Certificate IV in Disability Support CHC43121


Our nationally accredited CHC43121 Certificate IV in Disability Support is designed to equip you with the skills to advocate for and empower vulernable people. You’ll unlock a vast range of different job opportunities and learn how to become an inspiring support worker.

Course Breakdown


CHC43121 Certificate IV in Disability Support

Course duration: Self-paced - maximum of 18 months

Recommended hours per week: 11h

Qualification level: Certificate IV

Delivery method: Online with Work Placement

Awarded by: Integrated Care & Management Training Pty Ltd (Provider number: 90197)


Industry Overview

According to Job Outlook, an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business, the demand for Welfare Support Workers, which includes Disability Services Officers, is expected to grow very strongly (25.2%) over the next 5 years (2021-2026).

Source: [Accessed 2/11/23]

Is this course for you?

This qualification reflects the role of individuals in a range of community settings and peoples’ homes, who provide support in a manner that empowers people with disabilities to achieve greater levels of independence, self-reliance, community participation and wellbeing. Workers promote a person-centred approach, work according to and may contribute to an individualised plan, and work without direct supervision. They may be required to supervise and/or coordinate a small team.

The skills in this qualification must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.

Learners may choose to enrol in the CHC43121 Certificate IV in Disability Support as an entry point to working in the Disability Services sector. Alternatively, they may undertake the qualification as a pathway to further study in the following qualifications:

  • CHC52021 Diploma of Community Services
  • CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling
  • CHC43315 Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • CHC43215 Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • CHC40421 Certificate IV in Youth Work

If you are an existing worker or have experience in the related industry, please inform our enrolment consultants during your enrolment conversation. You may be eligible to enrol as an existing worker and complete your studies faster. Please note - limitations do apply.

What you will learn

During this course, you'll learn how to:

  • Manage legal and ethical compliance
  • Maintain work health and safety ·
  • Support relationships with carer and family
  • Follow established person-centred behaviour supports
  • Facilitate community participation and social inclusion
  • Facilitate ongoing skills development using a person-centred approach
  • Provide person-centered services to people with disability with complex needs
  • Work with people with mental health issues
  • Lead effective workplace relationships
  • Reflect on and improve own professional practice

Learning Material

Your learning materials are accessed through our online platform OpenSpace. These learning materials include:

  • Learning content
  • Media
  • Additional resources
  • Practice activities

Your trainer

Michelle Hay Chapman
Michelle has over 16 years of experience of working within the healthcare industry working as an Enrolled Nurse and a personal care worker. She has worked with people that have a disability within different community programs and within aged care. Michelle’s specialised skills include infection control, dementia care, palliative care and person-centred care.

Academic Information

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements.

Certificate IV in Disability Support

Manage legal and ethical compliance
  • Research information required for legal compliance
  • Determine ethical responsibilities 
  • Develop and communicate policies and procedures 
  • Monitor compliance
  • Maintain knowledge of compliance requirements
Maintain work health and safety
  • Contribute to workplace procedures for identifying hazards and controlling risks
  • Implement policies and procedures into work team processes
  • Support consultation, cooperation and communication
Support relationships with carer and family
  • Include carer and family members as part of the support team
  • Assess and respond to changes in the care relationship
  • Monitor and promote carer rights, health and wellbeing
Follow established person-centred behaviour supports
  • Apply a person-centred approach to minimise behaviours of concern
  • Review context of behaviours of concern
  • Provide positive behaviour support according to individualised behaviour support plan
  • Complete documentation
Facilitate community participation and social inclusion
  • Support the person to identify and engage in social networks within the broad community
  • Assist the person and others to develop and implement a community support plan as part of the individualised plan
  • Develop strategies to minimise isolation for person with disability
  • Determine risks associated with supporting community participation and inclusion

5/ modules
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Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

We understand that you may already have many skills and areas of expertise that you have obtained in different ways and these are recognised through our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

Our Credit Transfer & Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, available in the Key Student Information section of our website, provides more information about our RPL process. Alternatively, you can contact an Enrolment Consultant to discuss your RPL options.

Course Duration

The duration for the course is maximum 18 months. As a self-paced online course, the time it will take you to complete is flexible and dependent on ability and time available.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

Students must be able to provide evidence of the following:

  • Completion of: CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), OR
  • Completion of: CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), OR
  • Completion of: CHC30408 Certificate III in Disability PLUS the CHCSS00125 Entry to Certificate IV in Disability Support Skill Set

It is also recommended that students:

  • Are 18 years old at the time of placement. 
  • Have language, literacy and numeracy skills that ensure the ability to

o work independently and initiate and use support from a range of established resources, 

o Identifies relevant information from a range of written texts, e.g. identifies specific information in an online course handbook or locates information on the internet 

o complete a range of formatted texts, e.g. completes an incident report form,

 o reads and discusses data from simple charts or tables provided

 o These skills are equivalent to those that would be required to successfully achieve and ACSF Level 3 or have previously completed a Certificate III level qualification. 

  •  Access to a modern computer with high-speed internet.
  • Access to Microsoft office or equivalent 
  • Basic computing skills including the ability to make a short video

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

It is recommended that a student achieves the following ACSF levels to successfully complete this course and be able to learn effectively in a self-paced online environment:

  • Learning, Oral Communication – Level 4
  • Reading, Writing – Level 3
  • Numeracy – Level 2

If students are concerned about whether they have the skills to complete the course, they will be referred to admissions as part of the enrolment process to complete a formal LLN assessment through BKSB. If the student does not achieve the recommended ACSF levels their application will be sent to the Education Manager to determine if Open Colleges has the required level of support services available to support the needs of the student. In some cases, the student may be referred to an external provider such as their local TAFE to complete additional foundation skills training before being enrolled into the course.

Additionally, if a student does not indicate that they may need an LLN assessment, students will also be referred by Enrolment Consultants for an LLN assessment for any of the below identified triggers:

  • Does not meet the recommended entry requirements for study
  • Has not completed any study in the past
  • Puts another person on the line to talk on their behalf
  • Not able to answer questions without being prompted by a third party in the background
  • Having difficulty understanding questions asked of them
  • Responding to questions with answers that don’t match the question asked
  • That they need help with English or is unsure if they need help with English
  • Chooses “Not very well”, “Not at all”, or “Not provided” to the “English Proficiency” question
  • Student has concerns they may not understand the course content doing it online
  • Student found the training and/or assessment component of a course at the same AQF level or lower difficult to complete
  • They needed a lot of one-on-one time with their trainer during previous study
  • They needed their trainer to explain concepts to them before they were able to understand

Physical Requirements

Students must have a reasonable level of fitness as the role may involve a variety of physical tasks, such as providing personal care, CPR, assisting clients with mobility and transfers and considerable time spent standing and walking. They must also have the physical ability to kneel down on the floor and apply CPR.

Tools and Equipment

To successfully complete their studies, learners will need access to the following resources and equipment. 

  • computer with access to the internet 
  • digital recording device to record simulated role-play tasks for submission
  •  tripod to provide a stable and secure platform to mount the digital recording device 
  • a simulated home environment that reflects workplace conditions for role-play with facilities and equipment including: 

o wheelchair

o mobility aids and equipment 

o chair

o bed

o meal area

o kitchen 

o sink

o toilet 

o shower 

o storage equipment, including office storage equipment

  • up to 3 people to support you in the role-play. For some role-play scenarios, this may include:

o people from diverse backgrounds

o people with disabilities (or pretending to have some form of disabilities)

It is the responsibility of the learner to find suitable role-play participants.

  • PPE:

o gloves

o mask

o apron

o protective eyewear

o face shield

  • communication equipment
  •  cleaning equipment 
  • waste and waste disposal equipment 
  • hand hygiene facilities and equipment 
  • car 
  • information on local resources, programs, agencies, transport services, aids and equipment available to people with disability

Additional Work Placement Requirements

Students who are not currently employed at an appropriate workplace are required to find a host organisation to undertake work placement. Depending on the nature of the individual workplace, the student may need to undertake this at more than one workplace.

While undertaking their training and assessment in industry, the student must abide by the policies and procedures of the workplace. The workplace may require the student to meet workplace specific requirements. These will vary by state and by organisation. Some of the statutory checks and requirements the student may need to provide to commence work placement are:

  • Police Check 
  • NDIS Worker Screening 
  • Working with Children Check 
  • Occupational Assessment 
  • Screening and vaccination against infectious disease, including COVID-19 
  • Signing of Codes of Conduct and Confidentiality Agreements
  •  First Aid Certificate 
  • Psychological testing

Students are able to link their NDIS worker screening and blue card to Integrated Care and Management Training. Students are provided a link on how to do this in Open Space in the FAQs.

The cost of obtaining any of above is at the cost of the student and will vary based on the student’s location and their personal circumstances. The costs will range between $50 - $250 per requirement.


Work Placement

This course contains a minimum of 120 hours of work placement.

What are the benefits?

  • By undertaking a work placement you’ll get a chance to put the knowledge you’ve learned on your course into practice.
  • You’ll also develop practical, on-the-job skills and could make contacts that could help you find a job once you graduate.
  • Work placement is often the most rewarding part of a student’s course. Working face-to-face with clients and colleagues in your chosen field makes a huge difference to your career confidence.

How do I find a work placement?

You’ll need to find a work placement yourself and ensure it’s approved by Open Colleges. When looking for a suitable work placement host organisation, have a think about the following:

  • Are you already working or volunteering in the industry your course is related to? You could potentially do your work placement at your current place of work or have contacts that could recommend a suitable work place. Ask around!
  • If you’re entering a new industry, do some research and start thinking about organisations you could approach. We have plenty of resources available to help with approaching and finding a suitable work placement organisation.

Cost of work placement

All costs of work placement, including any placement fees charged by the host organisation (whether to the student or Open Colleges), cost of statutory checks and vaccinations, travel, accommodation, and uniforms are the responsibility of the student. These fees will vary and are dependent on your location within Australia.

  • Costs for statutory checks will range between $50 - $250 dependent on the type of check you select and your state.
  • Costs for vaccinations will very between practitioners, please refer to your GP for approximate costs.
  • Placement fees will vary, please discuss this with your intended host organisation for approximate costs.

Host organisation

Students are required to complete a minimum of 120 hours of placement. This enables them sufficient time to practice the skills they have learnt and get familiar with their organisations ways of working before commencing their assessment tasks.

These 120 hours are split into two sections

  • 40 hours – attributed to workplace learning
  • 80 hours – attributed to workplace assessment

For students that are already working in industry and completing placement with their current employer and the employer is happy to supervise them while completing assessments, they are not required to complete a set amount of placement hours. To be eligible for this reduction existing workers must be able to provide a job description that shows they are employed in a relevant Certificate IV level role and a recent payslip to show that their employment is current. These documents should be provided as part of the workplace approval process. The reason for this approach is because placement is not mandatory as per the training package and students will have access to do their assessments as part of their workplace. For students who are working in industry but not in a Certificate IV level role, their hours can be reduced to 80 hours upon provision of the above documents. They must have approval from their supervisor to work at a Certificate IV level for the duration of the placement.


Please note that your host organisation may require you to provide an up to date immunisation history prior to the commencement of your work placement. Open Colleges has no control over this requirement so if you are unable to provide this, you will need to discuss it with your intended Host Organisation.

It should also be noted that some immunisations, such as Hepatitis B and COVID-19, need multiple injections to be administered over a specific time period before you are deemed immune. It is important that you consult with your GP as soon as possible to avoid delays in starting your work placement.

Supervisor requirements

Workplace supervisors are required to have 3 years experience in the disability support industry with at least 1 year as a supervisor and/or any of the following qualifications:

  • Certificate IV in Disability
  • Diploma of Community Services
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Education (for school setting)

Open Colleges may need to obtain further evidence to show confirm that the supervisor has the skills and experience to sign off on the required tasks.


Study and pay, your way

Payment Options

Pay Upfront
Save 35%
$3,185.65 Save $1,715.35
was $4,901.00
Week to week
Pay as you go
Save 12%
Pay in 66 instalments over the length of your course.
$65.16 Weekly
Total course cost: $4,301.00
was $4,901.00
Full course breakdown

Studying online with Open Colleges

Flexibility - study at your own pace

When you study online with Open Colleges you’re in control.

You can choose to complete your course quickly, or keep to a steady pace. Learning is fully flexible so you can fit your everyday commitments around your studies.

Everything you need to study is online so you can study wherever you like – but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own.

OpenSpace is our online learning platform. It’s where you’ll go to access your learning materials, contact your expert trainers and assessors and upload your assessments.

What is OpenSpace?

It’s important to us that we deliver a superior, online learning platform that meets our students’ needs. That’s why we have upgraded to our brand new, custom-designed learning platform, OpenSpace.

OpenSpace provides you with a user-friendly interface, that is mobile responsive. This means that you can complete your coursework using your laptop, iPad, or mobile device. All coursework is automatically saved, providing you with the flexibility you need to complete your studies anywhere, anytime.

How to get support?

Learning Support

The learning support team will be with you every step of the way, from enrolment to graduation. They’re here to help you get the most out of your online course. They can assist by providing non-academic support - like helping you craft an achievable study plan so that you can graduate in a realistic timeframe. If you’re finding it tough to stay motivated throughout your course, they’ll be there to help keep you on track.

Student support

The Student Support team is your one-stop service centre for all student administrative issues – including enrolment, change of contact details, OpenSpace support, assessment results and certification.

You can access the Student Support team by email or phone

Certificate IV in Disability Support

Select Payment Option

Pay in weekly instalments

Pay as you go

Save 12%

Pay in 66 instalments over the length of your course.



Total course cost: $4,301.00

Save $600.00

was $4,901.00

Pay Upfront

Save 35%


Save $1,715.35

was $4,901.00


Michelle Hay Chapman

Health & Community
Michelle has over 16 years of experience of working within the healthcare industry working as an Enrolled Nurse and a personal care worker. She has worked with people that have a disability within different community programs and within aged care. Michelle’s specialised skills include infection control, dementia care, palliative care and person-centred care.
Michelle has over 16 years of experience of working within the healthcare industry working as an Enrolled Nurse and a personal care worker. She has worked with people that have a disability within different community programs and within aged care. Michelle’s specialised skills include infection control, dementia care, palliative care and person-centred care.

Over the years she has also worked in General Practice, different hospitals across Southeast Queensland as an agency nurse working in the areas of mental health, palliative care, and dementia units.

Michelle has been a Trainer in adult education for over 6 years working in classrooms, workplaces, online and in secondary schools.

• Diploma of Nursing

• Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

• Diploma of Business

• Diploma of Community Services

• Certificate 3 in Aged Care