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Skills assessment guidelines - Disabilities Services Officer ANZSCO 411712

Before reading these guidelines please read the pre-assessment information.

A Disabilities Services Officer is defined as: a professional who ‘works in a range of service units which provide education and community access to people with intellectual, physical, social and emotional disabilities’. (ABS, ANZSCO 411712).

Skill assessments for this occupation are conducted against the following three criteria.

Criterion 1 - Relevant qualification (AQF level 5)

Qualifications can be one of the following:

Relevant diploma with a specialisation in disability services. A relevant diploma or higher qualification with a minimum of one year of full time, or part time equivalent, paid employment in disability services work within the past five years.

ACWA accredited diploma with specialisation. An ACWA accredited diploma or higher qualification with a specialisation in disability services.

Relevant community services related diploma. A relevant community services* related diploma or higher qualification with a minimum of two years of full time, or part time equivalent, industry experience.

*A relevant community services related qualification will typically cover the following: sociology; community, social and political structure and function; individual human development and function, including psychological, physical and social aspects; general and specialised welfare services and welfare systems; work with individuals, families, groups and communities; communication, basic counselling and interpersonal skills; plus additional subjects.

Additional subjects could include child development, human services, social justice, child protection, mental health, case management, group theory, drug and alcohol issues, crisis intervention, psychology, youth work, working with children and families, community development, juvenile justice.

Please note: In instances where an applicant has used recognition of prior learning (RPL) to gain credit towards completing their qualification, ACWA will accept up to a maximum of 40% RPL.

Criterion 2 - Proficiency in English

English language proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

English language test results. The results must have been issued by one of four acceptable testing providers within 3 years of applying for a skill assessment. The table below outlines the scores required. Please note:
  • IELTS can be general or academic. You will need a score of 7 in each band. Multiple tests can be submitted but the results must all be within a period of 12 months.
  • TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic and Advanced (CAE) results should be within one test
  • PTE Academic results must be sent to ACWA via the PTE secure portal and a separate copy attached to your application.

 Required scores
 Test component
 IELTS 
 TOEFL iBT
 PTE Academic  Advanced (CAE)
 Listening  7  24  65  185
 Speaking  7  23  65  185
 Reading  7  24  65  185
 Writing  7  27  65  185

Study conducted in English from a country with English as its main language. Completed course delivered and assessed in English at the level of bachelor degree, masters or Ph.D. or completed all secondary education and diploma delivered and assessed in English in a country with English as the main or official language. These are Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, United States of America, Canada and New Zealand.

Two years of industry experience in an English-speaking country. Completed at least two years full time (or part time equivalent) employment at the required skill level with English as the primary means of communication in one of the English-speaking countries listed above. Note: some support worker roles only require a certificate level qualification and employment at this skill level will not be considered as evidence of English language proficiency.

ACWA reserves the right to seek additional evidence to support or supplement the claim of English language proficiency.

Criterion 3 - Employment and currency in the industry

Applicants are required to provide evidence of paid employment in the industry, which involves the provision of direct service to people living with a disability in a disability services setting. It is employment within the past five years, post-qualification, and must be at an appropriate skill level (see glossary).

Applicants are also required to provide evidence of industry currency. This means that their skills and knowledge are up-to-date.

The primary purpose of a Disability Services Officer role is to:
  • assess clients' needs and plan, develop and implement educational, training and support programs
  • interview clients and assess the nature and extent of difficulties 
  • monitor and report on the progress of clients 
  • refer clients to agencies that can provide additional help 
  • assess community need and resources for health, welfare, housing, employment, training and other facilities and services 
  • liaise with community groups, welfare agencies, government bodies and private businesses about community issues and promoting awareness of community resources and services 
  • prepare submissions for funding and resources, and reports to government bodies and other agencies
Roles which predominantly involve providing personal care and support will not be considered to meet the skill level requirement.

Employment

Relevant diploma with a disability services specialisation. Applicants are required to provide evidence that they have had at least 12 months full time (or part time equivalent) industry experience.

ACWA accredited diploma or higher. Applicants who have completed an ACWA accredited diploma or higher are deemed to have sufficient industry experience through their practicum requirements.

Relevant community services related diploma or higher – non-specialised. Applicants with a non-specialised diploma or higher are required to provide evidence of two years full time (or part time equivalent) industry experience.

Industry currency

Applicants are required to provide evidence of currency if:
  • the relevant qualification is more than 5 years old or
  • they are not currently employed in the sector at the required skill level
Currency can be demonstrated by one of the following:
  • at least six months relevant employment at the required skill level within the last two years
  • a minimum of 20 hours of participation in professional development activities per year for each of the last three years.
Common occupational titles associated with Disability Services Officer occupation include Disability Services Officer, Disability Case Worker, Client Services Coordinator – Disability Services, Developmental Educator, Disability Liaison Officer, Disability Case Manager, Disability Advanced Case Manager, Assessment Officer, Disability Justice Officer, Care Manager.

Glossary of terms

ACWA accredited course - An applicant is deemed to have graduated from an ACWA accredited course if the course and campus was accredited by ACWA for the entire duration of the applicant’s study. If the course gained ACWA accreditation during the applicant’s study period, applications will be assessed on a case by case basis. All ACWA accredited courses are listed here.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) - Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is a pathway to gain credit towards completing a qualification. ACWA will accept up to a maximum of 40% RPL.

Full time work - Full time work is paid employment of 30 hours or above per week.

Industry experience - Industry experience is paid employment which involves the provision of direct service to families. It is paid work, post-qualification, and must be at an appropriate skill level.

Skill level - Skill level indicates that the range and complexity of the tasks performed in the occupation require a minimum diploma level qualification. Note: some support worker roles only require a certificate level qualification and employment at this skill level will not be considered.

Document checklist

1. Identity (all applicants)
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport
  • If applicable, certified copy of evidence of name change
  • If applicable, a signed authorisation form a migration agent
2. English proficiency (all applicants to choose one of the following):
  • Test results from English language testing authority
  • Certified copy of qualification (or letter of completion)
  • Letter from employer stating English was the primary means of communication for the work performed and that the employer was satisfied with the applicant's English language proficiency
3. Qualifications (all applicants)
  • Certified copy of qualification (or letter of completion) showing the start date and end date the applicant was deemed to have completed the course.
  • Certified copy of transcript of results
  • If applicable (ACWA accredited course only), a certified copy of letter from the educational institution showing details of field placements (evidence of total 400 hours in two different placements)
4. Industry experience (all applicants unless a graduate of an ACWA accredited course)
  • Current CV/resume including 2 referees with current contact details, one of whom must have been the applicant's workplace supervisor
  • Position descriptions for relevant work experience. Applicants must provide this evidence for all work experience claims made in the application.
  • Letter from employer showing details of the position including title, type, whether part-time or full time, and start and end dates. Applicants must provide this evidence for all work experience claims made in the application.
5. Industry currency
  • Position description for the industry experience
  • Letter from employer showing details of the position including title, type, whether part time or full time, and start and end dates
  • If using professional development option, attendance and activity details e.g. certificates, letter from provider with details of content and total hours.
6. Other supporting documents

If applicable, evidence of professional registration/membership in the country of training or employment. Evidence can include a certified copy of registration certificate or online registration verification number.

Optional additional services

Documents to be provided for qualification comparability assessment:
  • Certified copy of skills assessment certificate from ACWA (if applying after a successful skills assessment application)
  • Certified copy of the qualification(s)
  • Certified copy of transcripts of results
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport.
Documents to be provided for advice based on Australian or overseas work experience:
  • Certified copy of skills assessment certificate from ACWA (if applying after a successful skills assessment application)
  • Position descriptions with company details including name, email, address, business registration number, phone number, etc.
  • Letter from employer on company letterhead showing details of the position including position title, type. start and end dates, brief description of duties undertaken, and qualification or experience needed for the position
  • Certified copy of biography page of passport.
Application process and form

Download the application form here. This page also contains information about the application process such as fees, time-frames and document certification requirements, so read it carefully.

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