Inherent requirements are the abilities, attributes, skills and behaviours needed to meet the learning outcomes of the Bachelor of Social Work.

You should carefully consider the following inherent requirement statements, as:

  • a guide for your learning during the course
  • a way to identify challenges you may have in meeting the requirements.

If you have challenges related to a disability or health condition, contact Accessibility Services to discuss possible strategies and reasonable adjustments.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirement

This relates to the understanding and ability to comply with Australian and Victorian law and professional accreditation regulations. Examples include:

  • Child protection and safety legislation (including the ability to pass a Working with Children Check) Criminal History / Police Checks
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Anti-discrimination legislation

Rationale

Social work is mandated by legislation and professional regulations to enable the delivery of safe and appropriate professional practice. Knowledge, understanding, and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary in order to reduce the risk of harm to self and others in clinical and related settings; compliance with these professional regulations and the Australian Law ensures students are both responsible and accountable for their practice.

Examples

  • Comply with relevant legislation including child protection and safety (including the ability to pass a Working with Children Check), occupational health and safety, and anti-discrimination legislation.
  • Complete Criminal History/Police Checks
  • For examples of applicable Australian Federal legislations visit https://www.comlaw.gov.au/

Inherent requirement

This relates to the student's ability to understand and adhere to standards, codes, guidelines and policies that facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and the people they engage with. Examples include: Complying with academic and non-academic conduct codes and policies, including academic integrity policies Understanding and complying with professional standards, codes of practice, and guidelines

Rationale

Students undertaking social work studies are governed by practice standards and codes of ethics where students are both accountable and responsible for ensuring professional behaviour in all contexts. Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines and policies that facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and the people they engage with is required for the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being of all.

Examples

  • Understanding and complying with professional standards, codes of practice, and guidelines; https://www.aasw.asn.au/practitioner-resources/code-of-ethics and https://www.aasw.asn.au/careers-study/education-standards-accreditation
  • Identify and enact relevant applications of these codes and standards, including those relating to academic integrity, informed consent, privacy, confidentiality, and equitable and respectful behaviour in academic and clinical settings
  • Demonstrating ability to reflect on ethical dilemmas and issues and take responsibility for ensuring awareness of ethical and professional behaviour
  • Recognising and understanding the power and authority inherent in the social worker’s role, and using it with responsibility and compassion

Inherent requirement

This includes both writing and reading, and is also linked to English language proficiency (literacy requirements are always established in terms of English). NB: For VE, literacy requirements are based on the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). Examples include: Capacity to comprehend, summarise and reference a range of literature in accordance with appropriate academic conventions in written assignments Producing clear, accurate documentation relating to practical tasks

Rationale

Effective written communication, in English, is a fundamental social work student responsibility with professional and legal ramifications. Construction of written text based assessment tasks to reflect the required academic standards are necessary to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter for professional practice standards. Accurate written communication, including record keeping, client/service user case notes is vital to provide consistent and accurate assessments and professional support in the field placement context.

Examples

  • Comprehend, paraphrase, summarise and reference a range of literature in accordance with appropriate academic conventions in written assignments
  • Interpret written and spoken language to enact verbal directions or documented client and service user care plans
  • Produce accurate, concise and clear social work documentation which meets legal and professional requirements.

Inherent requirement

This includes any form of numeracy required to complete the course successfully. For many courses, this will be basic functional numeracy. NB: For VE, numeracy requirements are based on the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF). Examples include:

  • Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts
  • Ability to perform basic mathematical tasks

Rationale

Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts are essential for evidence informed effective care/practice.

Examples

  • Understand and interpret published research to incorporate new principles and findings into social work practice
  • Capacity to calculate and interpret the cost of client and service user interventions in the context of program management and evaluation

Inherent requirement

This includes verbal, non-verbal and written communication. Examples include:

  • Verbal communication in English to a standard that allows fluid, clear, and comprehensible two-way discussions
  • Ability to recognise, interpret and respond to non-verbal cues, to communicate with congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and to be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication
  • Ability to produce English text to the expected standard (this is a skill that may be developed throughout the course)

Verbal

Rationale

Verbal communication in English to a standard that allows fluid, clear, and comprehensible two-way discussions, tailored to the local English-speaking audiences.

Examples
  • Convey spoken messages accurately, clearly, and in a timely manner in a professional/clinical situation
  • Understand and respond to verbal communication accurately and appropriately in a time-constrained environment when a client/service user or professional colleague provides information
  • Engage in effective professional dialogue with a diverse range of clients, service users and other stakeholders, taking into account their varying communication needs and capacities
  • Present information to, and engage in developing discussions with, a wide audience, including academic, small groups, and professional/clinical presentations.

Non-verbal

Non-verbal communication skills that enable respectful communication with others.

Rationale

The ability to recognise, interpret and respond to non-verbal cues, to communicate with congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and to be sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication is essential for the promotion of trust and safe and effective social work practice.

Examples
  • Recognise cues in a colleague’s, client’s, service user’s facial expression, appearance, behaviour, posture, or movement
  • Deliver information to a distressed client/service user incorporating non-verbal behaviour that matches the nature of the information
  • Display consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, being mindful of space, time boundaries and body movements and gestures.

Written

Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional-level communication, with language usage and style tailored to the targeted recipients.

Rationale

Effective communication in English text is required to demonstrate applied skills in academic writing conventions and in sustained and organised academic argument and provide safe and effective delivery of care/practice.

Examples
  • Construction of written text based assessment tasks that reflect the required academic standard and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter for professional practice standards
  • Use precise and appropriate language to construct coherent written communication including record keeping and case notes enabling consistent and accurate assessments and professional support in the field placement context
  • Construct reports for third-parties and client/service user intervention plans that meet professional standards.

Inherent requirement

This includes a person's ability to sustain their performance in a given activity or series of activities over time. Examples include: Ability to sustain a working posture, associated manual tasks, cognitive engagement, performance level and emotional control for the full duration of any task required as part of the course or any placement

Rationale

Consistency and quality of performance is essential for acquisition of knowledge informing social work practice. Sufficient physical and mental resilience is an essential requirement needed to perform tasks in an assigned period to provide effective, safe and professional support in the field placement context

Examples

Sustain study practices and performance to sufficiently engage with the learning workload for a study period, and for the degree, within a constrained time-frame

Sustain consistent cognitive engagement, performance level and emotional control for the full duration of any task and over time while on field placement.

Inherent requirement

This includes the personal flexibility and resilience required to adapt behaviour to different situations, even when they are stressful or difficult. Examples include:

  • Ability to adjust ways of working to work within teams of varied personal and professional backgrounds
  • Being receptive and responding appropriately to constructive feedback
  • Maintaining respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads
  • Adjusting to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care

Rationale

Social work practice requires the ability to make and maintain strong relationships with a wide range of individuals, groups and communities. Behavioural adaptation is required to manage personal emotional responses as an individual and within teams in changing and unpredictable environments, including emergency situations and times of human distress. Students will also be required to adapt their behaviour appropriately during times of additional stressors in their own lives, whether this adaptation involves ways of continuing to engage with their role or withdrawing for self-care for a period.

Examples

Work effectively and collegially with other students in group projects and presentations;

  • Understand and contribute positively to team dynamics
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage effectively and constructively with colleagues to manage professional differences and disputes and facilitate effective client/service user care in the field placement setting
  • Cope with own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with changing responses of individuals and families in the field placement setting
  • Be receptive and respond appropriately to constructive feedback
  • Maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads
  • Adjust to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care while maintaining a professional-level focus on the delivery of safe and effective social work practice

Inherent requirement

Where relevant, this relates to considerations of current scope of practice, workplace health and safety, and any other matter related to safety. Examples include:

  • Ability to understand and comply with all relevant workplace health and safety policies and practices
  • Ability to identify and respond to alarm systems
  • Ability to understand and demonstrate compliance with current scope of practice
  • Ability to manage one's own health in a manner that promotes the ability to fulfill the requirements of study, placements, and the role/s for which the study typically equips the graduate

Rationale

Compliance with current scope of practice, workplace health and safety, are required to provide safe environments for students, staff, clients, service users and others.

Examples

  • Limit task performance to current scope of practice as a social work student within the course
  • Understand and comply with all relevant workplace health and safety policies and practices
  • Work safely and sensitively with clients and service users from vulnerable and or diverse populations
  • Manage one's own health in a manner that promotes the ability to fulfill the requirements of study, placements, and the role/s for which the study typically equips the graduate