What qualifications do I need to have to become a disability support worker in Australia?

If you love caring for other people, take pride in making meaningful human connections, and want to make a difference to the community, then look no further than a career as a disability support worker.

In a job where no two days are the same, disability support workers are expert problem-solvers, quick thinkers, and get to experience the joy that comes from helping someone in need. So, whether you’re finishing high school and looking for your next step, or someone wanting a career change and needing a new challenge – we can’t recommend a career as a disability support worker enough!

But what exact qualifications do you need to have before starting your career as a disability support worker? While it is possible to become a disability support worker without any formal qualifications, most employers will require their employees to hold at least a vocational qualification.

Tafe Queensland offers students courses to obtain a Certificate IV in Disability and/or a Certificate III in Individual Support. Both qualifications allow students to learn how to support independence and wellbeing, gain a range of technical skills, and develop a range of transferable skills from communication to teamwork. The course also gives students the skills to facilitate the empowerment of people with disabilities, and support community participation and social inclusion.

Both of these certificates are a great way to get start in your career, but if you’re looking to further your study then you can also complete a Bachelor of Social Work. This tertiary qualification will allow you to delve deeper into counselling, case management, group work, mediation, advocacy, education, community development and social action.

Once you’ve completed either your vocational or tertiary qualification, there are a few more boxes to tick before you can start work as a disability support worker. You’ll also need to organise and/or complete:

  • To support people who are funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme you will need an NDIS Worker Screening Check.  If you are also supporting children you can include a Working With Children Check in your NDIS Screening Application Check form.
  • A National Police Check (generally required to support the aged in a nursing home or community) dependent again on how the services are funded.
  • A Working With Children Check (for supporting a child).
  • Obtain a First Aid Certificate / CPR Certificate.
  • Obtain an Australian driver’s license and vehicle to transport clients to and from their home/residence (depending on the organisations vehicle transport policy).

You can read more about starting a career as a disability support worker on our blog here.

Here at Real Community Services, we aim to provide flexible employment arrangements to support our staff and their families, and provide the opportunities for our staff to engage with us and the wider community.

We also pride ourselves on providing training opportunities for professional improvement, with many of our Support Facilitators, administration, finance and management staff previously joining us as part of our support team.

If you’re ready to begin your rewarding career as a disability support worker make sure to check out our current opportunities.