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CHC81115 Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution

Do you have skills and experience in mediation and dispute resolution? Do you have a passion for working with families in distress? Do you want to make a difference?

Our Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution is your path to a rewarding and worthwhile career as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP). Your knowledge and skills will qualify you to register as an FDRP with the Federal Attorney General, and equip you to provide specialist advice and support to families struggling to manage disputes. Your specialist expertise will include asset and debt identification, property settlements, parenting agreements, and child wellbeing.

If you already work in law, psychology, social work, mediation or related areas, this qualification will allow you to extend your professional practice and specialise in family dispute resolution.

You will learn from some of Australia’s leading practitioners, in a course based on over 60 years of frontline family services work by Relationships Australia.

Our blended learning options provide the flexibility you need to balance study with your other commitments.

Our knowledge, experience and reputation will ensure you graduate ready to secure employment in this important and challenging field.

Learning Mode
Blended Learning
SA or WA
Face to face days
13 (SA/WA)
Weekly study hours
12 months

Learning Outcomes

This course will equip you with the skills to help couples and families satisfactorily resolve their disputes. You will be able to:

  • understand and apply the principles of non-adversarial, child inclusive, family dispute resolution
  • understand and apply the legal principles underpinning family mediation
  • help separating parties resolve disputes about the wellbeing and care of children
  • help separating parties identify assets and debts and decide how they will be shared
  • recognise and respond to evidence of family violence, parenting stress, mental health issues and child harm.

Graduates are eligible to register with the Federal Attorney General to provide Family Dispute Resolution services to clients in Australia. 

Students will have access, at no charge, to the following online programs:

Entry Requirements

Successful candidates will meet one of the following requirements:

  • Hold an undergraduate degree or higher qualification in Psychology, Social Work, Law, Conflict Management, Dispute Resolution, Family Law Mediation or equivalent
  • Hold accreditation under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS)
  • Hold the Mediation skill set from the Community Services Training Package (CHC)
  • Can provide documented evidence of previous experience in a dispute resolution environment in a job role involving self-directed application of knowledge with substantial depth in some areas, exercise of independent judgement and decision-making, and a range of technical and other skills.

All applicants are required to undertake a suitability interview with the course coordinator.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates will be qualified to work in a variety of community sector practitioner and management roles including:

  • Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)
  • Mediator
  • Manager of a dispute resolution or counselling service

The Federal Government estimates that the demand for workers with counselling qualifications will be very strong over the next 5 years. See

Units of Study & Units of Competency

Unit of Study 1: Foundations of Family Dispute Resolution
Units of Competency:

  • CHCFAM001 Operate in the family law environment
  • CHCFAM002 Work with a child focused approach

Unit of Study 2: Identifying and Responding to Wellbeing and Safety Risks
Units of Competency:

  • CHCDFV001 Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence
  • CHCDFV008 Manage responses to domestic and family violence in family work
  • CHCDFV012 Make safety plans with people who have been subjected to domestic and family violence
  • CHCFDV013 Manage domestic and family violence screening and risk assessment processes

Unit of Study 3: Family Agreements and Professional Practice
Units of Competency:

  • CHCFAM007 Assist clients to develop parenting arrangements
  • CHCDSP001 Facilitate dispute resolution in the family law context

Unit of Study 4: Family Dispute Resolution Practice
Units of Competency:

  • CHCDSP002 Adhere to ethical standards in family dispute resolution
  • CHCDSP003 Support the safety of vulnerable parties in family dispute resolution

Duration and Delivery Mode

12 Months Full-Time.

Blended learning: mix of online learning and face-to-face classroom sessions.

Please see 2024 Delivery Schedule (SA or WA) for dates of all Modules and face-to-face sessions.

This program has 13 face-to-face classroom days for SA and WA. This program is equivalent to 15-20 hours per week. Students will be required to undertake self-directed online learning outside of classroom delivery.


2024 Timetable (SA)

2024 Timetable (WA)


Most of the course is delivered online. For the compulsory face-to-face days, you can choose to attend at one of two locations: Adelaide (Hindmarsh) and Perth (West Leederville).

This program has 13 face-to-face classroom days for SA and WA. Students will be required to undertake self-directed online learning outside of classroom delivery.

See Delivery Schedule (SA or WA) for dates of all Modules and face-to-face sessions.

Work Placement Requirements

Students must complete 50 hours of dispute resolution work under the supervision of an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP). This work must be in a dispute resolution service or in a simulated real work environment. A limited number of placements are available in Family Relationship Centres in SA, NSW and WA through the Relationships Australia partnership network. Work placement requirements must be completed within 12 months of your final unit of study.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL credit may be granted for relevant prior study or experience.

Students seeking recognition for all or part of a qualification must complete the online AISR Recognition Application at least 14 days before the start of the course.

See here for more information on the RPL process.

Tuition Fee, Payment Options, Loans

Full Fee: $11,000

This qualification is on the approved list of courses for Vet Student Loans (VSL). Check your eligibility here. To understand your obligations under the VET Student Loans program please see this document, which includes information on the application process, ongoing student obligations, and how to cease accessing a VSL.

See our Schedule of Fees for key dates and payment options.

All enquiries regarding tuition fees and payment schedules should be directed to

Qualification Information Brochure

Enquire Online

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