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Health Care Assistant

Our Program

Health Care Assistant

Program Description

The Health Care Assistant program delivered by Cambria College is recognized by the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry, all program graduates are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.

This program is approved by the Private Training Institution Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

The HCA Program is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function effectively as front-line caregivers and respected members of a healthcare team. Under the direction and supervision of a health professional, graduates provide person-centered care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual well-being of clients. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to work in a variety of practice settings including home support, assisted living, residential or complex care, special care and acute units, schools, group homes, adult day care and other community care settings.

Career Opportunities

To be eligible to work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) in BC, applicants must be registered with BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry. For more information, visit

Health Care Assistants are prepared to work in a variety of health care facilities and community agencies. They are important and valued members of the healthcare team. HCA’s promote and maintain the health, safety, independence, comfort and well--being of individuals and families. HCA’s provide personal care assistance and services in a caring manner that recognizes and supports the unique needs, abilities and backgrounds of clients and their families. They work as members of a health care team in a variety of settings with direction and supervision from regulated health care professionals.

(Excerpt from B.C. Health Care Assistants Core Competency Profile, Government of British Columbia, March, 2014, p. 5)

The work done by HCA’s is based on a set of fundamental values, beliefs and ethical principles that are consistently reflected in all aspects of their work with clients, families, team members and others. Amongst these core values, beliefs and principles, which serve as foundations of HCA practice, are those related to:

  • Human Beings
  • Older Adults
  • Health and Healing
  • Health Care
  • Caring and Caregiving
  • The Family in Health and Healing

Admissions Requirements

  1. High School Graduation or equivalent OR mature student status (19 years or older prior to starting the program)
  2. Meet one of the following English Language Proficiency requirements:
    1. Applicants whose first language is English: Grade 10 English or equivalent through evidence of one
      1. 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.
      2. Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT): Reading/Comprehension 33/50 Spelling23/32
      3. ACCUPLACER Next Generation: Recommended minimum cut scores are as follows: Reading (230), Writing (230), Writeplacer (4)
    2. Applicants whose first language is not English: Standardized English language proficiency test score from an authorized assessment centre:
      1. CLB PT test within last year: Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6* *Note: A CLB Report Card from a LINC Program may also be accepted
      2. CELPIP (General) test within last two years: Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6
      3. IELTS (Academic/ General) within 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
      4. CAEL test within last two years: Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50
      5. TOEFL test within 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
Admission Recommendations
  • 1. Volunteering or Experience working with an older population;
  • 2. Volunteering in a Residential Care Facility;
  • 3. Volunteering with Special Needs Population.

Course Breakdown

Course Name Minimum Course Hours
Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice 70 hours

Health 1: Interpersonal Communications

50 hours

Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices

30 hours

Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice

30 hours

Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges

115 hours

Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges

60 hours

Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance

120 hours

Theory/Lab Course Hours

475 hours

Practice Education Experience

Multi-level/Complex Care Facility Placement including a placement focused on dementia care

- Instructor-led Clinical Placement

210 hours

Practice Education Experience 

Home Support/Assisted Living/Group Home

- Practicum/Preceptorship

60 hours

Standard First Aid And food Safe 

24 hours

Practice Education Hours

270 hours

Total Minimum Program Hours

769 Hours

Program Duration

Total Hours 769
Work experience hours 210
Total Weeks 29

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