Health Care Assistant Program

Our Health Care Assistant program includes hands-on acute, hospice, and palliative care training and certification

Start learning from home today with online classes!

We know it’s a challenging time, but you don’t have to put your life on hold. At Sprott Shaw, new and incoming students can register through our online admissions process and start learning online with many of our programs. Through remote “face-to-face” instructor-led classes, students can experience interactive learning in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Contact us to learn more. 

Health care assistants are valued and important members of the healthcare team who promote and maintain the health, safety, independence, comfort, and well-being of patients.

The Health Care Assistant (HCA) diploma program equips students with the hands-on skills and knowledge to function effectively as front-line caregivers in community and facility settings. Under the direction and supervision of a health care professional, graduates will be able to provide person-centered care that promotes and maintains the physical, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and social well-being of patients.

Throughout the program, students will receive the following forms of training:

  • Basic and advanced hospice and palliative care training and certification
  • Acute care skills training and certification
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NVCI) training and certification
  • Introduction to Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI-MDS 2.0) Observation Tool training and certification
  • Standard First Aid with CPR-C/AED training and certification
  • FoodSafe training and certification 
  • WHMIS training and certification
  • Student Practice Education Core Orientation (SPECO) training

Why Study At Sprott Shaw?

  • All-inclusive program costs where what you see is what you pay. Our costs include registration fees, assessment fees, tuition, textbooks, supplies, course materials, uniforms, certificates, graduation fees, clinical and practicum fees, and much more
  • Career and professional development success courses to help create a career development marketing plan, learn the cardinal rules of professionalism, and identify the target markets and employment resources for the healthcare industry 
  • Preparation and orientation courses to teach you how to find credible research, write papers, create proper citation formats including APA, and study effectively for exams
  • Prerequisite certificates including Standard First Aid with CPR-C/AED, FoodSafe, WHMIS, and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
  • Access to dedicated Employment Services Specialists (ESS) who can help you with resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, and the overall job search after graduation
  • Monthly intake system so you can start your education when you want to without the wait
  • Clinical and practicum opportunities with health authorities across BC including Provincial Health Services Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health Authority, Island Health, Northern Health, and Interior Health Authority

Learning Objectives

  • Provides person-centred care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual client
  • Uses an informed problem-solving approach to provide care and assistance that promotes the physical, psychological, social, cognitive and/or spiritual well-being of clients and families
  • Provides care and assistance for clients experiencing complex health challenges
  • Provides care and assistance for clients experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges
  • Interacts with other members of the healthcare team in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals
  • Communicate clearly and accurately in sensitive situations with patients and families within a variety of community and facility contexts
  • Provides personal care and assistance in a safe, competent and organized manner
  • Recognizes and responds to own self-development, learning and health-enhancement needs
  • Performs the care provider role in a reflective, responsible, accountable and professional/ethical manner

Introduction to Acute Care Skills

In our “Introduction to Acute Care Skills” course, our curriculum includes all of the basic introductory acute care and medication administration assistance concepts included in the HCA BC provincial curriculum. After successful completion of our Health Care Assistant diploma program, you will also receive completion certificates for “Introduction to Acute Care Skills” and “Medication Administration Assistance.”

BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry

The BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry reviews and recognizes Health Care Assistant programs in BC to ensure that they are: following the provincial curriculum, implementing a common set of training standards, and graduating competent front-line health care providers. Confirming that health care assistants meet registration requirements is integral to the Registry’s mandate of patient protection and improved standards of care.

Graduates of the HCA program delivered by Sprott Shaw College are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry to demonstrate their competence and credentials to work for publicly funded employers in BC.

Diploma Program

Total Program Hours:
790 Hours
Full-Time Program Length:
29 Weeks
(Includes holidays and professional days)
Program content is subject to change.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Career Opportunities

Acute/Complex Care Facility
Adult Day Care
Assisted Living
Care Aide
Home Support Agencies
Long Term Care
Private Homes
Residential Support Worker
Self Employment
Special Care Units
Admission Requirements:
  • Grade 12 / GED or mature student status (all transcripts must be “true certified copies” or originals)
  • Admissions interview
  • Successful mathematics and language entrance assessments (a minimum score of 22/40 in language and a minimum composite score of 42/80)

Proof of meeting English Language Competency Requirements:

  • English 10 or equivalent with a grade of C (for native speakers of English) or Sprott Shaw College Communication for Healthcare with a grade of 76%
  • Standardized English language test score (for non-native speakers of English)
  • For further information on English requirements, see your Career Advisor

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

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

  • Applicants for this program must also have excellent communication skills (composition);
  • Obtain a satisfactory certificate of health from a physician with a Physician’s Waiver;
  • Submit a criminal record check (must be Public Safety & Solicitor General Schedule B);
  • Provide evidence of clear TB testing prior to acceptance (all must be done no more than three months before the start of the program); and
  • Provide evidence of up-to-date Immunizations (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Polio, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Influenza and others as required by clinical sites).
Diploma Requirements:
  • 70% average upon successful completion of all courses
Additional Notes:

CPR, First Aid, RAI, Crisis Prevention, FoodSafe and WHMIS will be completed during the program.

Supervised clinical training may include any shifts other than day shift (i.e. evenings– 3 to 11 pm or nights– 11 pm to 7 am and possibly weekends).
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from clinical training sites.

Clinical training is conducted in shifts of a minimum of 7.5 hours per day up to 12 hours per day for a total of 150 hours or 2 weeks at each clinical training.

Placement sites are subject to availability. Clinical sites may require more current CRC and TB testing (to be done at student’s expense)
Food Safe, Standard First Aid, CPR-C and introduction to WHMIS must be completed prior to going out on Clinical.

Where are our graduates working?

Sprott Shaw College graduates are working across the province in all Health Authorities including Fraser Health, Island Health, Northern and Interior Health Authorities. We have graduates working in complex care facilities operated by the health authorities and privately managed care facilities. We also have graduates working in the largest private nursing care companies in BC like Nurse Next Door, Bayshore Home Health and Retirement Concepts. If for any reason, you need assistance finding employment after graduation, we offer Employment Services for life at each of our 16 campuses.


This program includes the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention© Seminar using the Crisis Prevention Institute, Inc. curriculum and certified training. All students will be able to take the exam to become Blue Card™ endorsed.


* Health Care Assistant Program was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Students can expect to complete one to three hours of homework per day.

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

Courses List

This 29 week Diploma program requires the student to complete the following courses.

  • Computer basics/file management
  • Goal setting, note-taking, problem-solving, teamwork
  • Overview of policies & procedures
  • Demonstrate the ability to use MS Word and MS PowerPoint

  • Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice
  • Concepts of caring and person-centred care
  • Basic human needs and human development
  • Standard precautions, safety, WHMIS

  • Health 1- Interpersonal Communications
  • Concepts of caring and person-centred care
  • Professional communication
  • Speaking and writing professionally
  • Conflict management
  • Family culture and diversity
  • Dealing with others
  • Building personal strengths

  • Health 2 - Lifestyle and Choices
  • Holistic components of health and healing (Health Wheel)
  • Basic nutrition and FoodSafe
  • Home management
  • Self-care and health promotion

  • Health Care Assistant - Introduction to Practice
  • Health care system in BC and Canada
  • The health care team
  • Job readiness
  • Application of Professionalism
  • Do Bugs Need Drugs
  • Workplace culture

Healing 1A - Common Health Challenges
  • Normal ageing changes
  • Common health challenges
  • Practical skills used to manage common health challenges
Healing 1B - Common Health Challenges
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Normal ageing changes
  • Common health challenges
  • Practical skills used to manage common health challenges

  • Healing 1A - Common Health Challenges
  • Normal ageing changes
  • Common health challenges
  • Practical skills used to manage

  • Healing 1B - Common Health Challenges
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Normal ageing changes
  • Common health challenges
  • Practical skills used to manage common health challenges

  • Healing 2 - Cognitive Challenges
  • Physical, psychological and behavioural changes
  • Promotion of independence and quality of life
  • Confusion, delirium and dementia
  • Me & U-First Alzheimer Society
  • Home Instead eLearning Series
  • Standard First Aid with CPR - C and AED

  • Healing 3 - Introduction to Acute Care Skills
  • Intro to the acute care environment
  • Role of the HCA in acute care
  • Medication Administration Assistance
  • Wound care, IV, O2, Assisting with Medications
  • Post-operative care, diabetes care
  • Vital signs
  • Assist with physical examinations

  • Healing 4 - Hospice/Palliative Care
  • Communication skills used in caring for the dying and their family
  • Understanding hospice and palliative care
  • Personal awareness, self-reflection and self-care
  • Practical skills to help manage common challenges in end-of-life care
  • Food Safe

  • Healing 5 - Mental Health Challenges
  • Members of the health care team involved in mental health
  • Common mental health issues - depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders
  • Communication, treatment and preventative strategies
  • Abuse awareness
  • Promoting client well-being Developmental disabilities
  • NVCI - Non-violence Crisis Intervention

  • Clinical 1 - Multi-level and/or Complex Care
  • 2-week clinical experience

  • Clinical 2 - Multi-Level and/or Complex Care (Comp/Inc)
  • 2-week clinical experience

  • Clinical 3- Multi-Level and/or Complex Care (Comp/Inc)
  • 2-week clinical experience

  • 1 Clinical 4 / Practicum - Assisted Living and/or Home
    Support (Comp/Inc)
  • 2-week clinical or practicum experience

Contact an Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!

Contact Us Today!

Our advisors are happy to answer any questions.

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Contact a Admissions Advisor for More Information Today!