People with disabilities may need lifelong support, involving physical care and assistance with social or everyday tasks. That’s why disability support work is an essential part of the Australian healthcare system.
If you want to be a disability support worker, you can be proud that your efforts will help people with disabilities lead fulfilling lives.
But what disability support qualifications do you need to carry out such important work? Read on to find out!
What is a Disability Support Worker?
A disability support worker is someone who assists people with intellectual or physical disabilities. This can range from physical and emotional care to providing supervision and socialising.
Many disabled people need help with everyday tasks, so disability support workers are also often required to drive, cook, run errands and complete general housekeeping.
Are disability support qualifications mandatory to become a support coordinator? Read on to find out!
Where Do Disability Support Workers Work?
Disability support workers can have a variety of workplaces. That’s because unlike hospitals or aged homes, where people are confined to a single building, disability support aims to integrate into the everyday life of a person with disability.
This means the majority of time will take place at the person’s home, but can extend to the homes of their family members and wherever the disability support worker accompanies them during their everyday life.
Because of this flexibility of location, disability support work suits people who don’t like the idea of being tied to a single workplace all the time. This also makes it popular as a role supplied by nursing agencies.
Are disability support qualifications mandatory to be employed as a support coordinator? Read on to find out!
Does Having Disability Support Qualifications Helps?
The good news is, if you’re driven to help care for people, disability support qualifications aren’t as hard to acquire as you might think.
5 Qualifications You Must Have to Enhance Your Career Opportunities
1. Vocational Course
Technically, you don’t require any formal disability support qualifications to become a disability support worker, but it is preferred by employers that you have some form of vocational training. If you’re serious about disability support work as a career, completing the following courses is a fantastic idea to help your prospects.
A nationally recognised Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015) is a 12 month TAFE course designed to teach you how to care for disabled people. It has online learning and practical work components ensuring that you gain the theoretical and real-life knowledge to become a qualified disability support specialist.
This course requires no prior education and contains 120 hrs of placement to make sure you gain valuable, employer-recognised skills no matter how inexperienced you are when you start.
A nationally recognised Certificate IV in Disability (CHC43115) is an 18 month TAFE course that is perfect for people already working in a disability support work role. It is designed to distinguish you as a true disability support professional and will dramatically increase your job prospects.
A blend of online learning and 120 hrs of placement, this course also requires a firm grasp of written communication as it has extensive written assessments and testing. This means you need to have one of the following prerequisite qualifications:
- Successfully completed Year 12 English
- Successfully completed a nationally recognised Certificate III (like the previously mentioned Individual Support course)
- Three years experience in a relevant role with proven use of written communication
If you satisfy one of these criteria, this course may be suitable disability support qualifications for you.
2. First Aid Certificate
While not a qualification per se, all disability support workers require an up-to-date first aid certificate.
Disabled people can have physical conditions associated with their disabilities, so being able to provide emergency care in the event of an incident is a must. Therefore, having this disability support qualifications is a must to become a disability support worker.
3. Working with Children Check
You might be responsible for supporting disabled children during your career. To do so, you’ll need to apply for a working with children check. This will check your work and criminal history to ensure there are no issues.
4. Police Check and/or NDIS Worker Screening Check (NDISWC)
5. Current Driver’s Licence and Vehicle
It’s very common for disability support workers to need to accompany or transport the people in their charge, Therefore, most employers in the industry will require you to have a current full driver’s licence and your own vehicle.
Just remember, it’s your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is appropriately registered, insured, roadworthy and clean to use for work.
So, Having Disability Support Qualifications Helps After All?
Indeed, having disability support qualifications can be highly advantageous, especially in Australia. Demand for disability support employees has significantly increased as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) expands across the nation.
Potential employers can see your commitment and expertise in this profession by looking at credentials like a Certificate III or IV in Individual Support (Disability) or a Diploma of Community Services. These credentials, along with others like the Certificate IV in Disability, can provide you with the abilities you need to deliver high-quality care, abide by NDIS regulations, and understand the specifics of the Australian disability support industry. Thus, if you want to work as a disability support worker in Australia, possessing these certifications would undoubtedly increase your job chances and effectiveness.
Have You Considered a Nursing Agency?
If you love working in different places and with different people, being a disability support worker through a nursing agency is perfect for you!
You can go where you are most needed, knowing that the support you provide is meaningfully changing lives.