Inherent Requirements Graduate Certificate of Human Services

Graduate Certificate of Human Services

James Cook University is committed to enhancing student access, participation and success in higher education and embracing the diversity of the communities we serve. The inherent requirements listed for the each course are designed to assist prospective students and all current students to make informed decisions for study.

Inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are the identified abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours that must be demonstrated, during the learning experience, to successfully complete a course. These abilities, attributes, skills, and behaviours preserve the academic integrity of the University’s learning, assessment, and accreditation processes, and where applicable, meet the standards of a profession.

Reasonable adjustments

JCU assists students who are experiencing a disability to participate in this course, and achieve the inherent requirements of the course, on the same basis as someone who is not experiencing a disability. To do this, JCU works with our students and placement providers to develop agreed reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Student Disability Policy.

A reasonable adjustment is an arrangement, support, or modification, agreed in an Access Plan  to enable participation in learning and achievement of course requirements. Contact JCU’s AccessAbility Services to discuss possible adjustments. Please note that the process of negotiating and implementing reasonable adjustments may take several weeks.

In assessing whether an adjustment is reasonable, the University is entitled, in accordance with the Disability Education Standards, to maintain the inherent requirements of a course. If inherent requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, the University provides guidance regarding other study options.

How to interpret the inherent requirements

Inherent requirements are presented below as domains and sub-domains and contain the following information:

  • The definition of the inherent requirement
  • A rationale as to why it is an inherent requirement
  • Examples of the knowledge, skills, and capabilities that are required to satisfy the inherent requirements of this course.

This course includes prescribed professional placements. The inherent requirements for this course should be read in conjunction with the course admission requirements and the Course and Subject Handbook.

The inherent requirements of the Graduate Certificate of Human Services are:

Inherent requirement:Compliance with Australian Law and professional regulations.
Rationale:Knowledge and understanding of, and compliance with, legislative and regulatory requirements are necessary to reduce the risk of harm to self and others in the workplace and related settings. Compliance with professional regulations and Australian legislation ensures students are responsible and accountable for their practice.
  • Comply with Australian legislation, paying specific regard to workplace health and safety, disability, and anti-discrimination legislation, and meet any other legislative workplace, fieldwork, or professional regulations.
  • Enact relevant child protection safety legislation.
Inherent requirement:Demonstrate knowledge of, and engage in, ethical and professional behaviour consistent with all relevant standards.
Rationale:Compliance with standards, codes, guidelines, and policies that facilitate safe, competent interactions and relationships for students/graduates and the people they engage with supports the physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of all.
  • Uphold the principles, integrity, standards, and good standing of the profession.
  • Uphold standards, codes, guidelines, and policies that facilitate safe, competent interactions and relationships within professional, academic and community environments.
  • Pursue ethical decision-making, reflect on ethical dilemmas, and carry out professional duties and activities with integrity, honesty, openness, and reliability.
  • Demonstrate appropriate behaviour with confidential information in professional and academic settings.
  • Demonstrate respect for the diversity of individual, family and community beliefs, values, and practices.
  • Demonstrate professional integrity, respect, commitment to social justice - and addressing injustice - when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Inherent requirement:Safe and inclusive practice sufficient to meet professional and academic standards.
Rationale:Safe practices protect the rights, interests, and safety of all stakeholders.
  • Contribute to safe professional and academic environments, including adhering to the requirements of informed consent, privacy, and confidentiality in professional and academic settings.
  • Promote awareness of culturally safe practice, seeking to prevent and eliminate negative discrimination and oppression.
  • Ability to contribute to an inclusive learning environment.
  • Ability to assess risk, and practice safety assessment and risk reduction with all clients and in all settings.
  • Identify and respond to alarm systems in a time-sensitive manner.

Knowledge and cognitive skills

Inherent requirement: Knowledge and effective cognitive skills must be demonstrated to acquire disciplinary understanding and provide professional and competent practice.
Rationale: Successful completion of this course is based on knowledge that must be sourced, understood, and applied appropriately.
  • Ability to demonstrate a defined range of knowledge and cognitive skills to meet professional and academic requirements.
  • Capacity to locate, recall, and process appropriate and relevant information, and evaluate its significance to make informed academic and professional decisions.
  • Ability to integrate the knowledge of the diversity of cultures and peoples, their differences, and their commonalities.
  • Ability to review critically, analyse, consolidate, and synthesise information, claims and evidence in a range of contexts.


Inherent requirement: Apply English literacy skills to accurately acquire and interpret information and convey appropriate messages.
Rationale: The ability to read, decode, comprehend, interpret, and apply multiple sources of information is fundamental for effective practice.
  • Engage in discussions, make verbal presentations, and participate in tutorials and group work, conveying spoken and written messages, including complex academic perspectives, accurately and effectively.
  • Capacity to understand and implement academic conventions, and interpret written and spoken language to enact verbal and/or written directions.
  • Capacity to develop the skills necessary for reflective practice.
  • Ability to interpret and communicate theoretical perspectives, research approaches, and professional decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.


Inherent requirement: Accurate processing and reasoning with numbers and numerical concepts to meet professional and academic standards.
Rationale: Competent reasoning and reliable accuracy with numerical concepts is required for effective professional and academic performance.
  • Accurately interpret quantitative research data relevant to professional practice.
  • Apply numeracy skills to interpret and solve problems in a range of professional and academic contexts.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

Inherent requirement: Apply ICT processes and tools fundamental for effective professional and academic practice.
Rationale: Competent knowledge and application of ICTs is necessary for effective professional and academic practice.
  • Select and use appropriate ICTs to successfully accomplish academic tasks.
  • Effectively use ICTs in human services practice, including for reports, evaluations, and record keeping.

Verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Effective, respectful, and professional verbal communication in English to meet professional and academic standards.
Rationale: Students studying Human Services require high-level verbal communication skills to best serve the needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Communication may be restricted to verbal because of physical limitations of the individual (e.g., injury, disease, or congenital conditions).
  • Ability to process complex verbal information, convey instructions, and respond clearly, accurately, and appropriately in time-constrained academic and professional environments.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse linguistic and cultural groups and individuals across a range of social contexts.
  • Ability to communicate in a sensitive manner that responds to cultural and individual differences, and consult with Elders and cultural experts when required.
  • Ability to communicate in a timely manner when speed and interactivity of communication are critical for individual safety and/or assessment.

Non-verbal communication

Inherent requirement: Recognise, interpret, and respond to non-verbal communication skills that enable respectful communication with others.
Rationale: The ability to recognise, interpret, and respond to non-verbal cues, to communicate using congruent and respectful non-verbal behaviour, and being sensitive to individual and/or cultural variations in non-verbal communication are required for safe and effective professional and academic interactions.
  • Convey non-verbal behaviour that is respectful of others and consistent with the nature of discussions and presentations in both professional and academic environments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise non-verbal cues.
  • Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural and individual differences when using non-verbal communication.

Written communication

Inherent requirement:

Ability to produce English text to a standard that provides clear and professional communication, with language usage and style which can be tailored to a specific audience.

Rationale:Effective written communication, in English, is a fundamental requirement of this profession.
  • Construct and communicate complex professional and academic perspectives in writing, and in a time-constrained environment, using appropriate formatting and referencing when required.
  • Produce accurate, concise, and clear documentation which meets professional, academic, and, where appropriate, legal, and ethical requirements.
  • Read, understand, and apply precise and appropriate language to contribute clearly to handwritten and electronically produced records and reports in a time-constrained environment.


Inherent requirement: Sufficient visual acuity to meet professional and academic performance requirements.
Rationale: Aspects of human services’ learning and practice are delivered by visual means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required to provide safe and effective professional and academic performance.
Examples: Ability to process, and respond to, the visual information required to provide safe and efficient professional, academic and community environments.


Inherent requirement: Ability to interact with auditory inputs sufficiently to meet professional and academic performance requirements.
Rationale: Aspects of the working and learning environments are delivered by auditory means, and the ability to learn from, or respond to, these inputs is required to provide safe and effective professional and academic performance.
  • Actively listen, and contribute to, to professional and academic discussions.
  • Capacity to acquire auditory information accurately and effectively in professional and academic settings, and respond to the verbalised needs of practitioners and clients in a timely manner.

Gross motor ability

Inherent requirement: Strength, range of motion, coordination, and mobility sufficient to ensure the safety and wellbeing of others, and to function effectively in professional and academic settings.
Rationale: Gross-motor skills are required to complete various tasks, and are necessary for safe and effective performance.
  • Apply gross motor skills to prioritise client care and safety.
  • Set up safe environments with resources and equipment.

Fine motor ability

Inherent requirement: Demonstrate manual dexterity and fine motor skills sufficient to meet professional and academic performance needs.
Rationale: Fine-motor skills are required to complete various discipline-based tasks, and are necessary for safe and effective performance.
  • Apply fine motor skills to prioritise client care and safety.
  • Model the use of resources and equipment.
Inherent requirement:Sustained physical, cognitive, and psychosocial performance sufficient for safe and efficient professional and academic performance in a time-constrained environment.
Rationale:Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in varying periods of time to provide safe and effective practice.
  • Ability to sustain study performance to sufficiently engage with the learning workload for a 13-week or intensive study period, and for the degree, within a timeframe.
  • Capacity to maintain consistency and quality of professional performance, and complete all required tasks throughout a designated period of time.
Inherent requirement:Demonstrate behaviour that adapts to diverse and changing situations in professional and academic environments.
Rationale:Behavioural adaptability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Human services students and practitioners can be exposed to highly complex human situations and are required to have behavioural adaptability to manage these events.
  • Ability to function effectively and sensitively in complex and time-sensitive situations.
  • Adjust to changing circumstances in a way that allows self-care while maintaining a high level of professionalism.
  • Ability to manage your own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with multiple and/or changing demands in professional and academic settings.
  • Capacity to maintain respectful communication practices in times of increased stressors or workloads.
  • Demonstrate capacity and willingness to be self-reflective and open to feedback and personal growth, and be receptive and respond professionally to constructive feedback.