1 year full time or longer for part time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face with eLearning, Online
Start dates:
1 February 2024
20 February 2024
Application due dates:
Applications for this course are currently being accepted.


Begin a rewarding career supporting people experiencing mental health issues with a Certificate IV in Mental Health CHC43315 at Victoria University (VU). 

Australia’s need for welfare support workers is booming, with 25% more jobs expected in the sector in the next five years. With this mental health course, you’ll have the foundational knowledge, skills and confidence to get started in work that improves outcomes for people in need.

Get job-ready for the rewarding work of building trusting relationships with clients and helping them overcome obstacles to achieve their goals through self-directed and group-supported recovery. You’ll learn about:

  • dual diagnosis and co-existing needs
  • providing mental health services
  • mental health recovery approaches
  • networking and working collaboratively
  • understanding and working with diversity
  • legal and ethical issues.

Gain practical industry experience and on-the-job confidence during your 80 hours of work placement.

Through the support of your industry-connected teachers and experienced professionals in the field, you’ll develop your communication skills and your ability to develop and maintain relationships.

Studying your Certificate IV in Mental Health at VU means you’ll benefit from guaranteed entry and a smooth transition into a Bachelor of Psychological Studies.

In this degree you’ll deepen your understanding of human behaviour, and get workplace experience on placement with our partner organisations, which include:

  • the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing
  • family and carer support services
  • arts and cultural organisations
  • refugee and asylum seeker support services
  • public and private health services
  • school settings.

Join us at one of our information sessions 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:

  • 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 mental health support

As a qualified social worker eligible for accreditation by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), you’ll be ready for a variety of roles within not-for-profit and charitable organisations, as well as the community and government sectors. Your job title could be:

  • social worker
  • community health centre counsellor
  • youth worker
  • drug and alcohol worker
  • homelessness policy officer.

Take advantage of the strong future growth expected in social work, which is expected to grow very strongly over the next five years

Course structure

To be awarded the CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health, a student must successfully complete a total of fifteen (15) units of competency, comprising of:

  • eleven (11) core units, and;
  • four (4) elective units, of which:
  • at least two (2) units must be selected from the electives listed in the CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health qualification, including at least one (1) unit from the At Risk group, and;
  • up to two (2) units may be selected from 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 Victoria University 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).



Must have (1) Unit from Category - At Risk Electives

Other Named Electives

This qualification reflects the role of workers who provide self-directed recovery oriented support for people affected by mental illness and psychiatric disability. Work involves implementing community based programs and activities focusing on mental health, mental illness and psychiatric disability. Work is undertaken in a range of community contexts such as community based non-government organisations; home based outreach; centre-based programs; respite care; residential services, rehabilitation programs; clinical settings; or supporting people in employment. Work is carried out autonomously under the broad guidance of other practitioners and professionals.

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 VU application process, applicants are required to complete the following to determine suitability for admission:
- complete a Pre-training Review (PTR)
- must undertake a literacy and numeracy assessment
- must be at least 18 years of age or over at the commencement of the course
- provide a written application outlining reasons for choosing this specific course
Practical Placement Requirements:
For employment and practical placement purposes, all applicants require:
- a current and satisfactory Police Record Check
- a current and valid Working with Children Check
- COVID-19 Vaccine RequirementMental Health services that offer placements to students may require evidence of covid-19 vaccination. Students who do not have evidence of vaccination may not be offered a placement and therefore will not be able to complete their course. VU strongly recommends that students have evidence of full vaccination to participate in the required practical placement for this course. In addition to COVID-19 vaccinations, based on public health orders/advice or industry requirements, students may be required to provide evidence of additional health checks or immunisations to undertake placement.
Suggested sites you could visit to obtain these checks:
- Police Record Check - http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=274
- Working with Children Check - http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/

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.

On completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry into the following degree and in some cases receive credit for your study:

You will be guaranteed entry only.

Find out more about our study pathways to VU

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:

  • 1 February 2024
  • 20 February 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

Enquire now – TAFE

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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.