Develop a meaningful career helping to care for patients in hospitals, with the Certificate III in Health Service Assistance HLT33115 at Victoria University Polytechnic.
This healthcare-assistant course provides a strong foundation for support roles in health settings. You’ll learn to work with patients under supervision of professional health staff.
You will graduate with practical skills in a range of healthcare tasks and hospital duties, including:
- transporting patients
- preparing and maintaining beds
- following basic food safety practice
- infection control and prevention
- recognising healthy body systems
- basic medical terminology
- workplace health and safety.
This course includes a work placement in a healthcare environment to help you further develop your skills and gain direct industry experience.
Free TAFE - apply now
Eligible students currently won’t pay tuition fees for this course. Free TAFE courses align with skills and jobs that are in high demand by Victorian employers.
Find out more about Free TAFE.
Everything you learn at Victoria University Polytechnic has direct links to the real world.
You’ll have the chance to put theory into practice in a 15-day placement that gives you hands-on work experience. 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 practical training to be job-ready when you graduate.
COVID-19 vaccine requirement
In response to Victoria's Roadmap announced in September 2021, all students must have any COVID-19 vaccine prior to the commencement of placement.
- You must provide evidence of having the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are not compliant with this requirement you are not eligible to undertake a placement and progress within the course.
- You must be willing to undergo any additional checks and immunisations as directed by the University.
VU's Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.
Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses.
We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice, and show you effective ways to study and manage your time.
Our programs include:
- drop-in sessions
- peer mentoring
- maths and writing resources
- resume and career guidance.
Our campus libraries have photocopying, computing and printing facilities as well as electronic and print resources.
You'll also have access to a rich collection of online resources at any time of the day or night, including:
- e-learning content for courses
- student email
- student software packages
- social networking tools.
On campus, we make sure that all of our students have access to digital resources. We offer:
Careers in health services
With this practical qualification, you’ll be ready to work in support roles in hospitals, community services and other health care settings. Job prospects are good, with employment for nursing support and personal care workers expected to grow strongly (Labour Market Insights).
You’ll be ready to provide a range of assistance to professional staff for the care of patients or clients. You’ll have the communication skills and technical and procedural knowledge to work in areas such as:
- health services
- patient support
- food services
- patient transport.
Example job titles include:
- nursing assistant
- nursing support worker
- operating theatre technician
- patient service assistant (PSA)
- ward assistant
- patient support assistant
- wards person
- patient care assistant
- ward support.
The course structure comprises the following core and elective units. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback.
To be awarded HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance, a student must successfully complete a total of fifteen (15) units of competency, comprising of:
seven (7) core units, and;
eight (8) elective units, consisting of:
at least six (6) units from the electives listed in the HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance qualification;
up to two (2) units from any endorsed training package or accredited course – these units must be relevant to the work outcome.
Elective units must be relevant to the work environment and the qualification, maintain the integrity of the AQF alignment and contribute to a valid, industry-supported vocational outcome.
VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback. Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT).
Group A - Operating theatre technician
Group A electives are not currently offered by the Polytechnic.
Group B - Assisting in nursing work in acute care
Other electives in transition
Units not offered from 1 January 2022 - Continuing students only
Recognition of Prior Learning and/or Credit Transfers
Previous completion of units at the Polytechnic or any other Registered Training Organisation and/or previous attainment of skills and knowledge may be credited towards this course. Units must satisfy the completion rules of the qualification and be assessed as appropriate by the Polytechnic.
This qualification reflects the role of a variety of workers who use a range of factual, technical and procedural knowledge to provide assistance to health professional staff for the care of clients. Health services assistance involves the worker in direct client contact under supervision.
Fees & scholarships
Fee type for this course: VET
Fee type definitions
The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full fee-paying place.
Students who enrol in a:
- government subsidised place pay subsidised tuition fees (the government contributes the rest), and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee along with any material fees
- full fee-paying place pay the full fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).
Find out more about:
- the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF)
- ways to pay your fees
- important fee dates
- how to apply for a VE/TAFE refund
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.
As part of the application process, applicants must complete a Pre-training Review (PTR) and undertake a literacy and numeracy (LN) assessment to determine suitability for admission.
Practical Placement requirements:
For employment and practical placement purposes, this vocational sector typically requires
- a current and satisfactory Police Record Check and
- Working with Children Check.
- evidence of Influenza vaccination
- all students must have any COVID-19 vaccine prior to the commencement of placement. Students will be required to provide evidence prior to commencement of placement. If students are not compliant with this requirement they are not eligible to undertake a placement and this will mean that they will not be able to progress within their course. 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/
Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.
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.
Available start dates:
- 17 October 2022
- 6 February 2023
- 9 March 2023
- 8 May 2023
- 10 July 2023
Before you apply
Before starting your application, please read through the step-by-step VU Polytechnic application process to make sure you have all the necessary documents and information ready to successfully complete your application.
Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:
- Credit transfer/Recognition of prior learning (RPL): 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.
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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