Health Care Assistant Certificate

  • Full Time
LENGTH: 1 year
CAMPUS: Burns Lake - Fort St. James - Mackenzie - Prince George - Quesnel - Vanderhoof
FEES: Sponsored by the Ministry of Advanced Education
START DATE: Spring 2024 - Fall 2024
  • In Class
Important information for applicants:

A new work-study process can help you become a health care assistant. Learn more about this process and how you can apply.

  • Overview
  • Courses
  • Location & Dates
  • Entry Requirements
  • Fees


Are you a caring and patient individual looking for a rewarding profession in the health care sector? Earn a fulfilling career as a Health Care Assistant by registering in CNC’s Health Care Assistant Certificate today. This program teaches you the skills to care for persons with disabilities who live in long-term care facilities or in private homes.


Upon completion of this certificate, you will be highly employable in a variety of environments including:

  • Complex care facilities
  • Home support agencies
  • Group homes
  • Hospice house
  • Assisted living facilities
  • BC Cancer Agency

As a graduate of our program, once you receive your certificate, you are eligible for a registration with the BC Care Aide Registry. This qualifies you to work anywhere in BC as a Health Care Assistant.

What you will learn

Working as a Health Care Assistant, you will help clients meet their needs in all dimensions of health- either within their home or within a shared living facility. This program prepares you to help with assessments, communication, and daily activities which include:

  • Daily nutrition
  • Personal hygiene
  • Delivery of medicine and medical prescriptions
  • Providing First Aid if necessary
  • Safe transportation to and from appointments and activities

Health Care Assistant Certificate Courses

CNC's program gives you the skills to care for disabled individuals living in long-termcare facilities or private homes. To help clients meet their needs in all dimensions of health in their home or in a facility, the program prepares you to help with assessments, communication, and activities of daily living (such as nutrition and personal hygiene).

Required Courses

HCAP-120 Concepts for Practice 3 11 weeks
HCAP-125 Interpersonal Communications 3 12 weeks
HCAP-130 Lifestyle & Choices 2 6 weeks
HCAP-135 Intro to Practice 2 8 weeks
HCAP-140 Common Health Challenges 4 13 weeks
HCAP-145 Cog. & Men. Health Challenges 3 8 weeks
HCAP-150 Personal Care and Assistance 4 17 weeks
HCAP-195 Practice Exp. Community Care 2 12 weeks
HCAP-199 Practice Exp Complex Care 4 20 weeks

Locations & Dates

CNC programs have varying lengths and start dates to meet your needs, and are offered across multiple campuses where possible. Don’t see the campus you’re looking for? Check back with us soon as this page is updated throughout the school year.

Study while you work

CNC and Northern Health are partnering on delivering the new Health Careers Access Program (HCAP), an initiative of the Government of British Columbia. This is a work-study program, designed to increase the number of health care assistants in BC. This means a change to how you would normally apply to CNC to learn the skills needed for the role.

HCAP is only available to individuals hired as health care support workers by Northern Health or another approved health care employer in the region CNC serves. You complete your training while also working part-time as a health care support worker, providing a variety of critical non-clinical, non-direct care supports to patients and residents.

Upon completion of this fully-sponsored program, you earn a recognized post-secondary credential and are eligible to register as a health care assistant.

Due to the format of this program, location of study may vary.
Students may study online or through hyflex delivery from their local CNC campus. Practicums may require travel.

Spring 2024 Quesnel In Class 1 year
Spring 2024 Vanderhoof In Class 1 year
Spring 2024 Fort St. James In Class 1 year
Spring 2024 Burns Lake In Class 1 year
Spring 2024 Mackenzie In Class 1 year
Fall 2024 Prince George In Class 1 year
Spring 2024 Prince George In Class 1 year

Entry Requirements

  • The following courses, each with a grade of “C” or higher.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Candidates whose first language proficiency is not English must meet the English requirements and provide proof of English language proficiency as outlined in the most recent BC Health Care Assistant (HCA) Programs – Minimum English Language Competency Requirements.

English Language Competency Requirements

  1. Applicants who provide evidence of three years of full-time instruction in English must also provide proof of one of the following:
    1. Completion of Grade 10 English (or higher). A minimum of a “C” grade is acceptable.
    2. Completion of college courses determined to be equivalent to Grade 10 English (or higher) by post-secondary institutions. A minimum of a “C” grade is acceptable.
    3. ACCUPLACER Next Generation Test Results: Reading 230, Writing 230, and Writeplacer 4
  2. Applicants who cannot provide evidence of three years of full-time instruction in English are required to provide proof of one of the following standardized proficiency tests from an authorized assessment agency.
    1. Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) or CLBPT Remote. Test in the last year. Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6, and Writing 6.
    2. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP General or CELPIP Online). Test in the last two years. Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6, and Writing 6.
    3. International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic, IELTS General or IELTS Academic Online). Test in the last two years. Overall score of 6 with a minimum of 6 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 5.5 in Reading and Writing.
    4. Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL or CAEL Online). Test in the last two years. Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50.
    5. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition). Test in the last two years. Overall score of 76 with no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 18 in Reading and Writing.

Need help meeting these requirements? Check out our Academic Upgrading options.

Selection Process

If there is room in the program, you will be accepted once you have met all the admission requirements. This is called “first qualified, first accepted.” If you qualify after the program is full, you will be put on a wait list.

Program Requirements

Completed acceptance package must be submitted by the date indicated in the package. Incomplete certifications or documentation will prevent students from entering clinical practice placements. Practicum is required for graduation. All certifications must remain valid throughout the program. Documents and certificates required are:

  • First Aid Certification
  • CPR Level “C” Certification or “Basic Life Support (BLS)” Certification
  • FoodSafe Level 1 Certification (or a certificate course deemed equivalent)
  • Completion of the Student Practice Education Core Orientation (SPECO) (available on the LearningHub), which must include the following:
    • A signed checklist SPECO Checklist.pdf (
    • Proof of meeting current immunizations / vaccinations as per health care organization policies / guidelines (or signed vaccination exemption form, except TB)
    • Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum E-Learning Modules
  • WHMIS – Provincial Course
  • Completion of the Health Care Assistant Practice in BC E-Learning Modules (LearningHub)
  • Completion of the Recognizing and Responding to Adult Abuse course (LearningHub)
  • Criminal record check from the Criminal Records Review Program, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults

Students must complete a provincial Schedule B criminal record search because there is a practicum component involving work with vulnerable people. A search which identifies relevant criminal convictions may prevent students from registering for practicum. To graduate from the Health Care Assistant Program, each practicum must be successfully completed.

Note 1: All costs associated with certifications, courses and/or documentation requirements are the student’s responsibility.

Note 2: May be required to travel for practicum placements. 

Invest in your future

This is a fully paid program, sponsored by the Ministry of Advanced Education. This means that student fees, tuition, cost of school supplies, etc. will not be charged to students. In addition, students will receive a weekly stipend of approximately $800/week while they attend school and then receive a wage for the weeks they are out working.

These costs are an estimate and do not include books. Costs may change without notice. Student fees vary by campus. Check the fee schedule for more details.

Books for this program can be purchased from the bookstore.

Paying for college

We're here to help. You can apply for scholarships and bursaries through CNC. We can also help you find loans and other funding. Visit Financial aid to find out how.

Salaries and employment

Looking for a job? Check the student employment opportunities or  trades training job board.