Health Care Assistant, Certificate

Develop your caregiving potential. Camosun can prepare you for a rewarding career and set you up for entry into an in-demand, health care field.

Health Care Assistant students practice using a medical lifting device

Program at a glance



Work experience

Clinical/fieldwork placement

Study options


Open to International



7 months

Front-line caregivers

As a Health Care Assistant, you'll be given the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively as a front-line caregiver and respected member of the health care team in both community and facility settings.

In demand

Health Care Assistant (HCA) graduates are in high demand.

Do you have a genuine desire to work with older adults and persons with disabilities? Are you intrigued by the possibility of assisting others with personal care in the practical aspects of their day-to-day lives? Are you prepared for a career that will require you to work days, evenings, nights, weekends, holidays and 8-12 hour shifts? If you answered yes to all the above, then Health Care Assistant is the perfect career for you.

In addition to the general HCA program, you can specialize in one of the following alternative streams:

  • Health Care Assistant - English Second Language is designed for students who want to take the HCA program while also improving their English language skills. 
  • Health Care Assistant - Indigenous is designed for Indigenous* learners who want to take the HCA program while focusing on Indigenous community and culture. 
    *Camosun College views any student who is a descendant of the Indigenous peoples of North America to be an Indigenous student. This includes status and non-status Indians, Métis, Inuit and Native Americans who reside in Canada.

We'll help you succeed

As you work through the Health Care Assistant program's curriculum and your clinical placements, you'll acquire the skills, knowledge and values you'll need to provide professional care to the elderly and those facing other health or illness challenges.

Focusing on the elderly, you'll learn how to provide care that promotes and maintains the physical, psychological and social well-being of the clients you'll care for in your subsequent role as a Health Care Assistant.


    HCA Information Session Slides 


    HCA Program Start Dates

    New Intakes available every January, May and September.

    HHS Student Handbook

    Current information for School of Health and Human Services students and HCA program specific handbook.

    Recognition status by the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry

    The Health Care Assistant (HCA) program delivered by Camosun College has been granted a full, five-year recognition status by the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry. Graduates of the HCA program delivered by Camosun College are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.

    The BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry reviews and recognizes Health Care Assistant (HCA) 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 HCAs meet registration requirements is integral to the Registry's mandate of patient protection and improved standards of care. For further information about the recognition process and standards please see:


    Indigenous Priority Seating

    Indigenous Limited Priority Admissions 

    The School of Health & Human Services (HHS) offers Priority Seating for Indigenous students in all Health related programs.

    Visit Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen - Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections (IECC) for information on how to apply.  

    Any questions about the application process, please contact

    The Indigenous Limited Priority Admissions process, approved by the Board of Governors, supported by the Education Council, and approved by the BC Human Rights Tribunal, welcomes applications from all qualified Indigenous applicants.

    What you'll learn

    Current students wanting information about your program, go to student planning in myCamosun.

    Program outline

    For more details, including courses, please see the program outline in the Academic Calendar.

    Program outline

    Person-centered care

    Health Care Assistants learn a wide variety of practical and resident/client care skills. Our program is hands-on, with clinical placements throughout your time at Camosun. You’ll learn about interpersonal communications, lifestyles and choices, personal care, and how to treat patients ethically and with compassion.

    What to expect

    Located at our Interurban campus, the full-time HCA program is 29 weeks long (approximately seven months). Monday-Friday, 8:30am-2:30pm.

    Homework commitments may vary per student but are likely about three to four hours per day including weekends. You will be required to participate in full-time clinical placements that include day and evening shifts that may occur outside of regular class time.

    Health Care Assistant courses

    Your studies will provide you with the skills to advocate on behalf of the rights, needs, interests and fair treatment of residents and their families. As a Health Care Assistant you will develop a person-centred care philosophy aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well being of clients/residents.

    Tuition and fees

    Effective from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023

    Estimated tuition

    Tuition estimates are for the entire program.

    Health Care Assistant, Certificate

    $2,935 (domestic)
    $12,520 (international)

    Domestic tuition fees vary depending on the individual course fees for the classes you select.

    For International students visit: International Tuition & Fees.

    Student fees

    In addition to tuition estimates, student fees are calculated based on your enrolment. Refer to: Student Fees.

    Financial assistance

    You may need to find more than one source of funding to help pay for your education and living costs while attending college. Check out sources of money you don't need to pay back as well as those that need to be repaid.

    Financial Aid & Awards 

    Curriculum & courses

    Admission requirements

    Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.

    When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.

    Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

    One of:

    And  all of:

    • Information Session
      • Attendance at a Health Care Assistant program information session is required to ensure applicants have a strong understanding of the expectations of the Health Care Assistant (HCA) program and the role of the HCA in the work environment. The HCA self-directed online information session slides are available at this time; to satisfy this requirement, please read the document carefully and complete the survey at the end.
    • English Proficiency Self-Declaration
    • English Language Competency Requirements
      • BC HCA program applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency. Domestic and/or international applicants whose first language is not English will need to take a standardized proficiency assessment to confirm communicative competency in all four language skills areas (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
      • Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of one of the following standardized English language proficiency test scores from an authorized assessment centre:​
        • Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLB PT) (test must be within the last year):
          • Listening 7
          • Speaking 7
          • Reading 6
          • Writing 6

    Note: A CLB Report Card from a LINC Program may also be accepted.

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Academic or General (test must be within the last two years):
      • overall score of 6
      • minimum of 6 in Speaking and Listening
      • no score lower than 5.5 in Reading and Writing
    • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) (test must be within the last two years):
      • overall score of 60
      • no section less than 50
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (test must be within the last two years) IBT only:
      • an overall score of 76
      • no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening
      • no score lower than 18 in Reading and Writing

    For more detailed information about this program and specific admission requirements, see the Academic Calendar.

    Academic Calendar

    Contact us

    If you have admissions questions contact us today!

    If you have questions about what you can expect to learn in your HCA classes contact

    Faculty/staff profile

    Ros Gies-Pereira

    Ros Giles-Pereira

    Chair, Continuing Care Department

    Ros has been working in health care for over 30 years; starting as a care aide while completing her BSN at UBC. She also holds a Master in Health Stud ...

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    Faculty/staff profile

    Leanne Robb

    Leanne Robb

    Program Leader

    Faculty/staff profile


    Tracy Atkinson


    Tracy Atkinson is an instructor in the Continuing Care Programs. She has been teaching since 2005, in both the Health Care Assistant and Practical Nur ...

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    Faculty/staff profile

    Sarah Chisholm

    Sarah Chisholm


    Hello, my name is Sarah Elizabeth Chisholm.  I joined the Camosun College team in 2012 as an instructor for the Health Care Assistant Program.&nb ...

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    Faculty/staff profile


    Dasha Herman


    Faculty/staff profile


    Cathy Josephson


    Faculty/staff profile


    Julia Liska


    Julia has been involved in healthcare for 40 years and teaching in health care education for the past 20 years at Humber College, Sheridan College, UV ...

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    Faculty/staff profile


    Bethan Samaroo


    Faculty/staff profile


    Laurie Sivertson


    Healthcare Assistants learning in the classroom

    Learn more

    For more details, including courses, please see the program outline in the Academic Calendar. 

    Contact information

    School of Health and Human Services

    Campus location

    Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health & Wellness (CHW) 207

    Location link

    Interurban Campus



    Admissions questions: