Healthcare Assistant and Support

Level 5 QQI Award - Healthcare Support 5M4339


This is a full-time one year course, which runs from September to May. Exact details of the timetable will be given out to students during the induction process prior to class commencement in September.


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. This course is delivered by teachers including specialist nurses who bring a real depth of experience to their teaching. Students will use two fully equipped Nursing suites for all of the practical work.

Entry Requirements

One of the following:

  • Leaving Certificate (LC Established, LCVP, LCA) or equivalent
  • A Full QQI Level 4 Award (or equivalent)
  • For Mature applicants (aged 21 or over) - appropriate experience will be considered in lieu of formal qualifications. Note: Mature applicants may be entitled to VTOS funding. For details about VTOS, please contact the college.
  • For applicants who do not meet the above entry requirements, please contact DFEi.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English require level B1 competency on the CEFR language framework. Applicants may be required to undergo English language testing to establish their language competency.

Course Modules

  • Activities of Living Patient Care
  • Care Skills
  • Care Support
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Safety and Health at Work
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
  • Teamworking
Module Information

Module Information

Healthcare Assistant

Level 5 QQI Award: Healthcare Support 5M4339

Course Content (Module Names and Codes)


Activities of Living Patient Care 5N3707

In this module, you will gain the knowledge, skills and competence to provide individualised holistic care using the activities of living framework. This module will cover both theory and practical skills, to include, the role of the healthcare worker in delivering all aspects of daily care, measuring of vital signs, effective communication and interpersonal skills which will influence the older person's ability to live as independently as possible.  This is a vital module for those hoping to secure employment in the care area.

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

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:  Assignment (40%), Skills Demonstration (60%).


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.

Assessment:  Assignment (60%), Examination - Theory (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%).


Infection Prevention and Control 5N3734

The purpose of this award is to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to prevent and control infection within the health services area.

Assessment: Learner Record (20%), Skills Demonstration (40%), Examination - Theory (40%)


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: Portfolio/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: Portfolio/Collection of Work (60%), Skills Demonstration (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: Portfolio/Collection of Work (50%), Skills Demonstration (50%).


  • Level 5 QQI Award - Healthcare Support (5M4339)
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Manual and People Handling Certificate
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults - HSeLanD
  • Infection, Prevention and Control - HSeLanD

Special Features

Jobs Fair

Due to the large demand for graduates of this course, DFEi hosts an annual jobs fair to help students secure employment.


All DFEi students are provided with an M365 account, which gives them access to the tools and resources needed to deliver assessment work while attending their course. M365 Apps include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, outlook and OneDrive.

Work Experience

Students will be required to undertake a period work placement in an organisation connected to their vocational area during the academic year.  Work Experience is mandatory for all of our full-time Level 5 courses. Students are required to source their own work placement but will be assisted in this by the work experience teacher.  The work placement for this course is 150 hours.  Students may work in healthcare settings such as: nursing homes, health centres, day care or special needs centres. Students usually find the work experience element of the course to be invaluable and should bear in mind that a successful work placement can sometimes lead to further opportunities.

This programme requires 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 will undertake Garda Vetting prior to commencing their work experience.

Applicants should be aware that healthcare environments used in work experience may insist that students are fully vaccinated for Covid 19.

Additional Information


Assessment techniques will be used to assess the knowledge and skills that students will have achieved on successful completion of modules:

  • Student Record
  • Collection of Work
  • Assignments
  • Examination (Written)
  • Project
  • Skills Demonstration

All assignments are submitted electronically.  Therefore all students need access to a device such as a computer/laptop.

A full major award is granted on passing the relevant eight components.  On successful completion of each component, you will be awarded a pass, a merit or a distinction grade. See for more details

Progression Opportunities

Graduates are eligible to apply through the CAO and/or the Higher Education Links Scheme for entry to year one of a range of higher certificate and degree programmes, at Universities, Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities using their full QQI Level 5 major award. Places are not guaranteed in these Institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria.  It is the students' responsibility to consult with the relevant HEI for information on the admissions process and any specific entry requirements. Students may also refer to the individual HEI prospectus or may also refer to the QQI FET section of the CAO website.

Examples of CAO progression opportunities are listed below.

Progression Examples

BSc Health and Society (DC209)

Dublin City University -

BSc Applied Psychology (DL825)

IADT, Dún Laoghaire -

BA Applied Social Studies in Social Care (TU991)

BA Applied Social Care (TU997)

Technological University Dublin -

BA Social Care Practice (WD192)

BA Psychology (WD163)

BA Social Science (WD187)

Waterford Institute of Technology -

BSc Social Studies (DN700)

BSc Psychology (DN720)

BSocSc Social Policy and Sociology (DN750)

University College Dublin -

Bachelor of Deaf Studies (TR016)

Trinity College Dublin -

Career Paths

Employers actively seek DFEi graduates for employment, as support workers, healthcare assistants in the public and private sectors, nursing homes, day care facilities, hospitals, private homecare sector, intellectual disability environment, agencies and community care.

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly

James Monterola

Class of 2024
Healthcare Assistant

I learned a lot, gained a lot of experience and met great people on the way. The modules are very helpful and I was apply to apply what I learned during my work experience in St. Vincent’s Hospital. I…

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James Monterola

Class of 2024
Healthcare Assistant

I learned a lot, gained a lot of experience and met great people on the way. The modules are very helpful and I was apply to apply what I learned during my work experience in St. Vincent’s Hospital. I worked in healthcare before,  but having this qualification will now allow me to progress within the sector.

Department Head

Janet Kelly

Janet Kelly

Thank You

we will be in touch shortly