12 Feb – 22 Mar 2024
6 May – 14 Jun 2024
29 Jul – 6 Sep 2024
21 Oct – 29 Nov 2024


Approximately 30 hours (i.e. five hours a week for six weeks)




2024 fees currently being finalised



Course Overview

The Professional Certificate in Understanding Childhood Trauma is designed to support non-specialist and early career professionals currently working with children and young people impacted by abuse and neglect to develop a trauma-informed understanding of child abuse and neglect. It contains five topics which should take you up to 30 hours to complete. The Course is flexible and designed for you to work through the content at your own pace within a six-week period.

  • Learn to recognise different types of child abuse and neglect.
  • Identify the relationships between adverse childhood experiences, child abuse, and trauma.
  • Identify the impacts of abuse and neglect on child development (in a case study) by using knowledge of normal development and how trauma disrupts development.
  • Recognise elements of trauma-informed practice (through a case study).
  • Apply evidence-based theories (e.g. neurodevelopment, attachment, intergenerational trauma) to case studies to explain why abuse-related trauma impacts on behaviour and wellbeing.


You will develop knowledge of what constitutes trauma with specific reference to trauma from abuse and explore the types and prevalence. You will gain an understanding of how child abuse can cause trauma and the subsequent trauma impacts on a child’s development and functioning. You will also learn about the theories that guide evidence-based practice when working with trauma from abuse, including child development, neurodevelopment, attachment theory, intergenerational trauma, and epigenetics.

The Professional Certificate in Understanding Childhood Trauma is delivered fully online, giving you the flexibility to plan your studies around work or other commitments and complete this program at your own pace within a six-week period. Some students may be more familiar with specific issues than others and may choose to spend less time on certain topics and more time exploring content they are less familiar with.

Build on the knowledge and skills gained in this course and continue your studies with the Graduate Certificate in Childhood Trauma, an advanced qualification developed in partnership with the Australian Centre for Child Protection. You may also be eligible to apply the credit gained from this course to fast-track your studies.  


Your studies will require you to complete necessary readings, watch videos, undertake activities, and successfully complete assessment quizzes. You will be presented with multiple-choice quizzes at the end of key topics, relating to the course content, and you are required to achieve 100% for each quiz. You may attempt each quiz as many times as needed. Each topic will be unlocked once you have successfully completed the quiz from the previous topic.

To pass the short course, you must achieve 100% on all quizzes before the course end date.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to meet the following criteria. You will:

  • be an Australian resident
  • be over 18 years of age, and have access to a computer and the internet; and
  • have a current Working With Children Check, National Police Clearance (valid within 12 months) or equivalent (e.g Police ID).

You must also have one of the following:

  • an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in education, youth work, welfare, social work, psychology, social science or equivalent; or
  • an Advanced Diploma or Diploma qualification in community services, youth work, nursing or welfare; or
  • recent experience (a minimum of 2 years full time or equivalent) working in a community sector organisation or relevant equivalent, in a role involving self-directed application of knowledge, exercise of judgement and decision-making responsibilities, working with children, young people and/or families

How to apply

Applications are currently closed.

Please email and request to be notified when applications open for the next intake.