Health Care Assistant

Credential: Certificate  Ι  Credits: 25.0  Ι  Offered: September to July

Program Description

In this 9-month certificate program, learners prepare for an exciting career as a frontline caregiver working in a variety of health care and community-based settings such as community home support, assisted living, complex and long-term care, and special-care areas. Through a combination of theory and hands-on clinical work experience, learners gain the skills and knowledge required to provide the highest standard of personal care and assistance for their clients.

In addition to meeting the learning outcomes of the Provincial Health Care Assistant Program Curriculum, the HCA program at NEC uses the Indigenous Wellness Model to promote culturally appropriate care for Elders, Indigenous Peoples and communities.

Graduates of the HCA program are eligible to register with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry and become a Certified Health Care Assistant. To learn more about this certification, please visit the BC Care Aide & Community Health Registry.

This program can lead to a career regulated by the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.

This program is open to both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students.

Career Path

The HCA Certificate Program provides many career options for graduates, these include but are not limited to:

  • Direct employability within various specialty areas such as: complex-care, assisted-living facilities, community home support agencies, and long-term care.  
  • Transferable to Access to Practical Nursing Programs (LPN) within BC
  • Advanced HCA Programs: Acute Care, Mental Health, Palliative Care


Program Summary


38 weeks


September to July








Monday to Friday, 9am – 4pm


384 hours of clinical/practicum experience


-Any BC Post-Secondary recognized by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry
-Access to Practical Nursing (LPN) program offered at any post-secondary in British Columbia
-Acute Care Certificate 

Certificates Included in Program:

- First Aid and CPR Level C
- Non-Violence Crisis Intervention (NVCI)

University Transfer

The Health Care Assistant Certificate program is transferrable to any post-secondary in British Columbia recognized by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. In particular, this certificate program is transferrable to a bridging program, such as the Access to Practical Nursing program offered at any post-secondary in British Columbia.


Admission Requirements


How to Apply

  • Successful completion of Grade 12 or
  • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older) with a minimum of English 10 or equivalent.


Online: Complete and submit your Online Application

In-Person: 235 East 5th Avenue, Vancouver BC. (We are located just off Main Street)

By Fax: Fax your application to our admissions office at (604) 873-1440

Apply Now!

Note: All applicants must meet the English language requirement, as per the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.  If transcripts are unavailable or outdated; and for more information: Refer to the minimum English Language Competency Requirements as specified by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

Optional Requirement

  • Letter from a family physician stating the applicant is in good physical and psychological health (as per Program Manager request)

Post-Acceptance Requirements

The following requirements must be met prior to the clinical placement:

  • Proof of a Negative TB Test
  • Proof of up-to-date immunizations: (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Varicella, Flu shot)
  • Criminal Record Check
  • First Aid and CPR Level C
  • FOODSAFE Level 1
  • Completion of Non-Violence Crisis Intervention online course

Course Schedule

Term 1 - September

HCA 100

Introduction to Practice


HCA 110

Health & Healing: Concepts for Practice


HCA 120

Lifestyle & Choices


HCA 130

Interpersonal Communication


HCA 140

Personal Care & Assistance


HCA 150

Common Health Challenges


Term 2 - January

HCA 160

Cognitive & Mental Health Challenges


Term 3 - April

HCA 170

Community Care Clinical Placement


HCA 180

Complex Care Group Clinical Placement


HCA 190

Final Complex Care Clinical Preceptorship


Tuition & Fees









Total Cost:


This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

For more information, contact:

Admissions Department
(604) 873-3772 Ext. 328