Mandatory minimum qualifications
for specialist family violence practitioners

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A mandatory minimum qualifications policy has been in place for new specialist family violence practitioners in Victoria since 1 July 2021.

Recommendation 209

Prompted by Recommendation 209 of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence, this policy aims to strengthen the sector and equip Victoria’s specialist family violence practitioners to provide support and responses that are high quality and culturally appropriate.

To recognise the scale of change this policy entails, the Victorian Government has outlined a five-year transition period starting July 2021. This transition period will give people starting their careers as practitioners a number of options for meeting the new mandatory minimum qualification requirements.

Existing workforce (those working in specialist family violence practitioner roles prior to 1 July 2021)

Practitioners who were part of the specialist family violence practitioner workforce prior to 2021 will have an ongoing exemption to the policy, which will allow them to change jobs and take caring or other breaks of up to four years.

Cultural knowledge or lived experience

The policy also recognises the importance of people who bring cultural expertise or lived experience in building a diverse family violence workforce. Candidates with lived experience or cultural knowledge who have faced barriers to education will be given 10 years to work towards the minimum or equivalent qualification, subject to agreement with their employer. This will make sure that candidates who bring the depth of expertise crucial to creating an inclusive system can overcome those barriers and continue to have the opportunity to work in the sector.

Relevant experience or related qualifications pathway

Until 30 June 2026, employers will be able to hire candidates who have at least 5 years of relevant professional experience or who hold a related qualification – as long as candidates are willing to undertake further study to gain an equivalent qualification within 5 years.

Support for employers

In recruiting new workers who are required to meet the mandatory requirements, the policy provides organisations with the flexibility to accommodate the circumstances of individual practitioners.

Important note: DFFH recognises that recruitment into the sector presents many challenges at this time and has issued an implementation update for employers. Please read the September 2022 implementation update document here.

More information

If you have questions about the minimum mandatory qualifications requirements, contact our sector development advisors at mmq@safeandequal.org.au

To view the policy requirements and pathways click here, to see the mapped qualifications click here, and for further information, visit the Victorian Government website.

Check your qualifications and pathways

We have developed a series of tools to help you determine whether you’re eligible to apply for specialist family violence practitioner roles, and what pathways are available to you.

Experience and qualifications check: eligibility to be considered for specialist family violence practitioner

This tool allows you to check whether you are eligible to be considered for specialist family violence practitioner roles.

Manual mapping of qualifications for identifying related and equivalent qualifications

If your qualifications aren’t listed in the Experience and qualifications tool, you can manually check them and your eligibility to apply for roles using this tool.

Mandatory Minimum Qualifications: A Quick Guide to Some Equivalent Qualifications

The following is a summary of qualifications determined by the educational institution as equivalent under the Mandatory Minimum Qualifications Policy. The list has not been approved or reviewed by Safe and Equal but is provided as a guide for employers and workers wishing to enter the sector to view some of the options available. Practitioners/employers should do their own research as to the quality and appropriateness of a qualification for specific roles.

Many institutions allow entry into graduate certificates based on a diploma and/or work experience and some graduate diplomas also allow this option. Users should check the entry criteria for the qualifications they are interested in exploring.

Please note that because equivalent qualifications can be made up of more than one qualification there will be many other ways to achieve an equivalent qualification and this is not intended to be an exhaustive list. The qualifications mapping document contains further information about what constitutes an equivalent qualification and includes details of many related qualifications.

University or Institution

Qualification and Entry Possibilities

Any Australian University

Qualification: Bachelor of Social Work

Entry possibilities: See specific university

Any Australian University

Qualification: Master of Social Work

Entry possibilities: See specific university

Chisholm Institute of TAFE

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Family Violence*

(Both specialisations: Prevention and Practice and Working With Men)

Entry possibilities:

  • Diploma & work experience
  • Bachelor qualification

CQ University

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Domestic and Family Violence Practice2

Entry possibilities:

  • Significant work experience
  • Diploma & work experience
  • Bachelor qualification

Federation University

Qualification: Bachelor of Community and Human Services

Entry possibilities: Certificate III or higher (and other options)

Federation University

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Social and Community Services

Entry possibilities:

  • Diploma & work experience
  • Bachelor qualification

Latrobe University

Qualification: Graduate Diploma in Child, Family and Community Nursing

Entry possibilities:

  • Bachelor qualification

Queensland University of Technology

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence Response

Entry possibilities:

  • Significant work experience
  • Diploma & work experience
  • Bachelor qualification

Relationships Australia Victoria

Qualification: Graduate Diploma of Relationship Counselling (Responding to Family Violence)

Entry possibilities:

  • Significant work experience
  • Diploma qualification
  • Bachelor qualification

RMIT University

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Domestic and Family Violence*

Entry possibilities:

  • Significant work experience
  • Bachelor qualification

RMIT University

Qualification: Graduate Diploma of Child and Family Health Nursing

Entry possibilities:

  • Bachelor qualification

Swinburne University of Technology

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Client Assessment and Case Management^

Entry possibilities:

  • Significant work experience
  • Bachelor qualification

The University of Melbourne

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Domestic & Gender-Based Violence Research and Practice

Entry possibilities:

  • Bachelor qualification & work experience

The University of Melbourne

Qualification: Graduate Certificate in Health and Human Services*

Entry possibilities:

  • Bachelor qualification & work experience

The University of Melbourne

Qualification: Master of Health and Human Services*

Entry possibilities:

  • Bachelor qualification & work experience

Box Hill Institute College of Higher Education

Qualification: Bachelor of Community Services

Entry Possibilities: Completion of Year 12 or equivalent

* Check qualifications mapping document for conditions

^ Check with Swinburne for confirmation of coverage of equivalency prinicple 4.

Last updated: March 2023
Any updates or errors in this document should be reported to communications@safeandequal.org.au

Mandatory Minimum Qualifications: Related Qualifications

Related qualifications are qualifications that meet at least 4 equivalency principles (knowledge areas) set out in the minimum qualifications policy. These tend to be qualifications in the fields of: Alcohol and Other Drugs, Community Development or Community Services, Counselling, Mental Health, Midwifery, Nursing, Psychology, Public Health, Sociology, or Youth Work, but any qualification can be related if it meets 4 or more equivalency principles.

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