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  • CHC53215 / CHC53315

Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs / Diploma of Mental Health

Dual award
At a glance

At a glance

Upgrade your career in the community services or health industry with this advanced-level course that will qualify you to work in mental health, specialising in alcohol and drug services.

  • Mental Health Worker
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs Worker

CHC53215 / CHC53315 Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs / Diploma of Mental Health

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Course overview

Course overview

Take your career in community services to the next level with this advanced dual qualification. This course is perfect for those looking to work in mental health within the specialised field of drug and alcohol services.

You will develop the skills required to provide support and interventions to people with alcohol and drug issues, respond appropriately to issues of domestic violence and intoxication, and assess and promote social, physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing. You will also learn to advocate on behalf of people with complex coexisting mental health, drug, and alcohol issues. Our highly-experienced team of industry professionals will give you the one-on-guidance needed to succeed in the industry.

Successful completion of this course will give you the essential skills you need to work as a specialised mental health worker in the alcohol and other drugs sector.


The successful achievement of this dual qualification requires you to complete all core units and 5 CHC53315 elective units and 6 CHC53215 elective units from the list below.  You will also be required to undertake 160 hours of vocational placement in an approved setting. 

Provide systems advocacy services
Work in an alcohol and other drugs context
Assess needs of clients with alcohol and other drugs issues
Provide interventions for people with alcohol and other drugs issues
Develop strategies for alcohol and other drugs relapse prevention and management
Provide advanced interventions to meet the needs of clients with alcohol and other drugs issues
Develop and review individual alcohol and other drugs treatment plans
Assess co-existing needs
Establish and manage client relationships
Work with diverse people
Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
Establish self-directed recovery relationships
Provide recovery oriented mental health services
Work collaboratively with the care network and other services
Provide services to people with co-existing mental health and alcohol and other drugs issues
Work effectively in trauma informed care
Promote and facilitate self advocacy
Implement recovery oriented approaches to complexity
Assess and promote social, emotional and physical wellbeing
Provide support to develop wellness plans and advanced directives
Implement trauma informed care
Research and apply evidence to practice
Reflect on and improve own professional practice
Collaborate in professional practice
Provide first aid
Manage work health and safety
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Ways to study

Ways to study

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University pathways

If you want to go on to further study at university, TAFE Queensland has a pathway option to get you there. In many cases, completing one of our diplomas may give you a full year of credit towards a degree with one of our partner universities.

Learn more about university pathways
  • James Cook University
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of Canberra
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Federation University
  • University of Southern Queensland
Payment options

Payment options

No matter what your circumstances, TAFE Queensland has a payment option to suit you. If you are unsure of what's right for you, get in touch. We're here to help.

Money IconUpfront payment

This may be the full fee for the course, or the student contribution amount if you are eligible for a subsidy or concession.

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Money IconVet Student Loan - 2 x $16,221 cap

This is an interest-free personal loan from the Australian Government that provides eligible students access to capped funding to help pay for their studies.

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Money IconPayment plan

If you have difficulty paying for the full cost of a course upfront, you may be eligible for a payment plan.

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Important Information
Important Information

Important Information

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.

Selection criteria

  • A sound achievement in Year 12 is desirable.
  • Mature age applicants are welcome.
  • It is recommended that you have support from a Mentor in the sector.
  • If the student is not employed in the sector and undertaking Vocational Placement they must have a Working with Children Blue Card prior to enrolment.

Please note: TAFE Queensland wishes to warn you, as a Blue Card applicant, that it is an offence for a disqualified person to sign a Blue Card application.  For further information regarding 'disqualified' persons, please contact Blue Card Services.


You may be required to have full COVID-19 vaccination to undertake vocational placement in a range of Community Services organisations. Potential students are advised to seek current information as policies may be updated.

If you are not currently employed or volunteering in the community services industry, during your course you will be required to complete vocational placement so you can start practising your new skills in a real-world environment. You’ll be required to work shifts determined by your placement provider, and these can include early mornings or late nights, any day of the week, including public holidays. TAFE Queensland may be able to assist in arranging suitable placements.

Completing placement is compulsory, and you will be expected to manage family and work commitments in order to complete your shifts. You are required to complete 160 hours of placement to satisfy this component of your qualification.

Resources required

No specific resources are required to successfully complete this course.

It is recommended that you have access to a reliable internet connection to access TAFE Queensland's online learning system Connect, and a computer with up-to-date software, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Adobe Flash Player. This equipment and software is available for use at all TAFE Queensland locations.

Need to know

For all students who are undertaking courses that include Vocational Placements in a high risk workplace, Queensland Health has directed that students must declare your COVID-19 Vaccination status and evidence to either TAFE Queensland or the placement provider. 

This may require you providing us or the placement provider information on:

  • Your vaccinate status
  • Last date of vaccination
  • Evidence of vaccine status

Where this information will be collected as part of your application and / or enrolment process.  Any data collected will be managed under the TAFE Queensland Privacy Policy.

This requirement is in place for all students in affected courses, including TAFE at School students.

Those students who have a medical contraindication may be unable to complete the vocational placement component of their course. This means you may not be able to meet all of the requirements of your course and may not be able to graduate or receive your qualification.

If you have any questions or concerns with this requirement, please contact our COVID hotline on 07 3307 4789.

Assessment Methods

Skill and knowledge assessments are an essential step in progressing through your course. You may be assessed in a number of ways while you are studying at TAFE Queensland, including observation, written assessment, questioning, portfolios, work samples, third-party feedback, and through recognition of prior learning. Read more about assessment methods.


All information was accurate at time of publication, however TAFE policies, tuition fees and course content is subject to change without notice. Course commencement is dependent on sufficient enrolment numbers. Timetable information is subject to change prior to commencement and/or during the duration of your course.

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How to apply

How to apply

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and credit transfers

Fast track your way to a formal qualification by earning credit for the things you already know. Getting recognition for the skills you've gained from the workplace or previous learning means less study time for you, and getting the paper to prove you're qualified a whole lot sooner. We can assess your skills, directly apply credits from previous successful study, and give you advanced standing in your course.

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Get started with TAFE Queensland

If you have read and understood the student rules, refund policy, understand your fees and payment options, have a Unique Student Identifier (USI) and checked you meet the entry requirements and selection criteria for this course, you're ready to get started.

University pathways

If you want to go on to further study at university, TAFE Queensland has a pathway option to get you there. In many cases, completing one of our diplomas may give you a full year of credit towards a degree with one of our partner universities.

Learn more about university pathways
  • James Cook University
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Canberra
  • Federation University
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University of Southern Queensland