Employers reject Cert III graduates

Aged care employers are refusing to hire qualified graduates of Certificate III in Aged Care courses because of concerns over the quality of their training, new research has found.

Aged care employers are refusing to hire qualified graduates of Certificate III in Aged Care courses because of concerns over the quality of their training, new research has found.

In particular facilities are sceptical about very short courses offering simulated rather than workplace training and courses with minimal clinical supervision.

In the NSW study, two out of the 10 employers surveyed refused to employ new graduates on the grounds their clinical skills and knowledge were unacceptable and risked patient safety. A further two facilities said they would only accept graduates with a Certificate IV in Aged Care qualification.

Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in this study were offering courses as short as four weeks’ duration and clinical exposure ranging from 90 to 120 hours. One RTO did not offer any clinical supervision to students on work placement.

According to the latest aged care workforce statistics, half of residential care facilities faced a shortage of personal care workers and one-third of community care providers were short of community care workers.

The researchers said it was a major concern that RTOs were able to charge students widely varying fees – in some cases thousands of dollars – for highly variable education content, clinical experience and employment prospects.

The authors wrote:

“There is a significant risk that students will pay high fees to obtain qualifications that either are too low a level or are tacitly unacceptable to employers.”

The study by Sharlene Smith and Stella Stevens from the University of Tasmania was published in the latest issue of the Australasian Journal on Ageing and adds to similar findings made by the national VET regulator in its major review of aged care training released in December.

To help address some of these issues, Ms Smith and Ms Stevens called for this workforce to be regulated under the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency and for the titles and roles of care workers to be clarified and more clearly defined.

The authors said tougher regulation would help ensure the content, duration and quality of work placements offered by Certificate III in Aged Care courses became standardised.

LASA CEO Patrick Reid said minimal requirements for registering as a training organisation was contributing to uncontrolled supply and highly variable quality.

As a registered training organisation in two states, LASA is competing with courses provided by some RTOs for as low as $100, he said.

Mr Reid said LASA supported greater scrutiny of RTOs and course delivery but that government funding levels also needed to be adequate to ensure delivery of education was sustainable.

“State and federal governments cannot abrogate their responsibility to improve skills and assist industry in providing high quality staff for the care of older Australians,” he said.

The issue of variable course standards also featured prominently in evidence to the Productivity Commission’s Caring for Older Australians inquiry in 2011.

Related Australian Ageing Agenda coverage: Regulator urges action on aged care training

What do you think about the quality of Certificate III in Aged Care courses? Take part in our poll (below, right) or comment below.

Tags: certificate III, education-and-training, personal-carers, rtos, slider, workforce,

8 thoughts on “Employers reject Cert III graduates

  1. It is all very well for this sort of scare propaganda, how many of these so called aged care employer service providers offer students work placement hours so that the students can be trained in a workplace environment?

    Week after week we hear how there is a lack of so- called trained age care workers available for the jobs advertised.

    According to the latest aged care workforce statistics, half of residential care facilities faced a shortage of personal care workers and one-third of community care providers were short of community care workers.

    WELL!!! Stop complaining and offer RTOs and students the opportunity to obtain workplace hours.

    Do your part to support the industry instead of throwing sticks and stones at training organisations, most of whom are doing the right training with very little assistance from providers.

  2. I signed up to complete Cert 3 in aged care because the RTO consultant / salesman gave me information which led me to believe it was the Govt required basic qualification for all who wanted to work in aged care.

    Then I was offered a job as Chaplain, and was not required to do the cert 3 course. In fact I would have been unable to complete it because of the required 120 hours of work placement. Being a chaplain and a carer are not complimentary roles.

    There was then a near impossibility of me withdrawing from the course, as the RTO only gave me 7 days for a cooling off period. After multiple complaints they have now told me that they will have compassion on my case, and I won’t have to make any further payments, but my auto payments from my credit card have to be stopped by them. Can you guess what my last complaint was about?

    I won’t be saying anything good about that RTO.

  3. Students find it hard to do workplace hours when Aged care facilities do not support the industry by offering these students the placement they require to attain actual experience in a work environment

  4. I totally agree. Haviing students complete a very comprehensive course in Aged Care Cert III or HACC Cert III the difficulty is finding work placement within the industry for these students. How are students expected to gain experience when the Aged Care providers continue to say they are too busy or don’t accept students on work placement.

    The greatest insult to the prospective student/employee is when the service has the audacity to then say “OH come back to us when you have qualified”.

    The Aged Care industry will never have enough staff whilst this attitude prevails.
    Surely acceptiing students on work placement and putting energy into their supervision will allow the prospective employer a more comprehensive knowledge of a potential employee. Give them a go!!!!

  5. I have been a carer for many years and studied my certificate 3 for Aged Care with TAFE. It’s not a case of throwing sticks and stones which is a ridiculous comment. In reality we are looking after human beings that deserve quality care. To provide this care people need the appropriate education and a true understanding of both the resident and families needs. I have buddied so many students that have come from these short courses and they have no idea of basic duties and equipment, causing me to have to educate them as we go along, which is not what I am meant to do but have no choice knowing these people will soon be out in the workforce looking after vulnerable aged residents. I also have new students that are unable to speak clear English making them unable to be understood by both staff and the residents. I was under the impression one of the main duties was communication skills, which unfortunately is not happening due to lack of skills and the aged needs. People need to realise it is not a right just because they have done a course to work with the aged it is a privilege that needs to be upheld in the most respectful and knowledgeable way. In case most have forgotten if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have a job and they pay to have quality care which they deserve.

  6. I can only agree with the recent comments that state the facts.

    As an RTO that provides quality training and assessing to cert III and Above, we find it increasingly more difficult for students to gain access to clinical supervision hours on the floor. The cost of training is NOT cheap, and quality training is the most expensive option.

    The students that are looking for training do not want to pay top dollar, and we refuse to lower our standard. The results are less students , less clinical placements, for us, and staff industry shortage for the facilities.

    while we are expected to train the care worker to an industry standard, including complex dementia care, communication and legislative frameworks, there is much more to training quality carers than teaching them accreditation standards, and basic care. Unfortunately the pay rates attract a lower socio-economical student, usually with ESL issues, and poor motivation to succeed at a high level.

    As an RTO we look for partnerships in education and clinical leadership. This concept is not usually the choice that the providers want to go into. Some leadership is needed to fix these issues at the coal face. I wonder who will come to the line first.

  7. As an educator working in an aged care facility, that I agree there is an issue with Cert III training. I have turned back RTOs from placing students within my facility when you hear:
    they have spent 6 weeks in class (Mon- Fri – 9-3pm ) and Fridays is for completion of written assessment, the students have ‘seen’ a hoist, there is no simulation of activities prior to attending a placement.
    It is not up to the industry to train these students. We do not get paid for the hours staff put in to upskilling these students to the standard required. Students should commence placement with a minimum standard and adequate knowledge – not only have had 6 hrs of training in Dementia, they have no idea about care plans and their requirements.
    I do not want to be a negative nelly, as there are some great RTOs out there who prepare their students well, and ensure they have the knowledge required. Unfortunately, it is these ‘rogue’ RTOs who want the money, do very little for the students, never visit the students on placement, and the they expect the workplace to complete the assessments. Staff at facilities are busy enough without having to do the work the RTO is being paid to do.

    and don’t get me started on students who have very little English (speaking and reading) or are deemed competent – how can they be deemed competent when they don’t meet the criteria in the training package – how can they read and follow care plans, speak with residents, etc. It is beyond me.

  8. It’s 2023, and above comments are just as relevant, I did not complete the placement part of my study and certainly would not have been competent if I had, 1 staff member inferred we have too many students and not enough staff to take time to show how to complete tasks and sign off paper work, new staff employed, well not being able to complete basic tasks for residents, don’t get me started on verbal or written competency, not to mention favouritism starting to show, I was selfless it cost me my qualification but I stayed true for the sake of my honesty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *