Health Care Assistant Program – Access

Health Care Assistant – Access Program Vancouver by Gateway College
Start dates - Year 2020: March 16 / July 13 / November 2
                           Year 2021: March 15 / July 12 / November 8

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Health Care Assistant Program Overview

The Health Care Assistant – Access 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 health care assistant 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.

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

Tuition and fees:

Non-refundable Application Fee: $250 (Domestic)/ $300 (International)
Tuition: $2,300 (Domestic)/ $7,795 (International)
*Tuition does not include textbooks, supplies and other applicable costs



    • 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.


    Language Proficiency

    For applicants whose first language is English

    • 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, 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
    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 - Access program, students will be granted the following credentials:

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

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


    What to expect-Program Schedule

    • 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


    Health Care Assistant Program Outline

    • 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

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