Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

20th January 2016

Recognition for Certificate from Australia

I have been working as a HCA in a nursing home for over a year since moving back to the UK from Australia where I completed a 4 month full time study resulting in a certificate 3 in aged care manual handling and senior first aid , my question is: Is there any prior recognition for a certificate 3 from Australia here. And if so is it an NVQ level ?
Kindest regards,


Dear Julie,

Thank you for your question.

I wanted to get an expert opinion on your question so I asked Neil Crawford of Access Skills and this is his response:

The comparison of international qualifications with UK qualifications is a detailed technical process that is not always simple to do.

The designated agency in the UK to do this is UK NARIC ( United Kingdom national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills). Their website can offer further assistance in doing this and can be found at

Other general information can be found from UCAS

Without the detailed course syllabus for the Level 3 qualification you have completed in Australia it is difficult to advise you. However it is important to note that NVQ/QCF qualifications in the UK normally require competency to be demonstrated actually in the workplace. This may not have been the case with the full-time course you previously completed in Australia.

It is also important to note that in any event, both the topics that you describe in your qualification should in the UK be subject to regular refresh. This ensures care assistants are up to date with matters such as legislation changes or changes in practice or operational circumstances.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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