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Developmental Psychiatry Course (DPC)


Join the 2025 DPC Course waitinglist here

The Developmental Psychiatry Course is a one-year course for professionals who aim to develop their knowledge and skills in assessing children, adolescents, young people and families presenting with a variety of social, emotional, behavioural, and developmental difficulties. The course builds a foundational knowledge in infant, child, youth and family development and builds competency in assessment, diagnosis, formulation, and treatment planning. While not being a university award program (ie completion of the course does not lead to the award of a formal university degree or diploma), the course has been accepted for more than forty years as the benchmark for vocational training in fundamental skills for the child adolescent, and youth mental health field.  

The DPC is offered in two forms:

  1. Theory + Clinical: This version of the DPC involves attendance at two-hour seminars on Wednesday afternoons (1:30-3:30pm) during the Victorian school term, plus participation in a 10 week clinical course, and the satisfactory completion of assessment tasks. Trainees who work in infant, child, youth & family mental health and wellbeing services that are applying for one of the Department of Health funded positions must complete Theory + Skills.  

  2. Theory: This version of the DPC involves attendance at the seminars noted above, as well as the satisfactory completion of assessment tasks, without placement at Victorian CAMHS/CYMHS. 

Aims of the Course/Objectives

On completion of this course participants will: 

DPC Theory:

  • Understand the theory behind the assessment, formulation, and diagnosis of clinical problems across infancy, childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood.  

  • Have a framework for conducting developmental assessments that includes consideration of physical, cognitive, psychosocial factors.

  • Understand how infant, child and youth development occurs within their family and broader cultural context.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of important clinical issues  across infancy, childhood, adolescence, and emerging adulthood, including aetiology, and ways in which these problems present.   

  • Make sense of infants, children, youth and families presenting to mental health and wellbeing services  by considering the biological, psychological, social and relational factors which contribute to the presenting concerns.   

  • Identify the young person’s strengths and the strengths of the systems (family, community, services etc.) around them.  

  • Have a framework and experience in writing formulations for common presenting issues for those presenting to ICYMHS. 

  • Consider treatment recommendations that address both the clinical presenting concerns and the factors that are contributing to them.  

DPC Clinical:

  • Conduct clinical assessments of infants, children and young people presenting to clinical services, including interviews of:  

                      The family as a whole;  

                      Parents alone; and  

                      Children/adolescents alone  

  • Explore and assess diagnoses with relevant to young people presenting to ICYMHS using ICD-10-CM or DSM 5

  • Produce case reports appropriate for an Infant, Child, Youth and Family Mental Health and Welling Service, including a written formulation that integrates information from the assessment in order to make sense of the problems of the child or young person, using a biopsychosocial framework, including:  

                     Predisposing factors;  

                      Precipitating factors;  

                      Perpetuating factors;  

                      Protective factors

  • Conduct an effective and collaborative feedback session with parents and children/young people.    

  • Generalise the above skills to a variety of different clinical environments and presentations.      

  • Develop the skills to provide clear, succinct clinical case presentations, with a clear purpose and an ability to engage in clinical discussions with peers on in an appropriate and supportive manner   

  • Develop reflecting thinking skills to help guide your own clinical work and to provide support and feedback to peers.  


Course Structure

DPC Theory

The webinars focus on developing skills and knowledge of development through the life cycle,  mental health concerns, neurodiversity, and the relationships, cultures, and contexts that influence them. The course is created and presented in collaboration with local and international experts.

DPC Theory is a combination of self-directed learning tasks, case presentations and small group tutorial sessions provided over Zoom. Course time is on a Wednesday afternoon (1:30pm-3:30pm) in the Victorian school term, generally beginning in the first week of February and ending in the first or second week of December. On most Wednesdays, unless otherwise specified, participants may use the time between 1.30pm and 2.30pm to complete their self-directed learning (before the Online Tutorial from 2.30pm – 3.30pm) – this learning may also be completed in participants own time. On some occasions, participants will be required to attend an online DPC Presentation at 1.30pm. These dates are specified in the DPC handbook and online. Online Tutorial groups will be run between 2.30-3.30pm. Attendance is required at tutorials.

It also includes ASD Fundamentals course (2 full days: Wednesday 21 August 2024 & Thursday 22 August 2024) as core elective in second semester. An example of the 2024 timetable (draft) can be found here.  

DPC Clinical

The Clinical course is designed to enable participants to apply the knowledge learnt in DPC Theory to their own clinical practice and to enhance reflective practice skills.  Within their own workplace, participants will observe and complete clinical assessments and receive feedback on direct observations of their skills.  Participants will also participate in online clinical case conferences with other DPC Clinical participants that is facilitated by an experienced senior Infant, Child, Youth and Family Mental Health and Wellbeing clinician.  By the end of the course, participants will have observed one full assessment, completed at least one assessment under the observation and had the opportunity to complete one more full assessment, either independently or with support.  They will also have presented 2 cases in case conference, engaged in peer supervision and completed 2 full assessment reports.   

Prerequisites & Selection Criteria


Participation in DPC requires satisfactory completion of the Mindful Introductory Course, a 18-22 hours online on-demand Introduction to Assessment \short course, conducted by Mindful - Centre for Training and Research in Developmental Health. For details of the MIC, click here. 

Selection Criteria

Participants must: 

  • Have a relevant undergraduate qualification (relevance is determined by the DPC coordinator)  

  • Have a current Working with Children Check  

  • When released by their employer to undertake DPC, have written employer approval  

  • For those applying for DPC Clinical, be willing to participate in online clinical case presentations and discussions with peers from different services.   

Availability of any service to run DPC may change year to year.  

New staff in Victorian Infant, Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health and Wellbeing Services are given priority of entry into DPC Clinical due to Mindful’s funding arrangements. 

Requirements for completion

DPC Clinical

  • Attend at least 80% of the Clinical Case Conferences and complete an alternative task for any sessions missed   

  • Participate in activities designed to promote self-reflection regarding learning and development goals.   

  • Complete two clinical assessments, with at least one occurring under observation/supervision of an experienced clinician  

  • Satisfactorily complete and submit two full clinical assessment reports  

  • Satisfactorily present two cases at clinical case conference  

  • Meaningfully contribute to group discussions in Clinical Case Conference 

DPC Theory

  • Prepare for webinars completing online, self-directed tasks or essential readings that correspond with the seminar. Be prepared to contribute to discussions around information learnt, related case studies and assessments tasks.  

  • Attend at least 80% of sessions 

  • Completion of assigned assessments to a satisfactory standard. Details about assessments are contained in the DPC Theory handbook and on the Learning Management System 

Applications and Cost

How to apply 

Applications for DPC 2024 closed. Join the 2025 DPC Course waitinglist here

* Staff eligible for DH funded places will need to be identified by their ICYMHS managers and your service will nominate you to Mindful for late registration

* For other professional applicants doing DPC Theory only, please contact [email protected] and we'll reply to your enquiry with more details.


As a general indication, 2024 costs are listed below; costs generally increase a small amount each year. 

2024 DPC Theory+Clinical:             $2,390

2024 DPC Theory (Victoria):            $2,000 (Incl GST)

2024 DPC Theory (Non Victoria):    $2,325 (Incl GST)

DPC Theory+Clinical is a GST-exempt training program. DPC Theory incurs GST.

Click here to go to the payment webpage.

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The information you provide at registration will be used by authorised staff only for the purposes for which it was collected - enrolment and course administration. Basic contact information will be retained for student alumni management and to inform members of our industry of future training opportunities which may be of interest. All information will be protected against unauthorised access and use. You may access any personal information you have provided to the University, through Mindful, or request removal from our contact list after completion of your course, by contacting us at the [email protected] or telephone +61 3 8344 2000. The University of Melbourne is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic). All information collected by the University is governed by the University’s Privacy Policy. For further information about how the University deals with personal information, please refer to the University’s Privacy Policy or contact the University’s Privacy Officer at [email protected]

All information correct at October 2022. Mindful reserves the right to make changes to the training calendar or any general or specific information published in this calendar. Mindful reserves the right to cancel courses that do not achieve minimum participation, in which case, course fees will be refunded.