Overview - Financial Counselling Program

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The purpose of the Financial Counselling Program Service Model Induction Tool (FCP Tool) is to provide practical assistance for those agencies funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) to implement the Financial Counselling Program (FCP) service model.

The key features of the FCP service model are:

  • a client receives a similar level of service regardless of which agency they contact
  • the extent of services available to consumers is based on common criteria across all agencies
  • effective referrals are made between agencies
  • the client receives the least expensive service that meets their needs.

CAV will review and update information and provide additional tools as agencies start to practically apply the service model.

CAV welcomes feedback from agencies using the FCP Tool and implementing the FCP service model. Please provide feedback via emailing fundedservices@justice.vic.gov.au

CAV wishes to acknowledge the work of Managing Justice and the contribution made by the Victorian financial counselling sector to the design and development of the service model.


There are a number assumptions that underpin the FCP Service Model. These are:

  • There are four practice elements described in the FCP Service Model - initial contact response, triage, intake and assessment. In practice these may occur simultaneously or in different configurations according to each agency’s practice. For more information, view our Practice elements - Financial Counselling Program page.
  • The use of the telephone is prioritised for all client service types if it is a feasible option. For more information, view our Client services - Financial Counselling Program page.
  • All agencies making an interagency referral will be required to assess the client and complete the referral template/s. For more information, view our Referral of a client between community agencies - Financial Counselling Program page.
  • All agencies will be required to accept an interagency referral and respond in the identified priority time. Agencies should ensure that their booking systems are set up to provide an immediate appointment for a priority 1 case. For more information, download our Assessment checklist - Financial Counselling Program (Word, 48KB).
  • Referrals from community agencies to the National Debt Helpline should only be made if:
    • the agency doesn’t have the capacity to attend to the client, and only then
    • if the client is capable of using the telephone, and only requires information and referral or sessional casework.
  • The FCP Service Model acknowledges that trained non-financial counselling staff may assist with the provision of intake, assessment and information and referral to a non-financial counselling service. However, only qualified financial counsellors or those undertaking the Diploma will provide casework services.