Posted on February 16, 2022

VCC offers new, no-cost Supportive Care Assistant training

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is pleased to introduce a new, fully subsidized Supportive Care Assistant training program developed to address the labour shortages in the health care sector. The six-week online program allows learners to discover a new career, gain work experience, and make a difference in our community. Graduates of the program can access a $5,000 laddering stipend if they choose to pursue further studies and enter a health care assistant (HCA) certificate program.


  • The program is fully subsidized (no tuition fee).
  • The online training means you don’t have to travel daily for classes.
  • The paid work placement will provide you with the opportunity to build new skills and get practical experience while earning a wage.
  • The program is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is part of Colleges and Institutes Canada's (CiCan) Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.


VCC's Supportive Care Assistant program includes six weeks of online training and a paid work placement (280 hours). Each online module takes about 20 hours to complete, and students will complete one module a week.

The ‘Supportive Care Assistant program’ is not equivalent to, or recognized as, a B.C. health care assistant program. Graduates are not eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.




Understand your role within the interprofessional team. Gain the background information and skills needed to provide professional, client-centred assistance.


Supportive client-centred care
Demonstrate respect for the clients and families you work with by providing client- and family-centred supports. Gain the background information and skills to provide supportive, client-centred care.


Demonstrate inclusive practice skills when interacting with clients, families, and other interprofessional team members. Gain the background information, skills, and effective communication techniques to provide inclusive, client-centred support.


Supportive assistance
Learn how to provide personal support and practice safe and supportive assistance to promote client independence.


Infection control and safety
Learn how to demonstrate knowledge of the chain of infection related to disease and transmission. Identify and respond to safety hazards and unsafe situations when dealing with your clients.


Preparing for the work placement
This module is related to the work placement and will be completed before, during, and after placement.

These six online training modules are designed to be self-paced and they are available online 24/7.  Students also attend tutorial sessions twice a week through Zoom during the six-week training period.

Learners will be assigned to a 30-student class to support and assist with the completion of program requirements (assessment surveys, final tests, learning plans, and work experience reports). An instructor will meet with the class and provide academic advising throughout the online course.

VCC is also adding guest lectures and two extra industry certificate training sessions to enhance your knowledge.

  1. First Aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
  2. FOODSAFE Level One

Paid work experience

After completing the required modules, learners will be connected to an employer who will provide 280 hours of paid employment (full-time or part-time) where they will assist certified personal care providers and health care teams to support clients. The role involves performing non-clinical activities such as:

  • Assisting with meals
  • Assisting with cleaning and disinfecting
  • Stocking materials required by clients and health care staff
  • Making clients’ beds, cleaning their rooms and other areas
  • Providing companionship, comfort and support
  • Assisting with moving about and accompanying clients as they move about
  • Participating in activities with clients

Laddering Stipend ($5,000)

After successfully completing all the requirements, you will be granted a Statement of Completion. Graduates can access $5,000 to pursue a HCA certificate program at a CiCan member institution such as VCC.  The stipend can be used for tuition, books, dependant care, transportation etc.

Please note that admission requirements must be met for that program, and completion of the certificate needs to happen before March 31, 2024.

Participant Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in VCC's no-cost Supportive Care Assistant training, learners must:

  • be at least 18 years of age,
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada,
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations,
  • (for learners for whom English is not their first language) provide proof of English language skills (IELTS 6.0; CLB 6; CEFR B2) or equivalency.

Note: Work placement requirements may also include clean criminal record checks and proof of certain immunizations as learners may be exposed to communicable diseases.

Additionally, learners should:

  • have an interest in a career in long-term care
  • have regular access to a PC or MAC computer with an internet connection and recent versions of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer installed
  • have basic computer skills
  • have access to transportation for work placement(s)
  • be available to work shifts (evenings/nights/weekends)
  • be physically able to stand/walk with some bending, twisting, and lifting


There is no cost for tuition or to register for VCC's Supportive Care Assistant program. The program is subsidized by the Government of Canada and is being offered at no cost to participants. Bursaries are available for dependent care.

Students are expected to cover certain costs associated with the placement including criminal record checks or other employment requirements (e.g. appropriate clothing or footwear).

Career Outlook

In the next 30 years, the number of Canadians over the age of 85 is expected to triple and the demand for health care workers will increase. Completing VCC's Supportive Care Assistant Program is a stepping stone towards a career in a growing sector.

A career in health care can be challenging and rewarding. Care providers make a difference in the lives of others and create meaningful connections with older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. It’s a good career fit for people who are compassionate and like working with others.

Program Dates




March 28 - July 14, 2023 


Info sessions

Interested persons are invited to attend an online information session to learn about the application procedures and deadlines.

Session Date



February 2, 2023

10 - 11:30 a.m. 

Sign up here

February 7, 2023

1 -2:30 p.m.

Sign up here


Contact Kim Nelson, program assistant