Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychology and Psychiatry
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Andrew Carroll


This unit provides students with a conceptual framework for the assessment and management of risk. Key theoretical and systematic principles are emphasized, so that the knowledge obtained will be applicable to a broad range of professional backgrounds. This unit will familiarize students with the key theoretical and basic statistical concepts involved in assessing and managing risk, with special reference to human services and criminal justice systems. It will encourage an ethical, effective systemic approach to risk management and quality assurance. Common concerns such as medico-legal liability, defensible decision making documentation and information sharing will be covered.
Special emphasis will be given to assessment and management of three areas of common concern: the risk of aggression; the risk of suicide; and the risk of client disengagement from services.


Upon completion of this unit the student will be able to:

  1. Explain key theoretical and basic statistical concepts involved in risk assessment and outcome monitoring;
  2. Apply a systemic approach to the assessment and management of risk in their daily practice;
  3. Describe contemporary approaches to systemic 'error' management, including the basics of 'root cause analysis';
  4. Apply knowledge derived from coronial and other post-incident enquiries to their own professional practice;
  5. Describe the potential sources of human error and how these may be minimized to optimise outcomes;
  6. Explain the principles behind legal liability for negligence and hence minimize the risk of litigation in their own practice;
  7. Describe contemporary evidence-based risk management approaches to: aggression, suicide, client disengagement (noncompliance).


Workshop presentation/Alternative Assessment - 10%
Applied Learning Exercise - 30%
Essay - 60%
All assessments must be passed to pass the unit.

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Two day on-campus workshop.