SkillsIQ, under the direction of the Client Services Industry Reference Committee (IRC), has undertaken a project to update the existing Diploma of Financial Counselling and four existing Financial Counselling (CHCFIN) Units of Competency and to develop two new Financial Counselling (CHCFIN) Units of Competency to ensure that financial counsellors have access to current skills and knowledge, in order to meet the current and future needs of the Financial Counselling industry.
An update of the existing, nationally recognised Financial Counselling Qualification, three existing Units of Competency and the development of two new Units of Competency packaged within the CHC Training Package has been commissioned by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) under the direction of the Client Services IRC.
A Case for Change was submitted by the Client Services IRC in July 2021. It identified the key changes that have occurred in recent years in terms of the operating and regulatory environment of the financial counselling sector that have impacted the job role of financial counsellors. This presented a compelling need for an update. The IRC proposed that the CHC51115 Diploma of Financial Counselling Qualification and three existing CHCFIN Units of Competency be updated, and that two new Units of Competency relating to financial counselling job roles be created.
This Qualification was released in 2015. Since then, there have been key changes in the sector and job role in terms of standards and protocols; new ideas and techniques; digital technologies; and terminology used within the discipline of financial counselling. The Qualification therefore needs to reflect current industry practice and knowledge to equip existing and new workers to perform their job roles in an efficient and effective manner, providing individuals seeking financial counselling services with accurate information and advice in order to make critical financial decisions for their households and/or businesses.
To inform the update of the Diploma Qualification, four existing Units of Competency and the development of two new Units of Competency, a Financial Counselling Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprised of stakeholders and subject matter experts from across Australia was formed.
The Financial Counselling TAC worked on updating one existing Qualification and three existing Units of Competency that were released in Draft 1 format for public consultation in October 2021. In response to feedback obtained from Draft 1 public consultation, the Unit CHCFIN004 Provide rural financial counselling services was added for review within the scope of this project. Draft 2 TP products were released for validation consultation in December 2021.
Formation of the TAC informed the identification and validation of the exact nature of the skills needs and knowledge requirements in the industry and the respective Training Package Product update requirements.
As a result, the following developments have been proposed:
- There has been no change to the requirement that seventeen Units need to be completed for the attainment of the Qualification. However, the Packaging Rules for the core and electives have been updated to require that:
◦ thirteen core Units and
◦ four elective Units now be attained.
- The elective lists now include the following three groups:
◦ Group A – Mandatory electives
◦ Group B – Rural Financial Counselling specialisation
◦ Group C – General electives.
- The Unit CHCCDE002 Develop and implement community programs has been moved from the core and is now included in the Group A Mandatory electives.
- In response to feedback obtained from Draft 1 public consultation, Unit CHCFIN004 Provide rural financial counselling services has been added for review within the scope of this project and has been moved to Group A – Mandatory electives.
- The following Unit of Competency has been added to the elective list:
◦ CHCDFV001 Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence.
- The following Units of Competency have been removed from the elective list:
◦ CHCCCS004 Assess co-existing needs
◦ CHCCOM002 Use communication to build relationships
◦ CHCCSM005 Develop, facilitate and review all aspects of case management.
- The following Units of Competency are currently being reviewed as part of the Community Services project and will be updated upon endorsement:
◦ CHCCSM004 Coordinate complex case requirements
◦ CHCSET001 Work with forced migrants
◦ CHCSET002 Undertake bicultural work with forced migrants in Australia.
- The following three updated units are included as core Units in the Qualification:
◦ CHCFIN006 Establish the financial counselling relationship
◦ CHCFIN007 Provide advice, counselling and representation to financial counselling clients
◦ CHCFIN008 Manage case administration and apply professional practice in financial counselling.
- The following updated Unit is included in Group A - Mandatory electives:
◦ CHCFIN011 Provide rural financial counselling services.
- The following two new Financial Counselling Units of Competency have been developed by the Financial Counselling TAC to reflect the new skills and knowledge required by financial counsellors and have been included as core Units in the Qualification:
◦ CHCFIN009 Provide financial counselling and systemic advocacy within a social justice framework
◦ CHCFIN010 Apply basic concepts of small business to financial counselling.
- Foundation Skills tables in all the Units have been updated to include skills essential to performance in the Units but which are not explicit in the Performance Criteria, along with a brief context statement.
- Performance Evidence, Knowledge Evidence and Assessment Conditions have been updated in all the Units of Competency.
To take forward Training Package Product update work, the Financial Counselling TAC and the Client Services IRC have subsequently reviewed and confirmed the changes required for the development of the final drafts, based on feedback received during Draft 1 public consultation and Draft 2 validation.
The Client Services IRC is comprised of a number of key expert stakeholders within the industry, as follows:
The Financial Counselling TAC comprised of a number of key subject matter expert stakeholders within the industry, as follows: