Health Care Assistant

CREDENTIAL: Certificate
September 2023
January 2024

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Acquire the knowledge and skills to provide person-centered care and promote physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients in continuing care environments. 

Tuition: 2915*
Credential: Certificate
Length: 8 0 months
Hours: Full-time
Delivery: Class-based and Online
Program Flyer: Download
Campus: Broadway Broadway
Start Dates: Jan, May, Sep

What you will learn

Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Provide person-centered care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual client.
  • Use an informed problem-solving approach to provide care and assistance that promotes the physical, psychological, social, cognitive and spiritual health and well-being of clients and families.
  • Provide person-centred care and assistance for clients experiencing complex health challenges.
  • Provide person-centred care and assistance for clients experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges.
  • Interact with other members of the healthcare team in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  • Communicate clearly, accurately and sensitively with clients and families within a variety of community and facility contexts.
  • Provide personal care and assistance in a safe, competent and organized manner.
  • Recognize and respond to own self-development, learning and health enhancement needs.
  • Perform the care provider role in a reflective, responsible, accountable and professional manner.

What to expect

The program consists of theory, laboratory practice and practice education experiences in complex care facilities and community care sites. The theory component is delivered through discussion groups, student presentations, lectures, online activities and demonstrations, and guest speakers. Students apply the theory component in the laboratory and practice education settings.

Admission requirements


  • Grade 10 completion, or equivalent. 
  • Evidence of HCA Program English Language Competency Requirements
    • For applicants with three years of full-time instruction in English: English 10 completion or equivalent, as per BC Care Aide Registry. 
    • For applicants with less than three years of full-time instruction in English: Standardized English language proficiency test score, as per BC Care Aide Registry. 
  • Completion of the Health Care Assistant English Competency Declaration Form
  • Standard First Aid (Red Cross or St. John Ambulance) including current CPR level C or BLS
  • CPR certificates expire one year from the date of issue. Current status is required for all clinical and practicum experiences.    
  • BC FOODSAFE Certificate Level 1

Upon Acceptance

  • Criminal Record Check (CRC)
    • Students in this program are required to complete a CRC. The CRC must be completed according to VCC's Criminal Record Check instructions. Students whose CRC results indicate they pose a risk to vulnerable populations will not be able to complete the practice education requirements of the program or graduate.
  • TB Screening
    • Within six months of the start of the program, students must submit a negative TB skin test. If the TB skin test is positive, a negative TB chest x-ray is required.
  • Immunizations
    • An Immunization Record must be completed
    • Immunizations in the following are strongly recommended and in some case may be required for practice education placements:
      • Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis
      • Polio
      • Measles, Mumps & Rubella
      • Varicella (Chicken pox)
      • Hepatitis B
      • Influenza (annually)
      • COVID-19
  • N95 Respiratory Mask
    • An N95 respirator mask that is individually fitted by a trained provider, following CSA guidelines.
    • The individual mask fitting should be done just prior to beginning the program. Mask fitting must be done annually. Students are responsible for the cost of the mask fitting.
    • The original certificate must be presented to the department on the first day of class.


  • This program is available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. See program options for international students at VCC International.
  • Applicants who self-identify as Indigenous are strongly encouraged to connect with VCC’s Indigenous Education and Community Engagement team to learn more about VCC’s Indigenous Enrolment policy, application preparation/completion, program advising, and a range of other individualized services.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school. (Some exceptions may apply.)
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts and other documents as required by their course or program. Seats are offered to eligible applicants with completed applications, in order of application completion date (except for programs with competitive admissions). A complete application includes an application form, evidence of educational pre-requisites (e.g. transcripts), any required supporting documents (e.g. language proficiency, audition video), and the required deposit or fee payment. If you do not meet the requirements for the term applied, your application may be cancelled.

Missing prerequisites? Learn more about VCC's tuition-free academic upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, or discover which university transfer options are right for you.

Recommended Characteristics

  • Ability to work under direction and to act with initiative as a member of the health care team
  • A genuine concern for the well-being of others
  • Patience and perseverance
  • Flexibility, trustworthiness, and dependability
  • Maturity
  • Ability to communicate effectively in both written and spoken English
  • High standard of personal hygiene and grooming
  • Ability to use problem-solving approach
  • Physical stamina
  • No sensitivity or allergy to latex
  • Ability to work in environments where standards may be different from one’s own

Courses *

Program general hours

The program is offered on a full-time basis for 8 months Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Clinical is held Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This program must be completed within 2 years.

Prior learning assessment and recognition

Prior learning assessment and recognition is not available for this program.

Fees and other costs *

Tuition Deposit

0 (0 non-refundable)

Tution deposits are payable usually within two (2) weeks after a Letter of Offer is issued.

Fee descriptionFee AmountNotes
Application fee36
Tuition Tuition 2915
Student union192
College initiative110
Materials0 not including textbooks
Campus resource117
Tools (deposit)0
Coverall (deposit)0
Uniform (deposit)0
Medical and Dental 275
Temporary Medical Insurance 0
U-PASS 354
Program-specific extra fees0
Textbooks or other supplies may be required for this program. For information and prices, visit the VCC Bookstore.

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Fill out a PDF form and mail to:
VCC Registrar's Office
1155 East Broadway
Vancouver, B.C., V5T 4V5

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