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Direct Client Care and Support IRC

The Direct Client Care and Support sector qualifications were reviewed in 2015. The qualifications are in the HLT Health and CHC Community Services training packages, which were endorsed in July 2015.

It is difficult to say how many people work in the sector. It is understood these workers make up a significant proportion of the health and community services workforce, which was estimated to have employed 1.4 million workers (12% of the Australian workforce) in 2014.

Workers in direct client care and support operate in sub-sectors that include:

  • Aged and home care
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Leisure and health
  • Allied health assistance
  • Health services assistance.

New funding means greater demand for workers

Demand for workers in these sub-sectors will grow significantly as these industries move to consumer-directed funding models in which providers compete for individual consumers.

At the moment, employment in the sector is predominantly within government and not-for-profit organisations. However, for-profit operators, including multinationals, are expected to enter parts of the market because of the opportunity to compete for consumer funds.


Workers in this sector work directly with individuals to support and assist with a range of health and community services.

Occupations in the sector include:

Support worker: Works using a person-centred approach to support predominantly the aged or people living with disability. Depending on the sector, work may be undertaken in residential, home or community based environments.

Assistant in nursing: Assists healthcare professional staff to care for clients in an acute care setting.

Allied health assistant: Provides therapeutic and program-related support to allied health professionals. This might be in a specialty area (physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy, speech pathology, community rehabilitation, nutrition and dietetics) or across an organisation delivering allied health services.

Diversional therapy assistant: Assists in the design, implementation and evaluation of health and leisure activities for clients. This can include encouraging clients to take part in activities, assisting in their social development, and promoting a sense of wellbeing. They work in residential facilities or in community settings and day centres.

Drug and alcohol worker: Provides services and interventions to clients with alcohol and other drugs issues or implements health promotion and community interventions. They work in contexts like community based organisations, withdrawal services, residential rehabilitation services and outreach services.

Mental health worker: Supports people with mental illness in community participation, working to prevent relapses and promote recovery through programs such as residential rehabilitation. They work in clinical settings, home-based outreach and centre-based programs delivered by community-based non-government organisations. The work might also involve supported employment and programmed respite care.

Peer support worker: Has experience of mental illness as either a consumer or carer and works in mental health services to support peers. Employment is through government, public, private or community-managed services.


The VET qualifications that cater to this sector are:

CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support
CHC43015 Certificate IV in Ageing
CHC43115 Certificate IV in Disability
CHC43215 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health
CHC43415 Certificate IV in Leisure and Health
CHC43515 Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work
CHC53215 Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs
CHC53315 Diploma of Mental Health
CHC53415 Diploma of Leisure and Health
HLT33015 Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
HLT33215 Certificate III in Health Support Services
HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
HLT43015 Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance.

Links to view and download the content for each of these qualifications may be found in our Training Packages section.

Direct Client Care and Support IRC Industry Skills Forecasts

CLICK HERE to download the 2017 Direct Client Care and Support IRC Industry Skills Forecast.

CLICK HERE to download the 2018 Direct Client Care and Support IRC Industry Skills Forecast.

CLICK HERE to download the 2019 Direct Client Care and Support IRC Industry Skills Forecast.