What is a volunteer traineeship?
ABA offers the course 10280NAT Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education only to personal members of ABA who agree to undertake a volunteer traineeship.
As a volunteer trainee, you are like an apprentice. You build your skills and knowledge with:
- on-the-job training, including a 150-hour work placement with ABA
To be eligible for a volunteer traineeship you must:
- be a full voting member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association
- be committed to the philosophies and principles of ABA
- agree to abide by the ABA Code of Ethics
- have no criminal convictions, such as fraud, any violent offences in the last 5 years or any offence involving children, that would preclude or prohibit you from working with children or babies
- commit to working as a volunteer with the Association - both during your training and for at least two years after qualifying.
To be appointed as a breastfeeding counsellor you must also have:
- personal experience of breastfeeding a baby, reflecting ABA philosophies and principles
- breastfed a baby for 6 months and continue after introducing solids
To be appointed as community educator you:
- can be a male or female
- must have extensive contact and experience with breastfeeding mothers. Personal breastfeeding experience is highly regarded.
We sponsor your training and invest considerable resources to help you complete your volunteer traineeship. In return, we expect you to commit to volunteering with ABA for at least two years part-time after you complete your course.
Once appointed as a breastfeeding counsellor or community educator, you agree to:
- remain a financial member of ABA
- remain active in the Association for at least 2 years after being appointed
- accept the role of group leader when required
- Breastfeeding counsellors also agree to participate monthly on the National Breastfeeding Helpline roster
- Community educators also agree to participate regularly in community education events
Questions to think about:
- How will my role in ABA fit in with other priorities in my life?
- Do I have work or other commitments which are expected to increase?
- How will my family feel about the amount of my time I will be committing?
The value of a Certificate IV course is around $2500. Members who agree to work as volunteers for the Association for a specified timeframe receive an exemption from tuition fees. We also get funding from the Australian Government for training of breastfeeding counsellors to staff the National Breastfeeding Helpline.
You will still pay an administration fee.
There is a non-refundable initial enrolment fee of $85.
This is not a tuition fee. It covers part of the cost of administering your volunteer traineeship. This is a reduced fee made possible through funding from the Australian Government.
Enrolment extensions (if needed):
- $85, if you have completed 2 or more units in your previous enrolment period
- $250 otherwise
Personal membership of ABA
You are required to maintain financial personal membership of ABA during your training and while working as a volunteer for ABA.
Learner guides are available in hard-copy only. The cost is $20-$25 per learner guide, plus postage.
Other costs may include:
- cost of a Working with Children or equivalent check
- incidental telephone, internet and/or postage costs related to training or ABA workplace activities
- stationery and computer-related costs
- personal copies of basic breastfeeding books if purchased
- travel to training meetings, workshops, community education events
- registration/accommodation at conferences, seminars, workshops — sometimes local groups will pay these, but this is not always certain
If an applicant is experiencing financial hardship limited funds have been made available to ensure that this does not prohibit training with the Association.
- Please contact Training Administration for more information.
State funding entitlements
Learners are advised to consider current and future training options, and government funding opportunities, which may be limited by undertaking training with the Association. Find state funding infomation for your state or territory:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
We deliver training year-round. So you can start your training as soon as you are accepted into the course.
We offer flexible training options to suit your busy schedule:
- workshops and training sessions
- online study groups
- self-paced Learner Guides
- individual learning programs - supported by a trainer
Our programs help support learners to complete their training within 12 months. Most trainees complete the course part-time and may take up to 18 months. However your completion date depends on your own training progress.
As a volunteer trainee, you learn on-the-job, including a work placement of 150 hours of volunteering with ABA, preferably at local group level. If there is no active local group in your area, your trainer will discuss with you other options for participation.
During your training you agree to:
- remain a financial member of the Association
- participate in training activities, e.g. meetings, workshops, online study groups
- complete a work placement of 150 hours of volunteering
To measure your performance, we use competency-based assessments, like:
- oral task: demonstrations and role plays
- practical projects
- simulated workplace activities
- written tasks
Your assessor will need evidence over a period of time that you are competent in a variety of volunteer tasks. This means we collect evidence about your work and judge you against set criteria for each task or assignment. We also look at how you apply your knowledge and skills to meet the standards within your work environment.
Legislative and RTO requirements
Applicants must also be prepared to undergo a police check and working with children check or equivalent.
In some states you can apply online. In others, you need to post hard-copy forms back and forth across the state. So get started as soon as you can.
- ACT - General registration
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- Queensland - Complete Parts D and E of Blue Card application form and the Confirmation of Identity form then email to email@example.com
- South Australia - Screening checks
- Western Australia - Ask your trainer for the details you need to put on the form, and who to send it to.
In some states, volunteers are exempt from charges for these checks.
Every VET student must have a USI before your training provider (ABA) can issue a statement of attainment or qualification to you.
With a USI, you can go online and access your complete record - all in one place.
Please apply for your USI individually on the USI website before you enrol.
You will be asked to provide your USI on the enrolment form.
- If you are less than 25 years old and a Victorian resident, you need a Victorian Student Number (VSN) to enrol. This is a requirement of the Education and Training Reform Amendment Bill 2008.
- If you don't have a Victorian Student Number, please contact Training Administration.
We are working with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to allocate a Victorian Student Number (VSN) to each student at our organisation.
You must complete a needs assessment for language, literacy and numeracy (LL&N) before you commence your course.
We use your LL&N assessment to establish your pre-existing skills and to help support your learning.
This is a requirement under the VET Quality Framework.
As part of your volunteer work as a counsellor, community educator or trainee, we publish your address and phone numbers in our confidential, internal directory. This means you may be contacted at home by mothers and community members. If this is an issue due to your work or personal circumstances, please contact Training administration
To find out more
- 10280NAT Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education course structure
- General information for training with ABA
- 10280NAT Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education pre-course information (personal members only)
We are committed to providing a safe, inclusive, and respectful learning environment.
See our Training policies and procedures
Log in to access the enrolment form (personal members only)