9 months full time.
Delivery mode:
Face to Face with eLearning
Start date:
3 February 2020
Study off-campus:
Available for Industry or VET Delivered to Secondary Schools.
Contact VU Polytechnic for more information
Application due dates:
Applications for this course are currently being accepted.


Build on your people skills for a diverse and rewarding career in the community sector with a Certificate III in Community Services at Victoria University Polytechnic.

This course provides a strong and broad foundation for working directly with clients in the community services sector. You’ll be able to focus on either community services or community development work.

We'll provide you with training in delivering programs for individuals, families and groups in a variety of settings. You’ll develop skills to empower and support people by learning about:

  • effective communication
  • meeting individual needs
  • cultural awareness and working with diverse people
  • community development
  • networking and teamwork
  • safe work practices.

With this qualification, you’ll be ready for entry-level jobs, or for undertaking further study in community services or community development.

Free TAFE 2020 - apply now

Eligible students won’t pay tuition fees for this course in 2020.

Free TAFE courses align with skills and jobs that are in high demand from Victorian employers.

Find out more about Free TAFE.

As part of Victoria University, Victoria University Polytechnic believes in inclusivity, diversity and opportunity. We have a strong history of community engagement and are proud of our varied cultural and community engagement projects with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Indigenous communities. VU works to address refugee issues, tackle diversity and social inclusion issues and improve the health and social wellbeing of the region.

Studying community services with us means you will be learning in an environment that values and embodies the principles of community development and community empowerment.

Victoria University Polytechnic is a supportive place to study. We have a range of academic support programs that can help you if you are struggling with your studies.

We can help you with your assignments and assessment tasks, maths, writing skills and English language support, as well as showing you effective ways to study and manage your time and preparation. Our study support programs include:

  • workshops and study groups
  • student mentors and peer learning
  • maths and writing resources.

We also have disability support services and counselling services available to all students.

Everything you learn at Victoria University Polytechnic has direct links to the real world. We have prioritised forming close partnerships with 10 key industries, and community services is one of these. You’ll learn from teachers who have valuable industry contacts and the latest industry-standard skills and knowledge.  

Learning with us means you’ll get the hands-on learning to be job-ready when you graduate.

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced Victoria University Polytechnic course advisers to get your questions answered.

Request a call back

TAFE resources


Develop the skills to support and empower individuals, families and groups with a Certificate III in Community Services.

Careers in community services

Welfare and community services is one of Australia’s fastest growing sectors and is expected to continue growing (JobOutlook). Studying a Certificate III in Community Services with Victoria University Polytechnic can help you get your foot in the door.

Working in community services is demanding but rewarding. You'll be able to work in entry-level jobs in a range of contexts including:

  • community based organisations
  • residential rehabilitation services
  • outreach services.

Example job titles include:

  • community care worker
  • recreational activities officer
  • residential support worker
  • neighbourhood centre worker
  • housing support worker.

Course structure

To be awarded CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services, a student must complete a total of twelve (12) units of competency, consisting of:

  • five (5) core units, and;

  • seven (7) elective units, consisting of:

  • at least five (5) units from the electives listed in the CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services qualification, and;

  • up to two (2) units from the electives listed in the CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services qualification, any endorsed training packages or accredited courses.

All electives chosen must contribute to a valid, industry-supported vocational outcome as well as be approved by the Polytechnic.

This qualification reflects the role of entry level community services workers who support individuals through the provision of person-centred services. Work may include day-to-day support of individuals in community settings or support the implementation of specific community-based programs.  At this level, work takes place under the direction of others and supervision may be direct or indirect. Work may take place in a range of community services organisations.

This qualification forms part of the credit suite specified by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) and may contribute towards the satisfactory completion of the Victoria Certificate of Education (VCE) or the Victoria Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take and optional elective units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type: VET

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full-fee paying place.

If you enrol in a:

  • Government subsidised place, you’ll pay a VET tuition fee and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee and course materials contribution. This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding.
  • full-fee paying place, you’ll pay the full-fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).

Calculate your course fees.

Find out:

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

Entry requirements

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs
VETiS: The literacy and numeracy levels of applicants will be assessed through consultation with the relevant secondary school.
For employment and practical placement purposes, this vocational sector typically requires a current and satisfactory Police Record Check and Working with Children Check. Failure to provide the required documents in the timeframe specified by the Course Coordinator, means you will be unable to undertake practical placement in a workplace and therefore not eligible to progress in this course.
The following are suggested sites you could visit to obtain these checks:
- Police Record Check - http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=274
- Working with Children Check - http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

Before you apply

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

  • Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
  • Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.

Apply direct to VU

Apply direct to VU using our admission centre submit applications for one or more courses, track and save your progress and upload additional information. Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

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Please note that if changes to this course occur, VU will notify students as soon as possible.

At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.