Building Real Relationships through Real Education

When ICAN’s Registered Training Organisation (RTO) ICAN Learn launched in 2017, it was the realisation of a dream.  Now in its fifth year, Australia’s first social enterprise RTO dedicated to the professional development and advancement of the national financial counselling, capability and resilience sectors continues to go from strength to strength.

With the number of Australians suffering financial hardship currently at an all-time high, the demand on community service agencies has never been greater.  People are presenting for assistance with complex financial situations to community services agencies with limited experience and sometimes, an untrained workforce.

Financial capability workers and financial counsellors are the unsung heroes of any agency.  Passionate about improving the financial and emotional wellbeing of their clients, these frontline workers often need support themselves.  Professional development training provides support, empowering staff to produce even greater outcomes for their clients, agencies, and communities.

Empowering regional and remote organisations

‘ICAN Learn was created to link workforces to real education to the develop the financial counselling and capability sectors.’ said Bernadette Pasco, ICAN Learn Executive Officer.

‘The best way to develop the financial counselling and capability sector is to build open, trusting relationships with people and agencies.  At ICAN Learn we listen to what the agency seeks to develop; then we work out how we can work within the agency framework to jointly discover a new way forward.’

Anglicare NT; Anglicare Vic; and Christians Against Poverty [CAP], are just some of the organisations that ICAN Learn has worked with to innovate education and support that suit their business and environment.  Whether educating a team of financial counsellors remotely from Bendigo or providing financial literacy to staff in remote communities, tailoring education to meet specific needs is key to supporting the financial services sector as a whole.

Tracy Grinter from Anglicare Victoria, Bendigo, explains, ‘I needed to employ eight financial counsellors within a 12-month period.  I knew I wouldn’t get qualified staff because we’re in a regional area, so I needed a flexible training strategy.  Having regional staff travel to Melbourne 3 days a week for training was not going to work.  I needed something that would work within the framework I had, otherwise I couldn’t meet our targets.  ICAN Learn really listened and understood what we needed.  They offered us a model that delivered things like the financial units straightaway, so our staff could start working immediately.  In fact, two of our original staff are now team leaders.’

Phil Pickering from Christians Against Poverty said, ‘ICAN Learn provides thought leadership to empower organisations for change.  What I’ve found helpful and distinctive of ICAN Learn is rather than me just saying, “hey, I want to train some people in Financial Literacy Education”, then get sent a prospectus – I could have done that online.  Instead, what I found was an ongoing conversation, training that suited us, and a way to develop our plan for the next steps of our organisation.  Another big point of difference for us is ICAN Learn providing both the diploma and financial literacy education, as it meant we could use the one training provider.’

Fiona Pettiford from Anglicare NT is the Program Manager of the Money Support Hub in remote East Arnhem, NT.  She engaged ICAN Learn to deliver financial literacy education to her staff in the remote community of Nhulunbuy. 

‘We were looking for some sort of standardisation across Anglicare NT’, said Fiona, ‘so even our qualified financial capability workers completed the ICAN Learn accredited Financial Literacy Education Skillset to ensure we had a consistent approach across the Hub which outreaches to many remote areas including Groote Eylandt, Ngukurr and other places

‘As a Program Manager and someone who’s employing financial counsellors and financial capability workers, I know ICAN Learn’s products are excellent.  It’s not just about the quality and course content, it’s also about the values base of their course.

‘Having training delivered by people who’ve actually done the work is so pertinent in remote areas like ours.  I need trainers that understand the space we work in and the cultural sensitivities. We’ve all got different experiences, but together, we all build each other’s knowledge.’

Bernadette said, ‘ICAN Learn has many different partnerships, from organisations to individual students. Our primary goal is to make sure that our students are work-ready and that organisations we work with get to explore different options to work out what works for them. It’s truly focused on the self-determination of organisations and individuals, whilst supporting best practice at all times.’

To discuss how ICAN Learn can help your organisation, contact Bernadette Pasco, Executive Officer, ICAN Learn at

Our courses