1300 858 191     ·       info@ftta.com.au     ·       CONTACT FORM
  FACEBOOK     ·       LANGUAGES     ·       LOG IN

LMS

CHC40213 CERTIFICATE IV IN EDUCATION SUPPORT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Your questions about the 'Cert 4 in Education Support' answered

CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support


We answer your questions about the 'Cert 4 in Education Support'


Are you considering a challenging, stable yet rewarding career as a teacher aide in one of Australia's 9,477 schools? Are you asking yourself 'what is the Cert 4 in Education Support all about' or maybe 'what is the difference between the Cert 3 in Education Support and the cert 4 in education support?'


These questions are not uncommon. To answer these and many other questions, we have put together a detailed guide about the Cert 4 in Education Support. As the pre-eminent provider of research-based, best practice teacher aide courses, we want you to have the information that you need to make the best decision for your situation.


Female teacher aide reading to group of upper primary students in blue uniform

Our students learn industry best practice strategies such as explicit instruction and reading development strategies. Could this be you in a few months?


For the latest information about a particular course, click on the relevant link below:

Without doubt the most common question that we get is along the lines of 'what is the Cert 4 in Education Support?' or even 'should I do the Cert 4 in Education Support?' The answer is quite simple: yes, you should. Why? Because it makes you so much more employable, gives you an extra set of skills, and your resume looks better with a higher qualification. Sure it costs a bit more, but we think the benefits outweigh the additional cost 1000 fold.


After we explain this, many students then ask, 'how does the Cert 4 in Education Support make me more employable?' To answer this, let's take a step back. The CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support is what most students do around Australia and it's the broad, introductory teacher aide course. The Cert 4 in Education Support on the other hand, is the special need's teacher aide course which focuses on work with students with a disability, disorder or some other complex need. This point is important because the majority of positions in schools for support workers involve work with special needs (the bread and butter of teacher aides).


In fact, we estimate that about 80-90% of teacher aide positions are for work with special needs (whether a special needs school or an inclusive classroom environment). In other words, the Cert 4 in Education Support qualifies you for every support position giving you a leg up in the job market, a range of new skills and more confidence that you can perform to a high standard.


This article will answer all of your questions about this qualification, and then some! We've done the research and come up with the most accurate and relevant answers to your questions such as 'is the Cert 4 in Education Support difficult' and 'how long does the Cert 4 take to complete'?


If you don't have time to read this article, here's a quick summary:

  • The CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is the special need's course.
  • Almost all teacher aides work with special needs on a daily basis.
  • Special needs include gifted and talented, disabilities, and remedial/intervention programs.
  • Online study mode includes plenty of support including live webinars and tutorials.
  • The Certificate 4 in Education Support opens more doors as it qualifies you for all positions.
  • Government subsidises are available in Queensland for all teacher aide courses.
  • TAFEs are popular for high school graduates and people in very remote areas.
  • Student who have a routine and study consistently do not find this course difficult.
  • Teacher aides are also called integration aides, SSO, teacher assistant and other terms.
  • As there are many teacher aides in almost every school, there are many job opportunities.
  • Work is easy to find provided you enrolled with a reputable provider.
  • Wherever you enrol, ensure your provider teachers a range of techniques and strategies.
  • There are 17 units that make up the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support.
  • Enrol in a course that uses a clustered assessment approach as this reduces repetition.

Once you have completed your Cert 4 in Education Support (or any other course such as the popular Teacher Aide Combo) with a reputable provider, you could end up working in any number of Australia's 9503 schools.


In 2018, independent schools (including Catholic Schools) enrolled over 617,000 students, 16 per cent of the Australian student population. Source: Independent Schools Council of Australia


1. What is the Cert 4 in Education Support?
2. Is the Cert 4 in Education Support an online course?
3. What job will I get after I complete the Cert 4 in Education Support?
4. What is the difference between the Cert 4 in Education Support and the Cert 3 in Education Support?
5. How much is the Cert 4 in Education Support?
6. Is the Cert 4 in Education Support free?
7. Is the Cert 4 in Education Support government funded?
8. Should I study the Cert 4 in Education Support at TAFE or with FTTA?
9. Is the Cert 4 in Education Support the best way to become a teacher aide?
10. Is the CHC40213 Cert 4 in Education Support available in all of Australia?
11. Is the Cert 4 in Education Support a difficult course?
12. How long does the Cert 4 in Education Support take to complete?
13. Do I need the Cert 4 in Education Support to become an integration aide, learning support officer, SSO or teacher’s assistant?
14. Can I complete the Cert 4 in Education Support by RPL?
15. Where is the best place to enrol in the Cert 4 in Education Support?
16. Will I be able to get a job after completing the Cert 4 in Education Support?
17. What are the assessments in the Cert 4 in Education Support like?
18. What are the units in Cert 4 in Education Support?
19. What are the clusters in the Certificate 4 in Education Support?
20. How long will each cluster or unit in the Cert 4 in Education Support take to finish?
Summary

1. Question from Gracey in Brookwater, QLD:

'What is the Cert 4 in Education Support?'


Teacher assistant following best practice teaching strategies.

FTTA student on placement demonstrating her knowledge of best practice teaching strategies with a phonics activity.


Put quite simply, the Cert 4 in Education Support is the highest-level teacher aide qualification available in Australia. It is one step up from the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support which is the introductory teacher aide course. The CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is known in the industry as the required course to work as a special need's teacher aide. Special needs teacher aides can also be called integration aides, school support officers, learning support officers, teacher’s assistants, or a range of other terms depending on where you live.


The majority of teacher aides who work in special needs schools hold the Certificate 4 in Education Support. Special needs schools are specialist schools which are designed specifically for students with complex additional needs such as Autism and Down syndrome - they cater for high-needs students who often have multiple disabilities or disorders. The Cert 4 in Education Support covers all of the basics of working as a teacher aide (similar to the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support) with a greater emphasis on working with special needs students. The CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support also focuses on the strategies, systems, processes, policies, techniques, floor craft, and other relevant pedagogical approaches, required to work with students that need one-on-one and small group support from a highly trained special need's teacher aide.


Before we go any further, let’s have a quick look at what teacher aides do according to some recent studies from Australia and around the world:


A study in 2015 conducted in Queensland Australia, showed that most teacher aides work one-on-one with students or in small groups and therefore need to be well trained in instructional techniques.


Similarly, A 2015 study published in The Australian Association for Research in Education wrote that teacher aides work hard to improve students’ academic outcomes, particularly core subjects such as literacy and numeracy.


In terms of working with students with disabilities and complex needs, a 2018 study conducted in the ACT explained the important role that teacher aides play in supporting special needs students particularly those working in inclusive classrooms.


In addition to this study, another study from 2011 explained that “TAs have inadvertently become the ‘primary mechanism’ enabling students with disability and learning difficulties to attend mainstream schools…”. Howard and Ford in their 2007 study also agreed that teacher aides support students with complex needs as well as help the teacher with ‘planning, producing and adapting materials.’


For those across the ditch, a New Zealand study outlined and reinforced the importance of teacher aides for student development.


So in terms of Gracey's question: 'What is the Cert 4 in Education Support?' - the research shows that teacher aides predominantly work with special need's students in either a special need's schools or an inclusive classrooms (an inclusive classroom is a mainstream class with 1-3 students with a special need and a support worker). The Certificate 4 in Education Support focuses directly on this important aspect of teacher aides' work. This explains why graduates of this course are so invaluable to schools.


2. Question from Swee Ping in Canning Vale, WA:

'Is the Cert 4 in Education Support an online course?'


female teacher aide in a class with 2 students

FTTA students learn industry best practice skills and techniques which are implemented during the mandatory work placement. FTTA student on placement pictured.


The answer to Swee Ping's question: 'Is the Cert 4 in Education Support an online course?' is simple: Yes, the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is available as an online course. In fact, most students complete the Cert 4 in Education Support by enrolling in an online mode. This means that you're not required to attend classes, tutorials or workshops. There are also no exams or other difficult assessments such as long reports or essays. However, there are several things that you should know before enrolling in an online teacher aide course such as the Certificate 4 in Education Support.


It is important to bear in mind that no teacher aide course is actually 100% online regardless of who you choose as your provider. You will have contact with your trainer via phone for example (from most RTOs – there are some that don’t allow students to speak to a trainer except via email - not recommended) and students also need to complete a placement in a school (which for obvious reasons is certainly not an online component of your course).


We have found that the majority of students don't actually want a pure, 100% 'online' course anyway; many students want and need regular support from their trainer in one way or another - in fact, we call all of our online students on a regular basis to make sure that they are progressing including those enrolled in the higher-level Cert 4 in Education Support. Before handing over your hard-earned money to a provider, ask about the support services that they provide - this is after all what you are paying for! Support services can take the form of face to face meetings, phone calls, skype calls, workshops or tutorials. It can include live webinars and simply the ability to easily pick up the phone and have a chat with someone who has decades of experience as a teacher or teacher aide.


Quality support services like these will reduce the stress, frustration, and the number of issues that you may come across during your Certificate 4 in Education Support. Even the best students have issues from time to time, and choosing an RTO that provides a high level of support is absolutely critical to your success.


We believe that it's also important for students to stay in regular contact with their trainer – and as often as possible. We also highly recommend that our students attend as many tutorials and workshops as possible if they can make it to a venue near them. Our live webinars are also popular as it means you can ask questions, meet students from around the country and it helps to build a sense of community while showing you that others are in the same boat.


We hold regular live webinars as well as provide a library of pre-recorded webinars that can be watched at any time - all facilitated and presented by experienced teachers and teacher aides. This is almost the same as being in class in many respects. You can also speak to your trainer over the phone, via email, or book a one-on-one meeting - nowhere else will you get this level of service. Some students who live in regional or rural areas also speak to their trainers on a regular basis using Skype.


When you enrol in the Cert 4 in Education Support online however, you're not required to contact your trainer every single week, fortnight, month, etc. There is no rule or requirement per se. However, we try to keep in regular contact with students to help ensure that they stay on track, to keep them motivated, and to ensure that they get the support required in order to move through the course at a consistent and appropriate pace.


In addition, you should also consider the work placement requirement for the Certificate IV in Education Support. This particular aspect of your course is not online. The current requirement is to complete a minimum of 100-hours in a registered school. Many students complete more than the minimum required hours.


In summary, yes, the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support can be completed online except for the placement. However, it's important to bear in mind that online can mean many different things depending on your provider. It can, for example, mean that you're still attending classes or workshops on a regular basis - if you choose to do so. It can also mean that you attend online webinars each week. What it does not mean is that you go at it alone with little or no human interaction.


Want to learn more about studying online? It just happens that we wrote an article on that exact subject which you can read here.

3. Question from Phillipa in Alkimos, WA:

'What job will I get after I complete the Cert 4 in Education Support?'


teacher aide with resource folder of student activities in classroom

An FTTA student on placement implementing best practice reading and writing strategies.

Once you have completed the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support you are fully qualified to work at a teacher aide, integration aide, learning support officer, and school support officer anywhere in Australia.


Given that you hold the highest-level qualification (the Cert 4 in Education Support), you're able to work in almost any support position required by a school. There may be some exceptions to this however such Aboriginal and Indigenous Education Officers (AIEO) which requires the applicant to be of Aboriginal or Indigenous descent.


Generally, students complete the Cert 4 in Education Support in order to work with special needs. Special need's teacher aides are paid a higher rate in almost all cases than teacher aides who work in mainstream and particularly those who work in lower grades in more general positions. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that you are required to work in a special needs school. Some teacher aides who have completed the Certificate 4 in Education Support work in mainstream - having the higher qualification doesn't require you to work in higher positions.


This doesn't necessarily mean that you're overqualified for the job either. It just means that you have a higher level of skills and knowledge than most and are therefore capable of providing a better level of service to the students in your class.


So, what job will you get after 'completing the Cert 4 in Education Support' as Phillipa asked? Provided that you completed a high quality course and learnt industry best practice skills and techniques (explicit instruction, enquiry based learning, questioning skills, formative assessment etc.), then the doors are open - where do you want to work?


Learn more about how to become a teacher aide here or by reading our popular blog on teacher aide courses and qualifications here.


Once you have completed your Cert 4 in Education Support (or any other course such as the Teacher Aide Combo) with a reputable provider, you could end up working in any number of Australia's 9503 schools such as:

You could also choose between government (public including independent public schools or IPS), and non-government schools which includes religious, alternative and other private schools.

4. Question from Rachael in Aspley, Queensland:

'What is the difference between the Cert 4 in Education Support and the Cert 3 in Education Support?'


As we have discussed earlier, the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is for students who wish to work with special needs, or for those simply want to hold the highest qualification available. This gives you the maximum chance of finding work including being offered a contract and becoming a permanent employee of a school. It also gives you the confidence of knowing that you have completed the highest teacher aide qualification available in Australia.


While the Certificate IV in Education Support is predominantly for working in special needs, the Certificate 3 in Education Support only touches on the topic of special needs. The Cert 3 is a broad-based qualification that covers a range of topics focusing on non-disabled students such as literacy, numeracy, behaviour management and safety. It's important to remember however that all of the things that you will learn in the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support are applicable to students who have a disability and there is a significant overlap between the two courses.


For example, in the Certificate 3 in Education Support two of the most important strategies that you will learn is chunking and scaffolding. Chunking basically means that difficult or complex tasks are divided into smaller tasks and learnt one little piece at a time. Then scaffolding in used - as the student improves, the teacher (or the teacher aide) gradually withdraws their support and guidance until the task can be completed independently. Once a task has been achieved, a slightly more complex task is then tackled. This is a common approach that is taught in universities to teachers around the world.


Obviously, this important strategy is applicable when working with students with disabilities as well as with students who do not have a disability. Students learn these strategies in the Cert 3 in Education Support and apply it in a broad sense. In the Cert 4 in Education Support, students learn how to apply these particular strategies while working with students with complex needs. As you can imagine, not learning these key strategies by enrolling in a cheap teacher aide course will leave your skills lacking and your work performance in tatters.


Teacher aide on placement demonstrating techniques such as scaffolding.

FTTA student on placement for the Cert 4 in Education Support demonstrating her knowledge of best practice teaching techniques such as scaffolding. Could this be you?


Another difference is the cost. Unless the course is government funded, typically the Cert 4 in Education Support is slightly more expensive. One of the reasons for this is that very few training providers (including TAFEs) deliver the Cert 4 in Education Support. It is a specialised course that requires experienced trainers and curriculum developers. While the Certificate 4 in Education Support might be slightly more expensive, it is definitely worth the extra expense in our opinion, given the benefits.


Which course takes the longest to complete? Both the Cert 3 and Cert 4 in Education Support are relatively similar in terms of the time that it takes to complete. In fact, some people tell us that the Cert 3 in Education Support was harder and took a little bit longer. This is because the Cert 3 in Education Support is so broad (it applies to all students) and many students are learning new things (such as strategies) for the first time. The CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support is similar in content but focuses on a single cohort - students with disabilities. This focus makes the Cert 4 in Education Support easier than the Cert 3 in Education Support in many ways.


In summary and the answer the question succinctly, if you're absolutely certain that you will work in a special need's centre, you should be looking at the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support, or the Teacher Aide Combo. However, if you're thinking about working in mainstream (such as in kindergarten), you may consider the lower level qualification for now. We recommend the higher level Cert 4 in Education Support or the Teacher Aide Combo as it gives you maximum skills and employability.


The CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support may be more suitable for those who have never studied before, have no experience with children, have recently left high school, English is their second language, or for those who have a learning disability or disorder. Speak with your provider about your situation for the best advice.


The Cert 3 version of this article can be accessed at this link.

5. Question from Carla in South Coogee, NSW:

'How much is the Cert 4 in Education Support?'


The cost of the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support varies from provider to provider. The cost also depends on a range of other factors such as if the course is government funded in your state. Unfortunately, there is no funding for the Cert 4 in Education Support in the majority of states of Australia. We recommend checking our website and clicking on the fees tab to determine if there is government funding in your area.


As we have touched on in other articles, it's also important to consider the total and true cost of enrolling in any program whether the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support, the Cert IV in Education Support or the Teacher Aide Combo. The total cost of enrolling in your teacher aide course is much more than the course fee. It's important to also consider whether there are additional costs such as:

  • Childcare costs (particularly if you are required to attend compulsory classes)
  • Loss of income (high level of support = shorter duration in many cases)
  • Other fees that may not be advertised:
    • textbook fees
    • unit by unit fees
    • work placement fees
    • enrolment fees
    • administration fees
    • graduation fees

Another important factor to consider is whether the RTO provides sufficient support services and if you feel comfortable working with that RTO on a daily basis. For example, can you easily speak with and meet with your your trainer? Can you attend tutorials and workshops? Even the best students need to meet with their trainer on a regular basis to ensure that they are progressing and to get the most out of their course.


Also, remember that the certificate you are issued in the end is worthless if you start working and don't have the necessary skills to do the job. Does the provider teach a range of techniques, strategies and skills such as metacognitive skills, worked examples, the levels of instruction etc.? These are vitally important to your work as a teacher aide and it's essential that you enquire as to what you will learn before enrolling in the Cert 4 in Education Support.


6. Question from Georgina in Sippy Downs, QLD:

'Is the Cert 4 in Education Support free?'


Generally, for the great majority of students, the Cert 4 in Education Support is unfortunately not a free course at this stage. In Queensland, the cost of the government subsidised course is $50 for concession, and $100 for non-concession (at the time of writing anyway - check our website for the latest fees). For full fee-paying students, we try to keep the fee at a very affordable rate, while still offering a high level of support services such as visiting students in the workplace to help you perfect your professional practice.


We offer the Teacher Aide Combo across Australia with a $1500 saving on completing two separate courses - one way we help to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in high quality training. This course combines the best of the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support and the popular Cert 4 in Education Support. At this point the Teacher Aide Combo is not available with any government subsidies (students can only enrol in individual courses if the are intending on applying for government funding).


7. Question from Nicole in Hendra, QLD:

'Is the Cert 4 in Education Support government funded?'


The Cert IV in Education Support is government funded in some states - namely Queensland at this point. It is not a government funded course in Western Australia. Some states such as Queensland offer government funding for eligible students thanks to funding provided by the QLD government. Check the fees tab of FTTA's course page for the latest information relevant to you.


Note that some funding is available in several states for traineeships however the cost of traineeships is often comparable, the same or even more expensive than enrolling as a fee for service student (paying the fees yourself). Sometimes workplaces will also pay for all or some of your fees to help you out (many are required to as per the state or territory's employment agreement for teacher aides).


In Queensland, FTTA is one of the few approved to provide the Cert 4 in Education Support with government subsidies ($50 fee for concession and $100 for standard enrolments at the time of writing). As mentioned earlier, it's important to recognise that the full cost of the course is not just the upfront fee – consider the services provided to you, the availability of trainers for face to face meetings and whether the provider visits you in the workplace during your placement to help improve and perfect your practice.


Please note that funding availability may change from time to time - check our website for the latest details (under the main course tab for each course) or our blog about government funded teacher aide courses here.

8. Question from Subha from Piara Waters, WA:

'Should I study the Cert 4 in Education Support at TAFE or with FTTA?'


teacher aide working in a school with one-on-one

FTTA student successfully implements several research-based reading strategies. Could you do this?

TAFE providers are typically known for enrolling younger students such as those who have recently completed high school. In the past, TAFE has typically been known and is still known, as the provider for high school leavers (under the age of 18) and in many respects function like a continuation of high school. Private providers, however, are well-known as the main providers of courses such as the Cert 4 in Education Support for adult learners (over 20 years of age or thereabouts).


Adult learners and high school leavers have very different learning need's profiles. Adults are independent learners who need support and flexibility with an adult-orientated approach. Younger students need supervision and continual guidance (I'm obviously generalising here).


Private providers are known to be less bureaucratic, have better support services, much better technology, significantly higher completion rates (quite often double that of most TAFE providers which may be due in some part to the different cohorts), and can often be cheaper even if the TAFE is offering government subsidies.


In other words, if you are a school leaver, TAFE may be the best option for you especially if you're not working and think you will enjoy spending 3-5 days per week in class. If however you're an adult learner who needs flexibility and a technological solution to aid you in achieving your learning goals, a private provider is potentially more suitable for you.


Both the Cert 3 in Education Support and the Cert 4 in Education Support teach the cutting-edge teaching techniques, skills and methods that will help cement your place as an essential and vital member of the school community (at least at FTTA). We ensure all our students develop a high level of pedagogical knowledge. This includes the dozens of strategies that you are unlikely to learn anywhere else including:

  • explicit instruction and worked examples,
  • student-centred activities such as pair and group work,
  • teacher-centred activities such as board work and discussions,
  • questioning skills and techniques such as prompting and wait time,
  • play based learning and enquiry-based learning,
  • motivation strategies such as building self-esteem and micro-goals,
  • metacognitive skills (thinking about thinking) and coping strategies,
  • level of instruction such as guided and shared learning,
  • reading and writing support strategies such as remedial and intervention programs,
  • numeracy support strategies such as number sense and games,
  • gross motor and fine motor support strategies such as purposeful practice massed practice and spaced practice, and
  • many more!

Want to learn more about teacher aide courses? We have written a detailed article on the topic: 18 thing you need to know about teacher aide courses.

9. Question from Debra from Maitland, SA:

'Is the Cert 4 in Education Support the best way to become a teacher aide?'


The Cert 4 in Education Support is the most effective, efficient, and easiest way to become a special needs teacher aide - in our opinion. Special need's teacher aides typically hold the Cert 4 in Education Support however they may also hold the lower level Cert 3 in Education Support (this is however becoming less common as the industry continues to professionalise). If you're applying for a job to become a special needs teacher aide, chances are the school will expect that you have completed the Cert 4 in Education Support with a reputable provider (this helps to ensure that you know the best practice teaching and learning strategies that schools need you to know).


Sometimes you can work as a special needs teacher aide if you don't hold the Cert 3 in Education Support or the Cert 4 in Education Support. This can happen in rare instances such as if you have an overseas teaching qualification (i.e. masters from a comparable country such as the UK) or you have a high-level childcare qualification such as an advanced diploma. A partly completed degree or qualification in another area such as psychology is not acceptable in most cases. However, even in these instances we still recommend completing the Cert 4 in Education Support to ensure that you are across all of the policies, procedures, strategies and other bits and pieces that you will only learn from enrolling in a good quality, best practice teacher aide course.


About 10 years ago, the majority of people who worked in special needs didn't hold the Cert 4 in Education Support or any other qualification for that matter. However, these days, schools need to know that all of their staff have the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the needs of students with complex behavioural and learning needs. For example, untrained teacher aides will give students the answer to a question nearly 7x as often as a person who is well trained – why? The reason is that trained educators (at least those who have completed a course with a good provider) know that task completion is not the goal – conceptual understanding is much more important. This is but one example of why schools are quickly moving towards requiring all support staff to hold the Cert 4 in Education Support.


To learn more about what teacher aides do across Australia, read our blog about it here.

10. Question from Frances Maringaret River, WA:

'Is the CHC40213 Cert 4 in Education Support available in all of Australia?'


As with the previous question, the answer to this is quite simple - yes. Schools across the country will generally require that you hold the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support especially if you're applying for a level 3 or other higher-level position to work with special needs.


This doesn't necessarily mean that you won't get a job if you don't hold the Cert 3 in Education Support, however it is the standard qualification that almost everyone holds in special needs schools and by those working with students with complex needs such as multiple-disabilities.


In Australia there is no state or territory (at the time of writing) that legally requires teacher aides to hold a nationally recognised qualification such as the Cert 4 in Education Support. There is also no formal or legal requirement for you to hold the Cert 4 to work with special needs students or students with disabilities either.


To return to the question: 'Is the CHC40213 Cert 4 in Education Support available in all of Australia?' Yes - it is available by class or distance learning in all of Australia (with some exceptions such as Antarctica because it doesn't have an Australian school. Fun fact: there are two schools in Antarctica!).

11. Question from Natascha from Edwardstown, SA:

'Is the Cert 4 in Education Support a difficult course?'


Student from FTTA during her Cert 4 in Education Support placement.

FTTA student showing resources developed by her students during her Cert 4 in Education Support placement in a local school.


The Cert 4 in Education Support is slightly more difficult than the Cert 3 in Education Support however most students probably wouldn't notice the difference. Neither of these courses are that difficult in comparison to many other course where students learn to code or study electrical engineering for example. The Cert 4 in Education Support is not beyond the reach of the majority of people particularly if they have experience with children in some capacity. In fact, we very rarely have students who withdraw, drop-out, do not finish or 'fail', unless they decide to stop learning for personal or other reasons beyond their control – it isn’t because the course was too hard per se.


The one exception to this is students who are still learning English such as migrants. Generally, we identify these students on enrolment however and determine the best course of action that suits the needs and abilities of the student. There is no point in letting students start the course when there is a high chance that they will not be capable of finishing it. For native speakers who can read a newspaper and send emails, the Cert 4 in Education Support is not a problem typically speaking (at least as far as the language component - there is no maths component except for helping students in schools).


Students who work through the course materials and keep in regular contact with their trainer, generally do not have any problems completing this course. Yes, there are sections which are more difficult than others, but nothing that can’t be overcome with a bit of hard work, dedication and helpful support from an experienced and friendly trainer with decades of experience in the field.


As with learning anything new, you will be frustrated, annoyed, and confused from time to time. This is completely normal and happens to everyone who enrols in a course (whether it be accounting, teaching, skydiving, hairdressing - learning something new is challenging). This is especially the case for adults who are not used to studying and learning. A good quality course is aware of these issues and compensates for them with various andragogical approaches such as teaching metacognitive skills.


That is why it is important to enrol with a provider who offers you a significant amount of support services and is geared towards adult learning - their courses are more likely to be designed in accordance with the known 'principles of adult learning.' Even the most confident, experienced and best students will benefit from ongoing and regular support from their trainer.


12. Question from Kylie from Bligh Park, NSW:

'How long does the Cert 4 in Education Support take to complete?'


Kylie asks, 'how long does the Cert IV takes to complete?' Generally speaking, the Cert IV in Education Support takes approximately six months to complete or around 26 weeks. This equates to around 600 hours for someone with no experience with children. For students who have experience with children including parents, the Cert 4 in Education Support is probably going to relatively easy - you will still need to put in the time and effort, but it will more than likely not take anywhere near 600 hours.


Some students aim to complete the course in a shorter period of time such as those who have studied before or who have experience in schools. Other students aim to complete the course in a longer period of time such as those who work full-time. It really depends on how much time you are willing to put in each day, week and month.


It also depends on a range of other factors such as the support provided by your RTO, the resources and assessments the provider supplies, the quality of your trainers, your previous education, whether you're confident studying online, and whether you get sick, take holidays, or there are other interruptions along the way.


Some students may be suited to our Accelerated Program. This is appropriate if the student has substantial experience in a school or has previously completed a related course but is not quite eligible for recognition of prior learning or RPL for the Cert 4 in Education Support.


13. Question from Andrew from Noble Park, Victoria:

'Do I need the Cert 4 in Education Support to become an integration aide, learning support officer, SSO or teacher’s assistant?'


Amazingly, all of these terms refer to the exact same job! The only difference is the location. So, the answer to this question is "Yes" the Cert 4 in Education Support is the nationally recognised qualification for all of these positions.


In Western Australia teacher aides are called education assistants or EAs for short. In South Australia teacher aides are called school support officers or SSOs for short. In Victoria teacher aides are called integration aides. In Brisbane teacher aides are quite often just called teacher aides, but sometimes they can also be called teacher assistants. Around the world teacher aides go by various different title as well such as para-educator and paraprofessional particularly in the countries where higher level (almost university level) qualifications and apprenticeships are required.


It's important to bear in mind that schools use their teacher aides for various different reasons whether you are an LSO, SSO or an integration aide – two SSO can do two very different jobs. The difference between what you do and what someone in the next class does, can be substantial. Check your job description, ask your school or ask your teacher about your expected tasks and responsibilities.


14. Question from Carley in Mooroolbark, Victoria:

'Can I complete the Cert 4 in Education Support by RPL?'


The Cert 4 in Education Support can certainly be completed by recognition of prior learning or RPL as it is most commonly called. You will however, be required to show that you have about 5 years' experience, currently work in a school as a teacher aide, and have completed ongoing and regular professional development such as seminars, short courses and so forth.


If you're interested in recognition of prior learning, we recommend that you read our RPL flyer on our website or contact FTTA.


15. Question from Diana from Wanniassa, ACT:

'Where is the best place to enrol in the Cert 4 in Education Support?'


Teacher aide best practice reading and writing skills.

FTTA students learn best practice skills such as reading and writing (literacy) strategies.


You have a range of different options if you are considering enrolling in a CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. Typically speaking if you're a young student (for example under the age of 18 or 19), enrolling in a TAFE course may be the best option for you if it's available in your local area. TAFEs are generally known for enrolling younger students such as high school leavers.


TAFE is one of the best options if you need the structure of being in class several days per week for a semester or two. This could be appropriate for some people who have no other commitment such as family, work, etc. and who need the structure and rigour of a full-time class-based course.


If, however, you're an adult learner (over the age of 20), a private provider such as FTTA is probably your best bet. Private providers are well known for case managing and supporting adult learners and understand the needs of busy adult learners. In fact, our whole organisation is based around supporting adult learners from admin systems, payment plans, course design, assessments, placement requirements, policies and procedures and so forth - teaching adults is our bread and butter. Because of this our courses are based on the principles of adult learning and our success rate is much higher than the public TAFEs in terms of the percentage of students who finish the Cert 4 in Education Support.

16. Question from Jenny in Westbury, TAS:

'Will I be able to get a job after completing the Cert 4 in Education Support?'


Many people ask this question - and so they should! It's important to understand that many schools have more teacher aides, especially special need's teacher aides, than they actually have teachers. In fact, some special needs schools have 40 or 50 special need's teacher aides but only have 10 or so teachers.


Will you find work? We can't guarantee it obviously, but there's certainly plenty of jobs out there for those that have the right personality, demeanour, training, and who are able to put together a decent resume. If you enrol with a reputable provider that teaches you best practice skills and strategies, your chances of finding work also improves.


Many of our students find work where they undertake their placement; others find work in a school in their local area by doing relief work to begin with. This is where you work as a kind of 'substitute' teacher aide on a casual basis. Once schools are happy with you and get to know you a little, they are likely to offer more permanent work. This is another reason why learning best practice skills is essential - if you don't, finding and securing work is very difficult as you may not have the skills and knowledge to effectively support student learning to the extent that schools (and parents, teacher and the community) require.


Wonder how much teacher aides get paid? We have done the hard work and put an article together just for you. Click here.

17. Question from Aaron in Jordan Springs, NSW:

'What are the assessments in the Cert 4 in Education Support like?'


The easiest way to answer this question is to provide several examples of the kind of assessment activities that you may come across in the Cert 4 in Education Support. As you can see, they are not overly difficult or technical – this is however only a sample. The Cert 4 in Education Support is not a technical course like programming, accounting or engineering. If you have experience with children or have studied before (and provided you put in the time and effort), this is not an overly difficult course. It still does require however, a certain amount of time to complete the learning and assessment activities in order to learn everything that you will need to know to be effective the workplace.


The examples below are from the Cert 4 in Education Support - what answers do you think you would provide?


Example 1 - Complete the table below by providing an overview of 4 disabilities (100 words each approx.).

Disability

Overview

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Deaf and hearing impaired

Dyslexia and Dyscalculia

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Example 2 - Choose one of the disabilities above and explain 3 impacts on learning.

Disability:

___________________________________

1.

2.

3.

Example 3 - List 4 additional risks that education assistants need to be aware of when supervising students with disabilities outside of the normal classroom environment.

1.

2.

3.

4.

18. Question from Marie in Larrakeyah, NT:

'What are the units in Cert 4 in Education Support?'


There are 17 units that make up the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support. You can find these on our website under the main Cert IV in Education Support course page.


19. Question from Ji Young in Mount Waverley, Victoria:

'What are the clusters in the Certificate 4 in Education Support?'


The current clusters for the Cert 4 in Education Support are displayed below. Each cluster represents a key task, role or responsibility of special need's teacher aides in the real world.

  • Cluster 1 - Health & Safety
  • Cluster 2 - Literacy & Numeracy
  • Cluster 3 – Behaviour Management
  • Cluster 4 – Disabilities
  • Cluster 5 – Diversity

We recommend enrolling with a provider that offers their course in a clustered approach as this saves you time. Saving time means you can finish faster which means you're qualified and able to start working and earning money sooner rather than later. Clustering achieves this by removing all of the annoying duplicated content requirements. If you have studied any course (particular in the Australian VET system) you will know what I mean! Clustering related units together can save anywhere up to 30% and sometimes more, depending on the cluster and the unit requirements.

20. Question from Karen in Joondalup, WA:

'How long will each cluster or unit in the Cert 4 in Education Support take to finish?'


Generally speaking, each cluster of units will take approximately 2 to 6 weeks to finish depending on the student and the cluster.


Some clusters are a lot easier than others; some have a lot more reading and more background knowledge is required. For example, the disability cluster from the Cert 4 in Education Support is slightly more detailed and longer than many of the other clusters. This is due to the fact that the whole qualification is built around working with students with disabilities (so it's important) and we cover several of the main disabilities and disorders in detail. However, if you have experience with working or caring for people who have one or more disabilities or disorders, you will find this particular cluster relatively easy and will potentially finish it sooner than your peers.


Other factors will affect how long it takes each person to finish a cluster such as their experience in the industry or related industries and their abilities in general. Also, some students work harder than others and can set aside more time per week. On the other hand, some students are very time poor and will be happy to spread their course out over a longer period of time.


Summary

The Cert 4 in Education Support is a popular course that qualifies you to work with students with special needs. We highly recommend this course over the CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support. The Teacher Aide Combo is also highly recommended.


In this article we have taken a detailed look at the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support and covered everything that you need to know in order to make a decision about which is the best provider for you, which mode suits your needs and goals, and whether this particular qualification is the right course for you overall. We've talked about whether you should study online, whether the course is available via government funding and whether it's free in your state. We also discussed the fact that TAFE is the preferred provider for high school students whereas private providers are the preferred option for adult learners. We ended by briefly explaining why a clustered model of assessment is the best approach.


For more information about this or any other course, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team.


About the author

Image of the managing director of FTTA.

ADAM GREEN

Adam Green is an advisor to government, a registered teacher, an instructional designer and an author. He is completing a Doctor of Education and was previously head of department for one of the country’s largest SAER (students at educational risk) schools. Adam is managing director of Fast Track Training Australia, an accredited training provider for thousands of teacher aides every year.

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to check his article for accuracy, information may be outdated, inaccurate or not relevant to you and your location/employer/contract. It is not intended as legal or professional advice. Users should seek expert advice such as by contacting the relevant education department, should make their own enquiries, and should not rely on any of the information provided.

OUR RESEARCH-BASED TEACHER AIDE COURSES

CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support & CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support

INTRODUCTORY COURSE

CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support

The introductory teacher aide course for anyone seeking to work as a support worker.

LEARN MORE

SPECIAL NEED'S COURSE

CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support

Maximise your job prospects and skills with the highest level teacher aide course.

LEARN MORE

TEACHER AIDE COMBO

A streamlined program saving you time and money

Turbo charge your resume and save $1500 with our most popular teacher aide course.

LEARN MORE

SAMPLE RESOURCES

Sample course resources and materials

View resources and materials from our research-based, best practice teacher aide courses.

LEARN MORE

AUSTRALIA'S MOST POPULAR TEACHER AIDE COURSES

CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support & CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support

1 IN 2 CHOOSE FTTA

1 in 2 study the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support with FTTA.

PAYMENT PLANS FROM $40

Interest free plans from $40 - no hidden fees, includes all resources.

GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES

From $50 - courses subsidised by the Queensland government.

SUPPORT

Live webinars, regular tutorials, phone and email support.

PLACEMENT

We visit every learner on placement to help improve your practice.

30-DAY NO OBLIGATION

A 30-day no obligation period so you can be sure the course is for you.

MODES

Supported, self-paced distance mode or class from 1 day per week.

RESEARCH-BASED CONTENT

Learn industry best practice and research-based pedagogy.

ESTABLISHED PROVIDER

An established provider with more than 5000 happy graduates.

INTRODUCTORY COURSE

CHC30213 Certificate III in Education Support

The introductory teacher aide course for anyone seeking to work as a support worker.

LEARN MORE

SPECIAL NEED'S COURSE

CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support

Maximise your job prospects and skills with the highest level teacher aide course.

LEARN MORE

TEACHER AIDE COMBO

A streamlined program saving you time and money

Turbo charge your resume and save $1500 with our most popular teacher aide course.

LEARN MORE

SAMPLE RESOURCES

Sample course resources and materials

View resources and materials from our research-based, best practice teacher aide courses.

LEARN MORE

ABOUT US

With more than 5000 graduates, FTTA is the go-to provider for teacher's aide courses. 1 in 2 students choose to study the CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support with FTTA.

              

CONTACT US

SEND