Nationally Recognised Dementia Course paves leadership pathway to enhance dementia knowledge, skills and build capacity in dementia care

Dementia Australia
  • Ita Buttrose encourages aged care workforce to pursue further study in dementia care
  • Graduates eligible for recognition of prior learning in Diploma of Dementia Care, UTAS
  • 12-month online government funded program

Dementia Australia National Patron Ita Buttrose AC OBE is championing a campaign to inspire aged care workers to pursue new educational opportunities to further enhance their dementia knowledge and leadership skills to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

In a video message released today, Ms Buttrose said after caring for her father who had vascular dementia, she knew first-hand how important it was to have skilled care workers and leaders who understand dementia and the need for person-centred care.

The campaign is spearheaded by the first ever fully funded, national 10993NAT Certificate IV in Dementia Practice, a 12-month government funded course developed by Dementia Australia’s Centre for Dementia Learning.

“This qualification is an excellent opportunity to explore further study in dementia care,” Ms Buttrose said.

Maree McCabe AM, CEO Dementia Australia said the qualification is designed to enhance the dementia practice, knowledge and skills of existing workers, and strengthen the capacity of graduates to be dementia practice leaders.

“Strong leadership was recognised as a critical element of sustained practice improvements by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and in response, also by the Federal Government,” Ms McCabe said.

Dementia Australia is also pleased to announce the University of Tasmania will credit eligible graduates for one unit, the CAD117 Effective Communication for Dementia Care, within the Diploma of Dementia Care.

Professor James Vickers, Director, Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre at the University of Tasmania said he was delighted that Dementia Australia had developed this course.

“Our partnership recognising learning achieved through the Certificate IV qualification towards the Diploma of Dementia Care at the University of Tasmania will help to build expertise in dementia further, providing a skilled workforce that will boost the quality of dementia care nationally,” Prof Vickers said.

“The creation of an integrated pathway for students into higher education and dementia leadership is something we have been working towards for many years. I am delighted that we can formalise this process,” Ms McCabe said.

“With 65 per cent of all those in residential aged care having a moderate to severe cognitive impairment and 70 per cent of the almost half a million Australians with dementia living in the community accessing in-home care, staff at all levels must be appropriately trained in dementia care.

“Dementia education leads to fewer high-risk incidents, lower rates of inappropriate use of medication and more positive staff attitudes and morale, which ultimately results in better service delivery and quality of life for people living with dementia.”

The nationally recognised program includes 14 units of competency. Participants will develop skills in areas such as ethical principles, effective communication and leadership. To view the comprehensive list of units please visit:

Graduates will benefit by advancing existing skills and knowledge in dementia while enhancing leadership skills, to implement sustainable practice changes and contribute to care using contemporary, evidence-based practices.

Aged care providers will benefit by gaining a valued team member who can successfully lead and mentor staff.


/Public Release.