What’s the Difference Between Cert III & IV in Community Services

Every year, thousands of Australians join the community services sector to be part of a powerful force for change across communities. One common question we get asked is, “What’s the difference between the Certificate III and Certificate IV courses?” 


The Short Answer: Higher Qualifications Enable Greater Independence 


  • Certificate III: Entry-level course, working under direction. 
  • Certificate IV: Mid-level course, working independently with limited responsibility. 


CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services 


This qualification is for entry-level community service workers supporting individuals through person-centred services. Work takes place under supervision within various community service organizations. 


Possible Career Outcomes for CHC32015 Certificate III In Community Services: 

  • Individual Support Worker 
  • Residential support worker,  
  • Community care worker,  
  • Youth worker 
  • Recreational activities officer 
  • Neighbourhood centre worker 
  • Indigenous intake and referral worker 
  • Community care worker 
  • Client contact worker 
  • And much more.


CHC42021 Certificate IV in Community Services 


This qualification is for community service workers designing and delivering person-centered services. Workers may have autonomous roles with limited responsibility, potentially supervising and leading other workers. 


Possible Career Outcomes of CHC42021 Certificate IV in Community Services: 

  • Community support worker,  
  • Caseworker,  
  • Outreach officer, 
  • Aboriginal health education officer 
  • Community support worker 
  • Domestic violence worker 
  • Welfare rights worker 
  • Tenant advice and advocacy worker 
  • Family support worker 
  • Phone advice worker. 
  • And more



Choosing the right qualification depends on your career goals. Whether you start with a Certificate III or continue past a Certificate IV and towards higher education, each level offers unique opportunities and responsibilities in the community services sector.  

To learn more about these qualifications, explore the full course descriptions.  

CHC32015 Certificate III in Community Services 

CHC42021 Certificate IV in Community 


If you have any specific questions, get in touch and one of our learning consultants will contact you with more information. 



¹ https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-11/Australian%20Jobs%20Report%202020.pdf  

² https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/role/nurse