Case Study: Lifeline Australia and Department of Social Services: DV Online Training

“Training to increase skills, confidence and knowledge of community frontline workers”

A project to train frontline workers in identifying and responding to Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) situations.

The Challenge

DV-alert is a key initiative under the Federal Government’s Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022, and the Department of Social Services (DSS) funded Lifeline Australia to train health, allied health and community frontline workers.

Lifeline delivers DV-alert as face-to-face workshops and awareness sessions in locations across Australia at their Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – designated centres.

The training focuses on increasing the skills, confidence and knowledge of community frontline workers, professionals and volunteers to recognise the signs of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV), respond with appropriate care, and refer individuals and families subjected to, or at risk of DFV, to appropriate support services.

Lifeline contracted Liberate to convert one of its DV-alert training streams – Working with Women with Disabilities – with the online version aligned to the unit of competency ‘CHCDFV001 Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence.’

The online learning project used a four-phase, agile and user-centred design and development process (Discovery, Alpha, Beta, and Live), accredited and assessed under the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) Digital Services Standard.

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Our Approach

We led a multi-disciplinary team to undertake the Discovery Phase research activities, which included user journeys, gap analysis, personas, focus group interviews, an online survey with the identified target audience, and reporting over a 6-week timeframe. The team included personnel from EY- Digital (User Experience Research), the Lifeline L&D team and an HR specialist project manager with experience in the DTA’s new Digital Services Standard.


Based on the Discovery Phase, we then developed a best-practice, detailed blueprint for the solution. The Discovery Report documented the user needs, including free, flexible, interactive eLearning, flexibility in the study pathway, interaction with other participants, high-quality content presented in multiple formats contextualised to the workplace and integrating self-care, to name a few. Our hypothesis was that a tutor-facilitated eLearning approach, delivered using the social and constructivist-based Moodle LMS, would meet the target audiences’ needs. The Discovery report was accepted after the assessment by the DTA assessors and DSS stakeholders.

Subsequently, Liberate worked with Lifeline and subject matter experts to deliver the solution iteratively: prototypes (Alpha Phase), versions of the course (Beta Phase), ready for a trial with 400 participants in a 6-8 week online delivery sequence (Live Phase). Each step was assessed by DTA assessors for accessibility (WCAG 2.1) by the Centre for Inclusive Design.

‘I appreciated the clear way each section flowed in the next section. The layout and user-friendly style were a joy to use. The student notebook with extra pages for notes was perfect for the study, and the fact that an incomplete section could be returned without losing any data was brilliant. I found the content well-written and easy to understand. The quizzes at the end of each section were thoughtfully devised and definitely tested reading skills, comprehension and general awareness. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and even though in my current field of employment, there are only a few cases of DFV, I now believe I have the tools to recognise, respond and refer. A very big thank you to the creators and administrators of the course.’ Employment Consultant – Regional VIC

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