Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care

Certificate III may be regarded by many jurisdictions as the minimum level for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health work. In some jurisdictions, however, individuals may start at Certificate II level and when ready progress to Certificate III. The qualification structure for Certificate III supports both these options. This qualification is suited to Australian Apprenticeship pathways.

Certificate III in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care covers workers who provide health care services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients, usually as part of a team, with ongoing supervision and guidance. Occupational titles for these workers may include, for example:

Aboriginal health worker

Torres Strait Islander health worker

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health work is an emerging area of work and occupational titles for those working in this area vary according to jurisdictional and workplace requirements.


All workers are to be given the opportunity to have their competencies recognised prior to undertaking any training. Assessment should focus on demonstration of the critical aspects of evidence and underpinning knowledge and skills identified in the units of competency.

Literacy/numeracy requirements

At Certificate III the level of English literacy/numeracy must:

support clear communication between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and the relevant health provider

enable performance of tasks to the level defined in the unit of competency

Assessment methods must reflect the actual skills and knowledge defined in each unit of competency. Assessment tasks involving literacy and numeracy must only be used in so far as the same level of literacy/numeracy is required to perform the function being assessed.

Work application

To be assessed as competent in this qualification, individual workers are required to undertake supervised work placements in a primary health care setting, supplemented by simulated practical application of skills and knowledge. Individuals must demonstrate consistency of performance over time to achieve competency outcomes.

The importance of culturally aware and respectful practice

All workers undertaking work in health need foundation knowledge to inform their work with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and co-workers and with clients and co-workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This foundation must be provided and assessed as part of a holistic approach to delivery and assessment of this qualification. Specific guidelines for assessment of this aspect of competency are provided in the Assessment Guidelines for the Health Training Package.



14 units of competency are required for award of this qualification, including:

13 core units

1 elective unit A wide range of elective units is available, including:

Relevant electives listed below

Units of competency to address workplace requirements and packaged at the level of this qualification or higher in Health and/or Community Services Training Packages

Where appropriate, to address workplace requirements, a unit of competency packaged at the level of this qualification or higher in other relevant Training Packages

Core units

add topic BSBINM201A Process and maintain workplace information

add topic HLTAHW301B Work in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health care context

add topic HLTAHW302B Facilitate communication between clients and service providers

add topic HLTAHW303B Advocate for the rights and needs of community members

add topic HLTAHW304B Undertake basic health assessments

add topic HLTAHW305B Plan and implement basic health care

add topic HLTAHW306B Provide information about social and emotional support

add topic HLTAHW307B Identify community health issues, needs and strategies

add topic HLTAHW308B Assist with basic health screening, promotion and education services

add topic HLTFA301C Apply first aid

add topic HLTIN301C Comply with infection control policies and procedures

add topic HLTOHS300B Contribute to OHS processes

add topic HLTPOP307C Provide information and support on environmental health issues

Relevant electives

add topic BSBWOR204A Use business technology

add topic CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

add topic CHCCD413D Work within specific communities

add topic CHCCHILD401A Identify and respond to children and young people at risk

add topic CHCCHILD404A Support the rights and safety of children and young people

add topic CHCCM401D Undertake case management

add topic CHCCM402D Establish and monitor a case plan

add topic CHCCS305B Assist clients with medication

add topic CHCLLN403A Identify clients with language, literacy and numeracy needs and respond effectively

add topic CHCMH301B Work effectively in mental health


add topic CHCMH411A Work with people with mental health issues

add topic CHCOHC303A Use basic oral health screening tools

add topic CHCOHC401A Inform and encourage clients and groups to understand and achieve good oral health

add topic CHCOHC402A Support clients and groups to learn practical aspects of oral health care

add topic CHCOHC404A Recognise and respond to signs and symptoms that may indicate oral health issues

add topic CHCOHC406A Provide or assist with oral hygiene (Note pre-requ: add topic HLTIN301C or add topic CHCOHS312B )

add topic CHCOHC407A Apply and manage use of basic oral health products

add topic HLTAHW309B Assist with substance misuse care

add topic HLTAHW310B Respond to emergencies

add topic HLTFA402C Apply advanced first aid (Note pre-requ: add topic HLTFA301C )

add topic SIRPDIS002A Deliver prescription medicines to customers outside the pharmacy


    Not Applicable

Entry Requirements

Not Applicable

Licensing Information

Not Applicable

Employability Skills

Refer to the Topic: Introduction to the Employability Skills Qualification Summaries