Skip to main content
Menu Menu

CHC51122 Diploma of Financial Counselling

National ID: CHC51122 State ID: BIP8
Share this course on your social media page

Become a qualified financial counsellor

Make a difference to the lives of those suffering financial hardship with a range of specialist legal, financial and counselling skills. 

Financial counsellors help people to manage their finances and understand credit and debt issues as well as their rights and obligations. To be able to operate in Australia as a financial counsellor, you must have this qualification.

SM TAFE is the only registered training organisation in WA to deliver this course face-to-face, allowing more people to utilise this important service while the WA economy recovers.  It also provides a solid understanding of social and systemic issues that impact on financial counselling clients. At the end of this course, you will have gained the skills and knowledge to provide advice, counselling and representation to financial counselling clients, as well as provide systematic advocacy within a social justice framework.

Many charitable organisations seek to employ people who can provide these specialist financial support services and those already working in the community services sector will also benefit from being able to provide financial counselling to help people regain control of their lives.

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


  • Manage the counselling relationship
  • Develop counselling interview skills
  • Application of technical financial information
  • Program community support mechanisms
  • Interpret and use financial law
  • Provide advocacy and referrals
  • Respond to crisis situations

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 COVID-19 vaccination 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

Applicants will need to demonstrate a work history in the form of a CV or resume to show that they have enough experience to tackle the broad aspects of learning to counsel at-risk clients in legal and financial matters 

This course is available as a traineeship.

Entrance requirements for traineeships

You must be employed in a training contract by an appropriate organisation to study an apprenticeship or traineeship. 

In a traineeship you also gain hands-on skills and work experience, and improve your employment prospects, while earning a wage. On successful completion you will gain a nationally recognised qualification which can lead to rewarding career options. The difference between a traineeship and an apprenticeship is that a traineeship can be either a full time or part time employment based training arrangement, usually for a nominal duration of 12 months or more, generally in a non-trade related area. 

To find out how to arrange a traineeship and study at South Metropolitan TAFE, please contact the Jobs and Skills Centre closest to you.

Work placement

There is a requirement for 220 hours work placement in a suitable Financial Counselling organisation in this course. You will be assisted to find an appropriate placement if you do not have one. Please note that you are required to complete your work placement in addition to your 2 days a week study on campus.

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. 

Attendance in class

You will need to attend class for 2 semesters when studied full-time, for 2 days per week in each semester.

As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately 2 hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, assignment preparation, and research. You will also need to complete your work placement hours.

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


Online study

Students completing the online study option will enrol into and complete 4-5 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 6 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.

Your study will use online software, with access provided to you after enrolment. You will need to have the basic technical requirements for at-home study. If you don’t have access to a computer and WiFi at home, we recommend using our library computers during library hours.

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)

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 triple-dose vaccinated prior to your work placement.  For the latest information on vaccine requirements for students visit our COVID-19 update page.

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

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

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 Bentley
How On Campus

Get help