• long running

[VIC] Free Certificate 2/3/4 & Diploma Courses for Eligible Victorian Residents @ TAFE Victoria


Victoria has the most TAFE courses under Free TAFE scheme compared to other states. I found that the best TAFE school for the courses is Swinburne and Holmesglen since they don't charge the extra Student Service Fees so you can save hundreds of dollar on this fees. Some TAFE do charge extra material fees as well. Victoria even have a few diploma courses under Free TAFE as well.

For tech courses you can consider Swinburne, and you can consider Holmesglen Moorabbin for Cert 3 in Commercial Cookery (Le Cordon Bleu kitchen is also in this campus)

Some of the high value courses are Cert 4 in Cyber Security and Diploma of Nursing (this course is not cheap). Diploma of Nursing in Swinburne is 1.5year instead of 2years in other TAFE schools.

Cert 3 in Commercial Cookery in Holmesglen Moorabbin is also a good course with coffee units, artisan bread unit and even job placement program. You can also study the few extra Patisserie units to complete the Cert 3 in Patisserie as well (this will cost extra but not much since it is only like 6 units).

Because of COVID-19, we have another scheme called JobTrainer if you are unemployed (either under JobSeeker or not is not required) so you can take 2 courses if you are unemployed, 1 under JobTrainer and 1 under FreeTafe scheme. Upskill requirements can be exempted for FreeTafe and JobTrainer

The good thing with Swinburne and Holmesglen is they don't add extra or separate fees like Student Service Fee and Material Fee which is not covered under FreeTafe.

If you are in other state, you can consider moving to VIC to take the free TAFE courses since you will have much more courses to study than other states.


Any Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen is eligible to do one Free TAFE for priority course in Victoria if they meet the following criteria:

  • under 20 or upskilling
  • aged under 20 (regardless of any other qualifications they might hold)
  • are 20 or older and enrolling in a course that is a higher qualification than the highest qualification previously attained
  • Victorians who need additional support
    Victorians who are:
    • unemployed and clients of the Jobs Victoria Employment Network
    • retrenched workers
    • automotive supply chain workers
    • looking to change careers
    • Victorians who want to reskill, change careers, improve their employment prospects and/or meet the needs of local industries, subject to availability of TAFE places, and prioritised based on need. It is expected that priority will be given to people impacted by the coronavirus, such as women, young people and migrants, and other vulnerable people.

There is another scheme called SkillFirst which will requires you to upskill only, i.e you can only eligible to study higher cert level that you have already completed and there is a limit of 2 per year and a few other requirements.
I have found some provider provide Skill First courses free as well like Construction courses (some excavator training… in the course) and Telecommunication courses (i.e you can work for NBN installer or other cabling technician). You need to plan which course level you want to do first if you want to take up this scheme.

FOR EMPLOYER: For those who are looking for jobs, there is wage subsidy scheme for 10k grant for employer to employ someone who is on Jobseeker for 6+ month. This maybe something that you can bring up to employer or if you can consider if you are employer

Free TAFE course list

Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping

Diploma of Accounting

Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs

Advanced Diploma of Accounting

Certificate IV in Ageing Support

Certificate II in Agriculture

Certificate III in Agriculture

Certificate IV in Agriculture

Certificate III in Agriculture (Dairy Production)

Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance

Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance

Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)

Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)

Advanced Diploma of Building Surveying

Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention

Certificate III in Civil Construction

Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations

Certificate IV in Civil Construction Supervision

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery

Certificate III in Community Services

Certificate IV in Community Services

Diploma of Community Services

Certificate III in Concreting

Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing

Certificate IV in Cyber Security

Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Certificate IV in Dental Assisting

Certificate IV in Disability

Certificate III in Education Support

Certificate IV in Education Support

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Certificate IV in Engineering

Certificate III in Health Services Assistance

Certificate III in Horticulture

Certificate III in Hospitality

Certificate III in Individual Support

Diploma of Justice

Certificate IV in Mental Health

Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work

Diploma of Nursing

Certificate IV in Plumbing and Service

Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure

Certificate III in Tourism

Certificate IV in Youth Work

The following skill set is free at TAFE, though it does not form part of the Free TAFE course list. Taking this skill set will not impact your Free TAFE entitlement.

Course in Introduction to the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Related Stores

Victorian Government
Victorian Government


  • +7

    Currently doing the cert IV in cyber security from there

    • how are you finding it? do you feel like you're learning something valuable or is it all a bit average?

      • +14

        It is a good course, material covered is quite good. You learn many things about security, Python, Linux, AWS, Splunk, SQL injection, SIEM, Windows Server Active Directory….

      • +5

        It's not bad but a bit too much for such a short time. They accept basically anyone, even people which have no experience in it and then they struggle

        • +9

          like I said, if you have no background in IT, you really need to put more efforts if you are really keen on moving to IT. But for those who are not really keen, once they go to work they are the one who will create vulnerabilities in the system.

        • +3

          Yeah they brush over lot's and worse, its been mostly designed by big enterprise ( very Cisco focused), so it's not for anyone in Small-medium enterprise. The problem is they talk up job prospects, bit in reality, unless you have external certs like CISSP, etc, you're not going to get anywhere with it.

          This course is a bit like ITIL, HR will say you need it to apply for a job (just to cut the numbers down), but fairly irrelevant to the actual job.

          • +1

            @M00Cow: Well, you need to start from somewhere, entry level help desk maybe a good start.

            • +1

              @samehada: Yes absolutely! From the bottom.

              But the course encouraged people with no IT background to do it.
              When I did it, I spend half.my pract time helping people understand what we were doing.

              One of my classmates was a cleaner, no IT background, but was expected to know their way around a linux command line (they couldn't get their head around a non-gui interface.

              Other course content (the filler stuff) was out of date. They were talking about dot matrix printer,.toekn ring networks, etc

              It's like ITIL, it'll look good on your CV, but won't have much practical use, unless you're wanting to get into CISCO kit, then go for it.

              • @M00Cow: This really depends on your job. I have to live and breathe ITIL to try and keep cowboy engineers (and auditors) at bay.

          • +1

            @M00Cow: Yup, the thing that got me job offers was already having experience in IT and systems admin.

            Unlikely anyone with no IT experience will be landing an actual cybersecurity role (especially compliance/analysis) with no experience.

            Seems pretty cruel to advertise it like that.

            • @Telios: I don't think it is the course problem. It is that person problem. IT is pretty much self study. Don't you remember how you learned Linux? You have to Google and read a lot online by yourself.

              The Netacad study material in the course is very useful for beginner. Those students with absolute no idea about IT should have spent double the effort, those who is expecting to be spoon-fed only got themselves to blame.

            • @Telios: So if someone knows a bit about IT just as a hobby but has zero work experience.. then they won't get a job after doing the cert iv?

              • +2

                @toobzy: Having it was a hobby probably puts you higher than the Cert IV.

                As the other chap said having interest and the ability to self study is basically 75% of mid-tier IT jobs.

                I've seen people pass Cert IV who I would never let touch my network.

                And a middle aged accountant lady who absolutely smoked all of us in Python programming.

                Show pride in your interest and you will get work.

    • +1

      Can it be done online only ( remotely/through internet only )?

      • +1

        I don't think so. At the VU one day weekly is on campus

        • Thanks

  • +6

    Got a bachelor, wished I could pick a free tafe course :(

    • +4

      You can in VIC. Upskill requirement is exempted under FreeTafe (i.e changing career) or JobTrainer (being unemployed, you don't need to be on JobSeeker)

    • Why you can't? Free eligibility is not offered to Bachelor degree holders?

      • +2

        Usually there is upskill requirement, you are only eligible for higher level courses that you completed.

        • Oh, might have to ask again. I was going to enrol in Diploma of Nursing from a bachelors of IT but they said I most likely have to pay full fee..

          • +2

            @lothus777: Just put in your application with Swinburne, many ppl doing Cert 4 in CyberSecurity even have Master Degree. If you are under JobTrainer scheme, you are also exempted from this upskill requirement. Diploma of Nursing is a good one in the list of courses.

            • @samehada: Could be foreign qualifications that might not count in Australia?

              • @milesandbos: It does count but like I said there is exemption for upskill requirement for FreeTAFE and JobTrainer. For Skill First scheme you are only allow to upskill.

          • @lothus777: Diploma of Nursing is good for those who want to study Nursing, save you the cost of 1st year of Bachelor of Nursing, once you complete Diploma of Nursing you can continue to 2nd year of Bachelor of Nursing.

            You can work as Enrolled Nurse after you complete Diploma of Nursing and continue your study to Bachelor of Nursing to become Registered Nurse.

            • +1

              @samehada: That's exactly what I want to do, just submitted in my application and hopefully I am eligible for the government scheme. Feel miserable in IT

              • @lothus777: Which one are you applying? Swinburne is a good one, this course is 1.5yr in Swinburne instead of 2yr in other TAFE.

                • @samehada: Swinburne is like 2 hours away, ended up with VU as its only 5mins away from home

                  • @lothus777: yeah but VU course is 2 years.

                    • @samehada: 4 hours of transport - 4 days a week rather trade is for 10min drives
                      Swin is 440 hours in 18 months and VU is 400 in 24months - more time to study and probably pick up for extra shifts during casual/PT employment

            • @samehada: There are lot of university are offering scholarship for Bachelor/Masters in Nursing , which not only cover your fees but also give you extra money. My wife got scholarship for 15K per year and fee is around 8 per year. she is doing Bachelor of Nursing.

              • @ozzz: Which one is that? Can you share it? What is the criteria for scholarship?

        • +1

          I was thinking to do it for fun, like Cert II in Bricklaying so that I can hopefully upgrade my garden lol.
          Then I realised it's actually lots of commitment for the course, and eligibility is an issue if you want it free.

          • @NothingButPoor: It is a full time study with 3-4 days full time a week and you have assignment to study as well, so you really need to commit if you want to study.

            • @samehada: How many hours a day is full time? Are hours flexible? Currently working 8am-5pm interested in cybersecurity. Would that be feasible? I'm fine with study and assignment, already doing AWS on my spare time.

              • +3

                @ShouldIBuyIt: like 8.30am - 5pm, 4 days a week. If you are working full time it will be hard to commit.

    • Sounds like discrimination if you can't - "upskilling" means getting a job by doing a course when you don't have one, literally

  • +1

    Do you need to be Vic resident?

    • +1


      • I guess they require proof of residence?

        • +1

          yes, you need to show proof of address. i.e Driver Licence.

  • +1

    I'll add the full list shortly (done, for VIC TAFE only)

  • +1

    Excellent post OP.
    I am interested in doing Cert IV in Cyber Security and want to do it via remote learning. Is this available with Swinburne.? Cheers.

    • +1

      For now it is remote learning because of the lockdown but it will be on campus once lockdown finishes. You really need to commit if you want to study, for non-IT background you may have to put in extra efforts.

      • True. I want to do this sec cert as a refresher. I did CEH and ECSA back in 2015, expired though.
        Currently doing Microsoft Sec cert. It would be great if they deliver this remotely so I can balance WFH and Studies.
        Homesglen showing as Online delivery for intake 2022. Might approach them.

        • +1

          The Cert IV in Cyber Sec is a fairly "generic" course. As mentioned alsewhere in this thread, it looks good on the resume, but as a "get the job done" qualification, it looks to be too braod with insufficient depth in any one area to be attractive to a hiring manager. I did this one last year (at Chisholm) to give me paper that reflectes my experieence, and found that it is too disjointed, and they set the expectations far higher than this one can deliver on.

          • @magpuy: Thanks for your advise.
            Really helpful in deciding whether to take this course.
            I dont want to take for the sake of free Tafe instead I would spend the time in doing industry level certs which would be directly beneficial for my career.

          • +1

            @magpuy: the course is designed for those without background to get foot in the industry.

            Remember Certificate 4 is Vocational Education. You have to study further or work experience or self study to get into further depth of the field. It is a pathway to Graduate Diploma and Bachelor degree.

            IT requires a lot of self study, even if you study Bachelor degree, mostly you will have to self study.

  • How are they delivering most of their courses due to the lockdown?

    • +1

      For courses like Cookery, theory subject is delivered online for now and practical classes will be in campus after lockdown. For IT courses or Accounting courses it is delivered online.

      For those subjects that need to be in campus they are doing the theory as much as they can online and practical one later campus is re-opened.

      • ok cool, thanks for that!

  • +1

    Thanks OP, this is what I was discussing with my gf the other day. A lot of free courses are offered in vic compared to all other states. Although vic could offer other good courses too for which there's genuine need in the current market.

  • anyone know if there is any in NSW for building and construction?

  • +2

    is this like Udemy were I can sign up to as many courses as I want ?

    • No, you need to put in your application to the Tafe school and you can only do 1 Free Tafe course and 1 under JobTrainer if you are eligible.

    • @Belv No, these are actual full-time (can be part-time if you choose) official qualification where you attend classes and graduate from Tafe or Uni.

  • Is there a requirement what level of schooling you've completed? I have an honours degree already but if it's a free TAFE course I might go for it anyway.

    • +1

      Upskilling requirement is exempted if changing career is your purpose of studying.

  • Great post, thanks OP.

  • I may add the other free course I came across on FB which is under SkillFirst scheme. SkillFirst is a different scheme with upskill requirement so if you want to study some courses under SkillFirst you need to plan it because once you complete a Cert 4 you are not eligible for any other Cert under SkillFirst scheme. Cert 4 is the highest level eligible for funding. This FreeTafe is great since there are a few Diploma course in the list. Just look at NSW, only some short courses are offered.

  • which one makes the most money? forget about passion, i need money.

    • +3


      • Have been regretting my life choices recently. There’s always going to be sick people, not so much requirement for my chosen profession it seems (at least right now)!

    • Plumbing or building construction 💪🏿✌🏿

      • And you get a tea room

  • I have already availed my free tafe course. I did cert 3.
    Can I do another free course? Currently, I am employed.

    • +4

      No, you can only take 1 free tafe course, you can only take another course under JobTrainer if you are unemployed.

    • -3

      stop being selfish, don't take away from people that don't even have a cert.

  • If hold a diploma can i get into a cert 4 or diploma under free TAFE ?

    • yee you can, FreeTAFE offer ppl opportunity to get started in another career.

  • I'm just curious what if someone wants to do the free course under the job trainer scheme claiming they are unemployed but actually they are not. How can the school or government find out?

    • +1

      Either you need to be under JobSeeker with Health Care Card or you have to make Statutory Declaration. There is consequences if you lie under Stat Dec.

      There is situation that you are unemployed and not eligible for JobSeeker payment because you are on PR and does not satisfy residence requirement yet otherwise you should be able to apply for JobSeeker payment.

  • I enrolled six years ago in one of these free TAFE cert IV courses through national training, it was a deal on here.

    However, I never finished it. My highest qualification is Cert III. Do you reckon I can apply for one of these modern Cert IV?

    Is there a website or number I can call to check against my USI?

    • If it is 6 years ago then it is under SkillFirst scheme since FreeTafe only started in 2019. So you haven't done any FreeTafe course then you are eligible. If you are under JobSeeker then you are also eligible for JobTrainer scheme as well.

  • +3

    Studying the Undergraduate Certificate of Cybersecurity and Networking at Box Hill Institute.

    Its bad overall. The content is either super useless theory, or some online labs they shamelessly scraped off other online courses like AWS's one and some Netlab Networking/Cybersecurity ones.

    You would probably be more qualified watching a couple YT vids and taking a quick good online bootcamp than doing this.

    The fact that we're doing the same classes as people actually paying for a degree are is very saddening.

    Its a joke they actually charge people money for this.

    Also, the workload is laughably low, and the assignments are all your "write essay" and "make powerpoints" with an exam at the end.

    As a simultanious student of RMIT, this cert is merely a dent in my workload. I probably spend like 20% of my time tops on this course.

    Also, RMIT's assignments are like 5x more applied, and you learn so much more in these practical style assignments. The content is also not ripped off the internet for free, and the lecturers and tutes are much better.

    Shame on you BHI for charging people money for this. If this wasn't free, I'd have already quit and save the time and trouble.

    Don't go there guys, at least for Cybersec. Would be weary of anything they put out.

    • +1

      Do you know what is Bachelor and what is Certificate level? and do you know why students go to Cert 3/4 and Diploma level instead of Bachelor? and even at Cert 4 level, some students are struggling? Maybe try to educate yourself on what to expect for VET(Vocational Education and Training)

    • Thanks mate for this. I was considering Boxhill for CyberSec CertV. Going back to TAFE research now.

      • That Box Hill institute will cost you extra $469 with Student Service Fee and Material Fee. Same as many other TAFE schools.

        I have checked all the TAFE schools in the list and Holmesglen and Swinburne are the only 2 that doesn't charge any extra fees.

  • Thanks OP for the post. I need some help to get some pointers for a decent TAFE for CyberSec CertV near to western melbourne subrbs ?
    I am looking for a TAFE which offers the course as
    - Full/Part-Time
    - More hands on approach.

    I have shortlisted the following but have no clue which one should I go for:-
    - VU University (Sunshine or Footscray campus)
    - RMIT City Campus
    - Federation University Australia, Ballarat


    • go for Swinburne, make sure you check the extra fees on these TAFE schools, they advertise free tuition fee but they charge extra hundreds of dollar in Student Service fees and Material Fees.

      And since it is Vocational Education, in my personal opinion I don't hold so much hope with non-uni TAFE. Swinburne fee structure is great and cheap. RMIT also cost a bit out of pocket but also a good option.

      Another thing to consider is the subject list chosen for this course. I have seen Swinburne and RMIT for example got 2 subjects that teach about Linux, Windows Active Directory compared to the one chosen by Box Hill Institute and a few other TAFEs which are not as technical subjects. But it is hard to tell what is taught by the unit name.

      • Thanks mate. It's really helpful.

    • I'm currently studying at VU St.Albans and considered Box Hill.

      VU teaches 1-2 subjects at a time and is 2 nights per week part time 5:30-9:30pm

      Box Hill teaches 3 units which might not be relative to each other, at the same time across 3 nights a week part time. The hours are also later 6-10pm

      My brother completed his certificate at Box Hill but after he finished he did not recommend it. VU is OK in that the units are 1 or 2 at a time - but this teacher really doesn't care about teaching us much and as mentioned earlier it is a lot of self study. A fair few students in my class dropped out and we aren't even half way through the course.

  • +6

    If you are over 30, not working, and interested in IT, this is a better option.
    You get a free 12 week course, then can go on to a 12 week paid internship. There are 5000 spots available (companies are part-subsidized by govt), and you can study a wide range of subjects from project management, to cloud.

    • +1

      The first intake was around 450 spots and they start every quarter. It probably is a better way to go for IT-related courses and seems to incorporate current industry experts with RMIT courses.

    • +1

      This looks awesome. Wished there was a similar scheme in qld

      • +1

        Yes exactly was just about to cent this

    • +1

      Thanks for sharing this!

    • Sounds great. NSW Have anything like this ?

  • any of these tafe providers offer 100% online study for cert4/diploma of building and construction?

    looks like holmesglen does a self paced online study. just applied thanks op

    • Unless you are currently working in or have previous experience in the construction industry I suggest you do not take up the course.

      I did my cert 4 a few years back with my background being carpentry.

      Class went from 15 students to 3 real quick.

      So many people who weren’t supposed to be there just dropping off each week.
      Heard the same from my friend who did it before me.

      • The same applies for those with non-IT background getting into Cyber Security expecting to be spoon-fed.

  • I'm currently doing a dip can I enroll for 1+year in advance?

  • Thanks for posting! I was wondering could someone do a Diploma in Construction and Building with no prior experience? My background is in accounting and it is draining my life :-( Also, which tafe would it be best to study in this field? Are they like unis, where TAFEs excel in particular areas? Thanks in advance

    • +1


      There is census date usually 1month after the course started that you can withdraw from the course if it is not suitable for you and you can still preserve that FreeTAFE slot for a more suitable course.

      Have a look at Swinburne, there trade school is quite good.

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