What is the MHFAider Accreditation Program?
A Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider) is a person who has completed a 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 Accreditation Assessment, you will be issued a digital PDF Certificate of Accreditation by MHFA Australia. If you do not pass the Accreditation Assessment, you will receive a digital PDF Certificate of Completion. If this happens, we then recommend 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 Accreditation Course in 3 years time.
What does it mean exactly to be 'Accredited?'
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses have not been mapped in NTIS and course participants do not receive an accredited 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 Johns Ambulance etc First Aid Courses) are held by the Australian Resuscitation Council. Please do check out the FAQ on formally teaching others MHFA.
Not all training programs belong to the VET scheme and Mental Health First Aid 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 academic rigour, 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 for being an Accredited MHFAider?
- You can attest to having successfully passed a standardised Accreditation Assessment assessing your mental health first aid knowledge and skills.
- You are eligible to be appointed as Mental Health First Aid Officers in the workplace
- You will not need to complete a full MHFA Course again in 3 years' time, rather a shorter Refresher Accreditation MHFA Course
- You will receive automatic reminders in 3 years’ time when you are due to complete a Refresher Accreditation 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 the course. You are eligible to attempt this Accreditation Assessment, if you have:
- Completed a MHFA course within the last 30 days
- An email address
- Consented to share your email address and your first and last name with your MHFA Instructor to enter online at the MHFA Australia website www.mhfa.com.au
About 3 days after the course ends, you will need to:
- Open an automated email sent from firstname.lastname@example.org to you, which will have a link to the online course feedback form (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 at the MHFA Australia website www.mhfa.com.au
- Then click the button to choose to access the online Accreditation Assessment.
Note: You will only have a maximum of 1 month after the course ends to enter your feedback and attempt the Accreditation Assessment.
What does completing the Accreditation Assessment involve?
The online Accreditation Assessment has 15 questions, which are a mixture of 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. None of the questions are difficult for someone who has attended an MHFA course. You will be offered a second attempt on any incorrectly answered questions.
But what if I don't have an email address yet 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 www.gmail.com, www.hotmail.com and www.mail.com
Once you have created an email address, you will need to share this, along with a first name and last name your MHFA instructor so that they can enter this into the MHFA Australia website. You don’t have to share your real name, i.e. 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 www.mhfa.com.au. Unfortunately, the Accreditation Assessment is only administered online, so the downside is that you would not be able to complete the Accreditation Assessment without sharing an email address.
What will MHFA do with my email address?
MHFA Australia will use MHFAider’s 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 Accreditation 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 such as the MHFA iPhone and Android Apps.
- 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 course feedback data for the following purposes:
- Instructors can easily view collated feedback for their own courses.
- Instructors can view participant feedback averages across all their courses.
- Instructors can compare their own feedback averages against all instructors as a whole.
- MHFA Instructor Coordinators can review this 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.
*Course Participants of the teen MHFA Program are not eligible to become Accredited MHFAiders.
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