This course is still Tuition Fee Free for funded students.  
Funded students pay only $50 or $125 under Victorian Skills First.
This course is also available as fee-for-service at $3,500 payable in instalments.
Enrolment fees include all resources.


Do you want to learn how to assist others to maintain the quality of their lives?
Are you looking to change careers and pursue a meaningful role where you can make a real difference?


Do you work in an aged care, home and community care or disability support role and want to have your existing competency recognised, gain formal credentials or up-skill?

If you are passionate about providing support that empowers people with a disability to live their best lives, then this is the course for you!

With Phillips Institute, you can take control of your study and start anytime:

  • Study at your own pace with online learning resources and assessments
  • Attend facilitated weekly workshops every Wednesday at our fully equipped Carnegie training facility – new intakes start monthly
  • Join our practical sessions for training in safe manual handling using relevant equipment and resources
  • Enjoy learning and sharing your experience with other students, disability and health care professionals
  • Be guided by our highly experienced and qualified trainers who will provide guidance to you with regular contact
  • Apply your skills during placement with a disability services provider of minimum 120 hours

Fees and Funding

If you are studying within Victoria, and you’re an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident, you are probably eligible for Victorian and Commonwealth Government Funding – see our Fees and Funding page for more information. 

About this qualification

This course prepares you to work with people with a disability in residential group homes, training resource centres, day respite centres and open employment services, other community settings and clients’ homes.

Typically disability support workers:

  • Carry out activities related to maintaining an individual’s well being through personal care and/or other activities of living
  • May provide support or services to individuals with complex needs, and/or work with groups of people
  • Work may include training and support to promote independence and community participation, which may be provided as part of activities and programs in a variety of settings including residential and centre-based programs
  • Report to service managers and liaise with professionals and other service providers
  • May be required to supervise and/or coordinate a limited number of other workers.

You may also be interested in: Certificate IV in Leisure and Health, Certificate III in Individual Support, Certificate IV in Ageing Support, Diploma of Leisure and Health


While the full duration of this program is 6 months, some individuals may require up to 12 months to complete all course requirements, while others may be able to complete in a shorter time frame where relevant prior skills, knowledge and experience are demonstrated.  Industry placement of at least 120 hours is also required – we will assist you to source and organise this placement at a location as close to your home as possible (Melbourne only).  If your current workplace is suitable and you are approved by your organisation and our trainer for placement, you may complete your required 120 hours while you work.

Entry requirements

Excellent communication skills are essential in community service roles. To gain entry into this course, you must have adequate language, literacy and numeracy skills in order to study at Certificate IV level.  A Certificate III level vocational qualification and intention to specialise in disability sector is also strongly recommended for those with no prior industry experience.  If you have no prior industry experience, we recommend you study the Certificate III in Individual Support prior to undertaking this program, although it is not a prerequisite.

Applicants who intend to study online will need intermediate level computer skills, access to a computer, an email account and a reliable internet connection.

In addition, disability services organisations may have other requirements for students on placement. Typically these include up to date immunisations as well as a clear national police check, working with children check, and once placement is approved you will need to apply for the NDIS Worker Screening Check.  Applicants should consider these typical sector employment requirements prior to enrolment.


This course is best suited to those who already have some paid or voluntary experience in a disability, aged care, home and community care, or allied health role.  For those with no experience in a support or caring role, after a pre-training review we may recommend completion of the Certificate III in Individual Support followed by at least 6 months employment experience in the sector before continuing with enrolment into this course.

Units of competency in the program

CHCCCS015Provide individualised support
CHCDIS002Follow established person-centred behaviour supports
CHCDIS005Develop and provide person-centred service responses
CHCDIS007Facilitate the empowerment of people with disability
CHCDIS008Facilitate community participation and social inclusion
CHCDIS009Facilitate ongoing skills development using a person-centred approach
CHCDIS010Provide person-centred services to people with disability with complex needs
CHCDIV001Work with diverse people
CHCLEG003Manage legal and ethical compliance
HLTAAP001Recognise healthy body systems
HLTWHS002Follow safe work practices for direct client care
CHCDIS006Develop and promote positive person-centred behaviour supports*
CHCDIS004Communicate using augmentative and alternative communication strategies*
CHCMHS001Work with people with mental health issues*

*Elective units may be subject to change

Are you ready to take the next step?  Apply Now to get started in a disability support career.