Individual Support, Ageing and Disability - Draft 1

CHC43121_Certificate IV in Disability Support_Consultation Draft 1

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Qualification description & entry requirements




Certificate IV in Disability Support


This qualification reflects the role of individuals in a range of community settings and peoples’ homes, who provide support in a manner that empowers people with disabilities to achieve greater levels of independence, self-reliance, community participation and wellbeing. Workers promote a person-centred approach, work without direct supervision and may be required to supervise and/or coordinate a small team.


To achieve this qualification, the candidate must have completed at least 60 hours of work as detailed in the Assessment Requirements of the units of competency.


No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this qualification at the time of publication.


CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support


CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support



Choice and Control and the Certificate IV in Disability.

"As a number of people have commented, the NDIS framework prioritizes participant choice and control and that must apply to the support staff they chose to employ and/or accept. Qualifications become complex to develop, deliver and require in that context. Wages and hourly rates also become part of the story. Participants logically want to maximise the hours of support they can get from their packages. Disability support staff need to have a living wage which may be made up of many short shifts across the week. Unqualified staff may be preferred for their fresh eyes and positive attitudes. How we prepare people for the work through the qualifications and how they are employed and at what levels and hourly rates is ever more complicated but never less critical as we try to ensure the best quality of supports. "

Mary Collins 11.03.2021 03.46PM

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Expanding on the entry requirements

"I would like to see a more broader entry requirement into the CHC43121 Certificate IV in Disability support i.e. CHC32015 Certificate III in Community services. Employees generally move around within the disability, ageing and community services sectors. "

Darrel Heal 11.03.2021 02.38PM

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1 Reply

"A valid point - ensuring the Cert IV qualification gives recognition in its core & elective units selection a means to capture prior learning and experience of employees from other community service sectors areas "

leonie sperry 11.03.2021 04.14PM

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Cert III entry into Cert IV

"As most have said in this feedback forum. While I am a strong supporter of selected core units that form part of both qualifications each should be stand alone. Each has job outcomes. So for those applying for Cert IV level work roles having to effectively complete 2 quals. "

leonie sperry 11.03.2021 05.52AM

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Cert III vs Cert IV

"The structure and flow of the Cert III and IV is reminiscent of the days of ACRACS, with a strong focus on providing personal care and attending to health needs in Cert III. The sector now is much wider with more people with disability requiring support around community inclusion, advocacy, employment, education, empowerment principles to enable them to fully participate in society. I think having to do the Cert III as a prerequisite for the Cert IV would not attract or be engaging to the ‘more capable’ students we attract who are seeking to work more in the community, advocacy, employment etc. This would be particularly so if the Cert III is delivered by a teacher without specific and recent disability work experience. I believe the Cert IV is a more appropriate qualification for everyone working in the sector, particularly as often support workers work independently, without supervision, in supporting individuals who are aspiring to meet the goals of NDIS plans and having valued roles in the community. We as educators (and the boarder sector) ought to aim higher to improve the quality of disability support."

Niky Hepi 10.03.2021 12.24PM

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2 Replies

"agreed Niky"

Karen Hyland 10.03.2021 01.46PM

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"I agree with Niky."

Tina Whitmore 11.03.2021 02.49PM

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Why the Cert III prerequisite?

"I agree with comments already made re the financial and time disincentive of the Cert III as a prerequisite to do the Cert IV. There are also some people with disability, who hire their own support workers, who have a negative view of hiring staff with disability education because their experiences with qualified staff are that these staff think they 'know it all' based on being qualified in disability. While this may be a questionable perception depending on the education and the support worker, as well as the kind of support the person with disability needs, this perception does raise the point of 'what outcomes do we want people with qualifications to achieve? How do we measure the efficacy of these outcomes?' And the answer has to be in the improved lives of people with disability, as reported by people with disability and their families. I don't think a mandatory Cert III will provide better outcomes for people, or that it could have any substantive content that can't be addressed in the Cert IV. I think we need to question what gaps the Cert III prerequisite is trying to address, and address these gaps with a solution that doesn't create more problems than it's trying to solve."

Katy Gagliardi 10.03.2021 10.54AM

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Certificate III entry level requirement for Certificate IV in Disability Support.

"Victoria has the Certificate IV as the entry level qualification and has done for over 20 years. Each version of the Certificate IV has taken it further from the Certificate III level qualification (and the Certificate III is a good entry level qualification). The result of making Certificate III an entry requirement is that people swapping from another Community Services sector e.g. Youth Work, or Mental Health will have to do a Certificate III first unless they can provide equivalency. They and any other person with prior higher level qualifications will not necessarily get State funded student fees and may be faced with a student fee of several thousands of dollars. It will be serious disincentive for people to consider disability support work as a viable alternative career at a time when we need more commited workers across levels in our sector. Wage rates are historically low and employment certainty has not improved with the effects of COVID restrictions since March 2020. Training Packages and qualifications cannot be developed in a vacuum separate from the economic realities of Australia and its states and territories. "

Mary Collins 10.03.2021 08.53AM

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1 Reply

"I agree with Mary - The Cert IV in Disability Support is the appropriate entry level requirement in a sector that requires workers to be able to work independently and autonomously (if they are undertaking truly person-centred, inclusive and individualised work) An unintended consequence of the prerequisite will be a disincentive for people to consider disability work for the reasons articulated by Mary - along with fewer following through to the Cert IV level. "

Lisa Harris 10.03.2021 11.17AM

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No prerequisites. retain Certificate Iv In Disability as previous

"There appears to be a view from stakeholders that disability sector work is more about “care” (medical model) and stakeholders seem to be drawing strong parallels with the skills and competencies required as part of Aged Care work. Therefore they see no problem with linking the two courses / sectors. This is not consistent with disability related legislation(s), NDIS principles, numerous Government reports and requirements of work in the sector. The critical skills and competencies required by workers in the disability sector should primarily reflect the principles of empowerment, community inclusion, skills development, independence and living a life of full inclusion in the mainstream of the community. This is very different from the skills and competencies required by workers in Aged care. The two courses should be completely separate and there should be no prerequisite course. Certificate IV in Disability should be retained as a stand alone qualification and strengthened in relation to these important skills and competencies. Therefore no entry requirements and retain Certificate IV in Disability as a stand alone as previously."

Wendy Simpson 09.03.2021 02.10PM

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13 Replies

"I agree with this statement - the two sectors should be separated. Whist I understand there are elements that are consistent in personal care, for the most part what we do is not related at all. "

Samantha Smith 09.03.2021 02.48PM

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"I am going to respectfully disagree with Wendy’s comment as those of us who are currently working in the aged care sector know we have and are moving away from the medical model of care and focusing on restorative and rehabilitation processes to maintain and improve individuals function. If anything the approach and focus the disability stream has on empowerment, dignity of risk and promoting independence and autonomy is highly relevant to current aged care practices. Reference to Royal Commission recommendations support the practices and a rights based Aged Care Act will cement the changes."

Cheryl Durston 09.03.2021 04.00PM

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"I concur with Wendy's comment. There is a real problem with linking these two sectors. Aged Care is still a highly institutionalised sector even if there are some attempts to move away from the medical model. Certificate IV in Disability should remain the entry level qualification for disability work (no prerequisite). A large amount of disability work occurs through self management (over 30%) with many participants making individualised arrangements with disability workers. This is increasing every quarter. We require a certificate that can produce independent, autonomous workers who can work confidently in these flexible/individualised arrangements. The Certificate III does not provide this - and the likelihood of students undertaking both qualifications would be low."

Lisa Harris 10.03.2021 11.05AM

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"I too concur with Wendy's comment. In any case, Aged care and Disability are distinct sectors and this must be reflected in their respective qualifications. You don't support a 25-year-old with disability in the same way you support an 80-year-old, even (especially) if you are adhering to best practice in both cases. Of course the sectors have crossover, but the distinction must be made at a qualification and a practice level. Where there is crossover, they are complementary (i.e. separate) sectors working closely together. Where there is not crossover, they must remain distinct."

Katy Gagliardi 10.03.2021 11.14AM

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"In response to your comment Katy I do believe there would be a great deal of commonalities of skill sets a support worker would apply regardless of age or condition of the care recipient ie respect, dignity, person centred approach, empowerment, encouragement of independence , meeting needs and wants etc etc Ageism is something we need to dismiss and remember to promote healthy ageing. "

Cheryl Durston 10.03.2021 12.11PM

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"The common skillset is not the point. The contexts in which respect, dignity, person-centred approach, empowerment, encouragement of independence, meeting needs, etc. occur are so wildly different as to not be comparable. The point isn't whether a given worker is invested in defending the quality of the current Aged care system. It's in keeping Aged care and disability separate. Even the "best" aged care accommodation is a terrible idea for a young person with disability - that's why the Summer Foundation exists."

Katy Gagliardi 10.03.2021 12.36PM

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"Therefore, combining Aged care and disability, despite the many common elements (that do NOT equate to common contexts or practical implications), is a direct undermining and potential erosion of years of painstaking work and hard-gained wins within the disability sector. As a 30-something who both works in the sector and has a disability, I can say with confidence that myself and others with disability want respect, dignity, etc. However, we do not want anyone supporting us to conflate our needs for these things with the practical needs of older people. Yes, we need to live somewhere. No, we don't want to live in aged care any more than an older person wants to live in a share house with 20-somethings. Furthermore, every human has a need for respect, dignity, etc., but there's no risk of anyone conflating disability support qualifications with teaching qualifications. It's a false equivalence. Combining the 'soft skill' units of Aged care and disability is a fast slippery slope - again, the necessity for the Summer Foundation is a good example of why. It is also indicative of both the ease with which older people are infantilised and with which younger people with disability aren't seen as having full lives ahead of them."

Katy Gagliardi 10.03.2021 01.12PM

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"Agree Katy"

Karen Hyland 10.03.2021 01.47PM

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"Agree Wendy. The clinical focus of aged care would necessarily marginalise the knowledge and skills of the disability sector which are based on an understanding of the social construction of disability. Any understanding of the social construction of aged care is very much peripheral to what the aged care sector does, whereas the social construction of disability underpins everything we do, all the skills and knowledge, used in the disability sector. Connecting the two sectors as the training package is doing fails to understand this critical difference in the knowledge base, and therefore, in the skills. "

Paul Sinclair 11.03.2021 02.05PM

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"Totally agree Katy. The notion of a common skill set, as well as the training package wanting to connect the aged care sector with the disability sector, are examples that prove your point because they both involve the sort of 'false equivalence' of which you speak. Clinical knowledge and skills are socially decontextualised knowledge and skills. The fully socially contextualised knowledge of the disability sector yields skills that are sensitive to social context rather than clinical indicators. Regressive for people with disability in every respect."

Paul Sinclair 11.03.2021 02.33PM

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"I agree with Wendy. The NDIS Act 2013 emphasizes control, choice, independence, empowerment and inclusion for people with disability. This should be reflected in the training package and qualification for disability support workers. There are serious implications for people with disability, their families/carers and the whole disability sector to impose a pre-requisite for the Certificate IV in Disability. The medical model (still existent in Age Care) is no longer relevant or acceptable within the Disability sector. The training package should reflect the change to the service model that the NDIS promotes and ensure that students gain the skills to facilitate empowerment, choice and control for people with disability., after all, people with disability are the new stakeholders and rightly so."

Tina Whitmore 11.03.2021 03.07PM

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"Many of us know that people, regardless of their presenting symptoms, are choosing to remain within the community in their own homes. A rights based framework has been insitu for the disability sector for a number of years and it is NOW there is a push to implement a rights based framework into aged care. The Royal Commission recent recommendations strongly recommends a new Aged Care Act and a review of all training and a regulatory body for support workers. Many aged care recipients have raised their voices and have been heard; they would prefer rehabilitative and restorative approach and be actively engaging in community based activities etc , be acknowledged as functional worthwhile people and given the respect, dignity and choice. Those of us who have worked in the aged care sector and are sensitive to the needs and wants of aged people have heard their voices, pushed for the changes and welcome the changes. For training packages to reflect the CURRENT and RECOMMENDED directives we must view including the units of the disability support training certificates. Of course the disability training certificates must include some of the aged care units as I do believe there is a considerable overlap. Aged care is not just a medical model and if you haven’t heard the voices of aged people and their advocates then please go read the royal commission report. Everyone deserves high quality standard of care reflective of the current legislation. "

Cheryl Durston 11.03.2021 04.30PM

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"Respectfully if we move toward including units from Aged Care in the Cert IV in Disability then we are moving backward. The Age care model of service may be changing and does need to change, however in its current state the model is highly institutionalised and congruent and the training package is based on this model. Large Institutionalisation in the disability sector ended in the '90s. It's unfortunate that the Aged Care sector didn't learn from this. Having also taught in the aged care environment and reviewed the model of practice I am fully aware of the systemic issues created by the current model of care and the denial of rights that our aged community experience. The issue is how do we ensure that the Certificate IV in Disability specifically addresses the needs of people with disability and the integrity of the training package/qualification is not lost? Blending units that are specifically age-related is not the answer and leads to other concerns. Such as a disability qualification that is taught by teachers with no understanding of people with disability or currency of the disability sector. Even though the units names/codes may be the same the delivery, examples and teaching of the units within the two courses is very different."

Tina Whitmore 11.03.2021 05.02PM

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"I'm happy to see the Pre-Requisite in place... But it may need to include Cert III Community also - as there are a lot of students who do community and then move into a specialty area such as aged or disability. There was shift of RTOs advertising Cert IV quals as the AQF timeframe is 6 months - so we have seen a lot advertise Cert IV now rather than the III... Which doesn't align to entry level staff or new staff entering into the industry. In QLD to access the funding here they must hold the Cert III first."

Jennifer Allaway 08.03.2021 01.30PM

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2 Replies

"I too am happy to see the Pre-Requisite in place. In the past there have been some RTO's offering Cert IV the Cert IV for entry level Disability Support Workers, which is as too higher level"

Helen McMahon 12.03.2021 04.10PM

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"We're also happy with the pre-requisite. If people have already worked in the industry at a cert III level, they are building on that core knowledge to work at ah higher level and be able to Coordinate and assist with packages. Understanding the fundamentals of support work is the foundation to build upon."

Karen Voce 12.03.2021 04.40PM

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Entry Requirements

"I have concerns about having the ‘entry requirements’. Potential learners can work within the disability sector without any qualifications, in a variety of roles. This is unlike the Early Childhood or even the Aged Care Sector. Many potential learners desire the qualification but find the current requirements while working difficult. I worry that having the stated entry requirements it will make the Certificate IV in Disabilities almost unattainable. I understand the thinking and from a training perspective – it does work. BUT from a ‘sector’ that does not require a qualification AT ALL to work within it, I am not sure it works. "

Charie Roberts 04.03.2021 09.53AM

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Entry Requirements

"Certificate IV in Ageing has both Individual Support training products as a entry requirement (CHC33021 and CHC33015). What is the rational for this not to be the case for Certificate IV in Disability? Many learners transition from the Cert III to the Cert IV before these changes. Those who have completed the current training package will be unable to do so. It will limit potential learners and new qualified workers into the sector. "

Charie Roberts 24.02.2021 07.52AM

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1 Reply

"Good point. This can be addressed by RTO's offering an RPL process to address the gaps/changes to the Cert III (or some teaching). When the transition from the old 02 to 08 package occurred we did this."

Rhonda Studley 01.03.2021 12.11PM

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For all assessment criteria

"Consider adding a strict requirements to all core units to include 'on-site assessment by the RTO's trainer who physically visits and observes the candidate in a real workplace'. This doesn't mean that all aspects need to be assessed on-site, or that simulation is not permitted, but it ensures all providers actually send an assessor to see the student which many do not purely for cost cutting reasons. Site visits are essential to the candidate's professional development and continual improvement. I believe very similar rules have been introduced in early childhood, SAEC and education support courses (yet to be confirmed at the time of writing this). Note that the assessment criteria needs to be very strongly worded as some RTOs will use any lackadaisical wording to claim a site visit is not legally required, and the regulator will have no choice (as is often the current case) but to agree."

Adam Green 16.02.2021 04.30PM

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2 Replies

"I have student all over the state that are remote and this would not be practical, I work closely with their workplace supervisor to make sure this is applied and assesses in the workplace in real work situations. This wouldn't work for them should they be disadvantaged "

Samantha Smith 16.02.2021 05.45PM

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"I agree, perhaps what’s needed is more flexibility to use 3rd party reports for the performance evidence, it’s practical, and shows real connection to the workplace. There could be specifications placed on the persons completing the reports e.g. free training by the RTO around mentoring and report writing or similar. Again this shows industry connection snd engagement "

Rhonda Studley 16.02.2021 10.07PM

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General recommendation

"My previous experience with this qualification is that it is very adult/aged orientated. However, children also have disabilities, disorders and difficulties - yet the course actually prevents providers from delivering this to school staff because of the requirements embedded in the UoCs. It would be great if teachers, teacher aides, special needs workers etc. could do this course to boost their skills, and be able to do it in a school environment with children. While the Edu. Support courses do have some units in this regard, they are not specifically focused on disabilities and I feel that many school-based staff would enrol in this course if they had the opportunity. I recommend developers consider hiring a teacher in order to briefly ensure that all aspects of the course can be trained and assessed in the school environment. This would mean removing or amending references to 'home' etc."

Adam Green 16.02.2021 04.09PM

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1 Reply

"Having worked in the sector for 30 years snd completed advanced diplomas in both community services snd Disability and a teaching degree, my thoughts are that the Cert IV is right for the workforce demographic. If educators want a pathway qual, one could be created for Ed support. "

Rhonda Studley 16.02.2021 10.11PM

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Entry requirements

"The issue with an entry requirements is that it doesn't take into account that fact that many people are coming from roles and careers that warrant direct access to the higher level course. For example, a person who has been a disability carer in the UK for 20 years, a special needs high school teacher or a person who has worked as a special needs teacher aide for many years. I understand the need to prevent certain providers from letting anyone do the course, but this disadvantages the tens of thousands of students who could benefit from direct entry - another mechanism is needed here instead of blanket rules that aren't really compatible with the principles that underpin a competency-based training system. Compiling this issue is that very few providers offer the Cert III in a way that isn't focused considerably on aged care; many don't want to do aged care at all - or even work with adults."

Adam Green 16.02.2021 04.01PM

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1 Reply

"There’s an RPL process for people who believe they have the requisite skills. This is preferable to someone deciding that X has relevant experience and Y does not. I’ve found some people believe they have the skills snd want to do the qual but either don’t have the basic knowledge and experience and or are not in a work position where they are able to be mentored through the Cert IV. I’m pleased the Cert III is a prerequisite along with current employment in the sector. "

Rhonda Studley 16.02.2021 10.17PM

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Pre requisite

"I’m pleased you have added this."

Rhonda Studley 15.02.2021 05.46PM

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Packaging rules


10 units must be completed:


  • 7 core units
  • 3 elective units, consisting of:
    • at least 2 units from the electives listed below
    • up to 1 unit from the electives listed below, or any other current endorsed Training Package or accredited course.


The units selected must be relevant to the work outcome.


CHCLEG003 Manage legal and ethical compliance

"CLEG003 Manage legal and ethical compliance – Writing a policy Diploma level unit and not at the level of a person studying a Certificate IV in Disability. Not within the responsibilities of the roles that complete the qualification."

Darrel Heal 12.03.2021 03.21PM

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Number of core/elective units

"A shift to fewer units will be a positive given it enables us to focus on individual units and topics in greater depth and reduces the amount of repetition across units. "

Mary Collins 10.03.2021 08.31AM

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1 Reply

"Agreed . If as consensus in this forum supports - Cert III & IV remain as individual entry level quals support 12 - 15 units max"

leonie sperry 11.03.2021 05.55AM

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Core units




Follow established person-centred behaviour supports


Develop and provide person-centred service responses


Facilitate community participation and social inclusion


Facilitate ongoing skills development using a person-centred approach


Provide person-centred services to people with disability with complex needs


Manage legal and ethical compliance


Maintain work health and safety




"Management of legal & ethical compliance in all community services sectors sits with job roles that require the Diploma qual. In all other community services Cert III & IV level quals that unit delivered is LEG001 and that is indicative to the job role responsibilities associated with those level quals"

leonie sperry 11.03.2021 05.58AM

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1 Reply


Karen Voce 12.03.2021 04.41PM

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"I suggest this unit be removed and replaced with CHCLEG001."

Karen Hyland 10.03.2021 12.33PM

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Direct Observation

"A number of units require direct observation in the workplace (except where certain situations make it unsafe to do so etc). This requirement does not uphold the rights of people with a disability to have their choice, privacy and dignity respected. Using simulation, for example, would be a more respectful way of conducting many assessments and can be set up to be just as valid, fair and reliable."

Lisa Harris 10.03.2021 12.06PM

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1 Reply

"Correct. I've elaborated in my response to Elective Units."

Katy Gagliardi 11.03.2021 04.12PM

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No core unit focusing on "Empowerment".

"Given Victoria has Certificate IV as the base level of qualification the absence of either an orientation to disability unit or a unit focusing on empowerment concerns me. CHCDIS007 in the Certificate IV in Disability is a unit which sought to include foundation knowledge about types of disabilities, service models and advocacy. It is critical to establish student understanding of need to progress from previous service models to the current individual support and community inclusion model. Those concepts of individual support, empowerment, community inclusion are in Certificate III in Individual Support in CHCCS038 but that is not disability specific. "

Mary Collins 10.03.2021 08.40AM

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"This unit is great for the Diploma students who are in the management roles, but is too high for the co-ordinators and supervisors.... CHCLEG002 Interpret and use legal information - could be a better fit for the Cert IV quals"

Jennifer Allaway 08.03.2021 01.25PM

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1 Reply

"Jennifer's comment is spot on. Organisations don't put "management" of legal and ethical compliance in the role of Coordinators and House Supervisors. It tends to sit with Management Teams at higher levels with Coords and Supervisors responsible for supervising their teams' performance at a local level. Again in Victoria the Certificate IV is the qualification taught at entry level - CHCLEG003 is not the unit they need. "

Mary Collins 10.03.2021 08.44AM

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"with the package changing to reflect more of a Team leader middle management role - this now fits. whilst most middle management won't be writing policies - they will certainly be writing procedures to support the policy and should be part of the consultation process to develop or review policies."

Sharyn Norie 16.02.2021 12.26PM

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"This units is a high level however I feel students walk away with a good understanding that out policies and Procedures are living breathing docs and all that legislation underpins each one. Its flexible enough that when they do harmonise the 1500 pages of legislation that governs out industry its still clear. I like this unit it helps with knowing the why for that supervisor level. I believe this unit is found in some diploma level qualification. I like it in the cert IV as we are dropping from 14 to 10 units, it keep the value in the qualification. "

Samantha Smith 16.02.2021 10.43AM

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"This unit is far too high for people doing a Cert IV snd does not align with job told. I sought feedback on this unit from employers and NDS and all were shocked at the requirements and level of the unit (which sits in diplomas snd Advanced diplomas). The feedback was that most organisations in Tasmania do not have middle management such as Team Leaders or Service coordinators developing and managing policies reflective of the unit criteria. Please reconsider the realistic job roles that the qual should sit in. Thanks"

Rhonda Studley 15.02.2021 05.53PM

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2 Replies

" I agree with the idea that people walk away with knowledge, however where the requirements of a unit exceed the level of the qualification and job roles associated with that level qualification, there is a disconnect. NDS Tas, after seeking input from organisations, agreed, that the unit requirements exceeded job role responsibilities. Additionally, the unit assessment states: there must be evidence that the candidate has: (1) determined the scope of legal and ethical compliance requirements and responsibilities, and developed policies and procedures for at least 1 workplace or business (this is not just a procedure, it is policies and procedures). (2) developed a strategic response to at least 3 different situations where legal or ethical requirements have been breached (this actually requires the person to be working at a high managerial level and or with vast experience - typical of the diploma and advanced diploma qualifications that the unit sits within, rather than the mid management area). "

Rhonda Studley 01.03.2021 11.59AM

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"Totally agree with you Rhonda, the content of the unit is more Diploma level and way above the work practices of a Cert IV Disability Support Worker."

Cheryl Durston 02.03.2021 11.39AM

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Facilitate the interests and rights of clients


Provide advocacy and representation services


Provide services for older people



Provide support to people living with dementia


Work in an alcohol and other drugs context


Address the needs of people with chronic disease


Assess co-existing needs


Conduct individual assessments


Facilitate individual service planning and delivery


Develop and implement service programs


Develop strategies to address unmet needs


Maintain a high standard of service


Provide loss and grief support


Provide suicide bereavement support


Recognise and respond to crisis situations


Transport individuals


Respond to suspected abuse


Support individuals with autism spectrum disorder


Support relationships with carer and family


Visit client residence


Coordinate and monitor home based support


Use communication to build relationships


Develop and implement strategies for communication using augmentative and alternative communication systems


Develop and promote positive person-centred behaviour supports


Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety


Manage and promote diversity


Meet statutory and organisation information requirements


Develop, implement and review quality framework


Manage partnership agreements with service providers


Work with people with mental health issues


Deliver care services using a palliative approach


Plan for and provide care services using a palliative approach


Confirm physical health status


Follow basic food safety practices


Assist clients with medication


Administer and monitor medications


Apply and manage use of basic oral health products


Manage work health and safety


Lead effective workplace relationships


Show leadership in the workplace


Plan and monitor continuous improvement



No equivalent qualification.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


Unit requirements

"A number of elective units will never be chosen as some units have a requirement to work directly with a person who has a particular type of need. For example, the unit CHCDIS015 Assisting with Communication using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) has performance evidence that requires that the learner must have “assisted at least one person with complex communication needs to use AAC systems”. No placement can guarantee that a student will have the opportunity to work with someone with a complex communication need. For example, a placement may only provide support to people with physical disability or alternatively, a person with a complex communication need may not want to work with a student. To not have the opportunity to teach and assess this unit because of assessment requirements is a disservice to people with complex communication needs. Disability workers need to have these skills because the likelihood of working with someone with these kinds of needs over their career is very high. "

Lisa Harris 10.03.2021 12.04PM

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3 Replies

"Agree 100% Lisa. It is inappropriate to observe people with certain specific needs. It is neither appropriate nor practical. The power of services, workers and training organisations problematises the consent of the person with disability because of the compliance dynamic that has been learned by very many people with disability from being in "the system" for years. This problem applies especially to the more vulnerable people/groups such as those with complex communication needs or people with intellectual disability. "

Paul Sinclair 11.03.2021 02.15PM

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"Agree with Lisa Harris. Assessment requirements should consider the rights of persons with disability and the need for simulated assessment to ensure that units such as CHCDIS015 can be assessed respectfully. A person with disability has the right to communicate and have their communication needs met, hence the importance of this unit in ensuring that disability support workers are able to support people with complex communication needs. As stated above it is highly likely that a disability worker will support a person complex communication needs. With the current assessment requirements, the unit is intrusive and relies on "traditional segregated" placement options, ignoring the change in service delivery model to an individualised approach legislated by the NDIS Act 2013."

Tina Whitmore 11.03.2021 03.41PM

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"Thank you for specifying that "some units have a requirement to work directly with a person who has a particular type of need", Lisa. This is essential context that I couldn't have responded to this part appropriately without. As I do not know which units these are, I can only comment on the unit that Lisa and Tina have highlighted: AAC - or, augmentative and alternative communication. Their comments accurately reflect the potential for the great harm that assessment and prerequisites can cause. If students, some of whom are new to the disability sector, are learning from a model that relies on an unnuanced approach that fundamentally disrespects the critical practical and ideological subtleties in supporting people well (i.e. if said model relies and capitalises on the learned complicity of people with disability to say "yes" to being observed by students whether or not they want it as Paul noted), then disability education itself is doing people with disability, workers and the disability sector an egregious disservice. It is also worth noting that people who use AAC are made extremely vulnerable by a society that prizes articulateness and political nous, and punishes what it considers to be "inarticulateness" - be this caused by physical or intellectual disability as two examples. If disability students cannot even access the AAC unit at a learning level due to requirements that are a fundamental attack on the rights of people with disability to not consent to students using them and their lives as learning aides, then that's a real problem."

Katy Gagliardi 11.03.2021 04.08PM

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CHCAGE011 Provide support to people living with dementia

"Unit CHCAGE011 Provide support to people living with dementia, should be an elective unit. People who complete this course may me working with people living with dementia. Currently close to 500.000 people live with dementia in Australia. "

Klem Hedenig 01.03.2021 10.47AM

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leadership units

"It is good to see some leadership units included so students can gain a better understanding of management roles and expectations. I have seen all too frequently students studying the cert IV Disability thrown into leadership roles and not having some underpinning knowledge - certainly best fit but have to learnt to swim real quick"

Sharyn Norie 16.02.2021 12.30PM

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1 Reply

"Unit CHCAGE011 Provide support to people living with dementia, is already a listed elective unit :)"

Rhonda Studley 01.03.2021 11.46AM

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