A support worker’s guide to Mable

What is personal care?

Last updated 8 May 2023

Independent Support Workers on Mable offer various support services. One of these is personal care. But what exactly is personal care and what qualifications do you need to offer it?

What is personal care?

Personal care includes hands-on support services that help a person perform their day to day activities and maintain their independence. To provide personal care, support workers need to have the right qualifications and skills.

Personal care can be delivered in different settings. For example, a client living at home alone, with their family, or when out and about with their support worker.

What does personal care include?

The type of personal care a client may require depends on their support needs.  A person with dementia, for example, might have different personal care needs from a person with disability, or a person who needs aged care support, or someone recovering from a stroke or surgery.

Examples of personal care include:

  • Support with showering and washing
  • Assistance with dressing
  • Grooming support (such as hair washing, shaving and nail clipping)
  • Toileting assistance
  • Manual transfer support (when a client needs assistance with moving from one place to another, say from the bed to a wheelchair)
  • Assistance with eating and drinking
  • Assistance with taking medications.

What skills and qualifications do I need to provide personal care? 

You must have one of the below qualifications (with two professional referees who can verify your personal care experience in the last five years) or two years of professional personal care experience in the last five years (with two professional referees who can verify two or more years of professional personal care experience) to be a personal care support worker on Mable.

  • Cert III or IV in Aged Care (With two professional referees in the last five years)
  • Cert III or IV in Disability (With two professional referees in the last five years)
  • Cert III or IV in Individual Support (With two professional referees in the last five years)
  • Cert III or IV in Home and Community Care (With two professional referees in the last five years)
  • Nursing qualification: You must provide a nursing degree or diploma obtained in Australia plus two professional referees in the last five years. 

Nursing qualifications outside of Australia accepted by Mable must be attained in NZ, Philippines, USA, Canada, UK, an EU member country, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UAE, plus you must provide two professional referees in the last five years. 

Please note, these qualifications cannot be used for nursing services or assisting with medication on Mable.

If you have been providing domestic assistance and social support, you can also upskill and gain a personal care qualification by obtaining a Certificate 3 or 4 in either Individual Support, Aged Care, Disability Support, or Home and Community Care.

Also, check out Mable’s Accredited Training section to find out how you can upskill and build your business on Mable. 

Personal care, dignity and privacy

Respect is of utmost importance when providing any kind of support. This includes:

  • Respect for your client’s privacy, dignity and choices
  • Giving kind, respectful attention to your client as you attend to their personal care needs
  • Maintaining your duty of care 
  • Practising person-centred support 
  • Asking your client questions if you’re unsure about anything.  

Personal care: A case study 

Peter is an 85-year-old man with dementia. He lives with his daughter and son-in-law. 

Although Peter has always managed to shower and dress himself, he is now having difficulty. His daughter says he forgets which clothes are clean, often putting the dirty ones back on and tossing the clean set in the hamper. She also isn’t sure he is washing himself properly.

Peter’s daughter has engaged Jenny, a personal care support worker with whom he’s familiar, to provide him personal care support. 

Jenny now assists Peter with showering and dressing on the days she visits. She doesn’t do anything for him that he can’t do himself, though. He can clean himself in the shower but she does supervise him, reminding him to use soap and to hold onto the handrail. He then wraps a towel around himself and Jenny supports him by directing him to the clean clothes. She understands it’s important that Peter has choices and so he’s selected his clothes for the day. 

Peter feels comfortable with Jenny as she’s a professional and also kind and respectful. After getting dressed they head out for a walk.

Become a personal care support worker on Mable

We hope this guide has helped you understand what personal care support is and what qualifications you need to provide personal care. 

If you’re looking for a rewarding career, sign up to become an independent support worker on Mable today. 

All support workers on Mable receive a suite of high-level insurances to cover you for all bookings made on Mable, access to 170+ free training courses and 24/7 counselling support. 

You can also explore our guide to becoming a support worker on Mable.


Domestic assistance and social support assist your client in everyday ways, such as around the house and with their wellbeing. Personal care support is about enabling clients to have a good quality of life, ensuring their health and wellbeing, and supporting them to maintain their independence. 

Another significant difference is that while you don’t need tertiary qualifications (although you do need skills) to be a social and domestic assistance support worker, you do need specific qualifications to be a personal care support worker, as mentioned in the article above.

No, not unless you gain the right qualifications to do so. Personal care support services such as showering, toileting, manual handling, hoist and medication are more complex types of support. 

To ensure your client’s safety, you need to have the right qualification to provide these types of services.

Additionally, for any support invoiced through Mable, a support worker is not covered by Mable’s suite of insurances if an unsafe incident occurs during the support session, if they aren’t qualified to provide that kind of support.

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