Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice

Course Reference


Maximum 24 months

Delivery Method

Flexible (including online assessment)
Clinical work placement
Block training

Enrolment Method
Open enrolment

Prospective Career Roles

Senior Aboriginal health worker Senior Torres Strait Islander health worker Clinic coordination (Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health) Program Manager (Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health)

Assessment Methods

Short answer questions
Case studies
Workplace portfolio
Research reports
Work placement
Clinical log book


The role of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers (ATSIHWs) is crucial to improving health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They play a vital role in the primary health care workforce, providing clinical and primary care for individuals, families and community groups.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers across Australia work in a variety of environments. While a large majority are employed in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) or the Government Health Sector, many also work within mainstream services such as general practices and other non-government organisations.

Projected five year employment growth to November 2018 is 12.2%. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker roles exist in metropolitan, regional and remote. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Registration Agency (AHPRA). They may perform clinical roles within community controlled and mainstream health organisations. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioner is a protected title under section 113 of the National Law.

Course Information

Delivery Method

The Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice is delivered through a blended delivery method. Students may need to undertake block training as part of their qualification.

Students will undertake both theoretical and practical assessment.  All theoretical assessment are to be completed in a normal word document attached to an email and sent directly to your trainer for marking.

The practical assessment will take place through clinical work placement which will provide you with the necessary clinical skills and workplace experience.

Clinical Work Placement

Duration: The clinical work placement duration is determined by the activities performed. Students are required to complete a clinical log book during their work placement. The log book requires student to complete the clinical activities on a number of occasions to demonstrate consistency of performance.

Work placement outline

Clinical work placement is compulsory for the Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice qualification.

Clinical work placement provides an important opportunity for Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice students to apply skills and theory in ‘real-life’ situations, in a variety of clinical settings.  Experiencing ‘real-life’ situations enables students to apply and gain competence in the many different skills required across various health care settings.

Health Industry Training will work with you to find a suitable organisation for your work placement.  As a student it is important for you to discuss work placement opportunities with local organisations.  Once you have sourced a relevant host employer, Health Industry Training will be responsible for contacting them on your behalf to discuss work placement requirements.


Health Industry Training provides insurance to all students undertaking work placement as part of their qualification. Insurance covers Public Liability and Volunteer Workers insurance.


As a student you must ensure you have completed the necessary Prior to clinical work placement activities listed below before clinical work placement can commence.

  • National Criminal History Clearance
  • Student Disclosure Statement
  • Working with Children blue card
  • Immunisations and screening

Assessment Methods

Health Industry Training uses a range of assessment methods to ensure sufficient evidence can be gathered to demonstrate you can perform the tasks against the specified criteria. Assessment methods can include:

  • Short answer questions
  • Projects
  • Case studies
  • Scenarios
  • Reports
  • Workplace portfolios
  • Work placement logbook
  • Research reports
  • Presentations

Recognition of Prior Learning

Many of our students already have a high level of skills, knowledge and expertise that can be recognised through a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process.

RPL takes into account any previous formal study, work and life experience and then assesses this against the elements of competency to determine if you can receive credit toward a qualification. Students seeking recognition can apply for RPL on enrolment into a qualification or throughout the duration of their study.

Credit Transfer

If you have completed a unit of competency within your intended qualification with another Registered Training Organisation (RTO) you may be able to apply for a credit transfer or exemption. A copy of the original transcript must be provided when applying for a credit transfer.

Admission Requirements

Entry Requirements

To enrol in the Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strat Islander Primary Health Care Practice students must:

  • provide Health Industry Training with their Unique Student Identifier number; and
  • complete the Clinical work placement pre-requirements prior to clinical placement.

IT Requirements

To complete the course you will need access to a computer and the Internet.

In addition you will need basic computer skills to conduct research on your current topics and complete your assessments. In particular, you will need skills in word processing and PowerPoint presentations.

Minimum Age Requirements

The minimum age for this course is 16 years old. If you are under 18 years of age your enrolment form must be signed by a parent or guardian.

Literacy, Language, Numeracy (LLN) Requirements

Students must have an adequate level of Language, Literacy and Numeracy skills (LLN). Entry into the course requires English proficiency to Year 10 level or equivalent. Students are able to test their LLN skills by completing an appropriate level LLN test by emailing info@healthindustrytraining.org. For additional information and support contact the Reading Writing Hotline at www.readingwritinghotline.edu.au


Queensland residents only

Higher Level Skills: Health Industry Training is proud to be a pre-qualified supplier for the Queensland Government, under the Higher Level Skills program. To be eligible for the Higher Level Skills funding, participants must not hold or be undertaking a Certificate IV or higher qualification. Qualifications undertaken at school do not affect eligibility. The cost for students is $10/unit or $20/unit if paid by a third party.


To assist students who are not eligible for funding, Health Industry Training offers financial assistance to students by allowing students to either:

  • pay the cost of the course in full and receive a 10% discount on the full cost of the course; or
  • take advantage of our affordable payment plan options (weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments) (see enrolment form for additional information).

Student Support

Throughout your course with Health Industry Training, you will be provided with a range of support services depending on your individual needs.

One-on-one trainer support: You will be provided with a trainer that has extensive experience and expertise in the course content and the industry sector. Our professional trainers are there to ensure you have a successful learning journey where you can contact them via phone or email.

In addition to your trainer, the administration team can provide you with support including your enrolment, changes to contact details or study plan, assisting with accessing your online assessment system, progress report and any issues you may encounter throughout your course.

Peer support

Health Industry Training appreciates that distance/online learning can be an isolated experience for some students. To assist with isolation all students have the option to be part of a Facebook peer support group. Peer support groups can be a positive experience where you can study with like-minded people, ask questions relating to your course and build friendships.

Financial support

The Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice is Austudy / Abstudy approved. Please contact your local Centrelink office for eligibility requirements and application

Course Structure

The Diploma of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice has been packaged to include:

31 units are required for award of this qualification including:

  • 21 core units
  • 10 elective units

The course combines theoretical and practical clinical work placement experience. The theoretical component of the course provides the student with the relevant knowledge required to work in the primary health care sector.

The practical clinical placement experience provides students with the clinical knowledge and skills for students to work in a clinical setting on completion of the qualification.

To view a list of the units of competencies offered by Health Industry Training, click on the ‘Download Course Outline’ button on the left hand side of this page.

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