Apprenticeships in healthcare

For Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprentices

For Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprentices

Advance your career as an Advanced Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

This programme aims to produce 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 within the context of their role, and who demonstrate the requisite interpersonal skills.

Representatives from across the private healthcare sector developed this programme, so it is designed to meet the needs of care providers both large and small.

Healthcare apprenticeships


"Healthcare Assistants are integral to the provision of high-quality health and social care provided by nursing homes within communities across Ireland. The role they fulfil is intrinsic to supporting the day-to-day living needs of people requiring the high-dependency, person-centred care that is specialised within these dedicated healthcare settings.  

It is vital healthcare assistants are supported in their professional development and this programme is an important development to progress their career and increase their professional status. It will help them further enhance the quality of care they provide by providing them with deeper knowledge and a broader range of skills to achieve excellence in person-centred care. Nursing Homes Ireland supports this programme because we believe in the value of well-trained, competent and motivated healthcare assistants. They are the heart of nursing home care and our wider health services."

- Tadhg Daly, CEO Nursing Homes Ireland.


The programme is a 2-year apprenticeship programme with one day a week in the classroom for 30 weeks per annum.


This apprenticeship leads to an NFQ Level 6 - Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support Practice

Learn more

To find out more about apprenticeships in Ireland, visit Generation Apprenticeship.

The benefits for apprentices of engaging with the apprenticeship are typically but not limited to:

  • Security of employment
  • Earning while you are learning
  • Successful candidates receive a National Framework of Qualifications Level 6 - Higher Certificate in Healthcare Support Practice
  • Enhanced skillset
  • Pathway to higher-paid role
  • Lifetime portfolio to evidence personal achievements
  • Enhanced status in the healthcare team

Apprentices are required to be willing to:

  • Commit to 2 years of study
  • Take ownership of and manage their own learning
  • Take on a senior role
  • Work collaboratively with their workplace mentor and the Griffith College academic team to achieve a successful outcome for themselves and the employer organisation
  • Commit to attending the classroom sessions as part of their normal working week and to treat them as an extension of the workplace
  • Sign up to the Apprenticeship Code of Practice for Employers and Apprentices

You will need to fit a minimum of one of the following entry requirements:

  • Employed healthcare assistants who have a relevant healthcare NFQ Level 5 Major Award (120 credits), with distinction in at least three components, or equivalent qualification, including those from another awarding body which is mapped to level 5 on the National Framework of Qualifications, plus a minimum of six months' work experience in the healthcare sector.
  • Leaving Certificate: five subjects with O6 / H7 to include English and a minimum of foundation mathematics and at least two relevant NFQ level 5 healthcare components – 30 credits, or equivalent qualification plus a minimum of six months’ experience of working as a healthcare assistant.
  • A mature candidate, over the age of 23, who does not hold an NFQ Level 5 qualification as set out in categories (i) or (ii) above, or equivalent, but who has a minimum of two years’ experience working as a healthcare assistant, is recommended by their employer, and demonstrates the correct attitudes, behaviours and literacy skills is also eligible to apply.

The English language entry requirements for the programme are CEF B2+ or equivalent. Candidates with English language levels below CEF B2+ must first reach this minimum standard before enrolling on the academic programme.

Candidates must have certified people moving and handling, and first aid responder skills, garda vetting and any relevant vaccinations for their work place in advance of their enrolment on the programme.

The third level student fee for the programme is €1,000 per annum.

All other tuition fees are funded by the government.

  • Talk to your employer and confirm with them that they will support you on the apprenticeship programme
  • If you do not have an employer visit the generation apprenticeship jobs portal to find an employer
  • Apply here and we will support you through the application process

Visit the Generation Apprenticeship Jobs Portal to see who is hiring.

Questions? Email our Apprenticeships team or call the college at +353 1 415 0400

What will I study?

Semester One

  • Module 1 - Communications and Interpersonal Skills Part 1
  • Module 2 - Personal and Professional Development Part 1
  • Module 3 - Sociology of Healthcare

Semester Two

  • Module 4 - Clinical Skills Part 1
  • Module 5 - Understanding the Body Part 1

Semester Three

  • Module 6 - Health Promotion, Nutrition and Hydration
  • Module 7 - Older Person Care and Dementia

Semester One

  • Module 8 - Introduction to Mental Health
  • Module 9 - Communications and Interpersonal Skills (Part 2)
  • Module 10 - Personal and Professional Development (Part 2)

Semester Two

  • Module 11 - Clinical Skills (Part 2)
  • Module 12 - Understanding the Body (Part 2)

Semester Three

  • Module 13 - Ethical Legal and Palliative Care
  • Module 14 - One of the following electives:
    • Supporting Care in the Community
    • Supporting Operating Theatre Care Practice
    • Supporting People with Intellectual and Physical Disabilities
    • Supporting People with Mental Illness