Online course information - Risk Work

Risk is a part of our everyday lives and something we all learn to assess and live with. At the heart of Community Health Work is the need to identify, explain and minimise risks to clients. This course guides your in-house facilitators through five sessions, using four short films developed especially for the course. The course encourages participants to reflect on their experience of working with risk and develop an their understanding of how it impacts on the interventions they develop and their relationships with clients. 

Understanding how risks are calculated, explaining individual risks to clients, devising interventions to minimise those risks, and maintaining positive relationships with clients to support them to make changes, may all be challenging aspects of CHWs’ work.

This training programme was developed from the experiences of real CHWs, and uses short films and structured small group discussion to reflect on the role of risk with clients and practitioners.

Who is this course for?

This has been devised as advanced course, suitable for people who have been in the job for more than 6 months.

Learning aims

This course is an opportunity for you to:

  • Use the material in the course to reflect on your own everyday work
  • Think about some of your experiences in new ways
  • Listen to and learn from others
  • Understand the influences of wider society on clients’ choices
  • Think about what risk means to you and how it might be interpreted differently in different contexts
  • Recognise why your work can be very challenging
  • Identify sources of support to deal with difficult situations at work

This course is not:

  • To teach you how to be a good Community Health Worker
  • About identifying good or poor practice in others

Course materials

  1. Guidance for facilitators
  2. Introductory information for participants
  3. Five structured workshop sessions (Session 1 is 75 minutes, Sessions 2-5 are 60 minutes long)
  4. Four short films to be screened as part of the workshops


Session 1: Challenging our Everyday Experiences
An introduction to the course, which gives some background information on risk, interventions and CHW-client relationships.

Session 2: Up a Gum Tree: New Relationships
This session uses the first of the fictional films to explore the beginnings of relationships between CHWs and clients. Dolores, a Pregnancy Outreach Worker is meeting Sabra for the first time, but why has Sabra been sent to see Dolores and how can she really help her?

Session 3: Nuts and Seeds: Making Progress
This session uses the second film to look at some issues that might occur in an established practitioner-client relationship. In the film, Paul and Bernie are meeting up again to review Bernie’s progress. How far is Bernie able to make changes to his life?

Session 4: The Devil’s Price: Turning Points
In this session, the third film shows a turning point in the relationship between Pete and his Mental Health Support Worker Marlene. Changes in relationships can be positive or they can be more challenging. Marlene has to make a choice about how to help Pete: what would you do in her situation?

Session 5: Bringing it all together
In this session, we bring together all the learning from the previous sessions and try to understand where you fit in. What makes working with risk challenging and what can your organisation do to support its employees?

Download the course materials

We are collecting brief information about those who are interested in our course, as part of an ongoing evaluation to make sure it works for all our users. Upon completing the short form below you will be taken to a link allowing you to download the course materials.

  • Name
  • We would like to contact you again in approximately 12 months time to invite you to complete a short questionnaire on your experiences of running the course. If you do not wish to be contacted, tick this box: