Recognised Dementia Course paves leadership pathway to enhance dementia knowledge

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.

For more information on the course, please visit: or contact

The course is one of four new government funded Leadership and Practice Change programs designed and delivered by Dementia Australia as part of Dementia Training Australia that will be delivered through Dementia Australia’s Centre for Dementia Learning.

Graduates from Dementia Australia’s course need to meet The University of Tasmania’s entry requirements to be eligible for enrolment in the Diploma of Dementia Care.

Dementia Training Australia (DTA) is a consortium funded by the Australian Government to provide nationwide education on the support and care of people living with dementia. The nationally recognised training is delivered and assessed by Dementia Australia (RTO Code 2512). The consortium is made up of Dementia Australia and five universities – the University of Wollongong, La Trobe University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Western Australia, and University of Tasmania Wicking Dementia Centre.

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 421,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.5 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.
For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government.

If this story has prompted any questions or concerns, please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or visit