Health Care Assistant

Description Description

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. HCAs aid in the basic care of 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, students will gain skills and experience, first working in the classroom and lab, and then through practicum.

Job Opportunities Job Opportunities

Graduates of the program can work in the following facilities 

  • Hospital wards
  • Residential long-term care facilities
  • Extended care facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Group homes
  • Home support agencies

Wages Wages

Earn up to $26.50 per hour

Program Admission Requirements Program Admission Requirements

Prior to acceptance:
a. Proof of Grade 12 graduation or mature student status (19 Years or older) AND
b. Candidates with following language benchmarks;

For Native English speakers

Evidence of one of the following:

  1. Proof of completion of Grade 10 English; or
  2. College courses determined to be equivalent to completion of Grade 10 English (or higher) by post-secondary institutions. Applicants must produce transcripts as evidence of completion. A minimum of a C grade is acceptable.
  3. Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT): Reading Comprehension 35/50 Spelling 23/32
  4. Language Placement Index (LPI): The three individual scores (Sentence Structure, English Usage, and Reading Comprehension) must total a minimum of 20, out of a maximum possible score of 40. Essay level of 4, with a minimum essay score of 24/40
  5. Accuplacer: Grade 10 level or higher Recommended Cut Scores*: Reading Comprehension 60, Sentences Skill 55, Write placer 4

*Educational institutions may conduct their own predictive validity studies to confirm appropriate cut scores

For Non- Native English Speakers:

Evidence of one of the following:

  1. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) — test must be within the last two years, IBT only: Overall score of 76 with no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 18 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 6 with a minimum of 6 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 5.5 in Reading and Writing.
  3. Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLB PT) — test must be within the last one year: Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6.
  4. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP-General):  test within the last two years listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6
  5. Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) test within the last two years: Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50.

In cases where applicants already hold Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) results (testing with the last 2 years), the following minimum scores will be accepted: Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 6, Writing 6. 

Additional Criteria – English Language Competency Requirements

To confirm the appropriate level of English proficiency, Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) Report Cards (also may be known as ESL Student Progress Reports) would need to specify that an applicant’s current language level (“CLB levels now”), as “Completing” CLB Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 7 and Writing 7 AND that the “Recommended Class Placement for Next Term/Course” as Speaking 8, Listening 8, Reading 8 and Writing 8.

It is important for educational institutions to have a process in place to confirm that the CLB PT has been conducted by a qualified assessor at a licensed site. Please find information about HCA English Language Proficiency Tests and Authorized Assessment Centre Locations at the following link:

To support educational institutions in ensuring applicants meet Registry English language competency requirements, the following criteria have been put into place:

  1. To achieve functional language proficiency and be termed as a speaker of English as a first language, one would require seven (7) years of education in a listed country with English language systems/institutions (see list provided below).  These years could be acquired in either a consecutive or non-consecutive manner.   If, however, these years were all consecutive and inclusive of only secondary or post-secondary education in an English-speaking environment, the number of years to be considered as a speaker of English as a first language could be achieved in a period of three (3) years.
  2. To ensure consistency and quality assurance in student program entry, institution-created tests are not acceptable for the assessment of applicants whose first language is not English at this time.[1]

The Registry has established the following list of countries as those with English language systems/institutions.

Countries with English language systems / institutions (where English is a primary, official language and the language used for education)

American Samoa Dominica Mauritius Uganda
Anguilla Falkland Islands Montserrat United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Antigua Fiji New Zealand United States of America (USA)
Australia Ghana Seychelles US Virgin Islands
Bahamas Grenada Singapore  
Barbados Guam South Africa  
Belize Guyana St. Kitts and Nevis  
Bermuda Irish Republic St. Lucia  
British Virgin Islands Jamaica St. Vincent  
Cayman Island Kenya Trinidad and Tobago  
Canada* Malta Turks and Caico Islands  

*Applicants educated in Quebec at an institution where the language of instruction was not English, must meet the current English language proficiency requirements.

Notes for Admission:

The following are to be completed prior to the first practice education experience:

a) Proof of meeting current immunizations / vaccinations as per health care organization policies / guidelines (or signed vaccination exemption form, except TB)

b) Criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults

c) Standard First Aid

d) CPR Level “C” or “HCP”

e) Foodsafe Level 1

f) Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum (PVPC) E-Learning Modules

Program Duration Program Duration

Full Time: 745 Hours/24 weeks
Part Time: 745 Hours/37 weeks

Course Outline Course Outline

Course Number Course Name Hours
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
Total Duration :   745 hours

Fee Structure Fee Structure

1 Registration Fee $250 Domestic Students
2 Tuition Fee $5250
3 Books $175
4 Course Material $75
Total $5750
1 Tuition Fee $9000 International Students
2 Registration Fee $250
3 Book Fee $175
4 Other Material $75
Total $9500

This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

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