Professional credentials of a peer workforce
Peer workers, while having a range of professional skills, typically undertake professional competency training gained through vocational education.
The recent development of a national Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work (Cert4 MHPW) in Australia, and its associated learning resources, introduces a minimum qualification for a career in mental health peer work and contributes to a career pathway for peer workers.
Community Mental Health Australia (CMHA) was funded by the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) to oversee the development of resources for the Cert4 MHPW – a project coordinated by the Mental Health Coordinating Council. This qualification is part of the Community Services Training Package CHC – Community Services.
Cert4 MHPW covers consumer peer workers and carer peer workers employed in government, public, private or community-managed services. People with lived experience of mental illness who are currently unemployed could benefit from the opportunity to gain employment through this qualification.
This training will help government services and community organisations to deliver programs across a range of service types, as they increasingly look to the peer workforce as an effective adjunct to their existing workforce.
The current requirement for trainers of the National Training Package for the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work is a lived experience of mental illness from the perspective of either a consumer or carer, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and the new Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work.