Graduate Diploma of Relationship Counselling – CHC81015


This course applies to workers who are employed in a family and/or couples relationship counselling role. This qualification has particular relevance to counsellors working in independently or in organisations, providing counselling interventions, (rather than counselling support), for families and/or couples experiencing relationship issues of a complex nature.

Counselling contexts may include pre- or post- separation and divorce or where the client has involvement with the Family Law system. Counsellors at this level are making high level, independent, complex judgements in highly specialised contexts.

Counselling occupations may also involve full responsibility and accountability for all aspects of work of self and others and functions including, program planning, budget, strategy, design and analysis.


The candidates who are awarded this qualification may work with the following occupation titles:

  • Child and Family Counsellor
  • Family Counsellor
  • Contact Service Practice Manager
  • Family Relationship counsellor
  • Couples Counsellor
  • Marriage Counsellor
  • Divorce Counsellor
  • Separations Counsellor

At the Graduate Diploma (AQF8) level:

  • Graduates will have advanced knowledge and mastery skills in relationship counselling areas and their professional occupations.
  • Graduates will have advanced cognitive and communication skills

To select and apply methods and to:

  • Analyse critically, evaluate and transform information to complete a range of activities
  • Analyse, generate and transmit solutions to complex problems transmit knowledge, skills and ideas to others
  • Graduates will apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, well-developed judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner or learner

Duration and Requirements

The Graduate Diploma course can be completed in one year if studied full-time. Part-time study options are available. Each subject takes 110 hrs on average to complete. Students need to spend 25-35hours in studying a week. To complete the Graduate Diploma of counselling, 11 units of competency are required including 5 core units and 6 elective units. (see course structure part below for the specific descriptions)

Work application requirements

For award of this qualification, candidates must complete workplace application under direct supervision. Based on this workplace application, evidence provided by the supervisor will contribute to assessment of the candidate’s ability to apply skills and knowledge as specified in the core units of competency (CHCDFV811C, CHCFCS801B, CHCFCS802B, CHCFCS804B and CHCFCS806C).


This course is delivered in Sydney (9 Blaxland Road Rhodes, NSW 2138) or Canberra (ACC building Gate 2 Randwick Road Lyneham 2602) and on line study also will be available for the remote area students.

COSTS 2019

Fees for full-time students of Graduate Diploma of  Relationship Counselling are published on ACC Website.


An undergraduate degree or higher qualification in Counselling, Psychotherapy, Psychology, Social Work, Social Science or equivalent


  • An accredited qualification in counselling at Diploma or Advanced Diploma level


  • Previous experience in a family counselling environment 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, and a range of technical and other skills.


In general terms, training will be provided through:

a) Intensive seminars that are held every term
b) Private study time for each subject
c) One-on-one mentoring by a qualified trainer
     This may be either over the phone or skype, in the Classes,
d) Small group discussion or peer supervision with a qualified trainer
e) Counselling practice in organization or in private practice
f) Professional supervision on counselling practice.
g) Completion of a range of assignments such as Journals, Written Assesments, Essays, Report, Open book test, Oral test, Presentation, Small group discussion, Counselling Practice, Interview or Reading Materials.


Each unit was designed for accredited training in counselling with vocational outcomes. It will train students to achieve learning outcomes and units of competency through proper training and assessment process and tools.
Each assessment method is designed to cover units of competency.
Students who successfully completed all the requirements of each training stage graduate the diploma course which means they obtain the result of “Competent” in all subjects.
Final Academic Transcripts will show results as either

C Competent
NYC Not Yet Competent.

When students are satisfactory in all assessments, they receive the result of “Competent”
When they are not satisfactory in a certain assessment, they get “Not Yet Competent” A student whose result for an assessment item is “Not Yet Competent” will have a second chance to resubmit the assignment. If the result of the second submitted assignment is still not satisfactory, the student need to pay a penalty fifty dollars per assignment and may resubmit their assignment but that will be their last chance. If the student does not pass the subject, the student needs to enrol in the whole subject again. In that case the student must make a full payment for that subject again.

ACC follows principles of assessment and rules of evidence in assessment process in line with the standards of NVR RTO
Principles of assessment are required to ensure quality outcomes. Assessments should be fair, flexible, valid and reliable as follows:

  1. Fairness: Fairness requires consideration of the individual candidate’s needs and characteristics, and any reasonable adjustments that need to be applied to take account of them. It requires clear communication between the assessor and the candidate to ensure that the candidate is fully informed about, understands, and is able to participate in, the assessment process, and agrees that the process is appropriate. It also includes an opportunity for the person being assessed to challenge the result of the assessment and to be reassessed if necessary.
  2. Flexible: To be flexible, assessment should reflect the candidate’s needs; provide for recognition of competencies no matter how, where or when they have been acquired; draw on a range of methods appropriate to the context, competency and the candidate; and, support continuous competency development.
  3. Validity: There are five major types of validity: face, content, criterion (i.e. predictive and concurrent), construct and consequential. In general, validity is concerned with the appropriateness of the inferences, use and consequences that result from the assessment. In simple terms, it is concerned with the extent to which an assessment decision about a candidate (e.g. competent/not yet competent, a grade and/or a mark), based on the evidence of performance by the candidate, is justified. It requires determining conditions that weaken the truthfulness of the decision, exploring alternative explanations for good or poor performance, and feeding them back into the assessment process to reduce errors when making inferences about competence.
    Unlike reliability, validity is not simply a property of the assessment tool. As such, an assessment tool designed for a particular purpose and target group may not necessarily lead to valid interpretations of performance and assessment decisions if the tool was used for a different purpose and/or target group
  4. Reliability: There are five types of reliability: internal consistency; parallel forms; split-half; inter-rater; and, intra-rater. In general, reliability is an estimate of how accurate or precise the task is as a measurement instrument. Reliability is concerned with how much error is included in the evidence.

Rules of Evidence are closely related to the principles of assessment and provide guidance on the collection of evidence to ensure that it is valid, sufficient, authentic and current as follows:

  1. Validity: see Principles of Assessment.
  2. Sufficiency: Sufficiency relates to the quality and quantity of evidence assessed. It requires collection of enough appropriate evidence to ensure that all aspects of competency have been satisfied and that competency can be demonstrated repeatedly. Supplementary sources of evidence may be necessary. The specific evidence requirements of each unit of competency provide advice on sufficiency.
  3. Authenticity: To accept evidence as authentic, an assessor must be assured that the evidence presented for assessment is the candidate’s own work.
  4. Currency: Currency relates to the age of the evidence presented by candidates to demonstrate that they are still competent. Competency requires demonstration of current erformance, so the evidence must be from either the present or the very recent past.


Australia Christian College is highly committed to equity and access policy to help students with disabilities who need help in completing the course. ACC may play a role in overcoming barriers or provide access to external services. If necessary, course delivery and assessing methods may be modified to take into account of their circumstances while maintaining integrity of the unit of competency. (See ‘ Students with Special Needs’ on your student handbook for the further details.)


The following course specific competencies are achieved through completion of Graduate Diploma of relationship Counselling.

Core Units

National Code Competency
CHCDFV811C Respond to domestic and family violence in family work
CHCFCS801B Apply theory and practice of counselling approaches
CHCFCS802B Provide relationship counselling
CHCFCS804B Provide counselling to children and young people
CHCFCS806C Work within a clinical supervision framework

Elective Units

National Code Competency
CHCAOD510B Work effectively with clients with complex alcohol and/or other drugs issues
CHCOR624E Provide leadership in community services delivery
CHCCHILD403B Promote the safety, well being and welfare of children, young people and their families
CHCORG428A Reflect on and improve own professional practice
CHCORG529B Provide coaching and motivation
CHCCD413E Work within specific communities


To receive Graduate Diploma of Relationship Counselling, students must satisfactorily complete the subjects in the following table. Graduate Diploma course includes 11 subjects (5 units of core units and 5 units of elective units ), approximately 1200 hours of study.

Subject Code Name Subject length Competency Code Volume (hr: hours)
COCM801 Counselling theory and practice TERM CHCFCS801B 100hr
COCM802 Relationship Counselling TERM CHCFCS802B 100hr
COCM803 Children and Youth counselling TERM CHCFCS804B 100hr
COCM804 Clinical counselling with supervision YEAR CHCFCS806C 200hr
COCM805 Domestic violence TERM CHCCSL505A 100hr
COCM806 Alcohol and Drug addiction TERM CHCAOD510B 100hr
COCM807 Wellbeing in children, youth and family TERM CHCCHILD403B 100hr
COCM808 Leadership TERM CHCFCS803B 100hr
COCM809 Counselling reflection and improvement TERM CHCORG428A 100hr
COCM810 Coaching and Motivation TERM CHCORG529B 100hr
COCM811 Specific communities work TERM/YEAR CHCCD413E 100hr


Not Applicable


General and OSP Courses(1 week later only for students in Canberra)

2019 Intensive Seminar

Term1 25, 26/02/2019
Term2 6, 7/05/2019
Term3 22, 23/07/2019
Term4 31/09,01/10/2019
Term1 4, 5/03/2019
Term2 9/05/2019
Term3 25, 26/07/2019
Term4 4/10/2019
Term1 27, 28/02/2019
Term2 13/05/2019
Term3 29, 30/07/2019
Term4 07/10/2019

2019 Semester 1
Term 1 25/02/2019 – 05/05/2019
Term 2 06/05/2019– 21/07/2019
2019 Semester 2
Term 3 22/07/2019 – 29/09/2019
Term 4 30/09/2019 – 06/12/2019