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How to Become an Aged Care Trainer
Aged Care Trainers and Assessors
If you’re passionate about your work in caring for the elderly or the disabled, why not grow your career in the field by learning to train other people to do the same?
Personal care services are thriving in Australia thanks to our rapidly ageing population. It’s no surprise many people are seeking jobs in this industry because of its massive growth.
A position as a “hands-on” aged, disability or community care worker isn’t your only career option.
More than 40,000 new carers will be required in the next few years. Many trainers are required to help them gain skills, knowledge and formal qualifications in aged and disability care.
With the right training and experience, you can fill this role and advance your career by becoming an Aged Care Trainer and Assessor.
So how do you get started?
Step 1: Study Aged Care Courses and Gain Work Experience
Training and qualifications are essential in just about any career and aged care training is no exception.
For aged and personal care, this means you must first gain nationally recognised qualifications. Employers in the aged care sector are now required to have formally qualified staff in order for their aged care, disability care or home and community care services to comply with stricter accreditation standards.
This means it is strongly recommended you study and gain formal qualifications to make it as easy as possible to find work and develop practical experience as a personal care professional.
Some of the most popular courses to get started in the aged, disability and community care industries include:
- The Certificate III in Aged Care
- The Certificate III in Home & Community Care and
- The Certificate III in Disability
Aged care courses typically take only 1 year to finish. This includes at least 80 hours of vocational placement where you gain first-hand work experience by volunteering with an eligible care service. Almost half of aged care workers achieve a Certificate III or IV qualification.
Gaining multiple qualifications
There is a significant overlap between units in these qualifications, so it is actually quite easy to gain two or more qualifications at the same time. For example, if you already have the Cert III Aged Care, you only need to study 1 more unit to gain the Cert III in Home & Community Care.
If studying multiple qualifications at once is not practical for you, don’t worry. Once you complete one qualification, you can normally use it to gain credit aka “Recognition of Prior Learning” (RPL) in either of the other two qualifications when you’re ready to study again.
Having multiple qualifications is also useful because you can only deliver training if you hold the exact competencies in the course (ie skills and knowledge) yourself. Earning the exact qualification you wish to deliver is usually the simplest way to demonstrate you hold the competencies.
Ask your employer
It generally helps to hold at least one of these qualifications to start a career in aged care and gain the experience you need to work in training roles later on. If you’re currently working in a personal care facility or for a home care service, your employer may even encourage you to take on further training.
Ask your supervisor to know which course would be the best for you and your organisation and if they will provide you with assistance. They may be willing to pay for (or at least subsidise) your course, provide you time during work hours to study or offer other study assistance.
Step 2: Get Qualified as a Trainer and Use Your Experience
Delivery of vocational courses like Certificate IIIs, IVs and Diplomas is regulated by Government authorities and trainers must comply with the requirements for Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) industry.
ONLY qualified and current trainers with recent work experience in the industry can assess these qualifications and only a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) can issue the certification.
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
The current minimum standard qualification for VET trainers in Australia is the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Higher level qualifications may also be used to qualify to work as a vocational trainer, but the Certificate IV is the most popular. It is relatively short and focuses on the exact skills and knowledge needed to start work as a trainer and assessor.
The Certificate IV in Training and Assessment typically takes less than 1 year to complete. You have the choice of studying it on your own pace online, by joining Face-to-Face workshops or through a combination of the two. You can even fast track the course and skip units through Recognition of Prior Learning if your work responsibilities involve training and you can provide evidence that matches the requirements of the course.
Once you have earned one or more aged care qualifications, developed extensive experience in aged care work and finally attained your Certificate IV in Training and Assessment qualification, you are able to start seeking work as an aged care trainer and assessor in the VET sector.
Step 3: Where to look for work
You can now pursue new career opportunities as a vocational trainer!
Training roles are most often found in TAFEs and RTOs. You will discover that many organisations operate RTOs and require training staff. RTOs can include:
- 1. Pure training organisations like Inspire Education that offer training directly to the public.
- 2. High schools which deliver Certificate I, II and III training to their own students.
- 3. Universities which run their own RTO or partner with a TAFE to offer more educational opportunities in their area.
- 4. Businesses like aged care facilities so they can deliver courses and traineeships to their own staff.
- 5. Non-profit organisations like the Red Cross who offer training to their own volunteers and the public.
There are also opportunities to work in non-VET trainer roles. Many large companies and businesses require in-house training for their own staff. This creates opportunities to work within these organisations, creating and delivering training programs to induct and upskill staff.
Making yourself attractive as a job candidate
Employers are normally looking for someone with the right qualifications and experience to do the job. You can make yourself more attractive as a candidate by developing more of both.
Remember, you can only deliver and assess the qualifications that you hold yourself. To maximise your opportunities for work, it helps to hold multiple qualifications.
Certificate III in Disability and Certificate III in Home and Community Care qualifications naturally complement the Certificate III in Aged Care. Adding Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications in the personal care field to your skill set may also help you.
More advanced qualifications are not required to deliver training Certificate and Diploma level courses, but holding a relevant degree in a field such as nursing can show employers you are a true expert in your field of training.
You have experience as an aged care worker, but what about as a trainer?
Getting your foot in the door in your first training role can be tricky. Start developing training experience ASAP to make finding your first job as easy as possible.
While you’re still working in aged care as a personal care assistant, you can gain experience by developing and delivering training programs to staff within your organisation. No doubt your workplace needs training services on a regular basis – inducting new staff, helping existing staff learn new techniques and procedures, and even running courses for people in care to help them stay mentally sharp.
Volunteering is another way to earn training experience. Some non-profit organisations may appreciate your help in training volunteers to provide personal care services. Community organisations in many regions offer free short courses to the public – why not offer to create and deliver short training programs in elderly care?
Aged care training resources are normally provided by your employer so you can’t be sure which package you’ll be delivering to your students, but it can help to be familiar with some of the more popular packages on the market. Compliant Learning Resources has developed a large range of aged care training resources (including Certificate III Individual Support RTO resources & Certificate IV in Aged Care training materials) that are used in a huge number of training organisations across the country.
Salary of Aged Carers and Trainers
How much do aged care workers and trainers earn?
Full time aged care worker have a median salary of approximately $898 per week, depending on where you are in Australia.
Salaries for vocational trainers and related jobs include:
- 1. Vocational Teachers earn a median salary of $1538 a week.
- 2. Training and Development professionals earn a median salary of $1350 per week
These figures are provided for reference only from www.joboutlook.gov.au. Your salary will depend on your experience, qualifications, geographical region, and the industry you work in.
Recap: Becoming an Aged Care Trainer
Aged care is a rapidly growing industry. Tens of thousands more carers are needed in the coming years.
To fill this demand, Australia needs qualified and experienced trainers who will teach people the skills and knowledge they need to serve as care providers.
If you want to become an Aged Care Trainer, start on your journey today:
1. Take up a formal qualification and use it to gain practical, on-the-job work experience in an aged care facility to be an expert in aged care.
2. Get formally qualified as a trainer and assessor with the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment so you can deliver nationally recognised and accredited training courses
3. Develop the training experience you need, and finally, find the training job you want.
Remember that your qualifications for both training and aged care, as well as your work experience, need to be current.
Once you meet these requirements, you can now expand into a training career and begin helping new students begin their own careers in aged care.
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