Health Care Assistant - ESL, 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.

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Check our current program availability.

Health Care Assistant students hands-on learning in lab

Program at a glance



Work experience

Clinical/fieldwork placement

Study options


Open to International


Information Sessions

The Health Care Assistant information sessions are a great way to learn more about the program and to get your questions answered by the faculty.
Scheduled Sessions

Front-line caregivers

New intake every October

Health Care Assistant - ESL is designed for students who want to take the HCA program while also improving their English language skills.

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 care-giver and respected member of the health care team in both community and facility settings.

HHS Student Handbook

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

In demand

Health Care Assistant 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.

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.

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 11.5 months long. Monday-Friday, 8:30am-2:30pm from October - September.

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.


Related link

Subject Area: Learn about other ESL programs and courses

Tuition and fees

Effective from September 1, 2024, to August 31, 2025

Estimated tuition

Tuition estimates are for the entire program.

Health Care Assistant - ESL, Certificate

$3055 (domestic)
$20,969 (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

Evidence of all of the following must be provided prior to acceptance:

1. English Language Proficiency 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) (testing within the last year):
      • Listening 6
      • Speaking 6
      • Reading 5
      • Writing 5
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL or CAEL Online) (testing within the last two years):
    • overall score of 50, with no section less than 40
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Academic or General (testing within the last two years):
      • overall score of 5.5
      • minimum of 5.5 in Speaking and Listening
      • no score lower than 5 in Reading and Writing
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition) (testing within the last two years):
      • IBT with an overall score of 56
      • no score lower than 15 in Speaking and Listening
      • no score lower than 13 in Reading and Writing

Note: A CLB Report Card from a Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) Program may also be accepted. To confirm the appropriate level of English proficiency, 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 6, Listening 6, Reading 6 and Writing 6 AND that the "Recommended Class Placement for Next Term / Course" as Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 7 and Writing 7.

2. Informational Interview:

  • Attend an informational interview with the Health Care Assistant - English Language Development instructor to confirm program expectations, and discuss oral communication skills.

3. 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. An online Information Session module is available for anyone unable to attend in person.

4. For International students: a clear police certificate from country of origin must also be included as a program entry requirement

When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the program admission requirements listed above. Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

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

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Missing admission requirements?

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Find out more on How to Apply or speak to an Admissions Advisor.

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
Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness (CHW)
Full bio

Faculty/staff profile


Cathy Josephson

Aex and Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness (CHW)
Full bio

Health Care Assistant

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: