Become a PCA and work in residential aged care or home and community care, or become a Disability Support Worker and work in disability, home and community care or NDIS supported independent living. 

Includes Ageing and/or Disability specialisations

Now only $95 or $175 for funding eligible applicants* – no extra fees!

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 or support worker 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. Please note: the Disability specialisation that we offer is required for entry into the CHC43121 Certificate IV in Disability Support qualification.

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 Support.  You may only need to do a few units if you already hold a related qualification, meaning potential reduced study time and reduced cost!


Program Delivery

Our program may be delivered in three ways:

  • On-campus classes to ensure maximum learning and training opportunities, in our fully equipped simulation classrooms at our head office in Carnegie. This is our most popular program and is available as full time two days per week for 6 months, or one evening and one Saturday per week for 8 months with one Melbourne placement organised by us for you.  
  • Work-based with on-site or local classes to clarify key competencies, gain essential underpinning concepts, learn practical strategies and refine existing skills. This option requires employer endorsement, or talk to us about traineeships.
  • Recognition of prior learning (RPL), an assessment-only pathway, suitable for applicants who already have relevant experience and/or similar qualifications and wish to upgrade or broaden their skills. 

Call our office during business hours on 1300 558837 to discuss your training and assessment options.

Please note:  We do not deliver this course as online.  All assessment resources are print-based with a textbook provided to all students upon enrolment.  Class attendance is required before assessment resources can be provided or assessment undertaken, as the program requires delivery of training before assessment is conducted. Work-based programs may have an online assessment option where appropriate.

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 criminal history checks and immunisation requirements.

All applicants must provide a copy of a current (within the last 12 months) National Police Check before commencing a placement.  It will not be possible to start your placement until this check is received. 

Many placement organisations will also require students to hold an NDIS Worker Screening Check. If the placement organisation requires you to have an NDIS WSC, you should apply for this check early in your course, as the processing may take several weeks to complete for most applicants. You may choose Phillips Institute as your “Employer” as we are able to pre-approve your application as a placement student. Further information about the Check is available at

Some placement organisations may also require you to obtain, a no-cost Volunteer Working with Children Check. Check with our office to find out more about this before you apply.

In addition, some organisations will expect you to meet immunisation requirements prior to starting your placement, for example, annual Influenza immunisation is typically 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 Australian Immunisation Handbook for 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 8 months for part-time intake (Saturday plus one evening per week plus self-directed study). 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 can do all the organising for you – and we will endeavour to find a placement for you as close to your home as possible.  With our close industry connections and formal agreements with many aged care, home care and disability support organisations, this is something we have been doing for our students for over 20 years.


This qualification is now a mandatory entry requirement for the Certificate IV in Disability Support, a popular pathway program for many students. Many of our former students have continued their career with studies in Certificate IV in Ageing Support, Certificate IV in Leisure and Health, 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.  You can also study a second course concurrently, such as the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and graduate with two qualifications! Ask us about a dual enrolment and make the most of your study experience!

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.


Qualification Structure

This qualification consists of 15 Units of Competency being 9 Core units together with 6 Elective units being either an Ageing (A), Disability (B) or both specialisations (A & B). Where students choose either the Ageing or the Disability specialisation electives, the remaining three elective units to be completed are given in the table below (Other).

Electives for this course may be packaged to provide a qualification with a specialisation as outlined below:

  • All Group A electives must be selected for award of the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing).
  • All Group B electives must be selected for award of the Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability).
  • All Group A and all Group B electives must be selected for award of the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing and Disability).
Unit codeUnit titleCore /
CHCCCS031Provide individualised supportCore
CHCCCS040Support independence and wellbeing***Core
CHCCOM005Communicate and work in health or community servicesCore
CHCDIV001Work with diverse peopleCore
CHCLEG001Work legally and ethicallyCore
CHCCCS041Recognise healthy body systemsCore
HLTWHS002Follow safe work practices for direct client careCore
CHCCCS038Facilitate the empowerment of people receiving supportCore
HLTINF006Apply basic principles and practices of infection prevention and controlCore
CHCAGE011Provide support to people living with dementia*A
CHCAGE013Work effectively in aged care*A
CHCPAL003Deliver care services using a palliative approach*A
CHCDIS011Contribute to ongoing skills development using a strengths-based approach**B
CHCDIS012Support community participation and social inclusion**B
CHCDIS020Work effectively in disability support**B
CHCCCS033Identify and report abuse^Other
CHCAGE007Recognise and report risk of falls^Other
CHCMHS001Work with people with mental health issues^Other
*These units are required for the award of specialist stream, Ageing Support
**These units are required for the award of specialist stream, Disability Support
***This unit requires demonstration of skills during work placement of 120 hours
^These elective units may be subject to change

Locations and Next intakes:

Carnegie – Full time: New intake starts every 2 to 4 weeks
Carnegie – Part time: New intake starts every 4 to 5 weeks
Warragul – Part time: New intake starts every 4 to 6 weeks

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.


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 afternoon per week – (Thursday 5:00pm to 8:00pm) – approximately 36 weeks – plus placement of 120 hours

Residential Aged Care Facility or supported accommodation
Supervised placement is required working with people who are ageing and living in residential aged care, or people who are living with a disability in supported accommodation; 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.

Placement hours may also be completed by students who are employed in a relevant role during their usual work duties, subject to trainer and employer approval.

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