What are the top skills and accreditation employers are looking for in Individual Support Workers?

  1. Good literacy and numeracy (for example, to calculate a medication dosage)
  2. Current First Aid Certificate (essential for some roles)
  3. Current Police Check and Working with Vulnerable People clearance (varies between states)
  4. Entry qualifications (many employers will require you to have, or be working towards, a Certificate III in Individual Support. Some employers offer traineeships to help you get the experience you need and qualify).

If you need any of these accreditations, we can help you get the right certification or training and payment of licences. We can also help you access funding to cover their cost.

There are 3 categories of support workers and they range greatly in the kind of work environment and the types of work you would do.

  1. Domestic support worker – supporting their patient in a domestic setting like a home or private residence. Roles include home care (aged care) worker, domestic assistant (aged care), personal carer (assistant) and personal support worker (aged care).
  2. Clinical support worker – supporting their patients within a medical or clinical setting, like a hospital or private practice. Roles include disability (community) support worker and learning support assistant.
  3. Communal support worker – supporting both adults and children who are in challenging living situations or have an impairment, most commonly a social care worker. Roles include community support worker, community services worker and community house worker.

Values, attributes and experience employers often look for

Some support worker roles don’t ask for formal qualifications. Instead, an employer will want to know if you share their values and demonstrate the right attributes.


  • Caring and empathetic
  • Honest
  • Compassionate and person-centered
  • Patient


  • Communicates well and can build rapport with people
  • Has a genuine interest in people – along with empathy, care, respect and patience
  • Reliable, dependable, and trustworthy
  • Good team player and flexible (with good availability to cover a variety of shifts, often across a 24 hour, 7 day a week roster)
  • Attentive and aware – with good attention to detail and the needs of others


  • Life experience that involved care for others (nice to have)
  • Volunteer or paid experience (nice to have)

A job as a support worker can be incredibly rewarding. With huge demand right now, and growth anticipated to keep climbing, this is a great place to direct your career.

Download CoAct’s FREE Support worker application toolkit

There’s everything you need to help you tailor your own application.

Want help to apply? You’ve come to the experts

If you’d like help to get into a support worker role and are living with a disability, treated injury, illness or health condition, we can help. Give us a call on 1800 226 228 or register for Disability Employment Services online.

You can find out more about working as a support worker on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.

Want to know more?

Get in touch with the CoAct team today
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