1 year full time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face with eLearning
Start date:
31 January 2024
Application due dates:
Applications for this course are currently being accepted.


Gain the skills to make a real difference to people’s lives with a Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs CHC43215 at Victoria University Polytechnic.

This course will provide you with the skills, knowledge and experience to support people with alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse problems. You’ll learn to provide a range of services, and implement health promotion and community interventions.

When you graduate, you’ll be job ready and have specialised knowledge relevant and transferable in other fields such as mental health and youth work.

Free TAFE - apply now

Eligible students currently won’t pay tuition fees for this course.

Free TAFE courses align with skills and jobs that are in high demand from Victorian employers.

Find out more about Free TAFE.

Students who successfully complete the CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health, have the opportunity to apply for the CHC43215 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs and receive the following credits. Note, eligibility rules must be met for entry requirements and Skills First Program. 

  • CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people  
  • CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically  
  • CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety  
  • CHCMHS005 Provide services to people with co-existing mental health and alcohol and other drugs issues
  • CHCMHS004 Work collaboratively with the care network and other services  
  • CHCMHS008 Promote and facilitate self advocacy  
  • CHCMHS011 Assess and promote social, emotional and physical wellbeing 

Everything you learn at Victoria University Polytechnic has direct links to the real world. We have prioritised forming close partnerships with 10 key industries, and community services is one of these. You’ll learn from teachers who have valuable industry contacts and the latest industry-standard skills and knowledge.

VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses.

We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available for all students.

Victoria University Polytechnic believes in inclusivity, diversity and opportunity. We have a strong history of community engagement, working with organisations in the region to develop programs that meet local needs.

These partnerships benefit the communities near each of our campuses, and benefit our students too. By contributing to local projects, we can ensure our students’ skills are well matched to opportunities in the region, and create networks for future employment.

Join us at one of our information sessions (online) to find out more about our courses in community services, community development, youth work, mental health, and alcohol and other drugs. The sessions will cover:

  • the course structure
  • information industry connections
  • placement opportunities
  • pathways to further study.

Sessions will be held online via Zoom on:

  • Tuesday 5 September, 10.30–11.30am
  • Monday 18 September, 12–1pm
  • Wednesday 4 October, 10.30–11.30am
  • Tuesday 24 October, 10.30–11.30am
  • Thursday 9 November, 5–6pm
  • Wednesday 22 November, 9–10am
  • Monday 11 December, 12–1pm
  • Wednesday 20 December, 10.30–11.30am.

Register for an information session.

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced Victoria University Polytechnic course advisers to get your questions answered.

Request a call back

TAFE resources

Careers in health and community services

The welfare and community services sector is one of Australia’s fastest growing sectors, and is expected to continue growing (Labour Market Insights). Studying with Victoria University Polytechnic can help you get your foot in the door as an alcohol and other drugs (AOD) worker.

The role of an AOD worker is diverse, challenging and rewarding. You will have specialised skills to help clients get their lives back on track, and your career can make a fulfilling contribution to your community.

You will be able to work in entry-level jobs in a range of contexts such as:

  • community mental health organisations
  • AOD organisations
  • residential rehabilitation services
  • outreach services
  • withdrawal services.

Example job titles include:

  • case worker
  • community support worker
  • detoxification worker
  • drug and alcohol worker
  • family support worker
  • detoxification worker
  • outreach worker
  • support worker.

Course structure

The course structure comprises the following core and elective units. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback.

To be awarded CHC43215 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs, a student must complete a total of seventeen (17) units of competency, consisting of:

  • twelve (12) core units, and;

  • five (5) elective units, consisting of:

  • three (3) units must be selected from the CHC43215 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs qualification, and;
  • two (2) units may be selected from the electives listed in the CHC43215 Certificate IV Alcohol and Other Drugs qualification or any endorsed training package or accredited course – these units must be relevant to the work outcome.

All electives chosen must contribute to a valid, industry-supported vocational outcome as well as be approved by the Polytechnic.

VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback. Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT).

Core units

Elective units


Units available for Credit Transfer only

Previous completion of units at the VU Polytechnic or any other Registered Training Organisation and/or previous attainment of skills and knowledge may be credited towards this course. Units must satisfy the completion rules of the qualification and be assessed as appropriate by the Polytechnic.

Units in Transition

Core unit in Transition replaced by HLTAID011

This qualification reflects the role of entry level workers who provide services and interventions to clients with alcohol and other drugs issues and/or implement health promotions and community interventions. Work is undertaken in contexts such as community based organisations, withdrawal services, residential rehabilitation services and outreach services under the guidance of other practitioners and professionals, with limited responsibility and within established parameters.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type for this course: VET

Fee type definitions

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full fee-paying place.

Students who enrol in a:

  • government subsidised place pay subsidised tuition fees (the government contributes the rest), and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee along with any material fees
  • full fee-paying place pay the full fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).

Calculate your VET course fees.

Find out more about:

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

As part of the application process, applicants must:
- be 18 years of age or over by the time of commencement date of the program
- complete a Pre-training Review (PTR)
- undertake a literacy and numeracy (LN) assessment to determine suitability for admission
- attend an interview
- be able to obtain a Working with Children check (WWCC) and Police check to be eligible to gain employment after the course.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

Available start dates:

  • 31 January 2024

Before you apply

Before starting your application, please read through the step-by-step VU Polytechnic application process to make sure you have all the necessary documents and information ready to successfully complete your application.

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

Apply direct to VU

Apply direct to VU using our admission centre, submit applications for one or more courses, track and save your progress and upload additional information.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

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Contact VU Polytechnic

Please note that if changes to this course occur, VU will notify students as soon as possible.

At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.