Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker - Draft 2

HLT4XX21 Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care_Draft 2

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Qualification description & entry requirements




Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care


This qualification reflects the role of individuals working as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health workers a diversity of locations including urban, rural and remote settings. It is specific to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who work as part of a multidisciplinary health care team providing primary health care services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities.


At this level work is governed by defined practice standards, treatment protocols and supervision arrangements established by the employing organisation. Individuals work with some level of independence within those guidelines, and use a range of health-related skills and knowledge in routine and non-routine situations. They communicate with diverse individuals and small groups both in the local community and across the broader health sector to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.


This qualification provides a pathway to work in a range of health care settings including Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander community organisations, and the public or private health sector.


No regulatory requirement for certification, occupational or business licensing is linked to this qualification at the time of publication.


There are no entry requirements for this qualification.


19 units must be completed:


  • 14 core units
  • 5 elective units, consisting of:
    • 3 units from Group A
    • 2 units from Group A, Group B, from elsewhere in the HLT Training Package or from any other current training package or accredited course.


The selection of electives must be guided by the job outcome sought, local industry requirements and the complexity of skills appropriate to the AQF level of this qualification.





Use communication to build relationships


Reflect on and improve own professional practice


Support the rights and needs of clients


Complete routine physical health assessments


Implement basic health care plans


Promote lifestyle change


Provide first aid


Work under instructions to support the safe use of medications


Support the safe use of medications


Gather information and report on community health


Assess and support the social and emotional wellbeing of clients


Work in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander primary health care


Comply with infection prevention and control policies and procedures


Participate in workplace health and safety





Group A: Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health



Respond to community disasters


Provide support to men with cancer


Provide support to women with cancer


Provide support to clients with diabetes


Provide support to clients experiencing alcohol and other drugs problems


Provide support to older clients


Provide eye health care


Provide ear health care


Facilitate access to tertiary health services


Promote awareness and early detection of cancer to men


Promote awareness and early detection of cancer to women


Promote awareness and early detection of diabetes


Promote awareness and prevention of chronic disease


Work according to the principles of social and emotional wellbeing care




Provide support to clients affected by loss, grief or trauma


Promote men’s sexual health


Promote women’s sexual health


Provide support to address social and cultural determinants of client and community health



Group B: General Electives



Make presentations


Provide support to people living with dementia


Work in an alcohol and other drugs context


Work with clients who are intoxicated


Provide needle and syringe services


Provide interventions for people with alcohol and other drugs issues


Increase the safety of individuals at risk of suicide


Provide brief interventions


Recognise and respond to crisis situations


Respond effectively to behaviours of concern


Respond to suspected abuse


Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence


Provide support to children affected by domestic and family violence


Provide domestic and family violence support in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities


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


Provide intervention support to families


Deliver care services using a palliative approach


Identify and respond to children and young people at risk


Support the rights and safety of children and young people


Work collaboratively to maintain an environment safe for children and young people


Administer and coordinate Telehealth services


Provide first aid in remote or isolated site


Provide advanced resuscitation and oxygen therapy


Recognise and respond to oral health issues


Inform and support patients and groups about oral health


Apply and manage use of basic oral health products


Provide or assist with oral hygiene


Use basic oral health screening tools


Assess readiness for and effect behaviour change


Provide information on smoking and smoking cessation


Provide interventions to clients who are nicotine dependent


Process emergency incident calls and enquiries


Participate in a rescue operation


Undertake road crash rescue


(PUASAR024: prerequisite units are PUASAR022 and HLTAID003/011)



No equivalent qualification. For details, refer to the full mapping table in the Draft 2 Validation Guide.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


Poor proposal that limits scope of practice, career development, and progression

"The certificate IV adequately reflects the role and scope of practice for an Aboriginal Health Worker Practitioner. The entry pathways, Certificate II, III, and option of undertaking Practice / non-practice qualification provides opportunity for Health Workers to identify whether the clinical pathway or Health Promotion / Program Delivery pathway is a better avenue based on strength-based approach. At the Certificate IV level (under AQF Framework) learners are expected to undertake specialised and skilled work - have a broad factual and technical knowledge in a specific or broad field. The skills are both routine and non-routine, predictable and unpredictable problem solving. Learners are required to demonstrate autonomy, judgement, limited responsibility in both known or changing context and within established parameters. Aboriginal Health Workers work within a multidisciplinary team that have a variety of qualifications, technical training, and on-the-job training. All have very defined scope of practice which delimitates the parameters for Aboriginal Health Practitioners (Certificate IV qualification). The removal of the Certificate IV Practice qualification and lifting this to Diploma limits the career pathways. The certificate IV should have two optional pathways. 1. Clinical practice; and 2. Health Promotion / Program Delivery. The Diploma level then should allow for 3 specific pathways. 1. Diploma Practice (Clinical); 2. Diploma Health Promotion / Program Delivery / Population Health; and 3. Practice Management / Leadership. These qualifications and pathways then are genuine reflection for the options that are available outside of the Aboriginal Health career pathways. The clinical work that is performed and completed by Aboriginal Health Workers within an AMS environment provides for the cultural safety, role-modelling, and enhanced client outcomes. The complexity of working within the AMS environment and supporting the health and wellbeing of clients requires specialised training which is acknowledged through the GP specialising pathways where overseas trained medical practitioners are required to undertake work in an AMS or rerual / regional setting – the role that the Aboriginal Health Workforce plays both in receiving clinical skills and support from senior clinicians is invaluable, however, experienced clinicians are also learning from the Aboriginal Health Workforce. The clinical skills and scope of practice is genuinely aligned to the certificate IV AQF framework – more specialised training may occur at the Diploma level however to remove the Certificate IV Practice will reduce career pathways, those that are wanting to undertake community / population health work will not commit to completing the core modules that will be retained in the remaining Certificate IV qualification. In relation to the unit packages and changes I note that a number of comments have identified that removal of units is occurring due to low enrolments or nil enrolments. However, this is not a true measure of a need for a unit to be removed. Learners undertaking any of the Aboriginal Health Worker Certificates / Diploma do not have a choice in units. Training providers outline what units will be offered and learners do not have the ability to work across training providers to receive training. Further, there is no analysis of different community needs or what units are needed in what locations. Learners are only able to complete training that is offered by the training provider. A genuine review of unit needs should be undertaken with an analysis of health trends and health measures to identify what are the current community needs for addressing, but also what are the future requirements, this review does not appear to have any evidence base behind the recommendations. Current consultations are occurring on the 10-year health workforce and alignment of this learning review should link back to the workforce needs to deliver the services and systems for the future. Based on the consultative documents there has been no evidence based on the review rather a limitation of education and development for a critical component of the Health Workforce currently addressing the gap in health and wellbeing outcomes. Until there is genuine consultation, looking at critical data and implementing genuine evidence-based recommendations, then we are in for another 30 years of worsening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health outcomes and another generation lost. "

Jane Lennis 07.05.2021 06.14PM

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Support development of palliative care knowledge and skills.

"Recommend to keep core units CHCCOM002 use communication to build relationships and CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice which will enable inclusion of important palliative care knowledge and skills - communication, self care, working in community after deaths, Western Laws and cultural lore to be considered around dying and death"

Kylie Ash 05.05.2021 01.50PM

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Health Assessments

"A Cert IV care worker does not work in clinic and would not do a Health Assessment. However there is value in doing the unit for the knowledge. Would it be better to remove this as a core and make it an elective so if the service wants the person to have this they can choose it. A huge unit when the people trained may never use. Our last care group completed a tertiary Dip of Anatomy to allow them to complete one knowledge dot point in this unit. Then they will not do this again. Maybe a Unit about healthy body systems - so not about assessment but about how the body works."

John Jessop 27.04.2021 02.36PM

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Palliative Care

"Do we need more units in units area."

John Jessop 27.04.2021 02.29PM

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1 Reply

"We applaud the recognition of palliative care as an essential learning area for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers through inclusion of CHCPAL001 as an elective unit for the Cert IV. In the future it would be good to see a specific unit of competency which sits within the group A electives, specifically focused on the supporting the palliative care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples."

Kylie Ash 05.05.2021 03.57PM

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Assessment Methods

"The list of units that do not require a challenge testing approach is not long enough. The support people with cancer, the PRO units, sexual units are examples of units that might not be easy to assess in real time"

John Jessop 27.04.2021 02.26PM

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Use of Electives

"Cert IV is the chosen qual for general community workers in our ACCHO and many others no doubt. Many of these are doing family work, youth, AOD, mental health with there being few core or Group As in these areas then you are left with 1 or 2 units from importing - not many units to develop some degree of specialisation."

John Jessop 26.04.2021 03.09PM

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qual rules

"The validation guide says that you can use any electives but the packaging rules do not say this"

John Jessop 26.04.2021 02.41PM

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Medication Units

"Given the restrictions on Cert IV care workers administering medication then I would have thought that you would only need 1 unit and that 002 should be rolled into 001 - as both cover too much of the same ground. The assessment requirements seem a bit over the top for a role that has to be done under supervision."

John Jessop 26.04.2021 02.33PM

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Medication Units

"Why is there 2 in the core? Why is there 2 at all. Surely 002 is adequate and covers the knowledge and skills needed. This is a waste of a course unit. Both units need blending together to make one straightforward unit"

John Jessop 26.04.2021 02.22PM

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"We have not delivered a Cert II or Cert III in many years. The funding and interest is in doing the Cert IV. If you can enter the Cert IV with no prior training and you do not want to or plan to go on to the Dip then this worker has had little to know exposure to this topic. This is a pivotal unit and more expansive than units like CHCPRP003. This unit helps shape the values and behaviors of the new worker - can we afford not to cover it?"

John Jessop 26.04.2021 02.10PM

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First Aid Units

"I see little value in having HLTAID011 as a core unit. Standards now require health workers to undertake CPR at least every 3 years - but the qual will not give them CPR. I think it would be better for certs III and above to require the candidate to complete the basic First Aid Skill set of 3 units. In our case we send them off to StJohn to get the 3 unit skillset. This may in fact be illegal as an RTO scoped for a unit cannot outsource this to another RTO. Because they get 011 as part of the skillset it does not need to be in the core. Also a lot of people come to the Cert IV with their PFA ticket and the relevant unit - so its a CT and a loss of income to the RTO"

John Jessop 26.04.2021 02.04PM

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