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Course Duration

Course Duration

The duration of your training course depends on the service in which you are engaged and consists of two main phases:

  • classroom training (‘off shift’)  
  • on the job/mentoring training in the live environment (‘on shift’)

Typical course durations are:

Call-taker courses (Certificate II in Emergency Communications)

Ambulance services

13 weeks training (approximately) comprising 7 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 6 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)

Fire services

7 weeks training (approximately) comprising 4 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 3 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)

Victoria Police/State Emergency Service

7 weeks training (approximately) comprising 4 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 3 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)


Dispatcher courses (Certificate III in Emergency Communications)

Ambulance service (Emergency)

12 weeks training (approximately) comprising 5 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 7 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)

Ambulance service (Non emergency)

10 weeks training (approximately) comprising 3 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 7 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)

Metropolitan fire services

15 weeks training (approximately) comprising 8 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 7 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)

Regional fire service

6 weeks training (approximately) comprising 4 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 2 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)

Victoria Police

6 weeks training (approximately) comprising 2 weeks classroom training (‘off shift’) and 4 weeks on the job training/mentoring (‘on shift’)


In order to ensure that the transfer and application of learning from the classroom environment to the live environment is as successful as possible, ESTA certificate courses include a combination of ‘off shift’ and ‘on shift’ training.

The ‘off shift’ training phase is delivered in a classroom environment that simulates the equipment and resources used in the live emergency services communications centre environment. While classroom training is generally delivered from Monday to Friday, it may also be scheduled on weekends and the hours may alter between day, afternoon and night.

The ‘on shift’ training phase is undertaken with learners receiving one to one support from a mentor or workplace trainer in the operational environment. This ‘on the job’ training program is scheduled in accordance with your operational shift roster and can include day (0600/0700-1800/1900) and night (1800/1900-0600/0700) shifts. You will not take any calls without a mentor or workplace trainer assisting you until you have successfully completed the certificate course.

It is anticipated that during your training course you will be required to study in your own time for approximately one hour per evening.

ESTA’s qualified workplace trainers are all subject matter experts and come from the operational environment for the course they are delivering. Our team are all certified workplace trainers and are committed to your progress as a learner. Throughout your certificate course, our trainers will provide you with assistance and feedback on a regular basis.

Throughout the training program, workplace trainers and learning & development team management will make all realistic attempts to ensure your individual learning needs are met, while not interrupting the course structure, assessments and training requirements.

Such assistance may include:

  • review of study techniques and environment
  • review of assessment delivery method as appropriate and where possible
  • review and modification of training room timetable
  • provision of individual training sessions
  • provision of additional training resources
  • altering training delivery method to accommodate varying learning styles
  • referral to other learning & development staff or external support providers