Continuing Professional Development for Legal Practitioners on Coercive Control

Closed 21 Jul 2023

Opened 2 Jun 2023


As part of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032, the Australian Government announced funding to support a nationally coordinated approach to education and training on family, domestic and sexual violence for community frontline workers, health professionals, and the justice sector. This funding included $0.9 million over 4 years to develop and deliver continuing professional development (CPD) training for legal practitioners on coercive control.

The coercive control training measure responds to reports and inquiries that have recommended improved education for legal sector professionals. This includes the parliamentary Inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence and the Joint Select Committee’s inquiry into Australia’s Family Law System. These inquiries acknowledge a skilled and competent workforce is critical to better support people impacted by family and domestic violence (FDV) and identify coercive control as an emerging area where a range of professional groups require increased education and training.

The training is aimed at all legal practitioners in Australia, but particularly those who encounter clients affected by FDV, including coercive control, and work in areas such as:

  • family law
  • child protection
  • criminal law
  • immigration
  • housing and tenancy
  • consumer credit disputes
  • partnership disputes
  • wills and estate planning
  • elder law.

The training will focus on identifying and responding to coercive control, including the use of technology-facilitated abuse as a means to perpetrate coercive control. The training will embed the National Principles to Address Coercive Control as a common national foundation for legal practitioners and is likely to count towards annual CPD requirements.

Why we are consulting

We are consulting to inform the design of a grant opportunity for a suitably qualified organisation or consortium to develop and deliver a family safety professional competency package to educate and train legal practitioners on coercive control.

Not only are we seeking responses to the questions posed in the Discussion Paper, we also welcome your views on other matters that might not have been canvassed but should be considered. The purpose of the Discussion Paper is to initiate discussion among stakeholders on how to develop and implement the training package within current state and territory continuing professional development regulatory frameworks, and within the funding envelope. Respondents are asked to think broadly about solutions and factors affecting success, rather than focussing on solutions or projects they could individually offer.

This consultation is not part of the grant assessment process. Information gathered through the consultation process may also be used for Commonwealth purposes, such as informing potential future investment and policy decisions regarding advanced training for legal practitioners in FDV.

Who we want to hear from

  • legal profession continuing professional development providers
  • peak and regulatory bodies for the legal profession
  • state and territory government agencies
  • legal and academic organisations with expertise in legal matters involving family and domestic violence, particularly with knowledge and experience in emerging issues and legislative reforms around coercive control.

We are open to views on how the grant opportunity should be designed, implemented and evaluated to arrive at a shared approach towards the:

  • design of the training program, including
    • providing flexible modes of delivery
    • incorporating and tailoring the training to include the experiences of First Nations people and other vulnerable groups
  • Grant Opportunity Guidelines
  • data and evaluation requirements.

The consultation process will run until 21 July 2023. You can email your submission to Alternatively, you can provide your responses via this survey. Personal information shared through the consultation process will be treated in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988. For more information on how we collect, store and use personal information, refer to our privacy policy.

Following the consultation process, a grant round will open to eligible applicants in late 2023 / early 2024.

To meet probity requirements, relevant information gathered and shared through the consultation process will be made publicly available to ensure all parties have access to the relevant information as required. This consultation process is for information gathering only and, while all input will be considered, the final grant opportunity will be subject to the conditions of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines and Grant Agreement.


  • Family