Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support Practice - (Apprenticeship)




2 Years

Validated by



Blended Learning


Dublin Main Campus / Limerick

NFQ Level


Looking to progress your health care assistant career?

The Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support Practice apprenticeship programme is delivered through a carefully blended mix of classroom and workplace education and training. Apprentices are employed full time throughout the programme so they are earning while they are learning.

This Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support Practice programme aims to develop compassionate, competent and confident advanced healthcare assistant practitioners (AHAPs) who are qualified to deliver a wide range of clinical and care skills, can work autonomously, and who demonstrate the requisite interpersonal skills.

Graduates may take up positions as advanced healthcare assistant practitioners in hospitals, residential care centres, low dependency community living units, home care arrangements and day care centres.

This programme is funded by the Apprenticeship Council of Ireland as part of a new initiative Generation Apprenticeship which is a major expansion project to more than double the number of learners of all ages and backgrounds taking the apprenticeship route.

Why Study Health Care with Griffith College?

This programme is a culmination of a two-year development process, during which there was extensive consultation with the healthcare sector. It has been developed specifically for healthcare assistants to provide them with a pathway from Further Education and Training (FET) at Level 5 to this programme at Higher Education and Training (HET) Level 6.

  • Griffith College is supported by a strong Consortium Steering Group made up of Health Care Assistants, the Alliance of Healthcare Assistants in Ireland, and high-profile representatives from the Private Hospitals Association, Nursing Home Ireland, and Home and Community Care Ireland.

  • Griffith College takes a holistic approach to learning, supporting apprentices throughout their apprenticeship programme through a network of academic success coaches.

  • Full third-level college campus resources are available to support apprentices.

The programme will provide a logical progression for healthcare assistants who have completed the NFQ FET level 5 awards to progress their careers as advanced healthcare assistant practitioners. The programme is aligned to recent developments for healthcare assistants internationally, particularly in the UK and Australia.

Benefits for Apprentices

  • Security of employment
  • Earning while you are learning
  • Successful candidates receive a Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support Practice
  • Enhanced skillset
  • Pathway to a higher paid role
  • Lifetime portfolio to evidence personal achievements
  • Progression routes to further education
  • Enhanced status in the healthcare team

Course Highlights

  • Learn how to take responsibility for your own learning
  • Build and apply your leadership and management skills within the scope of your role as an advanced healthcare assistant practitioner
  • Acquire new clinical skills
  • Understand the relationship between body systems and diseases
  • Gain greater insights into day-to-day care procedures
  • Learn how to promote health and wellbeing
  • Learn under the guidance of a dedicated, highly-qualified mentor

Course Structure

This programme is structured over two calendar years. There are three semesters per year each of 14 weeks' duration. The programme is delivered using a combination of 30 days a year in the classroom, and on-the-job training supported by a virtual learning environment. The programme is assessed using a combination of classroom-based assessments and on-the-job structured continuous assessment evidenced through an electronic portfolio.

Intake Dates

We run two intakes for this course commencing in Spring and Autumn.

The next intake for this course will be:

  • November*

*subject to sufficient numbers.

Ready to take the next step?

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Apprenticeship Faculty

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