1.5 years full time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face with eLearning
Application due dates:
For information on the next course start date, request a call back.


Gain the skills, knowledge and understanding to work in the community welfare sector with a Diploma of Community Services CHC52015 at Victoria University Polytechnic.

This community-services course will build your knowledge in service work and client support – so that you can make a genuine difference in people’s lives.

You will learn to develop and deliver programs and services that meet various needs of individuals and families.

Using a holistic, case-management approach, we will teach you to work effectively and compassionately with a diverse range of people.

You will also learn other skills such as advocacy, counselling and group work.

As part of your community-services diploma, you will gain valuable practical experience through undertaking a fieldwork placement.

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.

Everything you learn at Victoria University Polytechnic has direct links to the real world. You’ll learn from teachers who have valuable industry contacts and the latest industry-standard skills and knowledge. 

You’ll consolidate your skills through undertaking 205 hours of practical fieldwork placement in a community services organisation.  Learning with us means you’ll get the hands-on training to be job-ready when you graduate.

Placement period may commence from Semester 3, Term 6 for 9 weeks. Individual arrangements are negotiated with host employers and students.

COVID-19 vaccine requirement

In response to Victoria's Roadmap announced in September 2021, all students must have any COVID-19 vaccine prior to the commencement of placement.

  • You must provide evidence of having the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are not compliant with this requirement you are not eligible to undertake a placement and progress within the course. 
  • You must be willing to undergo any additional checks and immunisations as directed by the University.

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.

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.

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.

Register for an information session.

Full time: up to five days per week in class and placement attendance, 9.30am – 3.30pm weekdays. You will also need to complete scheduled e-learning tasks.

Please note that timetables are subject to change.

Careers in community services

The community services sector is one of Australia’s fastest growing sectors, and is expected to continue growing. The Diploma of Community Services CHC52015 from Victoria University Polytechnic can help you get your foot in the door, with an emphasis on the skills required to be an effective Community Services worker.

Working in community services is demanding but rewarding, and offers diverse opportunities. You could work in welfare organisations, government departments or not-for-profit organisations across a range of areas including:

  • homelessness
  • family and domestic violence
  • child protection
  • employment support
  • advocacy
  • group facilitator
  • community corrections
  • case worker
  • client service assessor, and
  • community services worker.

For graduating Diploma of Community Services CHC52015 students, the Victorian Government’s Social Services Jobs Guarantee could help kick start your career.

Students who graduate with the Diploma of Community Services CHC52015 between 1 September 2022 and 31 August 2024 will be guaranteed a job in the social services sector, in critical roles like child protection and family services, housing and homelessness, disability care and more. Learn more.

Course structure

To be awarded CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services, a student must successfully complete a total of sixteen (16) units of competency, consisting of:

  • eight (8) core units, and;

  • eight (8) elective units, of which:

  • six (6) units must be selected from the electives listed in the CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services qualification, and;

  • two (2) units may be selected from the electives listed in the CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services 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

Imported Electives

Recognition of Prior Learning and/or Credit Transfers

Previous completion of units at the 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 training package and be assessed as appropriate by the Polytechnic.

This qualification reflects the roles of community services, case management and social housing workers involved in the managing, co-ordinating and/or delivering of person-centred services to individuals, groups and communities. At this level, workers have specialised skills in community services and work autonomously under broad directions from senior management. Workers are usually providing direct support to individuals or groups of individuals. Workers may also have responsibility for the supervision of other workers and volunteers and/or case management; program coordination or the development of new business opportunities.

Note: The Statutory & Forensic Child, Youth & Family Welfare specialisation, must be achieved in order to meet the minimum education requirements for child protection and youth justice practice in Victoria.

Fees & scholarships

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 complete a Pre-training Review (PTR) and undertake a literacy and numeracy (LN) assessment to determine suitability for admission and identify support needs.
Students are required to attend a face to face group interview and pre-training review on campus.
Practical Placement:
For employment and practical placement purposes, this vocational sector typically requires a current and satisfactory
Police Record Check and
Working with Children Check.
In response to Victoria's Roadmap announced in September 2021, all students must have any COVID-19 vaccine prior to the commencement of placement. Students will be required to provide evidence prior to commencement of placement. If students are not compliant with this requirement they are not eligible to undertake a placement and this will mean that they will not be able to progress within their course.
Note, some fieldwork placement agencies will require students to complete an NDIS screening worker check. Students will be advised if required.
Failure to provide the required documents in the timeframe specified by the Course Coordinator, means you will be unable to undertake practical placement in a workplace and therefore not eligible to progress in this course.
The following are 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 credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

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.

Applications for this course are not being taken at this time.

Browse our other Community services courses or send us an enquiry to be notified of updates relating to this course.

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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.