Mental Health Peer Work Qualification Development Project

A qualification for Mental Health Peer Workers

The peer workforce is arguably the fastest growing workforce in mental health in Australia. Commonwealth and state initiatives that have supported the development of the mental health peer workforce particularly in community organisations delivering programs across a range of service types, and are increasingly looking to the peer workforce as an effective addition to their workforce from a diversity of disciplines.

The Government broadly identified that many long-term jobseekers who are people living with mental health conditions who would greatly benefit from the opportunity to gain employment and utilise their skills. Government support of this project has significantly contributed to a career pathway for jobseekers with lived experience.

In partnership with the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC), Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) was funded to develop national learning and assessment resources for the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work CHC42912.
MHCC coordinated this project on behalf of CMHA, and were responsible for developing the resources for the qualification. Broad national consultation was undertaken through a national survey and reference groups were established to develop both the consumer and carer streams of training.

Project Update

Following a robust consultation and development process, the materials for the Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work were finalised. These are available on the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) website. The training is reviewed and evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure quality and inclusion of the most contemporary material.

Stage 2 of the project set out to develop materials for a 3 day Peer Leadership Skills Set training. This was targeted at peer workers in senior, leadership or mentoring roles. Development was finalised and products made available from the NMHC in July 2015.

For more information about MHCC's Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work CHC42912 qualification click here.

The ongoing purpose of the project

This project has enabled Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) across Australia to deliver this Peer Work qualification for the consumer and carer peer workforce without duplication of development effort.

Availability of these resources supports:

  • Required learner and trainer resources to be available across Australia
  • Consumer and carer peer workers to have their skills recognised by completing a nationally recognised qualification
  • Acknowledgement and validation of the importance of peer workers across the mental health service system
  • The growth of the peer workforce
  • The peer workforce as an occupational group in community, across public and private mental health and psychosocial support services
  • Ongoing access to the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work for consumer and carer peer workers across Australia

Numerous organisations nationally and internationally have undertaken significant work in this arena, and the project continues to acknowledge the collaborative nature of the work undertaken and encourage ongoing participation of all stakeholders.