Become a PCA in aged care with a Certificate III in Individual Support from Phillips Institute

Become a PCA and work in residential aged care or home and community care, or become a Disability Support Worker and work in home and community care or supported independent living.  Now only $50 or $125 for funding eligible applicants* – no extra costs!

Have you ever considered becoming a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or Aged or Disabled Carer?  If you enjoy caring for people, have a sensitive and compassionate nature, and a desire for satisfying work, then working as a personal carer in the aged care, home care or disability sector either in residential centres, community settings or clients’ homes may be for you.

We deliver both Ageing and Disability Support specialisations for this qualification, increasing your employability skills and broadening your opportunities.

If you’re already working in a relevant role, or have previous skills, knowledge and experience, you may be eligible for some recognition of your existing competency.  You might also be interested in upskilling with our Certificate IV in Ageing Support or the Certificate IV in Disability.  You may only need to do a few units if you already hold a related qualification, meaning reduced study time and reduced cost!


Entry Requirements

No minimum education is required, however your ability to communicate well in spoken and written English is very important for working in caring and support roles and is necessary to successfully complete the course requirements. You must also be able to read and interpret information and use basic numeracy skills to the level expected in the workplace.  The training we provide will focus on developing your skills so that you will be ready for working in this important and growing sector.

Checks and Immunisations – for placement

Since you will be doing your placement in a community services organisation working with vulnerable people, you will need to meet strict identity checks and immunisation requirements.

All applicants must provide a copy of a current National Police Check before commencing a placement.  It will not be possible to start your placement until this check is received. 

Most placement organisations will also require students to hold an NDIS Worker Screening Check. You should apply for this check early in your course, as the processing may take several weeks to complete for most applicants. Further information is available at

Some organisations may also require you to obtain, a no-cost Volunteer Working with Children Check.

In addition, some organisations will expect you to meet immunisation requirements prior to starting your placement, for example, Influenza immunisation is commonly required for work in aged care, home care and disability services. Further information about these requirements can be provided by your trainer or by checking the workplace specific recommended immunisations.


Course duration is approximately 6 months of classes for full-time intake (two full days per week plus self-directed study), or approximately 9 months for part-time intake (Saturday plus one evening per week plus self-directed study; or one evening per week for 12 months). If you have previous skills, knowledge or experience, you may be able to complete this course in a shorter time frame.  Speak with one of our course advisors prior to enrolment for more information about credit transfer, or recognition of prior learning, or read our Student Handbook for further information.


This is a key component of your course where you will put everything you have learned into practice!  If you already have a placement organisation in mind, such as a residential aged care facility close to where you live, you may be able to organise your own placement subject to your trainer’s approval. We will also need to organise your placement agreement before you begin the placement, however, you do not have to set up your own placement we will do all the organising for you – and we will endeavour to find a placement for you as close to your home as possible.  This is something we have been doing for our students for over 20 years.


Many of our former students have continued their career with studies in Certificate IV in Ageing Support, Certificate IV in Leisure and Health, Certificate IV in Disability, or gone on to further studies in Diploma of Nursing, a Bachelor degree in Nursing and other allied health fields.  A Certificate III in Individual Support can provide a terrific launching pad for your future health care and/or community services career.  Don’t forget, you can also study a second course such as the HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and graduate with two qualifications! Ask us about the dual enrolment if you’re interested.

Ready to get started?

Get ready for your future Ageing or Disability Support career – Call us on 1300 558837 or just click on the Apply Now button when you’re ready to apply.


15 Units of Competency with the Ageing and Disability Support specialisations

CHCCCS031Provide individualised support
CHCCCS040**Support independence and wellbeing
CHCCOM005Communicate and work in health or community services
CHCDIV001Work with diverse people
CHCLEG001Work legally and ethically
CHCCCS041Recognise healthy body systems
HLTWHS002Follow safe work practices for direct client care
CHCCCS038Facilitate the empowerment of people receiving support
HLTINF006Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and control
CHCAGE011Provide support to people living with dementia
CHCAGE013Work effectively in aged care
CHCPAL003Deliver care services using a palliative approach
CHCDIS011Contribute to ongoing skills development using a strengths-based approach
CHCDIS012Support community participation and social inclusion
CHCDIS020Work effectively in disability support
**This unit requires demonstration of skills during work placement of 120 hours

Locations and Next intakes:

Carnegie – Full time: New intake starts every 2 to 4 weeks – from July 2023
Carnegie – Part time: New intake starts every 4 to 5 weeks – from August 2023
Warragul – Part time: New intake starts every 4 to 6 weeks – from September 2023

Find out if you are eligible for government funding, even if you are currently employed! Note: all Phillips Institute courses are now Tuition Fee FREE, just like selected TAFE courses.


Class-based training
Full time – Carnegie:
Two days per week, 9:30am to 4pm – approximately 22-24 weeks – plus placement of 120 hours
Part time – Carnegie:
One evening plus one day per week – Carnegie only (Thursday 5:30pm to 8:30pm) and most Saturdays 9am to 3:30pm – approximately 28 weeks – plus placement of 120 hours
Part time – Warragul:
One evening per week – (Thursday 5:00pm to 8:00pm) – approximately 36 weeks – plus placement of 120 hours

Residential Aged Care Facility
Supervised placement is required working with people who are ageing and living in residential aged care, and people who are living with a disability; work placement requires demonstration of skills during a period of 120 hours minimum; many students undertake a block placement of, for example, 3.5 to 4 weeks, Monday to Friday, usually 7am to 2.30pm. Placement shift options may vary but placement cannot be done on public holidays, weekends, evening or night shifts.

*This training is delivered with Commonwealth and Victorian Government subsidies.