Healthcare Assistant

Level 5 QQI Award


One Year


This course provides a recognised qualification for healthcare workers, currently in employment and those seeking to work in this sector. This Healthcare Support Award is one of the Department of Health and Children’s recommended qualifications for Healthcare Assistants working in the public and private sector. In addition, the newly published National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People require all newly recruited care staff and those in posts less than one year, to commence training to Level 5 QQI or equivalent within two years of taking up employment. This course is the passport to work in the healthcare sector.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate Established/ LCVP
  • Leaving Certificate Applied
  • Relevant QQI Level 4 Award
  • Mature applicants are welcome
  • For applicants who do not meet the above entry requirements, please contact DFEi.

Course Modules

  • Care of the Older Person
  • Care Skills
  • Care Support
  • Palliative Care Support
  • Safety and Health at Work
  • Teamworking
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
Module Information

Module Information

Healthcare Assistant

Level 5 QQI Award: Healthcare Support 5M4339

Course Content (Module Names and Codes)




Care Skills 5N2770

Gain the knowledge, understanding and application of a range of care skills that allows you to respond effectively to the specific needs of clients in any healthcare setting. Learn the key issues associated with identifying the physical, Intellectual, emotional, social & spiritual needs of your client and learn how to apply the relevant care skills to help meet those needs in a safe & hygienic manner. A vital module for those hoping to secure employment in any care area. 20 days work placement is required for this module.

Assessment:  Two Assignments (40%) Skills Demonstration (60%)


Care of the older person 5N2706

Gain the knowledge & understanding of a wide range of issues regarding the care of the older person. Learn the key concepts associated with identifying the specific needs of the client and developing confidence & competence in delivering excellent care skills in accordance with HIQA quality assurance guidelines. This module is for anyone interested in working with elderly client’s either in a professional or personal capacity.

Assessment: Skills Demonstration (60%) Project (40%)


Safety and Health at Work 5N1794

Gain the knowledge, understanding and awareness of safety and health issues in the workplace. Learn about the relevant national legislation and statutory bodies. Explore the vocational area with a view to identifying hazards and risk assessments, including infection control.

Assessments:  Two Assignments (60%) Examination 40%


Care Support 5N0758

You will learn how to work effectively in a care setting. You will compile a personal record which will reflect your interaction with others in healthcare support.  You will also be required to complete a practical activity with a client or group of clients to enhance your awareness of care support while on work placement.  

Assessment: Learner Record (70%) Assignment (30%)


Palliative Care Support 5N3769

You will learn how to care for a person diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and their family. You will create a personal record that describes your experiences, activities, responses and skills acquired during your work placement and a written assignment detailing the needs of a person with a life-limiting illness and the skills required to meet those needs.

Assessment: Learner Record (70%) Assignment (30%)


Teamworking 5N1367

Gain an appreciation of teamworking within the student’s own vocational area. Engage in team tasks to demonstrate competencies that relate to core teamworking skills. These include leadership, problem solving, conflict management, time management and goal setting. Throughout the course students will evaluate their own abilities leading to greater self-awareness.  

Assessment: Collection of Work (60%), Skills Demonstration (40%)


Work Experience 5N1356

You will prepare for work placement in a relevant vocational area through an evaluation of your skills set, the development of a CV, and an understanding of current work place legislation. An integral part of this component is developing the skills required for a successful job search; therefore is it your responsibility to secure your own placement. On completion of your Work Placement of at least 10 days (or 60 hours) you will reflect, review and consider your future career options.

Assessment: Collection of Work (60%) Skills Demonstration (Work placement 40%)


Communications 5N0690

Gain the relevant knowledge, skill and competence to communicate verbally and nonverbally in standard everyday tasks and in work-related situations, operating independently and under general direction.

Assessment: Collection of Work (50%) Skills Demonstration (50%)


  • Level 5 QQI Award - Healthcare Support (5M4339)
  • First Aid - Order of Malta Certificate
  • Manual Handling - Safety First Training Certificate
  • Elder Abuse - DFEi Certificate

Work Experience

Work experience of 20 days is a mandatory part of this course and it is the responsibility of the student to secure an appropriate work experience placement. Students may work in healthcare settings such as: nursing homes, health centres, day care or special needs centres.

This programme requries students to undertake work experience that will bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults and in which they assume positions of trust. As a result all students willundertake Garda Vetting prior to commencing their work experience.

Progression Opportunities

DFEi: Graduates may progress to the QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Health Services Supervisory Management Skills at DFEi.
Elsewhere: Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme to a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at both Universities and Institutes of Technology.

Progression Examples

BSc in Health and Society (DC209)

Dublin City University

BSc in Applied Psychology (DL825)

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology

BA in Applied Social Studies in Social Care (BN011 and BN107)

Institute of Technology Blanchardstown

BA in Social Care Practice (WD192)

BA in Health Promotion (WD124)

Waterford Institute of Technology

Career Paths

Employers actively seek DFEi graduates for employment, as support workers, healthcare assistants in the public and private sectors, nursing homes, hospitals, agencies and community care.

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly


Annette Armstrong

2015 graduate. Employed as Full Time Care Assistant.
"I didn’t realise that I could go back to studying after so many years. I was a bit scared at the start but I absolutely loved the course. I met wonderful people on the course. Hopefully…

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Annette Armstrong

2015 graduate. Employed as Full Time Care Assistant.
"I didn’t realise that I could go back to studying after so many years. I was a bit scared at the start but I absolutely loved the course. I met wonderful people on the course. Hopefully it will keep me in the job I am in and if anything were to change I have the qualification which will stand to me."

Department Head

Janet Kelly Dunne

Janet Kelly Dunne

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly