Education for HCAs

To become a registered Health Care Assistant in BC, you need to complete an education program recognized by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. Recognized HCA programs follow the BC HCA Provincial Curriculum. This training prepares graduates to provide person-centred care and support to clients experiencing physical, mental, and/or cognitive health challenges or with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings. Students take courses focused on values and principles of healthcare provision, teamwork and collaboration, health conditions, communication, safety, and skills required to provide personal care and assistance within the HCA role. They also have the opportunity to apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the practice setting by completing practice education placements in care homes and community settings.

The BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry maintains a comprehensive list of every public and private institution in BC that offers a recognized Health Care Assistant program. Classes are subject to availability.

Recognized BC HCA Training Schools & Programs

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Schools & Programs Listed By Region

School City Program Type
Cambria College Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond Health Care Assistant
CDI College of Business Technology & Health Care Richmond, Surrey Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Discovery Community College Maple Ridge, Surrey Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Drake Medox College Surrey ESL – Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery),
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery),
ESL – Health Care Assistant, and
Health Care Assistant
Sprott Shaw College Abbotsford,
Chilliwack,
Maple Ridge
Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant Upgrade (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program), Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program) (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program) (Combined Delivery)
Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning Division British Columbia Health Care Assistant
University of the Fraser Valley Chilliwack Health Care Assistant
Vancouver Career College Abbotsford Health Care Assistant
Western Community College

Abbotsford,

Surrey

Health Care Assistant,
Health Care Assistant + ESL,
Health Care Assistant – Access, and

Health Care Assistant – Access (Combined Delivery)

 

School City Program Type
Cambria College Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond Health Care Assistant
Capilano University North Vancouver Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
CDI College of Business, Technology & Health Care Richmond, Surrey Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Collège Éducacentre Vancouver Health Care Assistant in French
Préposé aux soins de santé (Combined Delivery)
Discovery Community College
Surrey Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Douglas College Coquitlam Health Care Assistant
Drake Medox College Surrey, Vancouver ESL – Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery),
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery),
ESL – Health Care Assistant, and
Health Care Assistant
Gateway College Vancouver Health Care Assistant,
Health Care Assistant – Accelerated,
Health Care Assistant – Access,
Health Care Assistant & Communication Year 2 (recognized as an HCA ESL Program) (Combined Delivery),
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery),
Health Care Assistant – Accelerated (Combined Delivery), and
Health Care Assistant – Access (Combined Delivery)
Heritage Community College Surrey Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University Langley, Surrey Health Care Assistant
NEC Native Education College Vancouver Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Sprott Shaw College

East Vancouver,

New Westminster,
Surrey, Vancouver

Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant Upgrade (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program), Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program) (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program) (Combined Delivery)
Stenberg College Surrey Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant – International (recognized as an HCA ESL Program), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Diploma in Canadian Nursing), Health Care Assistant International (within International Post Graduate Diploma in Canadian Nursing)
Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning Division British Columbia Health Care Assistant
Universal Learning Institute Richmond Health Care Assistant
Vancouver Career College Burnaby Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Vancouver Community College Vancouver Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant – ESL, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Diploma (International Cohort)
Western Community College Surrey Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant + ESL, Health Care Assistant – Access, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant ESL (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant – Access (Combined Delivery)
Westminster College Surrey Health Care Assistant Program

 

School City Program Type
College of the Rockies Cranbrook, Creston,
Fernie, Golden,
Invermere
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
First College Kelowna Health Care Assistant
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Merritt Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Okanagan College Kelowna, Penticton,
Salmon Arm, Vernon
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Selkirk College Castlegar, Trail Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post-Graduate Diploma in Gerontological Nursing) (Combined Delivery)
Sprott Shaw College Kamloops, Kelowna,
Osoyoos, Penticton
Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant Upgrade (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program), Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program) (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program) (Combined Delivery)
Thompson Rivers University Kamloops,
Williams Lake
Health Care Assistant
Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning Division Multiple locations
in British Columbia
Health Care Assistant
(Combined Delivery)
School City Program Type
Coast Mountain College (formerly Northwest Community College) Terrace, Smithers
*Regional program delivery may be available
Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
College of New Caledonia Prince George,
Quesnel, Vanderhoof
*Regional program delivery may be available
Health Care Assistant
Northern Lights College Dawson Creek,
Fort St. John
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning Division British Columbia Health Care Assistant

 

School City Program Type
Capilano University Sechelt Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning Division British Columbia Health Care Assistant
Vancouver Island University Powell River Health Care Assistant

 

School City Program Type
Cambria College Victoria Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Camosun College Victoria Health Care Assistant,
Health Care Assistant – ESL, and
Health Care Assistant – Indigenous
Discovery Community College Campbell River,
Courtenay,
Nanaimo,
Parksville
Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Edison College Canada
Victoria Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
North Island College Comox Valley,
Port Alberni,
Campbell River
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)
Sprott Shaw College Nanaimo,
Victoria
Health Care Assistant, Health Care Assistant Upgrade (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program), Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Access (within Post Graduate Certificate in Nursing Program) (Combined Delivery), Health Care Assistant Internationally Educated (recognized as an HCA ESL Program) (Combined Delivery)
Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning Division British Columbia Health Care Assistant
(Combined Delivery)
Vancouver Island University Duncan,
Nanaimo, Powell River
Health Care Assistant (Combined Delivery)

 

Are you an Internationally Educated Nurse?

If you are an internationally educated nurse, you may be eligible to start your healthcare career in Canada as a Health Care Assistant while you are re-credentialing to practice as a nurse. The following institutions offer bridging programs.

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Return to Registered Nurse Practice Certificate requirements include 1,600 hours working as a HCA or LPN in the Canadian healthcare system.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Graduate Nurse, Internationally Educated Re-entry (GNIE) requirements are determined based on NCAS results. You may be required to take Nurse Ready and Evolve, and include a proof of English proficiency (typically IELTS).

Visit British Columbia College of Nurses & Midwives (BCCNM) for a complete list of recognized nursing programs in BC.

Join the Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) in BC Facebook Group to connect with other IENs and share resources.

Transitional & Continuing Education for Health Care Assistants

As part of the registration process with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry, you may be required to take transition courses as part of your registration requirements.

Continuing education courses available to Health Care Assistants are optional to take if you would like to increase your knowledge in certain areas.

What Makes the Ideal Health Care Assistant?

What makes a great health care assistant? HCAs are people who enjoy the company of other people.

Top Reasons to Consider Training as a Health Care Assistant

HCAs are an integral part of the health care system in BC and are important…

Education FAQs

What kind of education do I need to become a Health Care Assistant?

To become a registered Health Care Assistant in BC, you need to complete an education program recognized by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. Recognized HCA programs follow the BC HCA Provincial Curriculum. This training prepares graduates to provide person-centred care and support to clients experiencing physical, mental, and/or cognitive health challenges, or with developmental disabilities in various settings.

Students take courses focused on values and principles of healthcare provision, teamwork and collaboration, health conditions, communication, safety, and skills required to provide personal care and assistance within the HCA role. They also can apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the practice setting by completing practice education placements in care homes and community settings.

See the list of recognized BC HCA programs here.

Where can I search for available training programs to enroll to become a Health Care Assistant?

To become a registered Health Care Assistant in British Columbia, you must complete a recognized Health Care Assistant program using the provincial curriculum. Click here to view a list of recognized health care assistant education programs in British Columbia.

You can contact colleges to obtain registration requirements, course length, format, and tuition costs. All HCA programs will provide clinical placements to help students gain hands-on experience.

Are there Health Care Assistant training programs that are located close to where I live?

Use our interactive map that will help you find a Health Care Assistant education program that is conveniently located in your area. Click here to check it out.

How long is the Health Care Assistant education program for students?

Health Care Assistant training varies from school to school, but the average duration is seven months. Most HCAs graduate, register, and start working in less than a year.

Is there financial support to assist with completing BC’s Health Care Assistant educational programs?

Yes, you can access different financial assistance options depending on your eligibility. See the Financial Support sections for each registration category on our home page for more information.

 

Are there dual credit options that offer Health Care Assistant training?

Yes, dual credit options are offered in some high schools throughout BC, allowing you to work toward an HCA credential while still in high school. Dual credit experiences enable you to enroll in post-secondary courses and earn credits toward your high school diploma and post-secondary credits at the same time.
For more information on dual credit options, click here.

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