Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work


Upcoming training

  • Sydney Fast Track Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work - commencing 26-27 April 2018


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.

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.

Qualification Fees

Mental Health Peer Work - Certificate IV
MHCC Members   Non-members  
Without certificate-level qualification Smart & Skilled $1990 $1990
With previous certificate-level qualification Smart & Skilled $2320 $2320
Concession Smart & Skilled $240 $240
Fee exemption Smart & Skilled $0 $0
Course Pathway Full fee $4,500 $5,000
Recognition Pathway Full fee $3,800 $4,300
Fast Track Full fee $3,300 $3,800
Partial Recognition/Blended Pathway Full fee from $2,550 from $2,800
Smart and Skilled Targeted Priorities Funding Available. 
Fees vary according to previous studies completed and concessions are available.
2018 - TBA 2018 - TBA
Traineeships under Smart and Skilled $1,000 $1,000

Smart and Skilled Funding

Subsidised training places are available under Smart and Skilled. 
This training is subsidised by the NSW Government if you meet the eligibility requirements. 
Fee exemptions and concessions are available. 
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.

When you are ready to apply you can complete our form.

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.


This qualification consists of 15 units of competency including 8 core units and 7 elective units as outlined below:

Core Units

CHCPWK001 Apply peer work practices in the mental health sector
CHCPWK002 Contribute to the continuous improvement of mental health services for consumers and carers
CHCPWK003 Apply lived experience in mental health peer work
CHCMHS007 Work effectively in trauma informed care
CHCMHS008 Promote and facilitate self-advocacy
CHCMHS011 Assess and promote social, emotional and physical wellbeing
CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
HLTWHS001 Participate in workplace health and safety

Elective Units

CHCPWK004 Work effectively in consumer mental health peer work – Elective Consumer Specialisation
CHCPWK005 Work effectively with carers as a mental health peer worker – Elective Carer specialisation
BSBCMM401 Make a presentation
CHCGRP001 Support group activities
CHCCCS023 Support independence and wellbeing
CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice
HLTWHS006 Manage personal stressors in the work environment

The qualification is designed to create a safe space and aims to build and provide the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence in workers who have lived experience of mental illness as either a consumer or carer and who work in mental health services in roles that support consumer peers or carer peers.

Foundations of Peer Work (8 days)

The Foundations of Peer Work is delivered in four blocks of two-day face to face modules.

  • The first block (days 1-2) explores the history and philosophy of peer work and provides a different perspective for understanding mental health conditions as well as lived experience.
  • Block two (days 3-4) investigates rights and peer work, ethical practice and approaches to peer work (e.g. strengths and values based practice). Participants work to developing an understanding of self and others as well as how to provide individual support for recovery.
  • Block three (days 5-6) prepares participants in methods to help individuals, carers and families navigate the system. The course explores skills support and coaching as well as collaborative risk management.
  • The final Foundations block (days 7-8) explores how people learn. Participants learn how to effectively facilitate peer support groups and develop the groups and their dynamics. Contributing to quality and continuous improvement as well as peer friendly evaluation and research methods mark the end of the Foundations of Peer Work delivery

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.

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.

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.

Reflect on Practice (1 day)

This comprises two half-day workshops. The first workshop explores a reflective approach where action and practices are actively considered and reflected on to promote continual learning, professional development and growth.
Part two helps participants develop the skills to manage personal stressors in the work environment. These involve recognising the triggers of stress and then identifying, developing and implementing strategies to manage stress.

WHS (Online)

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

Assessment Methods

Participants are assessed in a variety of ways both in the classroom and in the workplace. Methods include demonstration of tasks/techniques, group activities, in-class activities, written work and work placement.

To achieve this qualification, at least 80 hours of work (as detailed in the Assessment Requirements of units of competency) must be completed.

MHCC strives to offer a comprehensive learning experience for our students.

We utilise multiple trainers from a range of backgrounds, with each bringing a unique set of knowledge and skills. This includes having trainers with a lived experience of caring.

Our students find that this variety of perspectives enriches their learning experience.