- What are the goals of Health Care Assistant (HCA) program recognition?
- Why have specific English language requirements been set for HCA program entry?
- What is the process for making program changes/curriculum updates to a recognized program?
- What if I am an educator who wants to start a new HCA program?
1. What are the goals of Health Care Assistant (HCA) program recognition?
The goals of the program recognition process are to ensure that programs are:
- Following the BC HCA Program Provincial Curriculum;
- Meeting minimum program delivery standards; and
- Graduating competent HCAs who qualify for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.
The Registry’s mandate of patient protection and standardized training for care aides and community health workers is part of a wider provincial commitment to improving the quality of seniors care, preventing elder abuse and, ultimately, to achieving the best possible health and safety for all British Columbians.
2. Why have specific English language requirements been set for HCA program entry in BC?
Students must be able to communicate effectively in English in order to be successful in their studies (particularly within practice education program components) and to be capable of providing safe and competent care to patients/clients/residents in the work environment. Teamwork and communication failures are a primary cause of patient safety incidents in health care; the ability to communicate effectively is one of the fundamental safety competencies identified by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI).All BC HCA program applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency.
- Applicants with less than three years of full-time instruction in English need to take an approved English language proficiency test.
- Applicants with three years or more of full-time instruction in English need to complete English 10 or an acceptable equivalent.
3. What is the process for making program changes/curriculum updates to a recognized program?
Educators will submit an Online Annual Training Profile to the Registry every year (due by April 15). This will allow for any minor (non-substantive) updates to be made on an annual basis. Educators must also notify and receive acknowledgement from the Registry before making any substantive program changes (a change of more than 15% or a change in method of delivery). The review of program changes may take up to four weeks and programs should plan the implementation of changes accordingly.
4. What if I am an educator who wants to start a new HCA program?
As a first step, educators seeking to develop and offer a new HCA program will file a Notice of Intent (NOI) – New Program Recognition with the Registry and will then follow the appropriate next steps to be included on Recognized BC Health Care Assistant Programs list. Details on applying for new HCA Program Recognition can be found in the HCA Program Recognition Guide (2023) and a copy of the Notice of Intent (NOI) – New Program Recognition and Form A: New Program Recognition Submission can be found here.