A variety of learning experiences

Health Care Assistant – Certificate

Program Details

Length: 26 weeks (16 weeks throry, 10 weeks practice)

Total Credits: 37

Intake Terms: Fall, Winter

Campus: Trail

Student Loans: This program is eligible for Student Loans - details here

Credential Received

Certificate in Health Care Assistant


Program Summary

Are you interested in becoming a front line health care worker and assisting clients with their personal care, nutrition, and mobility? Our program will support you in developing the confidence, knowledge and skills required to provide safe care and contribute to the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of clients in a variety of health care settings.

As a graduate, you will be a respected member of the health care team and work under the direction and supervision of a health professional.

The Health Care Assistant program is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively as front-line care providers and be a respected member of the health care team in both community and facility settings. Under the direction and supervision of a health professional, graduates provide person-centered care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients/residents. Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for registration with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

The HCA program is 26 weeks in total. During the first 16 weeks, students complete theory and lab courses during face-to-face classes on the Trail campus and online, followed by completion of 270 hours of practice in residential and community care settings during the final ten weeks of the program.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • provide person-centered care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual client.
  • use an informed problem-solving approach to provide care and assistance that promotes physical, psychological, social, cognitive and spiritual well-being of clients and families.
  • provide care and assistance for clients experiencing complex health challenges.
  • provide care and assistance for clients experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges.
  • interact with other members of the health care team in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  • communicate clearly, accurately and in sensitive ways with clients and families within a variety of community and facility contexts.
  • provide personal care and assistance in a safe, competent and organized manner.
  • recognize and respond to own self-development, learning and health enhancement needs.
  • perform the care provider role in a reflective, responsible, accountable and professional manner.

Program Admission Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • A minimum of 67% or higher is required in English 10
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language are required to demonstrate proficiency in English as outlined by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. Standardized proficiency assessments and required scores in all four language skills areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing) are outlined at: http://www.cachwr.bc.ca/Educators.aspx. And within the pdf titled HCA Program EntryEnglish Language Competency Requirements.

Additional Requirements

  • Applicants are required to complete the College Readiness Tool (CRT) in reading, writing and mathematics.
  • Three personal references and an applicant information questionnaire serve to provide evidence of the personal characteristics required by the program. Such references should be supplied by counsellors, employers, instructors or supervisors. References from friends and relatives are not acceptable for this purpose.
  • Applicants must complete a Criminal Record Check (CRC) through the Ministry of Justice. The School will not seek practice placements for students whose CRC is adjudicated and deemed unacceptable for working with vulnerable clients.
  • Individuals entering the HCA program are advised that they must meet the requirements for immunization established for health care workers by the B.C. Ministry of Health prior to entering clinical practice settings.
  • Students require basic computer skills including knowledge of the internet, accessing online information, email, and word processing.
  • Applicants are required to have current certification in CPR - Basic Life Support (BLS), and FoodSafe.

Program Courses

Required Courses

HCA 101Health & Healing: Concepts for Practice


HCA 102Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice


HCA 103Health 1: Interpersonal Communications


HCA 104Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices


HCA 105Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges


HCA 106Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges


HCA 107Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance


HCA 108Practice Experience in Home Support and Assisted Living


HCA 109Practice Experience in Multi-Level/Complex Care