Personal care assistant

What they do

Personal care assistants support clients with their personal care (such as showering, dressing, and eating), communication and mobility needs. The level of assistance provided depends on the ability and health of the client.

They help plan the client’s care, follow the client’s treatment/therapy plan, and may assist with rehabilitation exercises and basic treatment. Personal care assistants monitor, and report changes in, their client’s health.

They may provide social support, take clients to appointments, and undertake basic cleaning tasks around clients’ homes.

Working conditions

Personal care assistants provide care in hospitals, residential health care settings, community centres, or in people’s homes.

Personal care assistants’ work hours vary depending on the particular role, but may include weekends, split shifts, or overnight work. Part-time work is often readily available.

Personal care assistants need sufficient physical health and fitness to help immobile or frail patients.

Tools and technologies

Personal care assistants may use hoists to lift clients in and out of bed, swivel cushions to assist clients get in and out of cars, and shower chairs to enable safe showering. They often use personal hygiene tools, such as shavers and nail trimmers.

Personal care assistants may also use special communication technology for clients with loss of hearing or sight.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a personal care assistant you usually need to gain a qualification in individual support, ageing support, or disability.

The Certificate III in Individual Support, Certificate IV in Ageing Support and Certificate IV in Disability are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. You will also usually need to complete first aid training. Provide First Aid training is available at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also undertake a traineeship in aged care work (level 3 or level 4), community care work (level 3 or level 4) or disability work (level 3 or level 4). The traineeships usually take between 12 and 24 months to complete. The disability work (level 3) traineeship is available as a school-based traineeship.

Required registration and licensing

To work as a personal care assistant in Western Australia you will need to obtain a National Police Certificate from the Western Australia Police Force or in person at Australia Post. If you are working with children, you will also need to obtain a Working with Children check via the Working with Children Check Website Western Australia.