The difference between certificate 3 and 4 in aged care courses

Table of Contents

If you want to work in the ageing support industry in Australia, you must first obtain either a Certificate III or a Certificate IV. Although these certificates are similar, they are not identical. The course content varies greatly, and so do the jobs that you can be qualified for upon graduation. 

In this article, we will compare and contrast Certificate III aged care and Certificate IV ageing support so that you can decide which is best for you. If you have a passion for helping the elderly and know that you want to help them as a career, this information should be highly beneficial to you. 


Material for the Courses

The Level III course covers all of the basic material required to begin a career in the aged care field. This course teaches students everything they need to know in order to perform basic tasks in an aged care facility or home care setting. This includes theoretical as well as practical skills. 

In contrast, the Level IV course delves much deeper into training to provide students with significantly more advanced skills. Level III is the more basic of the two courses, while Level IV is the most advanced one that provides students with more specialised skill sets. The Level IV course helps to prepare students for leadership and management positions by providing more advanced training to develop more advanced skills. This is done so that they will have the skills necessary to advance in the ranks and take on leadership roles in aged care facilities in the future.


Pathway to a Career 

The decision you make between a Level III and a Level IV course will have a significant impact on your career path in the aged care industry after you graduate. Level IV, as the more advanced course, typically leads to higher-paying jobs. However, these jobs are also more difficult in terms of the skills required. So, if you want a more advanced position with higher pay, you should take the Level IV course. The Level III course is a better choice if you want an entry-level position. The following are the career options for each course: 


Breakdown of Certificate 3

This qualification reflects the role of entry-level community services workers who provide person-centred services to individuals. Work may include providing day-to-day assistance to individuals in community settings or assisting with the implementation of specific community-based programmes. Work is done under the supervision of others at this level, and supervision can be direct or indirect. Work may be done in a variety of community service organisations. 

Start by completing Certificate III in Individual Support to provide individualised support to the elderly and apply safety practises for the health and well-being of those in your care. 

This nationally recognised Certificate teaches you how to plan empowering activities for older people and care for their well-being and health through workshops, tutorials, and practical training in residential, aged care, and community settings. 

This course also includes a 150-hour work placement where you’ll be able to put all of the skills you’ve learned from our certified and experienced instructors to use, preparing you for a rewarding career in aged care. 


Certificate iii in Aged Care Course 

The following units are included in this course: 

  • Community and home support services 
  • Relationship support for families and carers 
  • Promoting social inclusion and community involvement 
  • Ensure disabled people’s empowerment 
  • Supports for the established person-centred behaviour
  • Contributes to the ongoing development of skills through a strength-based approach 
  • Providing assistance to people suffering from dementia 
  • Meeting personal requirements 
  • Ascertaining older people’s empowerment 
  • Providing tailored assistance 
  • Working in health and community services and communicating with others 
  • Working legally and ethically 


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Potential Careers of this course: 

Residential support worker, Aboriginal intake and referral worker, Community care worker, Client contact, Aboriginal community development worker,’  Weekend recreational activities officer, Welfare support worker, Community services support worker, Recreational activities officer, Neighbourhood centre worker, Youth worker, Juvenile justice officer, Youth housing support worker, Assistant community worker, Youth caseworker, Youth support worker, Aboriginal youth worker, Accommodation support worker. 


Breakdown of the Certificate 4 

A Certificate IV in Ageing Support reflects the role of senior support workers who perform specialised tasks and functions in aged services, such as residential, home, or community-based settings. Workers will be responsible for their own work and may be required to demonstrate leadership within defined organisational guidelines and maintain quality service delivery through the development, facilitation, and review of individualised service planning and delivery. 

This credential reflects the role of community service workers who plan and deliver person-centred services to individuals and/or groups. Individual clients, groups, or communities may receive support, advocacy, or interventions from workers across a variety of services. Workers at this level may be autonomous with limited responsibility within defined parameters, and they may be required to supervise and lead other workers in projects or teams. Work may be done in a variety of community services, casework, or case management settings. 

The course combines theory and practical training, with the majority of the learning and assessment taking place in the workplace, where learners will be practising acquired knowledge through the delivery of skills in areas such as personal care, assisting people to maintain independence in their home of choice, and providing welfare and support services to some of the most vulnerable people in the community in an effective manner. To work with the client and the family in person-centred and consumer-directed care, the support worker must have strong communication skills.


Certificate IV in Aged Care Course

The following units are included in this course: 

  • Delivery of care services through the use of a palliative approach 
  • Compliance with ethical and legal standards is managed. 
  • Relationships with families and carers are strengthened. 
  • Observance of the personal support requirements 
  • Individualized delivery and service planning 
  • Providing assistance to dementia patients 
  • Assisting people who are vulnerable to various types of risks 
  • Coordination of services for the elderly 
  • Facilitating clients’ rights and interests, as well as the empowerment of older people 


Potential Careers of this course  

Caseworker for community services, Aboriginal health education officer, Aboriginal intake and referral worker, Domestic violence worker, Community support worker, Educator on women’s health, Outreach officer, Peak organisation worker, Early intervention homelessness worker, Community education worker, Court support worker, Support worker (community services), Welfare support worker, Information and referral worker, Personal adviser, Health education officer, Community legal officers, welfare rights worker, family support worker, phone advice worker, tenant advice and advocacy worker. 


Course Details 

The Level III course has no prerequisites. The programme combines theory classes with workshops and 150 hours of real-life work placements in a variety of aged care facilities. The theory courses are available both in-person and online. Because it is more convenient, many people prefer to do them online. However, the workshops and work placements must be completed in person. 

Technically, there are no prerequisites for Level IV courses as well. However, it is strongly advised that the Level III course be completed first. You will miss out on the opportunity to build a solid foundation and knowledge base that will serve you for the rest of your career if you do not do this. 

The Level IV course, like the Level III course, includes theory classes, workshops, and on-the-job training in actually aged care facilities. Throughout the course, you will learn everything you need to know to become a skilled professional and a leader in the field of aged care. Obtaining a Level IV Certificate can be extremely beneficial in getting you started on the path to a rewarding and profitable career in aged care. 


Choosing the Right Course for You 

When deciding which course is best for you, there are numerous factors to consider. The first is whether you want to advance to a higher level of responsibility as a leader/manager in aged care facilities. If you don’t and you want to stay in lower-level positions, the Level III course is the better choice for you. If you want to work in aged care as a leader, the Level IV course is for you. 

The next thing you should consider is whether or not you want to learn advanced skills, such as dementia care. If you want to do this, the Level IV course is better for you because it will provide you with training in this area. 

Another important factor to consider is salary. In general, if you want to earn the highest possible salary, you should pursue a Level IV Certificate because it can help you obtain higher-paying leadership and specialised roles in the aged care industry. These positions are extremely difficult to obtain without a Level IV certificate. 

When deciding between a Level III and Level IV certificate, think about how long you want to be in school. If you want to get out of school as soon as possible and start working, a Level III Certificate is probably the better option. However, if you don’t mind going to school for a longer period of time in order to get a better-paying job, Level IV is the best option. Because many people choose to complete a Level III Certificate before beginning their Level IV training course, obtaining a Level IV Certificate can take significantly longer. 


Wrapping Up! 

Disability and Aged Care are two of the most common fears among students, particularly international students who are unfamiliar with how these sectors operate in Australia. Even though there are many similarities between the courses, there are some significant differences in day-to-day activities, and we will assist you in determining the best career path for you! 

To begin, it is important to understand that the entry pathway for both industries is the qualification CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support, and then you must choose the specialisation in the Aged Care or Disability sector, which means that only four elective units will be different, while the core units of the course, including part of the electives, remain the same in both specialities. Bright College provides one of the best-aged care courses in Perth and organises 120 placement hours in an approved facility over the course of 30 weeks. 

If you want to help the elderly improve their health, well-being, and independence, you can learn the information and skills from disability courses needed for a career in individual assistance and aged care. 

Whether you are already working in the area as an aged care worker or want to start a career in aged care, you can develop skills and knowledge in our purpose-built, fully-equipped on-site practical rooms. Students can develop skills in real-world scenarios thanks to our skilled faculty and cutting-edge facilities. 

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