Diploma & Training

The completion of the Diploma of Financial Counselling is the first step in becoming a Financial Counsellor.

The Diploma is a nationally accredited course available through two Registered Training Organisations in South Australia. Those organisations are TAFE SA and the Australian Institute Social Relations through Relationships Australia SA (RASA).

Please read below for information and contact details for both courses.




Diploma of Financial Counselling (CHC51115)
This qualification provides you with the skills and knowledge to be able to deliver a specialist service within the community services sector. They will work with a variety of people faced with debt and other financial issues. This qualification will provide you with specialist knowledge, paralegal skills and competencies focusing on credit and debt issues affecting clients and their rights and obligations. It provides a solid understanding of social and systemic issues that impact on financial counselling clients.

 The Diploma of Financial counselling 14 core units plus 3 electives. We teach the financial units and the counselling units in clusters. We offer a blended delivery method of online and face to face learning, along with recognition for prior learning and credit transfer for eligible students. Each student will undergo individual course counselling to establish training needs. This blended delivery model has strong connections to industry professional requirements and current resources.

Work Placement – An industry placement is required. This ensures first-hand experience in the sector making students more jobs ready. Depending on your experience, you may be required to do a placement of up to 220 hours.

Our delivery model can be adapted to suit group training needs for your requirements as the financial unit and the counselling are delivered separately.

Vet Student Loans

TAFE SA is an approved provider under the VET Student Loans scheme which assists eligible students with tuition fees. For more information please go to -https://www.education.gov.au/vet-student-loans

Fees – Subsidised training through Work Ready
This course is subsidised through the Government of South Australia’s Work Ready initiative. To access subsidised training through Work Ready, your suitability to complete the qualification will be assessed. This may include participation in a Language, Literacy and Numeracy pre-assessment. Please see the TAFE SA website for further information.


Duration – Students will have up to two years to complete the Diploma.

Credit Transfer
Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest pathways towards a University Degree. Credit Transfer is the formal recognition that parts of a TAFE SA course are equivalent in content and level to parts of some University courses.

How to Apply
Applications are made online through SATAC. Applications are free.
Applicants can make one application for up to three course preferences.

      For SA application please apply via the TAFESA website – twww.tafesa.edu.au

      Start your SATAC online application by clicking an ‘Apply Now’ button.

For interstate applicants or general enquiries please contact -

Christine Heusler Lecturer / Co-coordinator
T 08 8391 7391  MB 0477 741 429
E Christine.Heusler@tafesa.edu.au

Contact us -
Christine Heusler Lecturer / Co-coordinator
T 08 8391 7391  MB 0477 741 429
E Christine.Heusler@tafesa.edu.au
W tafesa.edu.au

John Morris -Lecturer


Jude Rogers- Lecturer



Australian Institute of Social Relations

CHC51115 Diploma of Financial Counselling

The following information is current for Semester 1 2017


This qualification reflects the role of financial counsellors working in a variety of agencies that meet the requirements for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) exemption from a financial services or credit licence under ASIC class order 10/1063. Financial counsellors work across a variety of metropolitan, rural and remote settings.

All financial counsellors have specialist knowledge of legal remedies and options to manage debt and financial difficulty and are advocates who work in a model of social justice and client empowerment.

This qualification is NOT related to the work performed by financial planners or financial advisers whose role is to provide clients with strategies to address their investment options and require a financial services licence for their work under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2010. This qualification is also not appropriate for financial capability workers.

This qualification does NOT refer to therapeutic counselling. Psychological issues, which affect individuals, families and groups such as gambling, substance abuse, child abuse and mental or physical health problems require referral to a professionally qualified practitioner. However, a recognition of, and an ability to work within, a counselling framework and the way in which other issues may interact with financial issues is highly relevant to financial counselling practice.

To achieve this qualification, you must complete 220 hours of work placement.

Though this course structure does not address the specific learning and assessment requirements for Rural financial counsellors, this option is available. Please contact the RTO for further information.


9 months plus completion of 220 hour work placement


This qualification is delivered via blended learning and a mandatory work placement of 220 hours.

Entry Requirements

To gain entry into CHC51115 Diploma of Financial Counselling it is recommended that candidates have sufficient relevant work experience to indicate likely success at this level of qualification in a job role involving:

  • The self-directed application of knowledge with substantial depth in some areas
  • The exercise of independent judgement and decision-making
  • The application of relevant technical and other skills


You may be eligible for Recognition for this qualification. Please see the Recognition Application Kit for more details.

Assessment Methods


  • Observation
  • Question and answer – verbal
  • Workplace reports
  • Quiz


  • Question and answer – written
  • Simulations
  • Peer feedback


  • Participation


  • Self-assessment


Mandatory Work Placement


A mandatory work placement, of 220 hours, is a requirement for this qualification. Work placements are strongly supported in this industry to:

  • strengthen your experience of the workplace to support future expectations of performance in the workforce
  • develop practice skills and application of knowledge within the workplace, promoting stronger embedding of learning
  • provide exposure to real workplace situations and circumstances which cannot be replicated in a learning environment or simulation This work placement is integrated with the learning program and captures a range of evidence to support a decision of competency.

The work placement is supported by a comprehensive structured learning plan to guide and support you and your workplace supervisor, detailing the purpose of the placement and the minimum requirements that must be met.

Employment Opportunities

Upon successful completion of this qualification, participants can be employed as a financial counsellor in a range of organisations and settings, including non-government agencies in community settings across urban, regional and rural sectors.


The Australian Institute of Social Relations: 49a Orsmond Street, Hindmarsh SA 5007


Full fee: $7,000 (which includes a $500 enrolment fee)



You may be eligible for Recognition for this qualification. Please see the Recognition Application Kit on the website for more details.

Enrolments and Further Information

For further information or to enroll, contact the Australian Institute of Social Relations:

Email: rto@rasa.org.au

Web: www.socialrelations.edu.au

Phone: (08) 8245 8100 Fax: (08) 8346 7333