Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work




The peer workforce is arguably the fastest growing workforce in mental health in Australia. Based on international evidence and identified sector need, the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work has been developed to meet the needs of this emerging workforce.

This training provides an opportunity for peer workers to build upon their lived experience and their on-the-job experience and receive a nationally recognised qualification in mental health.

Note: NSW Traineeships may be available for this qualification through your organisation. Traineeships are set up by the organisation through an Apprenticeship Centre. For information on traineeships and to find the closest centre call 13 38 73.

For applicants, please see the green buttons to the right of this page for more information.

Employers please download the Supervisors Handbook.

Our trainers

Lorna Downes

Lorna Downes

Peter Farrugia

Peter Farrugia

Irene Gallagher

Irene Gallagher


Who is this training for?

MHCC has customised the delivery of this qualification to meet the needs of people currently working in identified consumer or carer peer work roles (paid or unpaid) within the mental health sector in government, private or community managed services.

Assessment tasks and workshop activities will require participants to provide workplace evidence and examples of their own practice.


Entry Requirements

To be eligible to study the Certificate in Mental Health Peer Work with MHCC a participant must be either a:

  • Consumer Peer Worker currently working (paid or unpaid) in an identified peer role providing direct ongoing support to other consumers as part of their day to day work
  • Carer Peer Worker currently working (paid or unpaid) in an peer identified role providing direct ongoing support to other carers as part of their day to day work

AND have basic numeracy and literacy skills including reading, understanding and following WHS and other work related instructions, recording information and perform basic calculations such as additions and subtraction.

MHCC can provide some assistance through reasonable adjustment processes, and provide appropriate referrals for support.

Smart and Skilled Funding

Subsidised training places are available under Smart and Skilled. This training is subsidised by the NSW Government. You can complete the qualification for as little as $1970 if you meet the eligibility requirements. Fee exemptions and concessions are available. For details click here. This training is delivered by Mental Health Coordinating Council Inc. RTO Code: 91296.

For organisations interested in funded places available or group training, please contact Learning and Development on (02) 95558388 ext 106 or email

For more information about Smart and Skilled visit or call 1300 772 104.

What others have said about this course

"reflecting on the experience I had at work in the past, I can appreciate the breadth of content in [this training] could have solved a lot of the heartache I had along the way. This is going to propel the [peer] workforce forward."


Click the following for more information

Face-to-face Workshops

This qualification requires attendance at 15 full-day face-to-face workshops.*

Online Component

This qualification has approximately 10 hour's online training.*


Full or partial recognition and credit transfer is available for this qualification.

*Subject to change. Training requirements will be confirmed upon enrolment.


Foundations of Peer Work (8 days)

Days 1-2

  • History and philosophy of peer work
  • Different understanding of mental illness
  • Sharing lived experience

Days 3-4

  • Rights and peer work
  • Ethical practice
  • Understanding self and others
  • Approaches to peer work (e.g. strengths and values based practice)
  • Providing individual support for recovery

Days 5-6

  • Helping individuals, carers and families to navigate the system
  • Skills support and coaching
  • Collaborative risk management
  • Ethical practice

Days 7-8

  • Facilitating peer support groups
  • Exploring how people learn
  • Group development and dynamics
  • Contributing to quality and continuous improvement
  • Peer friendly evaluation and research methods

Promote and facilitate self advocacy (1 day)

Supporting people to make their own choices is pivotal to peer work and recovery-oriented practice. This dynamic one day workshop, provides peer workers with clarity and crucial skills for supporting decision-making and cultivating self-direction and self-determination.

Trauma informed peer work (2 days)

This two day workshop is for peer workers within the mental health and community service sectors who support people who may have experienced abuse or trauma in the context of human relationships. 

Many people who experience mental distress have experienced trauma in their lives. Trauma survivors are at risk of being re-traumatised in social service and health care settings that are not trauma informed. Trauma informed peer support aims to create a safe space for the person and to make sense of how they are coping and surviving and promote personal choice.

Law and Ethics in Mental Health Work (1 day)

This subject covers the legal and organisational requirements in mental health work, consumer rights and the Australian legal system, key legislation in mental health, discrimination, abuse, privacy, confidentiality, duty of care and dignity of risk, ethical practice and decision making.

Supporting physical health and wellbeing (1 day)

This one day training aims to equip peer workers with strategies to effectively and appropriately support people to self-manage their physical health and wellbeing needs. This includes having an understanding of physical health needs of consumers, iatrogenic effects and wellbeing approaches. Participants will also identify skills in referring and working collaboratively with health and other services to support a person's health and wellbeing.

Working with Aboriginal People (1 day)

This course will establish a context for working with Aboriginal people and provide a range of practical tools and mapping techniques to assist mental health workers to provide appropriate services and support. It draws on key cultural concepts such as Country, relationships, collective lifestyle, ancestors, elders and spirituality, emotional and social wellbeing, and holistic strategies that acknowledge the importance of working within family and community networks.

Cultural Diversity (1 day)

This subject allows participants to define cultural diversity, and explore culture, attitudes and beliefs and the way their own culture impacts on these. Topics include effective strategies to eliminate discrimination and bias, effective cross-cultural communication & conflict resolution, good work practices for working with culturally diverse consumers and carers and co-workers.

WHS (Online)

This online unit covers the new legislation and how it applies to workers and their workplaces.

Units of Competency

This qualification consists of 15 units of competency (8 core units and 7 elective units)