QQI Level 5 Health Service Skills – Code 5M3782 / Patient Moving and Handling Certificate / Occupational First Aid Certificate
Two year part time


The Introduction to Healthcare Assistant course equips students with the knowledge, skills and competence to work under supervision in a variety of healthcare settings or to pursue further education and training. This comprehensive program covers core modules such as Care Support, Personal Effectiveness, Infection Prevention and Control, and Maternity Care Support.

Entry Requirements

Leaving Cert or equivalent is advised. Mature students are welcome to apply, and work/life experience will be considered in lieu of formal education.

Part Time (BTEI)

The Back To Education Initiative (BTEI) provides part-time further education courses. It gives individuals the opportunity to combine learning with family, work and other responsibilities. Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course. Fees for part time courses offered under BTEI are normally €200 – €300, depending on duration and schedule. Certain participants are however eligible for free tuition.

The participants eligible for free tuition are people who (or their dependants):

  • Have less than upper-second level education or
  • Are getting a jobseeker’s payment or means-tested social welfare payment or
  • Are getting Working Family Payment (formerly known as Family Income Supplement or
  • Have a medical card or
  • Are eligible to participate on VTOS or Youthreach.

All other participants are charged a fee

Programme of Study

Core Modules

  • Care Support
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Maternity Care Support
Modules offered may be subject to change due to resource demands.

Additional Training

First Aid Responder and Patient Moving & Handling also offered.

Work Experience

Supervised clinical experience in nursing homes, hospitals, and other health facilities is incorporated into this course. 

Students are required to undertake Garda Vetting prior to work placement commencing.

Career Opportunities

The Healthcare Service Skills award is the Department of Health’s recommended qualification for all Healthcare Assistants working in the public and private sector. Graduates can pursue career opportunities as Healthcare Assistants in a range of settings.


Graduates who achieve the required standard may progress to further studies in the FET sector at level 5 and level 6, or to IT Colleges/Universities through the Higher Education Links Scheme.