Unit of competency details

CHCTC302A - Provide client-centred telephone counselling (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 24/Nov/2010

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes CHCTC2A - Undertake telephone counsellingMinor changes to competency outcome 23/Nov/2010
Is superseded by and equivalent to CHCTC302B - Provide client-centred telephone counsellingUnit updated in V4. ISC 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

Training packages that include this unit

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HLT32212 - Certificate III in Population HealthCertificate III in Population Health 
HLT32207 - Certificate III in Population HealthCertificate III in Population Health 
FNS30210 - Certificate III in Personal Injury Management (ClaimsManagement)Certificate III in Personal Injury Management (ClaimsManagement) 1-2 
CHC51808 - Diploma of Family Intake and Support WorkDiploma of Family Intake and Support Work 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090513 Counselling  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 090513 Counselling  02/Feb/2009 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit describes the part of the suite of skills and attributes required to provide a telephone counselling service within the context of a client-centred approach

Application of the Unit


This unit of competency is applied in the context of providing telephone counselling services

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. Apply the organisation's telephone counselling processes

1.1 Consistently apply stages of a counselling session

1.2 Develop and implement appropriate measures for counsellor care, supervision and support

1.3 Apply strategies that are consistent with defined models  of counselling

2. Display qualities that help to develop an effective, safe and trusting relationship with the caller

2.1 Display a client-centred approach to counselling calls

2.2 Display empathy in order to build a strong connection with the caller

2.3 Display congruence in order to promote a strong and trusting environment within which the caller feels able to discuss their concerns and pain

2.4 Display unconditional positive regard to enable the caller to talk freely without fear of judgement

3. Apply skills which assist the counselling process

3.1 Consistently use active listening skills  and brief encouragers to establish rapport with clients, and identify their issues

3.2 Show respectful, empathic understanding to clarify the nature and depth of client feelings

3.3 Develop an empowering  counselling relationship which helps clients clarify options, seek support and decide on next steps to address problems and/or meet current needs

3.4 Explore and offer options for further community help

3.5 Sensitively manage a timely end to the call, facilitating transitions to ongoing self care and community support

4. Address personal factors likely to impact on the counselling

4.1 Identify, affirm and encourage personal attributes and attitudes likely to facilitate the counselling process

4.2 Identify and contain personal issues or attitudes likely to impact negatively on the call

4.3 Identify and discuss personal reactions to strong caller emotions or impactful client situations

4.4 Identify and implement constructive strategies for dealing with these strong emotions  and impactful situations

4.5 Develop a range of self care strategies  for responding to impactful client presentations or situations

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:

  • Ethos, policies and procedures of the organisation
  • Scope of telephone counselling role
  • Debriefing processes and their importance
  • Counselling styles to be applied
  • The principle of unconditional positive regard
  • How values, attitudes and beliefs impact on counselling processes

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Demonstrate willingness to work within philosophy, policies and procedures of the organisation to address client callers needs

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:

  • Identify and implement appropriate interventions required in a timely way
  • Respect the client's worldview rather than imposing one's own
  • Recognise when higher levels of care are needed and make referrals where appropriate
  • Demonstrate application of skills in active listening
  • Use relevant workplace technology safely and effectively in line with occupational health and safety (OHS) guidelines
  • Maintain documentation as required, including effective use of relevant information technology in line with OHS guidelines

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
  • Assessment will occur on the job

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
  • A range of assessment activities will be required over an extended period which will have an impact on the allocation of assessment resources

Method of assessment :

  • Facilitators, supervisors and assessors working together assessing performance in groups, on supervised telephone shifts and via formal journal comments

Related units :

This unit should be assessed in conjunction with related unit:

  • CHCTC301B Deliver a service consistent with the organisation's mission and values

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.

General context of work :

  • Work is often performed under limited supervision, generally within a team environment
  • Work will be assessed in accordance with enterprise requirements, OHS legislation, and professional standards
  • Competence must be demonstrated in working largely independently and being accountable for own results including:
  • working effectively under the pressure of crisis situations
  • maintaining the quality of services to callers
  • managing own responses and appropriate self care

Active listening skills include :

  • Appropriate brief encouragers which help the caller relate their story and concerns
  • Reflection of feelings /thoughts, behaviours and experience (content)
  • Hearing the caller's concerns
  • Paraphrasing (reflection of content)
  • Using open and closed questions to expand or clarify understanding
  • Understanding the caller's context
  • Recognising when higher levels of care may be indicated
  • Summarising and closure
  • Open and closed questions
  • Balancing the frequency of questions

Strong emotions include :

  • Grief
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Sadness
  • Frustration
  • Suicidal despair

Empowering processes include :

  • Active listening
  • Identifying and affirming caller strengths and opportunities
  • Reframing, summary and closure
  • Helping contain overwhelming feelings to facilitate coping
  • Using questions and concreteness to focus the caller on identifying immediate needs and concerns
  • Setting realistic achievable goals for the call
  • Brainstorming consequences
  • Exploring options
  • Facilitating informed client choices
  • Identify achievable tasks to be addressed after the call

Range of self care strategies include :

  • Debriefing and defusing
  • Self monitoring
  • Recognition and processing of counsellors' call-related experiences
  • Reflection on practice
  • Knowing when and how to ask for back-up support
  • Constructive feedback about counselling practice

Strategies to deal with client issues and emotions include :

  • Managing tone, pitch and pace of voice
  • Externalise client emotions
  • Awareness of personal vulnerabilities which may be triggered during a call
  • Containment skills
  • Supervision
  • Debriefing

Counselling approach incorporates client -centred perspectives 

This is primarily demonstrated through counsellor values :

  • Unconditional positive regard for the client
  • Non-judgemental approach
  • Genuineness of the counsellor

Defined models from which elements may be applied during counselling may include :

  • A variety of perspectives, such as:
  • Rogers
  • Egan
  • narrative
  • solution focused

Counselling techniques include :

  • Use of counselling journey/story approach
  • Establish rapport, /explore issues, focus, identify underlying problems, assessment, develop options for action, closure

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

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