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Inherent Requirements at ACAP

The Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) strongly supports the rights of all people who wish to pursue a further study to achieve their potential and career objectives. ACAP is committed to fostering a learning environment that empowers and supports the personal and professional development of our students. As part of this, we embrace diversity and endeavour to accommodate all students.

What are inherent requirements?

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course that demonstrate the abilities, knowledge and skills to achieve the core learning outcomes. All students must be able to meet their course’s inherent requirements to successfully complete the course.

Inherent requirements are concerned with abilities related to ethics, behaviour, legal compliance, communication, cognition, literacy, language, numeracy, sensory ability, reflective skills, relational skills, and sustainable performance. Details about each of these categories are provided under the heading Key Terms, below.

Why are inherent requirements important?

Inherent requirements ensure the academic integrity of a course is maintained and preserves ACAP’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes.

Are inherent requirements the same as compulsory requirements?

Inherent requirements refer to the learning and teaching activities specific to a particular course, such as the need for a student to behave in an ethical way, for example not cheating in assignments or treating client material confidentially while on placement.

Compulsory requirements include both compliance with College policies, procedures and regulations which are applicable to all students, but also the mandatory obligations associated with a course of study e.g. attendance, completion of assignments and paying fees.

How does this affect you?

Starting a course of study is an important decision, and to help you decide whether a particular course is right for you we have developed a series of inherent requirement statements about each of our courses.  The inherent requirements can be capabilities, knowledge or skills. Some of them you will already have when you start the course and doing the course helps refine or grow them, whereas others develop as you study.

ACAP is committed to making reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, placement and other activities to enable students to participate in their course. Reasonable adjustments must not fundamentally change the nature of the inherent requirement. Students with a disability or chronic health condition may be able to have reasonable adjustments made to enable them to meet these requirements. Consideration is also given to students’ cultural and religious background and beliefs, which may impact on participation in their course.

Please note; if you have a disability or chronic health condition that you are concerned may prevent you from meeting an inherent requirement, please contact the AccessAbility (Disability) Service to talk about the reasonable adjustments that may be put in place to support you during your studies as soon as possible. You may find that there is a solution that can reassure you and help you feel more confident in starting your studies.

How to use the inherent requirement statements

The inherent requirements listed for each qualification are a guide for students and staff when deciding whether you are able to comply comfortably with the learning and teaching needs of your course, and where reasonable adjustments may be available that allow you to successfully complete the course without compromising its academic integrity.

Each inherent requirement is described in five brief sections explaining its background, definition, relevance, potential adjustments, and then some examples to help you understand how it is relevant to your proposed course of study. Your awareness of a course’s inherent requirement statements before enrolling will prepare you for any challenges or support needs during your future studies, and give you the opportunity to seek assistance to make informed decisions and plan ahead.

Fitness for practice

The Fit for Practice policy applies to all enrolled students participating in Courses that include a practical component (listed below), as well as to all staff in relation to the oversight of students undertaking these Courses associated with their employment at the College.

For further information, please click here.

Student support and advice

ACAP’s resources available for support and advice about meeting your inherent course requirements include: your Course Advisor, AccessAbility (Disability) Services and Student Learning Support. More information is available on our Services and Support page.

Associate Degree of Applied Social Science

Bachelor of Applied Social Science

Bachelor of Counselling

Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching)

Bachelor of Psychological Science

Bachelor of Psychological Science and Counselling

Bachelor of Psychological Science and Criminology

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

Bachelor of Social Work

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Graduate Diploma Psychological Science

Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology

Graduate Diploma of Professional Psychology Practice

Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Master of Psychology (Clinical)

Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work (Qualifying)

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Inherent Requirements
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Inherent requirements key terms

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or unit that demonstrate the abilities, knowledge and skills required to achieve the core learning outcomes of the course or unit, while preserving the academic integrity of the College’s learning, assessment and accreditation processes. The inherent requirements are the abilities, knowledge and skills needed to complete the course that must be met by all students.

Inherent requirements are specific to a particular course. In the College context, in addition to inherent requirements, there are also compulsory requirements of a course. These are broader and can include both compliance with the policies, procedures and regulations which are applicable to all students at the College and also the mandatory requirements associated with the course of study e.g. attendance and completion of assignments.

Students with a disability or chronic health condition may be able to have reasonable adjustments made to enable them to meet these requirements.

To provide clarity and consistency, the inherent requirement statements have been grouped under several domains. Courses may contain some or all of these domains.

Ethical behaviour Acting in ways consistent with the recognised values of society and avoiding activities that do harm. In the context of inherent requirements, students undertaking a course of study may be governed by practice standards and codes of ethics.

Behavioural stability The maintenance of conduct that is acceptable and appropriate, according to the recognised norms of society over a given period of time.

Legal compliance Related to the law. In the context of inherent requirements, this refers to the legal requirements of professional bodies relevant to specific courses of study.


Verbal communication Conveying messages, ideas or feelings through speech.

Non-verbal communication Communication other than speech that conveys meaning including: gestures and facial expressions; body posture, stance, touch, eye movements, eye contact and distance from the person(s) with whom you are communicating. Non-verbal cues can provide significant additional information to the person with whom you are communicating.

Written communication Communication by written symbols including electronic means, print or handwriting.

Cognition The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through one’s thoughts, experience and senses.

Knowledge and cognitive skills Any of a number of acquired skills that reflect an individual’s ability to think. Cognitive skills include: verbal and spatial abilities; concentration; memory; perception; reasoning; planning and organisation; flexible thinking; and problem solving.

Literacy (language) This relates to the ability to acquire, understand and apply information in a scholarly manner.

Numeracy This relates to the ability to understand and work with numbers.

Reflective skills This relates to the ability to demonstrate self-awareness and think about our own and others’ experiences, beliefs, motivations and values and how they impact on our personal feelings and behaviour, as well as our professional practice.

Relational skills This relates to our capacity to build relationships with others through our capacity to understand others’ experiences and respond effectively.

Sensory abilities The way a person recognises external stimuli, through sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.

Sustainable performance The ability to undertake a task(s) over a pre-determined period of time. This could include physical performance, such as standing for a period of time, or cognitive (mental) performance, such as concentrating for a particular length of time.

The Disability Discrimination Act [DDA], 1992 as amended in 2009 (Australian Government Comlaw, 2010) provides legal protection for everyone in Australia against discrimination based on disability.

The DDA through the Disability Standards for Education 2005 requires institutions to make reasonable adjustments to enable the student with a disability to participate in education on the same basis as a student without a disability.

Reasonable adjustment are modifications made to the learning environment, teaching delivery or assessment methods used to help students with a disability or chronic health condition to access and participate in education on the same basis as those without a disability. Reasonable adjustments facilitate students meeting the inherent requirements of their course of study.

An adjustment is defined “reasonable” if it balances the interests of all parties affected including not causing “unjustifiable hardship” to the educational institution.

For further information about adjustments, please refer to the AccessAbility (Disability) Service webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find out more about studying at ACAP and what to expect in our Student Handbook. We know students develop skills and competencies over time, and that you will become increasingly proficient and fluent with spoken, written and digital literacy with support and practice. You may like to make use of our online Student Learning Support services in assessing and working on important skills for study, such as computer literacy and academic writing, to prepare you for a smooth start to study. We want you to have a good experience of study, so you may also like to look at the NPI Student Code of Conduct so that you understand our expectations.

No, they are different but they may be related. The entry requirements and pre-requisites for our courses are available in the course guide for your preferred course. While you will need to meet the relevant entry requirements and pre-requisites to be able to start the course, you will need to meet the inherent requirements as you progress through the course in order to successfully complete it. If your circumstances change during the course and you are concerned about your ability to meet the inherent requirements, please seek advice from ACAP staff whom have lots of experience in helping students find a way through and organising reasonable adjustments if you need them.

Starting a higher education course can be a daunting, yet exciting experience. At ACAP we want you to have the best experience you can, and so we have a number of services available to support you and address any concerns you may have. You can get advice about your suitability for particular courses from your Course Advisor, including information about who can help you with a particular question, or alternative study options that may have some similar characteristics or offer similar career opportunities.

If you think you may experience challenges related to your disability, chronic health condition or any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with an AccessAbility (Disability) Service advisor. These staff can work collaboratively with you and, on your behalf, with faculty to determine reasonable adjustments to assist you to meet the inherent requirements.

If you have concerns about academic writing or study skills, you should seek assistance from Student Learning Support who can provide you with information about available support services provided to ACAP students.

Once you are enrolled as a student we will continue to support you, and you will receive information about services you might find helpful as you settle into your course.