Children standing on grass and holding hands

Professional Certificate in Understanding Childhood Trauma

The Professional Certificate in Understanding Childhood Trauma is designed to support non-specialist and early carer WA-based 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 an six week period.

Course Overview

  • 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.


This Professional Certificate is part of a nested suite of three Certificates designed as part of the Pursuit of Excellence Project, by the ACCP and Parkerville, to support non-specialist practitioners in community settings to develop their capacity (i.e. knowledge, skills, application of knowledge and skills) to provide trauma-specific therapeutic interventions to children who have experienced child abuse and neglect, with a focus on child sexual abuse.

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 an six week period. There are five core topics in the course that have been spread over the period of six weeks. 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.

2022 Course Dates

Intake 1: Commences Monday 14 February and concludes Friday 25 March
Intake 2: Commences Monday 6 June and concludes Friday 15 July
Intake 3: Commences Monday 24 October and concludes Friday 2 December


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 a Western 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 WA 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 now closed for the final intake of this course.

Please email if you have any questions.