Start dates
Year 2024: February 26 / April 26 / July 01 / September 09

Program Overview

The program is ideal for those who have prior learning or work experience in the field, and would like to refresh or update their skills and knowledge to meet and exceed the BC Provincial Standards. This program will help learners to develop the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to function effectively as Health Care Assistants. Successful graduates will be able to provide person-centered care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients/residents. Graduates from this program will work as part of a team within a health care team under the supervision of a health care professional such as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. The graduates can work in both private and publicly funded facilities and hospitals as well as a variety of community settings. These may include extended care, intermediate care, acute care, assisted living, home support, rehabilitation facilities, and group homes.

Important Information
  1. Effective September 2016, Gateway College will be implementing the HCA Provincial Curriculum 2015 into all the HCA courses. Graduates of the Health Care Assistant delivered by Gateway College are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.
  2. This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.
  3. Student loans are available for qualified domestic students.

Credential: Diploma
Hours: Mon to Fri, 9am to 3:30pm
Length: 420 hours over 18 weeks (Full-time) or 25 weeks (Part-time)
Delivery Mode: Traditional (In-class) or Combination (Online+On-site)
Campus: Vancouver, BC


    • Applicants must be at least 19 years of age prior to start of the study period, or must be graduated from grade 12. (or equivalent)
    • Applicants must provide proof of meeting English language competency requirements. (Please refer to the language proficiency policy.)
    • Completion of HCA Competency Assessment by the Nursing Community Assessment Service, with a remedial education referral letter from the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry *

    * The standardized PLAR assessment required is the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) HCA Competency Assessment with a Remedial Education Referral Letter issued by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

    The following are to be completed prior to the first practice education experience:

    • Proof of meeting current immunizations / vaccinations as per health care organization policies / guidelines (or signed vaccination exemption form, except TB)
    • Criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults *
    • First Aid
    • CPR Level “C” or “HCP”
    • FoodSafe Level 1 (or a course deemed equivalent)
    • Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum (PVPC) E-Learning Modules

    * Additional Police Certificate from the country of origin, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults, is required for international students.


    For applicants whose first language is English, evidence of one of the following test scores:

    • Provide transcript or proof of completion of Grade 10 English, or
    • College courses determined to be equivalent to completion of Grade 10 English by post-secondary institutions (minimum C grade is acceptable)
    • Other tests such as Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT), Language Placement Index (LPI) or Accuplacer may be accepted.

    For applicants whose first language is not English/ International students, evidence of one of the following test scores:

    English Proficiency Test Overall Score Speaking Listening Writing Reading
    IELTS ** 6 6 6 5.5 5.5
    TOEFL (IBT) ** 76 20 20 18 18
    CAEL 60 50 50 50 50
    CLBPT * n/a 7 7 6 6
    CELPIP ** n/a 7 7 6 6
    CELBAN ** n/a 7 7 6 6

    * CLBPT test is only available for students currently in Canada. The test result is valid for one year. (a CLB Report Card from a LINC Program may also be accepted.)
    ** The test result is valid for two years.


    Upon successful completion of the Health Care Assistant and Geriatric Care with Co-op program, students will be granted the following credentials:



    • Health Care Assistant – Access Diploma
    • Dementia Certificate
    • Medication Assistance Certificate
    • HCA Acute Care Certificate
    • Provincial Violence Prevention Certificate

    *Eligibility to register with the “BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.



    • Week 1-18, 22-25 (On-campus, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm) *: Theory courses
    • Week 10-19, Every Saturday (On-campus, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm): Access Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance (lab training)
    • Week 20-21, (On-Site, variable 37.5 hours a week schedule): Work Experience course
    • Week 22-25, Every Saturday & Sunday (On-site, variable 10 hours a week schedule): Work Experience course

    * Time schedule applies to In-class instruction Delivery & Part-time only


    • Concepts for Practice (theory, roles, law, organization)
    • Interpersonal Communications (empathy, medical terms)
    • Anatomy and Physiology (intro to body systems)
    • Lifestyle and Choices (activities of daily living)
    • Personal Care Skills (hygiene, comfort, simple treatments)
    • Caring for Common Health Challenges (life cycle)
    • Mobility Techniques (body mechanics)
    • Pharmacology (assisting with medication delivery)
    • Gerontology (study of aging process, demography)
    • Cognitive and Mental Health (including addictions)
    • Dementia (causes, stages, behaviors, Alzheimer’s Disease)
    • Palliative Care (end-of-life care, pain management, grieving)
    • Family Dynamics (culture, diversity, domestic violence)
    • Nutrition (menu planning, diet, Canada’s Food Guide)
    • Safe Work Practices (infection control, fire safety)
    • Assault Response (defensive and preventive skills)
    • Professional Development (transitions, employment skills)
    • Basic Computer Skills (Word Processing, Email, Internet Search, etiquette) *
    • Acute Care (Acute Care Settings, Roles of HCA in Acute Care) *

    • Access Health and Healing: Concept for Practice
    • Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice
    • Access Health 1: Interpersonal Communications
    • Access Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices
    • Access Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
    • Access Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges
    • Access Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistant
    • Access Practice Experience in Home Support and/or Assisted Living
    • Access Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care
Our Health Care Access Program opens doors to a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. This program caters to individuals aspiring to become Healthcare Assistants, providing a comprehensive curriculum that blends online and offline courses. With a focus on hands-on learning, participants gain practical insights that prepare them for the dynamic healthcare environment. The Health Care Access Program is a gateway to valuable resources, mentorship, and knowledge, enhancing the skills needed for success in healthcare roles. Explore the benefits of our Health Care Assistant Access Program and step into a future filled with opportunities.