007 Work effectively in trauma informed care Core
CHCCCS019 Recognise and respond to crisis interventions  Elective
CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve upon own professional practice Elective
HLTHPS006 Assist clients with medication Elective
CHCADV001 Facilitate the rights and interests of clients Elective

Training Arrangements


The first week will include an orientation session that will cover the following:

  • Details about living in Australia such as transport, city orientation and currency
  • How to access support services provided by Australian Academy of Nursing
  • External support services available such as legal, emergency, health and well-being
  • Nearby amenities to assist with learning such as libraries
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Complaints and Appeals policy and procedure
  • Critical Incident policy and procedure
  • Privacy
  • Introduction to course requirements
  • Course progress and attendance requirements and impact on VISA requirements.

Classroom Training

The course will be delivered in the classroom for theory based learning giving students the opportunity to share ideas, discuss and explore core concepts and the practice skills before applying them in their work placement.

Class sessions are planned to ensure that students have a mixture of practical and theoretical components and the classes cater for a wide variety of learning styles.

Training will be delivered 3 days per week.  Three days of class hours will be 6.5 hours per day and one day of 7 hours for a period of 35 weeks.

Class sessions will be held three days per week. Students will have access to College facilities when they are not attending placement to conduct self-study or research and or complete assessment tasks. Training has been arranged in clusters to allow for units with common themes to be delivered together and avoid unnecessary repetition.

Work Placement 

Students will attend work placement in 2x 3- week blocks at the end of term 2, 3 and 4, Students will complete 120 hours of work placement in total.

Work placement is designed to:

  • Gain invaluable experience in a real work environment
  • Complete and receive feedback on practical work
  • Develop an understanding of workplace expectations and practices
  • Observe experienced staff completing tasks
  • Develop an understanding of workplace policies and procedures
  • Form networks that may assist with future job opportunities

Self Study

Students are expected to take a minimum of 10 hours of self-study time per week. This is to allow time for students to complete learning tasks that may not have been completed in class or to undertake research for assessments tasks. Students are not required to attend Thursday and Friday during training weeks. This time could also be used for gaining paid work. Students on study visas must not work more than 20 hours per week.

Students requiring additional support must book suitable times with the Director of Studies.

Placement Arrangements

Students will complete 120 hours of work placement in total.  Work placement supports students to become familiar with the services provided in residential and community environments where mental health programs are conducted and perform the workplace assessment tasks. An assessor from AAON will visit the students twice during the period of the Work Placement to check on progress and to assess the students. The assessor can make additional visits as required or if required by the Workplace Supervisor. Students will have structured tasks to complete during placements. Students are advised about the tasks to be completed in the workplace in their Student Assessment booklets. At each visit the assessor will discuss with the Workplace Supervisor the students’ progress and overall performance. They will also discuss progress with the student individually.

Third party reports will be used to confirm that students have gained the relevant skills expected by industry and so that learner skills are observed in a number of occasions in different settings. Third parties’ expectations are outlined in the Work Placement Supervisor booklet.

AAON trainers and assessors will ensure that workplace personnel who will instruct and assist learners with workplace requirements and complete third party reports are supported and understand their role in the assessment process.  All workplaces are required to induct students during day one of placement.

Trainers and assessors will also ensure that workplaces are consulted about the required tasks and will make reasonable changes to workplace tasks if required to suit the local workplace conditions as long as the change fits the unit assessment requirements. All such changes must be recorded in the assessment record

Placements will be in an accredited aged care facility, mental health facility and or home and community. AAON has agreements with sufficient workplaces to provide suitable placements for the intended numbers of students in each group. A workplace agreement is in place for each student. AAON maintains its own student insurance scheme.

AAON trainers and assessors will visit each workplace to support students and conduct assessment observations at least one for each cluster.

Assessment Arrangement

Assessment will be conducted individually. You will be provided with a Student Assessment Booklet for each unit of competency/cluster which includes:

  • A full description of all assessment tasks for the unit of competency
  • Assessment instructions for each unit of competency
  • Assessment resources for each unit of competency
  • Details about when assessment will occur
  • Details about assessment submission

There are a variety of assessment methods used for this qualification including:

  • Written questions
  • Projects
  • Case studies
  • Role Plays
  • Research
  • Reports

You will be required to complete assessments in class and there may be a need for some work to be done as homework, however this is not expected to exceed 12 hours per week.

You will be advised by your trainer and assessor about the assessment requirements for each unit at the commencement of delivery for that unit. Submission of assessment tasks will be in in person to the trainer/assessor.

Course Progress Requirements

Satisfactory course progress is required in order to meet visa requirements. More information can be found in the International Student Handbook that also includes information on the specific support that is available to international students. 

Students who are identified as being at risk of not meeting course progress requirements will be provided with additional support as recorded in an intervention strategy.  Students are also required to maintain satisfactory attendance to meet their visa requirements.

Course Credit

Students may be eligible for course credit as a result of previous study, prior experience or recognition of a competency currently held. The granting of course credit means that students do not have to complete part of the course because of existing experience and/or qualifications or statements of attainment. Course credit can be provided through national recognition, credit transfer or recognition of prior learning. These terms are explained in detail in our Student Handbook. Students must apply for Course Credit prior to the end of the second week of the first term but are encouraged to apply at the time of course application. For further information about course credit and how to apply, contact our office.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where skills and knowledge that you have gained through work and life experience and other unrecognised training can be formally recognised.

Australian Academy of Nursing Pty Ltd has a process that has been structured to minimise the time and cost to applicants and provides a supportive approach to students wishing to take up this option.  You should ideally apply for RPL at the time of enrolment but you may also apply up to 2 weeks into your course.

During the entry process and interview stage Australian Academy of Nursing Pty Ltd will discuss with you the process and options for RPL.  Suitability is often determined on how much experience you have in a certain area, your work history and previous training. If RPL is determined as a possibility for you, you will be provided with a kit that will guide you in working through each unit to determine relevant skills and experience and identify whether you would be able to provide the required evidence.

A trainer/assessor will be available to assist you throughout this process.

*Please refer to the Student Handbook for more information on our fees and refund policy on RPL.


Onshore Students

Payment Plan

  • A $500 non-refundable enrolment deposit (materials & administration fees) prior to commencement + $1000 Tuition Fee
  • 4 x installments of $1,250 payable at the commencement of each term

Total Course Fees: $6,500

Offshore Students

Students can choose to pay the total course fees upfront (100%) or via the following payment plan.

  • A $500 non-refundable enrolment deposit (materials & administration fees) prior to commencement + $1000 Tuition Fee
  • 4 x installments of $1,750 payable at the commencement of each term

Total Course Fees: $8,500

Also view

How to Apply

Please download and complete the appropriate enrolment form and email it to [email protected] 

If you are transferring from another provider, please ensure you have a letter of release so that Australian Academy of Nursing Pty Ltd can issue you with a new Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) letter.

Phone: (02) 1300 415 233

Once we receive your completed forms we will contact you to arrange an entry interview.

This course outline should be read in conjunction with AAON’s Student Handbook.