Mental Health Peer Workforce Competency Development Project: Development of the Australian Peer Worker Qualification

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC), in consultation with industry, is developing a competency framework specifically for the Mental Health peer workforce (consumers and carers).

The units of competency will describe work functions in Mental Health peer work roles and, when grouped together, units of competency make up a qualification. The national qualification that will be produced will be an appropriate, tailored and nationally-recognised competency framework or qualification. National qualifications set industry standards, ensuring that work roles are acknowledged Australia-wide.

The units of competency forming a qualification and skill sets will also provide an avenue for progress by improving training and support mechanisms for the fast-growing peer workforce. They provide a long-awaited opportunity for peer workers to formally gain, enhance and/or up skill their knowledge in the area of peer support work. Furthermore, the formal qualification will validate the consumer and carer lived experience, and help service providers realise that peer workers complement the crucial role of mental health professionals.

In addition to providing opportunities for training and development of the Mental Health peer workforce, it also provides employers with an assurance that a consumer or carer worker will operate within acceptable and agreed parameters. For employees, the qualification provides a defined career path.

Learn more about this exciting initiative and how you can use the Mental Health peer workforce competency framework to increase your skills or those of your staff while gaining a nationally-recognised qualification.

Ms Vanessa Dayeh
Project Coordinator, Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council
3rd Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium
“Impacts & Outcomes” – Mercure, Ballarat 14th – 16th November 2011