Certificate III in Individual Support

In order to complete the Certificate III in Individual Support, students are required to meet these inherent requirements.

Reasonable adjustments are available to support you to meet inherent requirements. Register with Equitable Learning Services.

The Certificate III in Individual Support program requires students to:

  • use and understand verbal communication in English
  • use and understand non-verbal (social) communication.

Verbal Expression and Comprehension (understanding)

What do I need to be able to do?

  • understand and respond to verbal communication appropriately and in a time efficient manner in the classroom and professional placement settings
  • verbally communicate clear instructions and explanations in the classroom and professional placement settings

What are some examples of this?

  • communicating with clients to provide information, clarify the purpose of your visit, gain and confirm your client’s consent and provide clients the chance to raise issues or concerns
  • establishing rapport and responding appropriately to requests and feedback from clients, supervisors, and other health professionals  to ensure you are undertaking the professional placement safely
  • participating in reflection discussions and practicing professional verbal communication skills in class

Why do I need to be able to do this?

You will need to use and understand verbal communication in English because:

  • accurate, timely and clear verbal communication is needed to provide safe care, minimise the risk of harm to yourself or others and to ensure you are working within legal and ethical boundaries  while on professional placement
  • understanding verbal information and communicating with peers and teaching staff is an important part of study.  Academic material is presented verbally in English in class
  • understanding and using verbal communication is critical to establishing and maintaining rapport with clients while on professional placement  

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

Additional time allowances for comprehension and expression may be provided for you within the classroom.  However, the circumstances of professional placement often require timely communication, and this should be considered and discussed with the School before the commencement of the placement.

Consideration may be given to the professional placement type and location – some professional placements may better be able to accommodate students with specific identified needs.

Social Communication

Social Communication refers to the capacity to understand and use appropriate non-verbal communication such as:

  • eye contact
  • gestures
  • facial expression
  • speaking volume
  • tone of voice
  • proximity
  • verbal turn-taking.

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to:

  • recognise, interpret and respond to nonverbal communication behaviours (such as those listed above) appropriately in both the classroom and professional placement settings
  • respond sensitively to individual or cultural differences in both the classroom and professional placement settings

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need to use non-verbal communication in the professional placement setting are:

  • responding appropriately to clients by using social communication skills, such as open body language, eye contact and facial expressions to show understanding and empathy and to relieve distress and agitation in a client
  • interpreting clients’ non-verbal communication, such as identifying that a client is uncomfortable or in pain from their facial expression or body posture
  • maximising your engagement with those clients with dementia who may have limited or no language or when a language barrier exists, using effective non-verbal strategies to communicate in the most effective way possible

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You will need to use and understand non-verbal (social) communication skills because the ability to notice, understand and use appropriate non-verbal cues is critical to establishing and  maintaining rapport with clients with a range of conditions and from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

The School will consider non-verbal communication behaviours appropriate to your disability or condition. If you have a vision or hearing impairment, you may rely more on either auditory or visual communication behaviours.

The Certificate III in Individual Support program requires students to:

  • demonstrate effective reading and reading comprehension
  • demonstrate effective written communication skills

Reading

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to read and understand a range of material in English in a variety of formats in both the classroom and professional placement settings.

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need to use your reading skills include:

  • reading and demonstrating an understanding  of placement documents such as individual support or client care plans and occupational health and safety procedures documents to ensure individualised support and that you meet your legal and ethical responsibilities in the professional placement setting
  • reading  and demonstrating an understanding of study materials: texts , class notes and other required readings in the classroom setting

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You will need effective reading and reading comprehension because

  • essential client information and workplace documents are communicated in written form and are fundamental to providing individualised support while reducing the risk of harm to yourself and others in professional placement settings
  • understanding written information is an integral component of undertaking your studies as much critical study material is presented in written form in the classroom

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

You may use specialised software or hardware to support your literacy in the classroom. The practicality of using such software during professional placement may vary between placements and should be discussed before commencing placement.

Writing (Written Language)

N.B. This refers not to the physical act of writing but rather to the written content.

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to:

  • produce coherent written communication appropriate to both the classroom and professional placement settings.

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need written language skills include:

  • completing written assessment tasks which demonstrating  your understanding of course content in the classroom
  • using clear, accurate and objective language when contributing to client documentation such as case notes,  individual support or care plans in a time efficient manner and according to the organisation standard and protocol while on professional placement

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You will need written language skills because:

  • written assessment tasks are a primary means of assessing your knowledge and understanding of course content in the classroom
  • accurate and clear written communication of client notes and individual support or care plans are an integral part of professional placement and vital to consistent and safe client care
  • the accuracy of written notes in the professional placement setting has both professional and legal ramifications.

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

You may use specialised software or hardware to support your literacy in the classrooms. The practicality of using such software during professional placement may vary between placements and should be discussed before commencing the placement.

The Certificate III in Individual Support requires the use of the following cognitive abilities in both the classroom and professional placement settings:

  • concentration
  • memory
  • problem solving
  • planning and organisation
  • information processing abilities
  • reasoning skills.

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to:

  • consolidate learning material to complete assessment tasks in the classroom setting
  • use and apply knowledge of the theory and practice of safe, ethical and effective care gained in the classroom setting during professional placement
  • demonstrate your ability to engage and interact with clients, concentrate and solve problems in a time efficient manner during an 8 hour shift in the professional placement setting.

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need cognitive skills such as those listed above include, in the professional placement setting:

  • reading and interpreting an individual support plan and confirming the required equipment, processes and aids and identifying any aspects of the individual support plan for review
  • identifying physical health situations beyond the scope of your own role and reporting these  to the relevant placement person
  • recognising signs consistent with financial, physical or emotional abuse or neglect of an older person, reporting these to the Clinical Manager
  • correctly applying knowledge of policies and procedures and responding safely to unexpected occurrences while on professional placements such as when a client feels pain while doing exercise or has a choking response when being fed

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

  • remembering and applying theoretical knowledge, reasoning skills, problem solving and planning are essential to delivering safe individualised support and to reduce the risk of harm to yourself and others in the professional placement setting

You may use assistive technology and strategies such as rest breaks to support your memory, planning and organisation in the classroom. The practicality of using these strategies during professional placement may vary and should be discussed before commencing placement.

Many people who experience mental health challenges can be successful as students and go on to be successful Personal Care Workers.  The Certificate III in Individual Support and the demanding nature of personal care practice requires all students to be mentally well enough and to demonstrate sufficient behavioural stability to perform optimally in both the classroom and professional placement setting.

Stable mental health promotes optimal engagement in the classroom and professional placement settings.

What do I need to be able to do?

You need to:

  • manage personal emotions and behaviour calmly and respectfully when dealing with staff and clients in the professional placement setting
  • demonstrate adaptability and sensitivity in a support role which may include exposure to emergency situations, distress and end of life circumstances
  • demonstrate a high quality of professional conduct, behaving with dignity and responsibility and complying with safety guidelines to reduce risk of harm to yourself and others, while maintaining confidentiality of client records

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when your mental wellness and behavioural stability will be important include:

  • reflecting on practice and responding appropriately to constructive feedback in both the classroom and professional placement settings
  • remaining alert, focused and engaged with peers, staff and clients when on professional placement
  • managing personal emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with peers, staff and clients while on professional placement. Some situations may be challenging such as working with clients with dementia or terminal illness
  • reflecting on your own levels of stress and fatigue, and reporting concerns to designated persons if necessary while on  professional placement

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You need sound mental health and behavioural stability in the professional placement setting because:

  • you will be exposed to complex and unpredictable human situations and you will need to be mentally robust and demonstrate behavioural stability to manage these events competently
  • you will be required to deliver safe individualised support and reduce the risk of harm to yourself and others
  • the University must prioritise the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and clients in the classroom and professional placement settings and may stop a professional placement if risk is apparent, which can affect academic progress.

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

Reasonable adjustments such as reduced hours or consideration of professional placement type and location should be discussed prior to commencing professional placement. The practicality of accommodating these adjustments will be considered but may not be possible.

Flexible arrangements for your professional experience placement will be considered. The appropriateness and practicality of these arrangements may vary between placements and agencies and should be discussed with your placement coordinator prior to commencement of the placement. 

If you become unwell, you may be supported to take time off from your studies and consideration can be given to deferring professional placements, where possible, until you are fully recovered.

The Certificate III in Individual Support requires:

  • adequate visual acuity.
  • adequate touch (tactile ability).

Vision

What do I need to be able to do?

You need to:

  • have sufficient visual acuity to observe a client’s hygiene, health and wellbeing, observe abnormal conditions and identify potential hazards
  • deliver individual support and help maintain a safe, healthy, clean and comfortable environment for the client in the professional placement setting.

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need adequate visual acuity in the professional placement setting include:

  • observing clients to ensure they are appropriately positioned and safe
  • recognising visual indicators that a client’s physical situation is affecting their wellbeing and accurately reporting on this  according to organisation procedures
  • reading client’s case notes, including hand written notes, observing  clients pain and other physical symptoms and reporting any changes to their condition
  • when delivering palliative care, recognising any visible signs of a client’s deterioration in health
  • accurately identifying medicines and medicine bottle labels

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You will need adequate visual acuity in the professional placement setting because:

  • visual observations are required for client care, assessing client wellbeing and reducing risk to yourself or others.
  • the ability to read written information, including hand written notes, is fundamental for delivery of safe care because written notes are used to communicate essential client information.
  • accurate identification of medicines is essential for treatment and prevention of adverse events.

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

The use of assistive technology/adaptive equipment to support vision will be considered and should be discussed prior to commencement of placement.

Touch (tactile ability)

What do I need to do?

You will need to:

  • use your sense of touch (tactility) to ensure the support and comfort of a client in line with an individual support plan or client care plan in the professional placement setting.

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need adequate tactile acuity in the professional placement setting include:

  • feeling and detecting changes in the surface temperature  and texture of the client’s skin condition when performing a skin assessment
  • feeling and detecting changes in the surface temperature of water prior to attending the hygiene needs of the client
  • feeling and detecting the temperature of food and drink provided to clients

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You need adequate tactile acuity in the professional placement setting because:

  • Sufficient tactile skills are required to enable routine monitoring and management of clients

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

Adjustments will be considered in relation to the individual student’s circumstances and physical capacities and may include use of a Participation Assistant or modifications to the task which do not impact upon the academic knowledge and skills required to complete it. Any adjustments considered should not compromise your safety or that of others.

Consideration may be given to the placement type and location – some placement settings may better be able to accommodate students with specific identified needs.

Any adjustments considered should not compromise your safety or that of others.

The Certificate III in Individual Support requires students to:

  • have adequate gross motor abilities as it involves significant physical activity
  • have adequate dexterity and fine motor skills.

Gross Motor Skills

‘Gross motor skills’ refers to the use of large muscle groups that coordinate body movements for activities such as lifting, pushing, pulling and maintaining balance.

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to participate in tasks that involve the following abilities in the classroom and professional placement settings:

  • lifting
  • carrying
  • pushing
  • pulling
  • standing
  • twisting
  • bending.

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need adequate gross motor skills in the professional placement setting:

  • physically assisting clients with varying physical capacities to move safely from  a lying or sitting to a standing position, using manual transfer or equipment such as a slide sheet, hoist or other lifting device
  • positioning and setting up a client with equipment such as a pan or bottle and repositioning clients to prevent pressure area wounds
  • assisting clients with showering

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You need sufficient gross motor skills to assist clients and manipulate equipment because:

  • this minimises the risk of injury to clients or yourself and others in the professional placement setting.

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

Adjustments will be considered in relation to the individual student’s circumstances and physical capacities and may include use of a Participation Assistant or modifications to the task which do not impact upon the academic knowledge and skills required to complete it. Consideration may be given to the placement type and location – some professional placement settings may better be able to accommodate students with specific identified needs.

Any adjustments considered should not compromise your safety or that of others.

Fine motor skills

‘Fine motor skills’ refers to the ability to undertake precise coordinated movements of the hands.

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to participate in tasks that involve the following fine motor abilities in the classroom and professional placement settings:

  • pushing
  • pressing
  • turning
  • pinching
  • grasping
  • shaking.

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need adequate fine motor skills include while on professional placement:

  • assisting clients to dress in specialist clothing items such as stockings, braces for limbs and slings and assisting with oral care
  • preparing a shaver for use and placing it in a client’s hand
  • washing  clients feet with your hands to maintain skin integrity when performing foot care for diabetic clients
  • removing small caps from needles and inserting diabetes test strips into blood glucose meters

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

You need sufficient fine motor skills to:

  • assist clients and provide safe individualised support and reduce the risk of harm to yourself or others
  • assemble equipment according to established procedures and the client’s individual support plan.

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

Adjustments will be considered in relation to the individual student’s circumstances and physical capacities and may include use of a Participation Assistant or modifications to the task which do not impact upon the academic knowledge and skills required to complete it. Consideration may be given to the placement type and location – some professional placement settings may better be able to accommodate students with specific identified needs.

Any adjustments considered should not compromise your safety or that of others.

Physical and Mental Endurance

This refers to the ability to undertake a task/s over a pre-determined period of time. This could include physical performance such as standing for a period of time, or cognitive (mental) performance such as concentrating for a particular length of time.

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to:

  • maintain consistent performance during designated period of duty (shift) in the professional placement setting
  • maintain high level concentration while dealing with clients and undertaking repetitive tasks in the professional placement setting

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need physical and mental endurance in the professional placement setting include:

  • maintaining consistent physical performance throughout an 8 hour shift over a 3 week period. This will include standing and walking for extended periods
  • remaining mentally focused in order to complete accurate and safe care of clients such as ensuring the needs a client with strict dietary requirements
  • remaining mentally focussed in order to safely complete repetitive tasks such as feeding clients and assisting with basic activities of your clients’ daily living

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

  • during professional placement you will need to perform multiple physical and mental tasks over the period of a shift and provide safe and effective care to clients

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and physical capacities. Importantly, any adjustments considered should not compromise client safety.

This refers to the ability to undertake a task/s over a pre-determined period of time. This could include physical performance such as standing for a period of time, or cognitive (mental) performance such as concentrating for a particular length of time.

What do I need to be able to do?

You will need to:

  • maintain consistent performance during designated period of duty (shift) in the professional placement setting
  • maintain high level concentration while dealing with clients and undertaking repetitive tasks in the professional placement setting

What are some examples of this?

Examples of when you will need physical and mental endurance in the professional placement setting include:

  • maintaining consistent physical performance throughout an 8 hour shift over a 3 week period. This will include standing and walking for extended periods
  • remaining mentally focused in order to complete accurate and safe care of clients such as ensuring the needs a client with strict dietary requirements
  • remaining mentally focussed in order to safely complete repetitive tasks such as feeding clients and assisting with basic activities of your clients’ daily living

Why do I need to be able to do these things?

  • during professional placement you will need to perform multiple physical and mental tasks over the period of a shift and provide safe and effective care to clients

What reasonable adjustments could be considered?

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and physical capacities. Importantly, any adjustments considered should not compromise client safety.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.