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Health Care Assistant-ESL


The HCA Program is designed for students who want to be certified to work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA).  Health care assistants are the frontline care providers in a variety of institutional and community settings.  Health Care Assistants  aid in the basic care of the patients under the direction of nurses, hospital staff and  physicians.  They provide professional care and supervision in protective and supportive health care environments for clients/residents  who have complex health challenges.   Through this course the students will gain skills and experience, first working in classroom and lab and then through practicum.  A portion of the ESL component will be taught to the students before they enter the Health care portion of the program.  This program is specially designed for intermediate users of the English language who need to improve their communication skills before they enter into the workforce.   This will enable the student to successfully communicate with their clients.

Job Opportunities

Hospital wards

Long Term Care Facilities

Extended Care Facilities

Adult Day

Respite Care and

Home Support


$16 – $26.30 per hour

Program Admission Requirements

Proof of Grade 10 graduation or mature student status and English Language Proficiency:

To be accepted into a recognized BC HCA program, applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. Students must be able to communicate effectively in English in order to be successful in their studies and to be capable of providing safe and competent care to patients/clients/residents in the work environment.

Teamwork and communication failures are a primary cause of patient safety incidents in healthcare; the ability to communicate effectively is one of the fundamental safety competencies identified by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI).

All BC HCA program applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency.   Domestic and/or international applicants who are non-native English speakers will need to take a standardized proficiency assessment to confirm communicative competency in all four language skills areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing).

HCA ESL Program Entry

For institutions offering a combined ESL HCA program (a minimum of 12 weeks/300 hours of additional program time for English language skills instruction), non-native speakers of English will require evidence of one of the following test scores when applying for program entry: 

1.The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) — test must be within the last two years.

IBT only:  Overall score of 56 with no score lower than 15 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 13 in Reading and Writing.

2.International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic or General — test must be within the last two years: Overall score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 5.0 in Reading and Writing.

3.Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLB PT) — test must be within the last year: Listening 6, Speaking 6, Reading 5 and Writing 5. Note: a CLB Report Card from a LINC Program may also be accepted.

4.Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) Academic or General:

Academic: Aggregate score of 3H or better, with 3H or better in Speaking and Listening and 3L or better in Reading and Writing.  General: CELPIP 6 or better in Speaking and Listening and CELPIP 5 or better in Reading and Writing

5.Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

Overall Score of 50, with no section less than 40.

Prior to the first practice educational experience you will need (1)proof of meeting current immunizations/vaccinations as per health care organization policies/guidelines (or signed vaccination exemption form ,except TB),  (2) Criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice , including clearance to work with vulnerable adults. (3) Standard First Aid, CPR Level ‘C’ or HCP  (4)  Food safe Level 1 (5) WHMIS

* *numbers 3,4&5 courses are offered through the college to the students at no addition cost to them

For your convenience we have added the link for the English requirements;

Program Duration

1045 hours / 53 weeks / 13 months

Course Outline


Course Number

Course Name


HCA 100 Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice

70 hours

HCA 200

Interpersonal Communications

50 hours

HCA 300 Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices 30 hours
HCA 400 Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice 30 hours
HCA 500 Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges 115 hours
HCA 600 Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges 60 hours
HCA 700 Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance 120 hours
HCA 800 Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care 210 hours
HCA 900 Practice Experience in Home Support and/or Assisted Living 60 hours
HCA 1000 ESL 300 hours
Total Duration :   1045 hours

Fee Structure






Tuition Fee

$ 4750

Domestic Students


Registration Fee

$ 250


Text Books

$ 250


$ 5250


Tuition Fee

$ 10,250

International Students


Registration Fee

$ 250


Text Books

$ 250




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