What is the MHFAider Accreditation Program?
A Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider) is a person who has completed a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) course delivered by an accredited MHFA Instructor. As an MHFAider you have the opportunity to complete an online Accreditation Assessment in order to become an accredited MHFAider for 3 years.*
If you pass the assessment, you will be issued a digital PDF Certificate of Accreditation by MHFA Australia. If you do not pass the assessment, you will receive a digital PDF Certificate of Completion. In this case, we recommend that you complete the full MHFA course again in the future and re-attempt the Accreditation Assessment. In this way, we can ensure all MHFAiders have demonstrated their competency before going on to do a shorter Refresher MHFA course in 3 years’ time.
*Please note, the following core MHFA courses have accreditation programs: Standard, Youth, Older Person and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander MHFA courses. Course participants of the teen MHFA course, and Specialised MHFA courses (e.g., MHFA for the Suicidal Person, MHFA for Gambling Problems, etc.) are not eligible to become accredited MHFAiders.
What does it mean to be 'accredited'?
MHFA courses have not been mapped in Training.gov.au and course participants do not receive a statement of attainment. MHFA International has an ongoing research program to develop and maintain MHFA Guidelines for Australia (and, for some of the guidelines, English speaking countries). To be an 'accredited' MHFAider means a MHFA course participant who passes the Accreditation Assessment is accredited against these guidelines. It is similar to the way National First Aid Standards (which are used to develop and update Red Cross, St John Ambulance, etc. First Aid courses) are held by the Australian Resuscitation Council.
Not all training programs belong to the VET scheme and MHFA Australia has chosen not to be part of the VET scheme to date. This is because MHFA Australia already has the academic research and rigour, that is greater than is required by VET. The setting up of VET was to ensure that training programs reach at least an acceptable level of rigour. Also, to maintain this level of quality, we believe it is important to restrict who can train MHFA Instructors, rather than allow any RTO to do this.
Is there a cost to get accredited as an MHFAider?
There is no additional fee attached to taking the online Accreditation Assessment or receiving the digital Certificate.
What are the benefits of being an accredited MHFAider?
- You can attest to having successfully passed a standardised assessment assessing your mental health first aid knowledge and skills.
- You are eligible to be appointed as Mental Health First Aid Officer in the workplace
- You will not need to complete a full MHFA course again in 3 years' time, rather a shorter Refresher MHFA course
- You will receive automatic reminders in 3 years’ time when you are due to complete a Refresher MHFA course.
- You will be able to access MHFAider eNewsletters with resources designed to reinforce your mental health first aid knowledge and skills.
- You can access a copy of your online Certificate of Accreditation at any time.
How can I become an accredited MHFAider?
To become an accredited MHFAider, you will need to pass an online Accreditation Assessment. This assessment is only administered online - an MHFA Instructor cannot administer it at the end of a course. You are eligible to attempt the online Accreditation Assessment, if you:
- Have completed an eligible MHFA course within the last 3 years
- Have an email address
- Consent to sharing your email address, and your name with your MHFA Instructor and MHFA Australia. This information allows us to provide you with a link to undertake the Accreditation Assessment.
About 3 days after the course ends, you will need to:
- Open an automated email sent from email@example.com, which will have a link to the online course feedback form and Accreditation Assessment (reminders will be sent to you over the next 4 weeks if you miss the first email).
- Click on this link to enter feedback about the MHFA course you attended on the MHFA Australia website.
- Click the button to choose to access the online Accreditation Assessment.
Note: The link emailed to you to access the online feedback form and Accreditation Exam is unique and should not be shared with another course participant.
What does completing the Accreditation Assessment involve?
The online Accreditation Assessment has 15 questions, including 10 multiple-choice questions based on a couple of scenarios and 5 true-or-false questions. You can have your MHFA manual with you at the time you complete the Accreditation Assessment. The questions are not difficult for someone who has attended an MHFA course. You will be offered a second attempt on any incorrectly answered questions and the pass mark is 80%.
What if I don't have an email address or don’t want to share my personal details?
There are two options to choose from:
If you would like to enter in your feedback online and sit the Accreditation Assessment, you could set up an email address. There are many websites where you can do this in just a few minutes. Usually the only information you will need to enter in your first name and last name (it can be a pseudonym), gender, date of birth (for age verification) and a phone number in case you lose access to your account.
Some sites you could try include Gmail, Hotmail, Mail.
Once you have created an email address, you will need to share this, along with a first name and last name to your MHFA Instructor so that they can enter this into the MHFA Australia website. You don’t have to share your real name (you could use a pseudonym).
- You can request a paper copy of the feedback form from your MHFA Instructor to fill out at the end of the course. Your Instructor will enter this feedback on your behalf online at the MHFA Australia website. Unfortunately, the Accreditation Assessment is only administered online, so you would not be able to complete the assessment without sharing an email address.
What will MHFA do with my email address?
MHFA Australia will use MHFAiders' email addresses to:
- Email MHFAiders their unique link to enter in their course feedback online and attempt optional online Accreditation Assessment.
- Email MHFAiders their Certificates of Accreditation after successful completion of the Accreditation Assessment (or Certificate of Completion after providing feedback only or should they not pass the assessment).
- Remind MHFAiders to complete a Refresher MHFA Course when their MHFAider Accreditation is due to expire after 3 years.
- Provide them with any relevant resources that help to reinforce their MHFA knowledge and skills.
- Invite them to sign up to our Friends of MHFA Newsletter.
What will MHFAider feedback data be used for?
All MHFAider course feedback entered online will be de-identified. MHFA Australia will collect and store MHFAider feedback to allow:
- Instructors to view collated feedback for their own courses.
- Instructors to view participant feedback averages across all their courses.
- Instructors to compare their own feedback averages against all Instructors as a whole.
- MHFA Instructor Engagement Coordinators to review participant feedback and provide appropriate support and mentoring to Instructors, if needed.
- Other quality control purposes.
MHFA Australia will not use this data for other research purposes unless we have obtained the explicit permission of Instructors and course participants to do so.
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