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CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)

National ID: CHC33021 State ID: AE05
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Do you have a passion for helping people and want to build a career around the commitment of supporting people with disability? This course will give you job ready skills to become a professional disability care worker.

This is your chance to make a real difference in your role, supporting and empowering people with disability to reach their full potential and become more independent, whilst improving overall quality of life of your clients through your working relationship and supporting their participation in the community.

Study in specialised facilities

SM TAFE campuses have training facilities which simulate real-life workplace settings and students can gain hands-on practice developing skills to be workforce ready, using industry specific equipment and following safe work practices. Our Rockingham campus has a state-of-the art purpose-built learning facility for disability home care and aged care, with dedicated areas that emulate rooms in a modified residence or aged care facility.

You’ll gain specialist skills to work in the health and community services areas and be guided from our experienced team of professional lecturers. Learn how to communicate effectively with a range of diverse groups including clients, families and co-workers, develop your observational skills to notice changes in peoples’ behaviour and you’ll also need to have the ability to deal with the physical demands of manual tasks involved in the role.

Care workers in this industry are always in demand and you may work in client’s homes assisting with daily living tasks or specific care settings including aged care, individual support, recreational/day support, advocacy and case management.

Want to find out more about this industry?

Our Community Services at SM TAFE Facebook page has more information from our students about organisations, initiatives and leading expertise. 

Good news!

This course is going to transition to a new training package in 2024. This means that students starting in 2024 will enrol into new units developed to meet current and future industry needs.

  • Work effectively in the disability support industry, learning to work in health and community services
  • Support people with disability to move towards a more independent life
  • Communicate, network and work with a diverse range of groups to ensure the person is supported in all aspects of their life
  • Work and develop relationships within a team
  • Provide home and community support services
  • Infection control policies and procedures

Have you got what it takes to be successful in this career? In order to make an informed choice about the suitability of this course, you must take into account the essential skills and knowledge required to undertake this study.

  • excellent observational skills - to be able to identify changes in behaviour, abilities and environment
  • good communication skills to liaise/work with a range of people
  • good listening and writing skills
  • be able to deal with physical demands of manual tasks
  • basic problem solving skills and the ability to respond to immediate safety risks
  • Tolerance, patience and the willingness to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures

Our Core Skills guide (390 KB) (PDF document) lists the skills and attributes necessary to study and work in this field.


This course remains FEE FREE in 2024! The tuition fees are 100 per cent subsidised by the WA Government for WA residents.

Some eligibility conditions apply for the free training, and other fees may apply for some courses. Please see the FAQs on our Skills Ready page for further information.

* Please note that eligibility requirements apply to some of the free training. Tuition fees are free, but resource fees may be payable for some courses


Online study is available for this course. Be sure to check the study requirements tab for information about studying this course using eCampus including study assistance and our helpful online study guide, then use the apply now link where you see the online study option. 

This course requires a medical test, COVID-19 vaccination, police clearance and working with children check prior to work placement. See the important information tab for instructions. 

School Leaver Non-School Leaver AQF
OLNA or NAPLAN 9 Band 8 C Grades in Year 10 English and Maths or equivalent Certificate I or Certificate II

Students must be over 18 years of age (or due to turn 18 during their enrolment) as the industry generally does not provide work placements for students under 18. 

This course is also available as a traineeship.

Entrance requirements for traineeships

You must be employed in a training contract by an appropriate organisation to study an apprenticeship or traineeship.

In a traineeship you also gain hands-on skills and work experience, and improve your employment prospects, while earning a wage. On successful completion you will gain a nationally recognised qualification which can lead to rewarding career options. The difference between a traineeship and an apprenticeship is that a traineeship can be either a full time or part time employment based training arrangement, usually for a nominal duration of 12 months or more, generally in a non-trade related area.

To find out how to arrange a traineeship and study at SM TAFE, please contact the Jobs and Skills Centre closest to you.

Attendance in class

You will need to attend class for one semester when studied full-time. 

As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately five hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, assignment preparation, and research.

You will need to have the basic technical requirements for at-home study. If you don’t have access to a computer and WiFi at home, we recommend using our library computers during library hours.

Work placement

This course has mandatory attendance at a two-day practical workshop prior to being allocated a work placement.

120 hours of work placement is mandatory for completion of this course and will be arranged by SM TAFE. Your work placement requires you to be available to attend during weekdays and you may need to rearrange personal or work commitments to be able to attend. 

Students who are under 18 years old are reminded that it will be difficult to secure work placement as a minor, making them unable to complete the qualification.

What you need for your first day of class

On your first day you should bring your SM TAFE confirmation enrolment receipt, your student ID and stationery (pen and exercise book).

You will also have additional costs associated with your study e.g. you will need to obtain a National Police Clearance.

Prior to enrolment into this qualification, please consider:

  • you must be over 18 years old 
  • Any criminal conviction as it will appear on your National Police Certificate (compulsory to obtain)
  • Any difficulty in communicating with either workers or clients. (i.e. difficulty with written or spoken English)
  • Difficulty with the manual tasks involved in personal care work, including lifting (e.g. 'bad back')
  • Ability to set aside between four and five days/week for attendance at classes, work placement and study
  • Likelihood of finding it difficult or distressing to provide personal care such as toileting and bathing for clients of any gender and varying ages
  • Ability to attend your work placement regularly and reliably

Online study

If you are studying online the hours per week will vary.

For each unit there is a requirement to demonstrate performance tasks and skills, these will need to be simulated, recorded and submitted for assessment.

The nature of online study can involve a significant investment of time and the ability to be a focused, self-motivated learner. You should consider your personal circumstances and past study history before committing to study online. Find out more in our online study info pack below.

Online study info pack (334 KB) (PDF document - opens in a new tab)

All students enrolled in Individual Support are encouraged to obtain First Aid training (HLTAID011 is preferred). It is your responsibility to organise and pay for the training.

You may be required to obtain a Working With Children Check and National Police Clearance prior to a supervised work placement. This will depend on the organisation you arrange your work placement with.

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To work in the industry, an NDIS clearance is required at an additional cost of $11.00. SM TAFE will support you in applying for your clearance in-class before you graduate.

Under the current guidelines for access to Aged care facilities, there may be a requirement to have evidence of a current flu vaccination.

Vaccination requirements

This course requires you to undertake a mandatory work placement with an employer associated with an industry outlined in the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policy. This means that you must be triple dose vaccinated prior to your work placement.  For the latest information on vaccine requirements for students visit our COVID-19 update page.

Please note this list should be used as a guide only as job titles and qualification requirements may vary between organisations.

SM TAFE actively promotes the employment availability of course graduates to key industry partners and organisations. We also seek expressions of interest from organisations for the placement of our students into work experience. We endeavour to assist students into a career pathway, but please be aware that neither employment nor work experience placement is guaranteed by us.

To access free career planning and job search assistance, visit the Jobs and Skills Centres page.

Select your preferred campus and apply

Click on your preferred campus and study mode below to get started with your application. 

All year round

When All year round
Where Thornlie

Semester 1, 2024

Duration 1 Semesters
When Semester 1, 2024
Where Rockingham
How On Campus
Duration 1 Semesters
When Semester 1, 2024
Where Thornlie
How On Campus

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