The differences between Certificate III and IV aged care courses

To become an aged care worker, you must first get qualified! 

In Australia, aged care workers are more than just carers – they’re highly qualified professionals who go through a rigorous training process to gain the skills needed to provide this specialised care.

And that starts with your aged care course.

Your passion for caring for the elderly, your empathetic nature, and your strong people skills can indeed take you far.

However in order to increase your chances of career success, you also need the right certification.

In Australia, that means completing either a Certificate III or a Certificate IV in aged care.

Spot the difference: what makes these two courses different?

Course competencies

While there is some overlap in the ground covered, both of these courses cover different types of content.

A level III serves as the basic qualification for anyone who wishes to become part of the aged care industry. This course is the entry point for those who want to start a career in an aged care facility or home care setting.

As such, a Certificate III gives aged care workers with both the practical and theoretical knowledge and skills they need to succeed every day.

Meanwhile, a Certificate IV helps aged care workers develop their skills further, training students in more advanced skills with more specialised course competencies and subjects.

As such, these certificates tend to focus more on subjects that enhance your leadership and managerial skills – things that are essential if you wish to take your career as an aged care worker further by moving up to supervisor or team leader positions.

Career opportunities

Different course competencies don’t just leave you with different skill sets – they also open up different career opportunities for you.

Depending on whether you enrol in a Certificate III or a Certificate IV, aged care workers can find themselves going in a number of different directions.

As a foundational requirement, completing a level III Certificate can result in you finding entry-level positions in a variety of different settings:

  • Care assistant
  • Home care worker
  • Nursing assistant
  • Residential care worker
  • Respite care worker
  • Support worker

By contrast, someone who holds a Certificate IV might find themselves landing in more specialised or higher-level positions such as:

  • Dementia care
  • Managerial and supervisory roles
  • Opening their own daycare centres
  • Community program coordinator
  • Care service leader
  • Aged care activity officer
  • Residential caseworker

Depending on what you intend to achieve, you might be better off with one or the other – if you’re unsure, our friendly course advisors are more than willing to advise.

Course requirements

The Certificate III in Individual Support is delivered through a combination of theory classes (available both face-to-face or as an online aged care course), practical workshops and real-world work placements in various aged care facilities.

This particular course does not have specific prerequisites, allowing anyone with the determination and drive to get started.

By contrast, it’s strongly recommended that you first complete the Certificate III in Individual Support before commencing a Certificate IV in Ageing Support, as this will give you a much stronger foundation to build upon.

Enrol in Academia’s aged care courses in Melbourne

No matter which point of your career you’re at or which level of Certificate you need to achieve your career goals, Academia has you covered.

Our aged care courses in Melbourne cover both levels, allowing aspiring aged care workers to start working towards their goals, whatever they may be.

Certificate III in Individual Support

Provide individualised support to the aged and apply safety practices for the health and wellbeing of those in your care – start by completing the Certificate III in Individual Support.

Recognised around the country, this Certificate teaches you how to plan empowering activities for the older people and look after wellbeing and health through workshops, tutorials, and practical training in residential, aged care facilities and community settings.

This course also includes a work placement of 150 hours where you’ll get to apply all of the different skills you’ve learned from our certified and experienced instructors, preparing you for a rewarding career in aged care.

Learn more about the Certificate III in Individual Support.

Certificate IV in Ageing Support

If you’re aiming for a leadership position or simply keen to increase your promotion potential, this is the course for you!

In addition to all of the foundational knowledge covered in a Certificate III, a Certificate IV in Ageing Support will equip you with the skills you need to:

  • Practise safety work practices
  • Support the elderly with dementia
  • Provide care through a palliative approach
  • Empower people with disability 

Learn more about the Certificate IV in Ageing Support.

Find out more about our online aged care courses in Academia

Curious how our online learning system works?

Interested in finding out more about what each of our aged care courses cover?

Unsure which of these aged care courses in Melbourne is right for you?

Luckily, that’s what we’re here to help with. Our mission is to help you get your career started – and that begins by ensuring that you have a thorough understanding of what each of our courses includes, and how each aligns with your career goals.

Find out more about our aged care courses by filling out this enquiry form or contact our friendly course advisors in Melbourne on (03) 9671 4755.