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Informed choices - Community Services

Please read the following information carefully. The accordions below set out the expectations and inherent requirements of a student training in one of these qualifications:

  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) 
  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Home and Community)
  • Certificate III in Community Services
  • Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Certificate IV in Community Services
  • Certificate IV in Mental Health
  • Certificate IV in Youth Work
  • Diploma of Community Development
  • Diploma of Community Services
  • Diploma of Counselling
  • Diploma of Mental Health
  • Diploma of Youth work

To work in the industry the following skills need to be considered:

Observational skills

This includes the ability to:

  • Notice changes in client’s behaviour, ability and the environment
  • Identify safety hazards and risks
  • Observe and understand non-verbal cues (e.g. facial expressions, body language)
  • Identify signs of verbal distress and / or aggression.
Communication skills

This includes the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively with a range of people (e.g. families, co-workers)
  • Use appropriate language and respect when working with other people (including those from different cultures)
  • Listen attentively to what is being said
  • Read and understand written information
  • Understand and follow written and verbal instructions
  • Understand and respond to verbal and non- verbal communication
  • Write coherent communication appropriate to the situation
  • Use technology to communicate (e.g. computer/iPad for reports, emails, documents)
  • Communicate and work with other people as a team.
Technical and/or Motor skills

This includes the ability to:

  • Deal with physical demands of manual tasks (e.g. bending, squatting, kneeling, crouching, repetitive movements, carrying, reaching) 
  • Be on your feet for extended periods of time, both walking and standing 
  • Grasp, push, turn and manipulate objects
  • Use equipment and other technology (e.g. computers/iPads, assemble play equipment)
  • Have sufficient vision to safely perform the required range of skills
  • Hear and differentiate sounds that may alert you of a problem (e.g. alarms, calls from distressed children)
  • Deal with body fluids (e.g. urine, faeces, blood).
Cognitive | Intellectual skills

This includes the ability to:

  • Gather, understand and organise information
  • Use own judgment / problem-solving skills (e.g. to respond to immediate safety risks)
  • Recall and communicate information
  • Understand other people’s perspectives / opinions and respect their choices
  • Understand and use math effectively (e.g. measurements, calculations, 24-hour clock)
  • Maintain a sufficient level of concentration to complete an activity / task
  • Be attentive in interaction with others
  • Perform tasks in a safe manner and within reasonable timeframes.
Behavioural | Social skills

This includes the ability to:

  • Demonstrate tolerance, patience and willingness to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures
  • Demonstrate professional behaviour at all times both on work placement and in class
  • Control your emotions and reactions and withhold personal opinions
  • Tolerate close proximity with individuals
  • Interact with all genders
  • Respect personal and professional boundaries – including use of social media
  • Adapt to change
  • Take responsibility for own actions
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Comply with legal requirements of industry (e.g. National or local clearances as required).

The Language, Literacy and Numeracy requirements are core skills for all job roles at all levels.

The Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) indicates that the five core skill areas are reading, writing, numeracy, oral communication and learning which we apply in our personal and community; workplace and employment; and education and training.

Some of the core language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills for entry into the above courses are:

Learning Legal and ethical guidelines of work, understand human needs, individual differences, service standards, safety policies and procedures

Reading skills Reading and understanding client service plans, procedures and work instructions, industry specific terminology and symbols, workplace safety signs

Writing skills Completing forms, documents, WHS reports, taking messages

Oral communication Active listening skills, communicating with clients and their family, team members. Communicating with clients and families who have communication difficulties. Effective questioning, phone skills and providing information to team members.

Numeracy skills Measure fluids, read weights and measurements, interpret and document, calculate timeframes.

Problem solving skills Identify and respond to client’s needs daily.

Technology skills Use appropriate software.

Note All students will sit a literacy and numeracy test at the start of the course.

Below are some of the important individual personal skills students need to demonstrate during training:


  • The ability to develop and maintain relationships, trust and confidence.
  • The ability to communicate with a range of people from different backgrounds.


  • The ability to work with other people for a common outcome. 
  • Respect for other people and their role within the work team. 
  • The ability to accept direction and feedback.

Problem solving

  • The ability to identify potential problems and respond appropriately. 
  • The ability to ask questions and seek clarification when necessary.

Initiative and enterprise

  • Motivation and interest.
  • The ability to seek assistance when necessary. 
  • Foresight / the ability to see what needs to be done.

Planning and organising

  • Appropriate time management skills.
  • The ability to prioritise, plan and organise own workload.


  • Seek feedback and reflect on your own performance 
  • Accept responsibility for own actions.


  • Ability to identify own strengths and weaknesses and seek assistance where necessary. 
  • The ability and motivation to build on past knowledge and experience.
  • The ability to take on new information and tasks.


  • The ability to learn and adapt to new technology.
  • The ability to access information and use digital media for study and work.

As part of your course you are required to complete work placement. The placement is arranged/negotiated by North Metropolitan TAFE and your host organisation.

Students will be provided with forms and a vocational placement Handbook including Observation Checklists used to assess practical competencies. 

It is an industry requirement that students do not attend placement without holding the required clearances. 

Note Students will be required to:

  • Travel to an appropriate host organisation to complete vocational placement
  • Attend vocational placement at times that may be out of normal business hours
    e.g. 8am – 6.00pm
  • Ensure they can attend the practicum placement hours (ie. no late starts or early finish times).