CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services - RPL

From time to time Alphacrucis College is able to offer the Diploma of Community Services - RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning), a unique program designed to equip people to think and act differently regarding community transformation. For information on when the RPL will run, contact our Future Students team.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a streamlined way to have your experience and prior training recognised formally through evidence submitted to AC as well as required gap training to meet the Diploma of Community Services qualification.

Course Description

5 Day RPL - People with community services experience have the opportunity to obtain an accredited Diploma of Community Services by participating in a 5 day RPL. This RPL mode draws upon your many years of community engagement ministry experience and provides quality gap training. The Diploma of Community Services is endorsed by the ACC NSW President Pastor Paul Bartlett, and is based on the TGIM Community Engagement Model, outlining the latest best practice in community engagement. It is specifically designed for experienced community workers and those who have experience in church based community services work.


Course Structure

To be awarded the Diploma of Community Services, students must show competency in 8 core and 8 elective units, or satisfy RPL requirements.

Note that in Victoria the Statutory & forensic child, youth & family welfare specialisation must be achieved in order to meet the minimum education requirements for child protection and youth justice practice. In addition, to meet the minimum education requirements for entry into child protection practice in Victoria, diploma qualifications must be approved by the Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA).


Core / 8 Subjects

CHCCCS007 Develop and implement service programs

CHCCOM003 Develop workplace communication strategies

CHCDEV002 Analyse impacts of sociological factors on clients in community work and services

CHCDIV003 Manage and promote diversity

CHCLEG003 Manage legal and ethical compliance

CHCMGT005 Facilitate workplace debriefing and support processes

CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practise

HLTWHS004 Manage work health and safety

Electives / 8 Subjects

CHCCDE010 Develop and lead community engagement strategies and enhance participation

CHCCDE009 Develop and support community leadership

CHCFAM003 Support people to improve relationships

BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team effectiveness

CHCGRP002 Plan and conduct group activities

CHCPRT001 Identify and respond to children and young people at risk

LEDWLD501 Understand and develop a worldview

MINPAS507A Implement and evaluate ministry function

For more details on which subjects you can choose, see the current enrolment guide for this course.

Entry Requirements


For prospective students from a non-English speaking background, an IELTS Score of 5.5 (or demonstrate equivalent English proficiency) is recommended.

Academic Entry Requirements

Nil. It is recommended students have a minimum of year 10, or equivalent. Students without a year 10 level, should demonstrate at least five years of community involvement. Each participant is required to complete the RPL Experience Checklist.

Applying for RPL

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process through which the skills, knowledge and experience that you already have may count towards the achievement of a nationally recognised qualification. Sometimes also referred to as 'skills recognition', RPL involves a formal assessment process, focusing on your ability to demonstrate that you have the required level of skills, knowledge and experience to meet the requirements for competency in the unit/s within the qualification.

Students join a supportive cohort of experienced people from a variety of community services to share best practice and learn from one another. They also receive teaching and input from the best trainers and some of the great leaders in our movement.

There are 3 steps in the RPL process:

Step 1 – Application

Students complete the RPL Application Form, providing as much information of their previous experience in community engagement as they can.

Additional documents required with the application:

- Birth Certificate or Passport
- CV (including details of 5+ years of community experience)

Step 2 – Gather the Evidence

Once students have applied and been accepted into the course they are sent Templates and instructions requesting three References and Wellness Instruments.  They also start working on an Evidence Checklist which refers to their work in the Diploma of Community Services Unit areas. 

They will be required to provide short answer responses, that are specific in detail and context, to a substantial number of questions.  These responses would include examples of: Place - the organisation worked for or volunteered with; Position - the role had at the time; and People – those the student supported i.e. clients, staff, community organisations etc.  They also need to provide, for example, copies of specified policies and procedures and a Safer Churches Certificate. 

This will all be clearly communicated prior to the course commencement.  It is also detailed in the Evidence Checklist and explained in more detail throughout the Intensive. 

Step 3 – One Week Intensive

If the appropriate evidence has been submitted, students are invited to attend the one-week intensive to finalise the RPL process. During this week they hear from leading practitioners in Community Engagement, Ethics and Leadership. 

Commencing with an orientation dinner on the Monday evening, the course runs full time over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and concludes early Friday afternoon.  AC provides dinner on the Monday evening, and lunch, morning and afternoon tea for the balance of the course.

Tips and Hints to Help You Prepare For Recognition

To have skills formally recognised in the national system, assessors must make sure you have the skills and knowledge to meet the industry standard. This means you must be involved in a careful and comprehensive process that covers the content of all unit/s or qualification/s you can be recognised for.

Assessment happens in a variety of ways. Being prepared can save you valuable time and hassle and make the recognition process stress-free for you.

Here are some tips and hints for you:

Be prepared to talk about your job roles and your work history. Submit a resume with as much detail about where you have worked, either paid or unpaid, and what you did there.

- Include your position description and any performance appraisals you have from any churches you have worked in.
- Consider the possibilities for workplace contact. Are you in a workplace that is supporting your goal to get qualified? Would you feel comfortable to have the assessor contact your workplace or previous workplaces so your skills can be validated?
- Think about who can confirm your skill level. Think about current or recent supervisors who have seen you work in the past 18 months and will be able to confirm your skills. The assessor will need to contact them. You may also have community contacts or even clients themselves who can vouch for your skill level.
- Collect any certificates from in-house training or formal training you have done in the past.

Would you like more Information? 


Phone:  1300 228 355 and speak with the Future Students team.

Study Modes

Locations: Online, Sydney
Duration: The course is made up of a 5-day intensive training + additional assessment submission time.
Time to complete assessments can vary but will generally take between 5 weeks to 3 months.

See the timetable to confirm individual subject location and mode availability.

Fees & Timetable

You may be eligible for a Vet Student Loan through this course. For more information, please visit the Financing Your Study and Fees pages.

For more information, email or call 1300 228 355.

Course Learning Outcomes

Not applicable to VET courses.

Career Opportunities

Once you get to know the uniqueness of your community, the possibilities are endless. You can work for community agencies, coordinate volunteers, or create your own service to meet a community need: Soup Kitchen? Opshop? Working with refugees? What does your community need?

Alumni Story

“Completing the Diploma has enabled me to have more confidence working in this field, and developing programs to be effective and of a high standard. It has also brought increased credibility when attending community gatherings and interagencies as I am now seen by others working in these fields to be qualified for the work.”

Jill Whalan,
Diploma of Community Services graduate


Meet Paul Bartlett

Paul Bartlett is the state president for Australian Christian Churches in NSW/ACT and the national leader for Community Engagement in Australia.

He has been the senior leader, together with his wife, Annette at Lighthouse for over 20 years.

Paul is the author of ‘Thank God It’s Monday’ and the newly released ‘Re-Think It – Unlearning how we think, to reach a changing world that’s thinking less about church.’

He is also a personal development coach to leaders and professionals in the broader community specialising in the area of leadership and vision development, team building and organisational change.

paul bartlett

Student Services

For more information on the suite of student support services available, please see our Student Services section.

Course Code: CHC52015