Unit of competency details

CHCCH522B - Undertake outreach work (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by CHCCCS027 - Visit client residenceThis version was released in CHC Community Services Training Package release 2.0 and meets the requirements of the 2012 Standards for Training Packages. Merged HLTRAH302C/CHCCH522B. Minimal change to the elements and performance criteria. New evidence requirements for assessment including volume and frequency requirements. Significant changes to knowledge evidence. 05/Aug/2015
Supersedes and is equivalent to CHCCH522A - Undertake outreach workISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome. 06/May/2012

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 07/May/2012

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnRelease
CHC50812 - Diploma of Social HousingDiploma of Social Housing
CHC40608 - Certificate IV in Leisure and HealthCertificate IV in Leisure and Health
CHC50612 - Diploma of Community Services WorkDiploma of Community Services Work
CHC41612 - Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Family Support)Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Family Support)
CHC40512 - Certificate IV in Mental HealthCertificate IV in Mental Health
CHC40108 - Certificate IV in Aged CareCertificate IV in Aged Care
CHC50108 - Diploma of DisabilityDiploma of Disability
CHC52108 - Diploma of Community Services (Financial counselling)Diploma of Community Services (Financial counselling)
CHC41512 - Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Child Protection)Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (Child Protection)
CHC41412 - Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (residential and out of home care)Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention (residential and out of home care)
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090501 Social Work  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090501 Social Work  02/Oct/2012 
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Modification History

CHC08 Version 3 

CHC08 Version 4  


CHCCH522A Undertake outreach work

CHCCH522B Undertake outreach work

ISC upgrade changes to remove references to old OHS legislation and replace with references to new WHS legislation. No change to competency outcome.

Unit Descriptor


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to work in an outreach capacity with vulnerable or at risk groups such as those experiencing homelessness, mental health, alcohol or other drugs (AOD) issues

Application of the Unit


This unit addresses workers who are required to deliver services to people who are experiencing homelessness, risk of being homeless, mental health or AOD issues

It includes preparation and follow up as well as working safely in an unfamiliar and potentially unpredictable environment

Application of this unit should be contextualised to reflect any specific work requirements and practices

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare for outreach work

1.1 Establish where outreach service is to take place and purpose of service

1.2 Clarify history of service and/or client in relation to unexpected issues and needs

1.3 Identify any potential risks or issues in environment of intended visit

1.4 Prepare resources and documents required to undertake outreach activity including contingency plan

1.5 Allow time in schedule for contingencies

1.6 Ensure organisation and co-workers are aware of intended time and place of outreach activity and contact details

1.7 Develop respect for and understanding of the environment and culture of the setting where outreach is being conducted

1.8 Assess boundaries of practice

2. Undertake outreach service

2.1 Check for hazards to own and others' health and safety and take action to control risk

2.2 Follow agency's outreach policies

2.3 Take standard safety precautions and where required, take additional precautions

2.4 Demonstrate respect for clients and each client's environment and act with sensitivity in the environment

2.5 Demonstrate respect for client's friends/associates should they be present and act with sensitivity in the environment

2.6 Identify risk management practices appropriate for outreach setting

2.7 Follow risk management practices developed to address own role in delivering services

2.8 Demonstrate and apply understanding of relevant legislation

3. Establish client relationship

3.1 Communicate with purpose of visit and confirm acceptance regarding outreach service

3.2 Communicate with client and others in the environment in a manner that builds trust

3.3 Utilise a client-centred approach when establishing a relationship

3.4 Provide opportunity for client to identify and express any issues or concerns in relation to the service and/or associated matters

3.5 Provide appropriate support and information within scope of own work role and record and report relevant issues or concerns promptly to appropriate person

3.6 Deal with difficult or challenging situations promptly, firmly and diplomatically in accordance with relevant policies and procedures

4. Follow up outreach service

4.1 Document all aspects of the outreach service in line with organisation policies and procedures

4.2 Promptly report and refer any areas of concern to an appropriate person or authority

4.3 Ensure any arrangements for follow up visits are recorded and implemented

4.4 Evaluate overall effectiveness of outreach services provided

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

  • Work health and safety (WHS) issues and procedures in relation to working in unfamiliar and unpredictable environments
  • Best ways to contact clients and predict client movements
  • Safety practices in relation to own work role and applied to working in unfamiliar and unpredictable environments
  • Legislative, regulatory and organisation requirements relating to reporting issues
  • Primary, secondary and tertiary definitions of homelessness
  • Historical and structural causes of homelessness
  • Political and economic context of homelessness
  • Current issues facing clients and existing services to address their needs and rights
  • Principles and practices of ethics and values
  • Principles and practices of confidentiality
  • Principles and practice of duty of care
  • Legal system
  • Courts
  • Range of issues impacting on people who are experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, drug and/or alcohol issues
  • Consumer needs and rights including duty of care
  • Principles of client empowerment/disempowerment
  • Principles of access and equity
  • Boundaries of outreach practice
  • Knowledge of debates associated with public space
  • Behavioural impacts of mental health conditions
  • Behavioural impacts of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Social justice principles
  • Crisis response
  • Crisis debriefing
  • Personal values
  • Personal boundaries

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Prepare appropriately for outreach services
  • Work with others and display understanding of issues relevant to outreach services
  • Communicate clearly and sensitively with clients who are experiencing homelessness, risk of homelessness, mental health or AOD issues

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

  • Use problem solving skills, including the ability to use available resources in a potentially difficult environment
  • Use language, literacy and numeracy skills to:
  • communicate in English and/or community language, depending on client group
  • Use oral communication skills, including:
  • asking questions
  • providing clear information
  • listening to and understanding workplace instructions
  • clarifying workplace instructions when necessary
  • Demonstrate safe and effective use of workplace technology in line with WHS guidelines
  • Work autonomously
  • Work within a multi-disciplinary team

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • It is recommended that assessment or information for assessment will be conducted or gathered over a period of time and cover the normal range of workplace situations and settings
  • This unit will be most appropriately assessed in the workplace and under the normal range of workplace conditions
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

Access and equity considerations:

  • All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work
  • All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment
  • In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

  • This unit can be assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged
  • Resources required for assessment include:
  • access to appropriate workplace where assessment can take place
  • relevant organisation policy, protocols and procedures
  • access to equipment and resources normally used in the workplace

Method of assessment may include:

  • Observation in the workplace
  • Written assignments/projects
  • Case study and scenario analysis
  • Questioning
  • Role play simulation

Range Statement


The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Outreach service may include:

  • Provision of a range of services
  • Meetings with clients to establish needs
  • Delivery of products, materials or equipment
  • Consultation with client and/or others
  • Regular or planned follow up

History of service and/or client may include

  • Type of service previously delivered
  • Issues related to delivery of service
  • Client issues, including reasons for specific issues, such as homelessness
  • Accessibility to services

Potential risks and issues may include but are not limited to:

  • Worker unable to obtain safe access to environment
  • Interpreter required
  • Unpredictable client behaviour (e.g. aggression, dementia, mental health issues, alcohol and other drugs (AOD) issues)
  • Specific identified health and safety risks
  • Client in need of basic supplies (e.g. food or medication)
  • Hazardous environments
  • Infection risks
  • Client friends/acquaintances

Environment may include:

  • Squats
  • Empty buildings
  • Outdoor areas including parks, under bridges etc
  • Churches
  • Food/coffee sites
  • Shopping malls
  • Friend's accommodation
  • Boarding/community rooming houses
  • Transitional housing properties

Resources and documents may include:

  • Equipment
  • Document relevant to outreach service
  • Safety equipment such as mobile phone/radio

Hazards include:

  • Safety of physical environment
  • Number of people in area
  • Infection control practices

Areas for concern may include but are not limited to:

  • Client very sick, injured or deceased
  • Signs of violence or abuse (physical or mental)
  • Signs of neglect
  • Signs of deterioration of client's physical or mental condition
  • Client in need of basic supplies (e.g. food, other consumables or medication)

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable