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CHC52021 Diploma of Community Services

National ID: CHC52021 State ID: BIJ1
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Do you want to make a real difference?

When you complete the Diploma of Community Services you'll be on your way to a team leading career as a program coordinator, early intervention worker, or case manager.

In this course you will acquire the knowledge to recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence, facilitate and review case management and manage legal and ethical compliance. Working in Community Services is diverse and includes identifying support needed, and assisting to resolve personal issues by assigning resources that meet clients' needs.

The actual units studied and the associated fees may vary depending on the campus you apply for. 

Formalise your skills as an existing worker in community services

If you’re working in the community services industry, our Bentley workshop-style course will allow you to gain this qualification after hours at Bentley campus. Look for the part time study option below to apply.

Want to find out more about this industry?

Students in community services benefit from sharing information about organisations, initiatives and leading expertise in our Community Services Facebook page.

Community Services at SM TAFE Facebook page



  • develop and manage community programs
  • promote social, emotional and physical wellbeing
  • respond to critical situations
  • manage service delivery
  • develop policy and research
  • coordinate volunteers
  • develop and maintain professional networks
  • work with cultural diversity
  • ethical behaviour 
  • legal responsibilities


In order to make an informed choice about the suitability of this course, you must take into account the essential skills and knowledge required to undertake this study.

  • Able to work with a National Police Clearance that is free of any criminal conviction 
  • Able to communicate well in English with clients, families and community members
  • Able to perform manual lifting tasks in personal care work
  • Can work through confronting content on topics such as sexual abuse, childhood trauma, domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse
  • Can maintain positivity and be respectful, resilient and empathetic 
  • Can maintain confidentiality, uses initiative and leadership skills
  • Strong communication, consultation, problem solving and negotiation skills

This qualification is directly aligned with priority industry areas where the jobs are today, and into the future. As part of the state government Lower fees, local skills initiative, from 1 January 2020 through to 31 December 2025 you'll only pay half the course fees, capped for each year at $1,200; or $400 (plus resource fee) if you're aged 15—24 or eligible for a concession. Find out more


Online study is available for this course. Be sure to check the study requirements tab for information about studying this course using eCampus including study assistance and our helpful online study guide, then use the apply now link where you see the online study option. 

VET Student Loans (VSL)

This course is a VET Student Loan eligible course. A VET Student Loan creates a debt that must be repaid to the Commonwealth and is only available to students who are eligible.

To find out if you are eligible or to see the list of eligible courses visit our Student Loans page.

This course requires flu and COVID-19 vaccination, medical test, police clearance and working with children check prior to work placement. See the important information tab for instructions. 

School Leaver Non-School Leaver AQF
Completion of WACE General or ATAR (Minimum C Grades) or equivalent Completion of WACE General or ATAR or equivalent (minimum C Grades) Certificate III
  • Completion of CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Services or equivalent industry experience is preferred prior to commencing this course.  
  • If you do not meet the entry requirements of CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services, we recommend applying for CHC42015 Certificate IV in Community Services
  • Students must be at least 18 years old to commence this course, or
  • Have prior work or study experience in Community Services
  • Must be currently employed in the industry.

Attendance in class

You will need to attend class for 2 semesters when studied full-time, the days and times differ between campuses.  

As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately 20 minutes of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, assignment preparation, and research.

You will need to have the basic technical requirements(opens in a new tab)  for at-home study. If you don’t have access to a computer and WiFi at home, we recommend using our library computers(opens in a new tab)  during library hours.

What you need for your first day of class

On your first day you should bring your SM TAFE confirmation enrolment receipt, your student ID and stationery (pen and exercise book). Clothing suitable for an office work place must be worn.

Work placement

This qualification requires the completion of a work placement of approximately 240 hours. If you live in the local area of Perth you will be assisted to find a placement if you are unable to find one. Your work placement requires you to be available to attend during weekdays and you may need to rearrange  personal or work commitments to be able to attend.

Online study

Students completing the online study option will complete two units at a time, with progress monitored by their lecturer. This can be done at a pace suitable to you but for each group of units you have 4 months to complete, so we recommend you use our schedule provided to you at enrolment to assist you in avoiding having to re-enrol in the unit.

Students must be able to demonstrate practical skills to achieve this qualification when studying fully online. For each unit there is a requirement to demonstrate performance tasks and skills, these will need to be simulated, recorded and submitted for assessment.

The nature of online study can involve a significant investment of time and the ability to be a focused, self-motivated learner. You should consider your personal circumstances and past study history before committing to study online. Find out more in our online study info pack below.

Online study info pack (334 KB) (PDF document - opens in a new tab)

Work placement - online studies

This qualification requires the completion of a work placement of approximately 240 hours, to be arranged by yourself. Your work placement requires you to be available to attend during weekdays and you may need to rearrange  personal or work commitments to be able to attend. 


Existing workers

Diploma of Community Services for existing workers is part time over 4 semesters, 1 night a week at Bentley campus. It is designed for people who are currently working in the Community Services industry who wish to upskill or formalise their qualifications.

It is expected that students will utilise case studies from their own workplaces and will study additional hours to enhance the workshop learning. Applicants will need to provide a resume and current job description to determine suitability.

To study online and on campus, you should be prepared to commit to independent study and to attend our campuses. To help you understand what it takes to study online and on campus at SM TAFE, download our info pack below.

Online and on campus study info pack (337 KB) (PDF document - opens in a new tab)

All students enrolled in Community Services, Youth Work and Mental Health are encouraged to obtain First Aid training (HLTAID011 is preferred). On campus students will receive first aid training as a unit in the recommended study plan. Online students will need to organise and pay for the training as their own responsibility.

You may be required to obtain a Working With Children Check and National Police Clearance prior to a supervised work placement. This will depend on the organisation you arrange your work placement with.

For more information visit: in a new tab) in a new tab)

Important COVID-19 update

This course requires you to undertake a mandatory work placement with an employer associated with an industry outlined in the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy. This means that you must be at least double vaccinated prior to your work placement. Please note that some work placements may request triple vaccination. For the latest information on vaccine requirements for students visit our COVID-19 update pageStudents will also be required to have a current season flu vaccination to be eligible to go out on a hospital, aged care or community placement.


Please note this list should be used as a guide only as job titles and qualification requirements may vary between organisations.

SM TAFE actively promotes the employment availability of course graduates to key industry partners and organisations. We also seek expressions of interest from organisations for the placement of our students into work experience. In addition, this course involves work placement, giving you further opportunity to develop relationships with potential employers. We endeavour to assist students into a career pathway, but please be aware that employment is not guaranteed by us.

To access free career planning and job search assistance, visit the Jobs and Skills Centres page.

Become a specialist in your field with university study

The information about university credit points and tuition costs provides a general guide only. SM TAFE recommends students discuss credit points with the university or college of their choice at the time of graduation.

Murdoch University

This course has a study pathway to Murdoch University(opens in a new tab) as of January 2021.

Select your preferred campus and apply

Click on your preferred campus and study mode below to get started with your application. 

All year round

When All year round
Where eCampus
How Online

Semester 1, 2024

Duration 2 Semesters
When Semester 1, 2024
Where Armadale
How On Campus
Duration 2 Semesters
When Semester 1, 2024
Where Murdoch
How On Campus
Duration 2 Semesters
When Semester 1, 2024
Where Mandurah
How On Campus
When Semester 1, 2024
Where Bentley

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