Becoming a support worker

What does a care or disability support worker do?

Last updated 10 May 2023

With a severe shortage of both aged care and disability support workers in Australia, there has never been a better time to join the support workforce.

Around 4.4 million people in Australia live with disability. The National Disability Insurance Scheme supports more than half a million Australians. On the other hand, more than one-third of a million people (371,000) are using aged care services in Australia, which include home care (Home Care Packages Program), Home support (Commonwealth Home Support Programme) and Residential aged care.

In this article, find out what aged care and disability support workers do, how you can gain skills to become one, and how you can join Mable as an Independent Support Worker to find your own pool of clients and manage your bookings through the platform.

Job description of an NDIS support worker 

NDIS disability support workers play a key role in ensuring people receive the assistance they need over their lifetime and their work can make a significant difference to the quality of someone’s life. 

NDIS disability support workers may help clients with:

  • Daily personal care to support independent living such as bathing, eating and grooming
  • Achieving work or study goals (work and study)
  • Transport to enable participation in community, social, economic and daily life activities (travel)
  • Household tasks including cooking, cleaning and washing laundry to maintain a client’s home environment (domestic assistance)
  • Companionship and social support such as learning a new skill or support to be involved in the community.

NDIS disability support workers also provide support to implement nursing, personal care, speech therapy, psychology, physiotherapy and occupational therapy services. 

Job description of an aged care support worker

Aged care support workers help older people with everyday living, including cooking and cleaning, health care, etc. As people age, they may experience difficulty completing tasks they earlier could, and so, an aged care support worker can assist with those to help their client stay mobile and independent.

In-home care for older clients can range from social support (assisting them to participate in the community, accompanying them for a coffee or a movie) to domestic assistance to nursing care.

Aged care support workers’ responsibilities may include:

  • Helping around the home
  • Providing personal care (for example, help with showering and dressing)
  • Assisting with travel and transport
  • Helping with meal preparation
  • Providing in-home nursing
  • Providing palliative care support
  • Providing dementia support
  • Providing overnight support
  • Providing post-hospital support
  • Assisting with community participation
  • Providing respite for carers

Find out more about what in-home aged care support can look like.

How can you become an aged care or disability support worker?

While you do not have to have a qualification to provide more basic levels of support in aged care or disability, it is important to have the right outlook, an understanding of the role and some basic skills to draw on.

If you want to provide more complex supports, such as personal care, you may require a relevant vocational qualification such as a Certificate III in Individual Support (CHC33015).

Learn more about how to become an aged care or disability support worker.

What skills do I need to be an aged care or NDIS disability support worker?

Being a support worker can be a highly rewarding yet demanding career. A passion and dedication to maximising the quality of life of those receiving your support is essential. Personal qualities like respect, honesty, flexibility and communication skills give support workers a well-rounded base to connect with clients.

It also helps to be patient and have an understanding, supportive and caring nature – empathy goes a long way! Learn more about skills required to become an aged care or disability support worker.

The NDIS Workforce Capability Framework is a great resource for disability support workers. 

Working with Mable as an aged care or disability support worker

You can work as an independent support worker through Mable by registering on the platform. In order to be successful, there are minimum requirements you need to complete, such as police checks, reference checks, and qualifications if providing certain services. Learn more about onboarding requirements on the Mable website.

Working as an independent support worker through Mable offers a lot of flexibility because you’re your own boss running your own small business. You get to

  • Choose who you work with
  • Choose the hours you work
  • Choose what you charge for your services
  • Create meaningful relationships with your clients through the platform

More benefits of working on Mable include:

  • Gain access to free self-directed training on the Mable Learning Hub
  • For bookings made through Mable a suite of insurances are arranged on your behalf including Group General & Products Liability Cover, Group Medical Malpractice Cover and Group Personal Accident Cover; and much more.

Find out more about the benefits of joining Mable as a support worker.

What do I need to become a support worker with Mable?

To register as an independent support worker with Mable, you will need the following to start with:

  • A police check – to be applied through Mable
  • References
  • Verified qualifications for personal care and professional services (if you plan to offer these)
  • Working with Children Check (if required)
  • COVID-19 training and vaccination records

If you have a passion for making a positive difference to the lives of people with a disability and helping people to achieve their full potential, you might make a great support worker.

Get started with these four simple steps to start working as an independent support worker. 


Being a support worker can come with challenges. Your day is likely to be busy and you will need to be able to think on your feet. It takes patience, an eagerness to learn and help and the ability to show empathy and resilience to be a good support worker. It can also be hugely rewarding and there are plenty of opportunities to work flexibly and with strong teams.

When you’re operating your small business on Mable as an independent support worker, you’ll have flexibility in the amount of hours you work in a day and how many clients you support. Workers can choose to work full time or part time hours, offering a range of services.

Support workers provide support to people with disabilities and can work in people’s homes, in specialised care settings or in hospitals on a full time, part time or casual basis, depending on the needs of the client. 

They can provide a range of support services including social support, domestic support, personal care, and support with implementing nursing services, speech therapy, psychology, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy.

Learn more about what disability support workers do.

You can register on Mable as a disability support worker. 

NDIS disability support workers provide a range of services to support clients, so the qualifications you need really depend on the area in which you are interested in specialising. 

In general, there are no certifications or education requirements for disability support workers, however you do need skills to provide this support. There are several certifications that are valuable to have, such as Certificate III in Individual Support and/or a Certificate IV in Disability. To work with children, you’ll need a Working with Children Check, National Police Clearance and First Aid Certificate.

The NDIA also has worker training modules designed to support disability support workers to better support people with disability. You also need to comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct which helps providers and workers respect and uphold your right to safe and quality supports and services.

Learn more about how you can become a disability support worker.

For more information or to register as an independent support worker with Mable, visit the Mable website.


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  • disability support worker
  • independent support worker
  • NDIS support worker
  • Support worker job description
  • Support worker qualifications
  • support worker skills
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