HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program

If you are interested in becoming a Health Care Assistant (HCA) and are in need of financial assistance, there are options available for you. One of these options is the HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program created by Health Match BC, a division of the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC), which offers professional recruitment services on behalf of British Columbia’s public health employers.

The HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program provides support to future HCAs who aim to register with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry. This program provides financial assistance to complete the HCA NCAS assessment and registration process, valuable guidance and connections to education and employment opportunities, and support navigating the registration process.

 

HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program Infosheet

Infosheet - HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program

HCA Information Session Video Recording

This video recording is taken from a live information session on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, facilitated by the HCA Career Consultant at Health Match BC.

Representatives from the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry and Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) participated to answer questions and provide helpful information to guide future HCAs.

This collaborative information session was organized to provide applicants with details on program eligibility, registration process, and supports available in anticipation of the NCAS Assessment center reopening after the COVID-19 closure.



FAQ – HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program Information Session

 

Acronym Legend
HCA = Health Care Assistant
HMBC = Health Match BC
NCAS = Nursing Community Assessment Service
Registry = BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry
CPSI = Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program
CBA = Computer Based Assessment
SLA/OA = Simulation-Lab Assessment & Oral Assessment

BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry

Registry Applicant FAQ

For any other inquiries, please contact the Registry directly at register@cachwr.bc.ca

1. How much time does it take for the BC Care Aide Registry to review my initial application?

Please review the information on the Applicant FAQ on the Registry website. As outlined, the application review may take up to five (5) business days. However, depending on the complexity of the application, some may take longer. Make sure to submit all required documents when applying. If required documents are not submitted, this process will be delayed.

2. How long does it take for an average person to complete the HCA registration process?
The timeline for completion of application requirements will vary depending on the individual. It depends on a variety of factors, including application criteria / process requirements and wait time to book the NCAS HCA assessment and complete additional education, if required. It could take as little as 4 months up to one year. To streamline this process, the following is recommended:

  • Ensure your online application is complete
  • Return the NCAS consent form right away (after receiving signed form applicants are referred to NCAS within 5-10 days)
  • Follow up with NCAS on next steps, returning the Non-Disclosure Agreement without delay
  • Book your assessments at the next available time slots
  • Work with the HCA Career Consultant for financial support
  • After you receive your NCAS Performance Report, you may wish to waive the reconsideration period (15 day) so that the Registry receives your report as soon as possible and can determine if further education is required to become registered
  • Sign up and complete any additional education as soon as possible to become registered, if required.
  • Within 5-10 days of receiving completed education evidence, you will be registered.

Further information is also available on the NCAS website https://www.ncasbc.ca/

3. What are the requirements for the Expedited Pathway for Graduates of an HCA Program in Canada (or equivalent)?

Those who have been educated as an HCA in Canada may review the application requirements for the Expedited Pathway for Graduates of an HCA Program in Canada (or equivalent) on the Registry website. To qualify for this pathway, you must meet certain requirements, including proof of a Canadian HCA Program credential and recent HCA work experience amongst other requirements.

4. What English Language level do I need?

As an Internationally Educated Health Care Professional (IEHCP), you will need to supply evidence of English language proficiency to prove you can listen, speak, read and write in English. If your first language is not English, you will need to upload evidence of an official English Language proficiency test. Additional information about IEHCP accepted language proficiency tests and test scores can be found here – English Language Proficiency Test Information Sheet.

5. What are the next steps after I complete the CBA and SLA/OA?

After completing the NCAS assessment components, you can expect to receive the NCAS Performance Report within 30 calendar days (or less). If you do not waive your reconsideration period after receiving your report, it will not be released to the Registry for 15 days. After receiving your Report, the Registry will determine if you:

  1. May be directly registered (no undemonstrated competencies); or
  2. If additional education is required (to address undemonstrated competencies) a Remedial Education Referral Letter will be issued to you.

If you are referred to remedial education courses as a final step in the registration process, you may be eligible for the Remedial Education Bursary through the HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program. You can expect to receive communication from the HMBC team to schedule a call with the HCA Career Consultant to discuss your eligibility for this bursary and receive support to navigate the course options. Once all requirements have been successfully completed, the Registry will process your registration and provide you with a number within 5-10 business days.

Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS)

NCAS FAQ

For any other inquiries, please contact NCAS directly at info@ncasbc.ca

6. Do I need to take the CBA before I take the SLA/OA? Which assessment should I take first?

Please review the information on the NCAS FAQ about scheduling and cancelling assessments. Both assessments are mandatory. NCAS strongly recommends that you take the CBA before taking the SLA/OA. Preparing for the CBA will help you be better prepared for the SLA/OA.

7. I need accommodation to take the assessment, what do I do?

Please review the information on the Fees and Policies page for the step by step process under “Accommodations” about assessments. The step-by-step process is outlined on this page. You must apply for an assessment accommodation separately for the CBA and for the SLA/OA.

8. What is the expected waitlist to receive a scheduled date for the SLA/OA assessment after payment?

Please review the information on the NCAS FAQ page about scheduling and cancelling assessments. The NCAS team is currently working through a long and prioritized waitlist. They have prioritized Assessments Takers that had their previously scheduled SLA/OA cancelled due to the COVID-19 closure.

The SLA/OA calendar from August to December 2020 is published on the NCAS website. At this time, NCAS is booking into October and new referrals should be able to schedule their SLA/OA in autumn/early winter.

9. What is the one-year timeline to complete the NCAS assessment mean? Can I get an extension?

Candidates have one year to complete the NCAS process. Please review the information on the NCAS FAQ page regarding extensions. As outlined, if you feel that you will take longer than one year to complete the NCAS assessment process, please contact the Registry to seek permission. If the Registry approves your request for an extension, NCAS will extend your timeline. An extension fee of applies. Please review the information on the NCAS FAQ about fees.

10. Due to Covid-19, will I get an extension to complete the NCAS assessment?

Please review the information on the NCAS FAQ page about scheduling and cancelling assessments. As outlined, all Assessment Takers who had been referred to NCAS prior to March 12, 2020 will have their standard 12-month deadline extended by five months. NCAS is automatically applying this extension to this group; no specific request or approval is required. This extension will not apply to referrals processed after July 1, 2020. The 12-month period will commence from the date NCAS begins processing your referral.

11. How many days of interval is recommended between the CBA and SLA/OA?

The days of interval between both CBA and SLA/OA assessments will depend on scheduling and availability of assessment slots. It may be possible to schedule both assessments within a 3-4 days’ interval.

12. What can I expect if I attempt to combine both assessments in one trip and complete in the fewest days possible?

For anyone needing to travel from outside the Lower Mainland to take the CBA and SLA/OA in Vancouver, you can contact NCAS at info@ncasbc.ca to arrange simultaneous payment for both assessments so that you can combine both assessments into one trip. The exact schedule will depend on the availability of assessment slots. It may be possible to schedule both assessments within a 3-4 days’ interval.

13. Where does the Computer-Based Assessment (CBA) take place?

This information is found on the NCAS Prometric is the company that runs the Computer-Based Assessment (CBA). Please review the list of eligible CBA testing centres that run by this company. You can also visit www.Prometric.com to find the testing site nearest you.

14. How should I proceed if I receive no response from NCAS after sending the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)?

NCAS may take 3-5 business days to process new HCA referrals. After you submit your signed Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), you can expect to receive an email inviting you to pay for the Computer-Based Assessment (CBA) within 2-3 business days. If you are still waiting for an email communication with next steps, you are encouraged to follow up with NCAS directly.

15. Is there a preparatory course I can take before taking the Simulation-Lab Assessment & Oral Assessment (SLA/OA)?

You can find a list of suggested resources to help you prepare for the NCAS CBA and SLA/OA assessments on the How to Prepare You may wish to research NCAS Preparation courses offered by schools in BC.

16. Is there anything I should do while I wait for the SLA/OA?

To help you prepare for your HCA assessment, you can take this time to review all of the information published on the HCAS website under the How to Prepare page and the list of suggested resources provided by the Registry.

HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program (Health Match BC)

For any other inquiries, please contact us here.

17. What is the application process for the HCA Career Pathways & Bursary Program?

If you have a scheduled date for the Simulation-Lab Assessment and Oral Assessment (SLA/OA), please book a consultation call with the HCA Career Consultant to discuss your eligibility for financial assistance. You should have received a link to book a call. If you haven’t, please contact the HCA team at info@choose2care.ca. If you are waiting to schedule your SLA/OA assessments, we encourage you to visit the NCAS website for the most recent updates and information about scheduling and paying for assessments.

18. Do I need to pay for the NCAS assessment fees (CBA & SLA/OA) before signing a bursary agreement with Health Match BC? How much do I need to pay upfront?

The bursary is structured as a reimbursement. You must first pay the assessment fees for the CBA and SLA/OA. After payment has been received by NCAS, you will be invited to schedule the assessments. Once you receive your scheduled date for the SLA/OA, the next step is to schedule a consultation call with the HCA Career Consultant to discuss your eligibility for the bursary. During this call, you will complete the bursary agreement which outlines the NCAS HCA Assessment components and completion timeframes to ensure eligibility to receive the bursary funds.

You can find a summary of the NCAS assessment fees on the Fees page of the NCAS website.

19. What is the eligibility criteria for the HCA Career Pathways & Bursary program?

To be eligible for the HCA NCAS Bursary, you must:

  1. Be a graduate of an HCA program in Canada (or HCA equivalent) or is an Internationally Educated Health Care Professional (IEHCP) who has submitted an application to the Registry.
  2. Have submitted a signed NCAS Referral Consent Form to the Registry.
  3. Have a scheduled date for the NCAS Simulation-Lab Assessment and Oral Assessment (SLA/OA) component.
  4. Have not yet completed the NCAS HCA Assessment components and have not yet received an NCAS Performance Report.
  5. Have signed and completed the NCAS Bursary Agreement form issued by Health Match BC.
  6. Have completed all components of NCAS HCA Assessment and submitted a copy of the NCAS Performance Report within the timeframe agreed upon in the signed Bursary Agreement form.

To be eligible for the HCA Remedial Education Bursary, you must:

  1. Be a graduate of an HCA program in Canada (or HCA equivalent) or is an Internationally Educated Health Care Professional (IEHCP) who has submitted an application to the Registry.
  2. Have submitted a signed NCAS Referral Consent Form to the Registry.
  3. Have completed all components of the NCAS HCA Assessment.
  4. Have received a Remedial Education Referral Letter outlining the need for additional education.
  5. Have not yet completed the required remedial education as outlined within his/her Remedial Education Referral Letter and have not yet received a Registry number.
  6. Have signed and completed the Remedial Education Bursary Agreement form issued by Health Match BC.
  7. Have sent confirmation of obtaining a Registry number by the Registry within the timeframe agreed upon in the Bursary Agreement form.
20. What costs does the HMBC bursary cover?

The NCAS Bursary is a one-time payment to help cover the costs associated with the NCAS HCA Competency Assessment. You may also be eligible for a Rural Allowance to help cover the costs associated with travel and accommodation to complete the NCAS assessment in Vancouver, BC.

The Remedial Education Bursary is a one-time payment to help cover the costs associated with any remedial education required for registration and as directed by the Registry. This bursary is proportionate to the cost of the required courses.

21. Does the HMBC bursary cover costs of study materials to prepare for NCAS?

The HMBC Bursary does not cover costs of study materials. The bursary includes financial assistance for the Computer-Based Assessment (CBA) and Simulation Lab Assessment and Oral Assessment (SLA/OA) assessment fees.

22. Am I eligible for the HMBC bursary if I choose to take the HCA Full Program as an alternative to the NCAS assessment pathway?

At this time, the HMBC bursary is only to help cover costs associated with the NCAS HCA Competency Assessment registration pathway (i.e. NCAS assessments costs and remedial education costs if applicable). Please review other financial support options you may be eligible for, including student loans and scholarships on the Choose2Care website – Resources

23. I am a registered HCA and I am looking to renew my Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) this year. Am I eligible for the HMBC bursary to cover costs associated with this?

At this time, the HMBC bursary is only to help cover costs associated with the NCAS HCA Competency Assessment registration pathway (i.e. NCAS assessments costs and remedial education costs if applicable). Please review other financial support options you may be eligible for, including student loans and scholarships on the Choose2Care website – Resources

24. If I paid for the NCAS Assessment components, am I still eligible for the HMBC bursary?

Yes, you may still be eligible for the HMBC bursary. Please review the eligibility criteria above. To be eligible, you must have not yet completed the NCAS HCA Assessment components and have not received an NCAS Performance Report. To be eligible for the bursary, you must then complete all components of the NCAS HCA Assessment within the timeframe agreed upon in the signed Bursary Agreement form.

25. If I completed NCAS and received my BC Care Aide Registry number, am I eligible for the HMBC bursary?

As outlined in the eligibility criteria, you are eligible to receive the NCAS bursary if you have not yet completed the NCAS HCA Assessment components and have not yet received an NCAS Performance Report. Similarly, you are eligible for the Remedial Education bursary if you have not yet completed the required remedial education as outlined within your Remedial Education Referral Letter and have not yet received a Registry number.

26. If I were to fail the CBA or SLA/OA, am I still qualified for the HMBC bursary?

The NCAS assessment is not a pass or fail. The outcome is the NCAS Performance Report which identifies any gaps in competency to meet the entry-level expectations of Health Care Assistants in BC.

As outlined in the eligibility criteria, you are eligible to receive the bursary funds if you complete all components of the NCAS HCA Assessment and submit a copy of the NCAS Performance Report within the timeframe agreed upon in the signed Bursary Agreement form.

27. Am I qualified if I am on Employment Insurance (EI)?

Yes, you still qualify for the HMBC bursary if you are currently or have previously received Employment Insurance (EI).

28. Do I need to be a Permanent Resident (PR) to be eligible for the HMBC bursary?

No, you do not need to be a Permanent Resident to qualify for the bursary. Your status in Canada is not part of the eligibility criteria.

29. What should I do if I cannot afford to pay up front for the NCAS assessment fees?

The bursary is structured as a reimbursement once all NCAS assessment components and/or remedial education courses have been successfully completed within the timeframes established in the bursary agreement.

Please review other financial support options you may be eligible for, including low interest micro-loans on the Choose2Care website – Resources

30. Am I eligible for the HMBC bursary and funding from the Career Pathways for Skilled Immigrants program at Douglas College?

Eligible applicants can participate in both the HCA Career Pathways & Bursary program at HMBC and the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants – Health program at Douglas College. Both programs work together to ensure the best support is provided to applicants. However, the programs will not provide funding for the same expenses. For example, an applicant cannot receive the NCAS Bursary from Health Match BC and be reimbursed for the NCAS assessment fees by the Career Pathways program. You are required to disclose any and all prospective sources of funding that will directly support education and registration pathways to becoming an HCA, including funding received from Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants.

31. Am I eligible for the HCA NCAS workshop through the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program at Douglas College?

You are eligible to participate in the HCA NCAS workshop only if you are registered with the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program. You can visit douglascollege.ca/careerpaths to learn more about the program and apply.

You can find a list of suggested resources to help you prepare for the NCAS CBA and SLA/OA assessments on the How to Prepare You may wish to research NCAS Preparation courses offered by schools in BC.

32. Where can I find more information about the funding options through the BC Care Aide Providers Association (BCCPA) and the Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants (CPSI) program?
For more information on these funding options, please visit the following websites:

  1. BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) for more information about the funding available for the HCA Training Program.
  2. Career Paths for Skilled Immigrants program: Health for more information about the funding available.
33. Where can I find more information about the HCA education options?

If you are looking to complete the HCA Full program as an alternative to the HCA NCAS Competency Assessment, you can browse the recognized programs near your location on the Education page of the Choose2Care website.

If you have been referred to remedial education as part of the NCAS assessment process, please refer to the recommended schools on the Remedial Education letter issued by the Registry. During the consultation call, we can support you in identifying the best options to complete the course(s).

34. Would you recommend taking the HCA Full program rather than the HCA NCAS Competency assessment?

It is a good decision to explore all of your options before making a decision on which registration pathway you will choose.

HCA Full program: Please visit the Education page on the Choose2Care website to browse HCA programs recognized by the BC Care Aide Registry. Contact the school of your choice for more information about admission requirements, course schedules, tuition fees and more. Health Care Assistant training in BC varies from school to school, with the average duration at seven months. Most HCAs graduate, register and start working in less than one year.

HCA NCAS Assessment: Please visit the NCAS website for information about the process, assessments, and current timelines. At this time, NCAS is booking into October and new referrals are able to schedule their SLA/OA in autumn/early winter.

Rural & Remote Allowance

35. Are there additional supports available if I am travelling from a rural or remote community?

In an effort to provide additional support to Registry applicants living in rural and remote locations in BC, applicants may also be eligible for a Rural allowance to help cover the costs associated with travel and accommodation to complete the NCAS assessment in Vancouver.

The rural and remote allowance is a one-time payment to applicants whose primary residence is located at least 300km from the NCAS Simulation Lab Assessment (SLA) site at Langara College in Vancouver. The amount that you are eligible for is proportionate to the distance. To be eligible, you must provide proof of primary residence by submitting one of the following documents issued within the last two months (except for #3): (1) Utility and/or cell phone bill showing you living at that Canadian address, (2) Any letter, statement, bill or certificate issued by an insurance company registered in Canada, including home insurance, tenant insurance, auto insurance or life insurance, (3) Driver’s license or vehicle registration from the relevant province/territory, (4) Statements of accounts (ex. Bank accounts) from a Canadian branch or institution. If your primary residence is located less than 300km and you need to take a BC ferry to travel to the NCAS SLA site, you are eligible for the Rural Allowance. To be eligible, you must provide proof of the BC ferry ticket(s) purchased.

36. Are there any guidelines concerning the means of transportation and types of accommodation for the Rural & Remote Allowance?

The terms of the bursary do not specify the means of transportation and the types of accommodation covered. You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements and booking your own accommodation.

37. How do I get reimbursed for travel and accommodation expenses to travel to Vancouver to take the NCAS assessments? Do I need to submit proof of travel and accommodation (i.e. bus tickets, gas station receipts, hotel receipts) to be eligible for the Rural & Remote Allowance?

To be eligible, you must provide proof of primary residence by submitting one of the accepted documents. If you require taking a BC ferry to travel from your primary residence to the NCAS SLA site, you must also submit a copy of the BC ferry ticket(s) purchased. The bursary funds are distributed once you completed all NCAS HCA components and a copy of the NCAS Performance Report has been submitted.

38. Am I eligible for the Rural & Remote Allowance if my primary residence is on Vancouver Island?

If your primary residence is located less than 300km from the NCAS SLA site and you require taking a BC ferry to travel to the SLA site, you are eligible for the Rural Allowance. In addition to providing proof of your primary residence, you must submit a copy of the BC ferry ticket(s) purchased.

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