To promote professional development for HCAs and to assist them in finding continued learning opportunities that support them in the HCA role, we are providing the following list of courses.
This list is not exhaustive and focuses on learning opportunities offered by non-profit and publicly funded organizations. Private training institutions may offer relevant courses as well; these can be searched on a centralized directory.
To access a course, click on the course title. These links have been generated by other organizations and the Registry does not control or guarantee the information provided. Courses are not listed in an order that is intended to reflect their importance.
Health Care Assistant Practice in British Columbia
This free online, self-paced course provides an overview of information that is relevant to HCA practice in the province of British Columbia. This 5-hour course develops an awareness of HCA parameters of practice in BC and the different types of health care settings where HCAs work. It covers the importance of working collaboratively in the health care team and highlights key concepts such as person-centered care as well as legal, ethical and professional approaches to practice.
*NEW– PACE for PSWs: Palliative Care Education for Personal Support Workers
This online education program is designed for Personal Support Workers (PSWs), Health Care Assistants (HCAs) and Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) to develop skills and knowledge and become more comfortable in caring for people with life-limiting illnesses. Participants will become more comfortable and confident when providing palliative care and supporting families. The program consists of ten, self-paced, online courses. Each course is 1.5 to 2 hours. Participants who complete the ten course program will receive a National Palliative Care Education Certificate.
Strategies and Actions for Independent Living.
This online facilitated course focuses on practical skills that can be applied immediately in learners’ work settings to promote their clients’ health and safety. The course equips home care aides with evidence-based tools in effective communication, team-building, identification of risk factors, and implementation of proven strategies for fall prevention. This is a 3-week, online course, with no requirement to be online at any particular time (expect 3-5 hours’ study time per week). See the University of Victoria website for more information and to register.
San’yas Anti-Racism Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program
San’yas: Indigenous Cultural Safety Training is a unique, on-line training program designed to enhance self-awareness, and strengthen the skills of those who work both directly and indirectly with Indigenous people. Core Indigenous Cultural Safety (ICS) Health Training focuses on health care issues for professionals working with Indigenous people in British Columbia. The Core ICS Health is specific to those who work in the health care field and the goal is to improve access to health services and health outcomes for Indigenous people.
Body Mechanics and Client Mobility
This online course addresses the HCA’s role in facilitating safe client ambulation and positioning, and the proper use of body mechanics.
This online course will help participants understand the factors involved in the spread of infection and best practices for infection prevention.
Medication Basics for Health Care Assistants
This online course prepares the Health Care Assistant to provide assistance with medications.
Planning, Time Management & Organization for HCAs
This fully on-line course is intended for Health Care Assistants (HCAs), or prospective HCAs in British Columbia (BC). The course covers content from the BC Health Care Assistant Provincial Curriculum Guide (2015) related to planning, time management, and organization skills for the HCA.
Health Care Assistant – Introduction to Practice Course
This course provides an introduction to the role of the HCA within the British Columbia health care system. Students will be introduced to the health care team and the roles and functions of HCAs within the team.
This online course is intended for anyone who wants to increase their knowledge of dementia and dementia care.
SafeCare BC Courses
SafeCare BC is committed to providing outstanding professional development for continuing care workers in BC as well as connecting continuing care workers to other professional development opportunities. Courses include:
- Violence Prevention
- Creating Connections: Working with People with Dementia
- Safe Resident Handling
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.
Long-term Care Management
This four course, part-time, online program is designed primarily for staff who aspire to move into leadership positions within the rapidly expanding long-term care industry, but is also open to individuals with experience in other industries. The program will provide an overview of the key concepts necessary for successful leadership in long-term care. For program description, click here.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness is “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judging”. Often, we can be lost in our thoughts or distractions and miss out on what really matters in our lives. Offered over eight evenings plus one full-day retreat, this program offers guided mindfulness meditation practices that help participants learn to focus their energy and attention, and manage distractions and stresses, to live mindfully.
Douglas College Community Mental Health Program
The Community Mental Health Program will allow graduates to apply the principles of recovery using psychosocial rehabilitation and trauma informed practice. This program will provide specialized training for individuals with previous education and training in health care and or allied health professionals. This is a three-month program and when combined with the Health Care Assistant certificate, graduates will have additional training in mental health care skills.
North Island College Activity Assistant Certificate Program
This unique online program provides specialized professional training for individuals who have previous education and training in health care (LPNs, RNs, health care assistants (HCAs) and home care aides) or community support (education assistant/community support graduates). Program participants learn to plan and implement supervised activities for older adults with cognitive and physical impairments, gain hands-on experience and make employer connections with supervised practicum experience.
Vancouver Island University Activity Assistant Certificate
This part–time program is designed to provide post–basic training for individuals with previous Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA/HCA) training and experience. Graduates will be prepared to work as Activity Assistants in a variety of settings.
Practical Nursing Access Programs
Access programs prepare health care assistants to become licensed practical nurses. The BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) provides a listing of Access programs here. For more information about a specific program and their requirements, please contact the educational institution directly.
An Access to Practical Nursing (APN) Education Incentive Bursary is available for students enrolled in a recognized APN program at a BC-based public institution. For more information, click here.