Health Care Assistant certificate

(formerly Home Support/Resident Care Attendant certificate)  

We are now accepting applications for the Health Care Assistant program for the September 2014 intake.

Why study to become a health care assistant?
What type of career can I expect?
Why take the HCA program at UFV?
What type of courses will I take?
What do I need to get in?
I'm interested. What should I do next?
Is there anything else?
Sounds good. When should I apply?
How much does its cost? Can I afford to take this program?
What kind of assistance is there to help me adjust?
I'm not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options? 

Intake dates for the HCA Program are January and September.  The cut-off dates for applications are September 1st for the January intake and May 1st for the September intake. Applications received after these deadlines will be considered if space is still available.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. It is the student’s responsibility to be certain that all components of the application are complete.

Why study to become a health care assistant?

You’ve always enjoyed people and have a great deal of patience and understanding for seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are dealing with life-affecting illness. Whether you’re looking for full-time employment or some part-time work while you juggle your family obligations, the Health Care Assistant certificate program is a quick way to jumpstart your career.

What type of career can I expect as a health care assistant?
Our program will train you to provide daily, personal care for elderly clients with chronic health problems. Many HCAs find employment in residential care facilities. Others find employment in home support, providing care in the individual’s house rather than an institutional setting. A small number of  HCAs are employed in acute care areas in hospitals. All employment involves working shifts and for the first two to five years will involve being on call. All  HCAs start with casual work and initially may need to work at more than one job site in order to get sufficient hours of work. Starting salary ranges from $12 to $19 per hour depending on the worksite. 

Why take the HCA program at UFV?
Our 24-week, full-time program will take you on the path to a new and rewarding career. UFV has designed the program that this growing profession demands, and UFV’s graduates are the ones often hired, almost immediately after graduation. While studying at UFV, you will gain the knowledge, skills, and values needed to be a frontline care provider in a residential care facility or home-care setting.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to care for older adults with diverse, often complex, but relatively stable health and illness needs, and you will be qualified to work in any level of institutionalized or home and community care service including adult day care, assisted living, complex care, and home support.

The program is delivered at UFV’s Chilliwack campus, with clinical components taking place in a variety of settings throughout the Fraser Valley. Your daily attendance in this full-time program is expected.

What type of courses will I take?

Here's an outline of the six-month program:

Human Relations: Interpersonal Communications

  • Health: Lifestyle and Choices
  • Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice
  • Work Role: Introduction to Health Care Assistant Practice
  • Healing: Personal Care Skills in Home Support/ Resident Care
  • Healing: Special Needs in Home Support/Resident Care
  • Clinical experiences



What do I need to get in?
‌ As an HCA applicant, you must have successfully completed one of the following:

  • Grade 12, transcript required
  • Grade 11 with English 11 (regular, not modified), transcript required
  • College and Career Preparation (Advanced
  • Level certificate)
  • General Education Development (GED) certificate
  • Composition Placement Test (CPT) with a minimum score of 41

I'm interested. What do I do next?
The next step would be to check out UFV’s online calendar www.ufv.ca/calendar . Read the section about our HCA program carefully. To download the program application forms, visit our "Steps to Apply" page. You should then fill out the application forms and submit them along with the required documents and the $45 application fee, to the Office of the Registrar at any UFV campus or centre. You can also apply via the internet through the "Steps to Apply" page .

The following documents must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar, along with the application fee, in order to process your application:

  • UFV application form
  • Health Care Assistant program application form
  • Proof of academic prerequisites (transcript required). If you are currently enrolled in Grade 12, a letter is required from your school counsellor stating that you are making satisfactory progress towards meeting the educational requirements for Grade 12 graduation
  • Once all these documents have been received by the Office of the Registrar, an application date will be recorded, and your application will be forwarded to the Health Sciences department. You must then submit all remaining documents to the School of Health Studies, Chilliwack campus .

Other documents required include: (These documents can be submitted to OReg with initial applicaton or submitted separately to the School of Health Studies)

  • Satisfactory written work or personal reference
  • Documentation of one of the following:
  • Experience as an employee working in a long-term care facility with elderly clients with a satisfactory reference or
  • Satisfactory volunteer reference working with residents in a long-term care setting (minimum 30 hours). You may use the reference form attached to the back of the HCA program application form (available online)
  • Current Red Cross Standard or St. John’s Standard Enhanced first aid certificate
  • Valid driver's license.

Is there anything else?

Once the necessary documents have been received, you will be sent a letter acknowledging your complete status. Complete applicants will be invited to attend an information/orientation session. At the session you will have the opportunity to sign up for your individual interview with program faculty who may accept or defer your application based on:

  • knowledge and motivation toward a career as a health care assistant
  • financial preparation
  • communication skills

 At the interview, you will receive the following additional documents to be completed:

  • criminal record search
  • medical certificate indicating physical fitness and emotional stability, to be signed by your family physician
  • up-to-date immunization, and a negative TB test or chest X-ray

In addition to a valid driver’s license you will be required to have reliable transportation to all practica sites.
If English is not your first language, you might be required to have an assessment by the ESL department.

Sounds good. When should I apply?
Apply at any time. Program start dates are September and January of each year. Intake into this program is on a continuous basis.



How much does its cost? Can I afford to take this program?
‌ It’s best to consult our Fees and Other Costs section in the online calendar at www.ufv.ca/calendar as fees are subject to change. In addition to your tuition fees, you can expect to pay an additional $250 for books, supplies, and field trips, while your uniforms and white duty shoes will cost about $200.

It’s worth a visit to the UFV Financial Aid and Awards office, which facilitates the disbursement each year of about $12 million in federal and provincial student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, and awards to UFV students. A helpful budget planning worksheet is available online at www.ufv.ca/fineaid/budget

What kind of assistance is there to help me adjust?
Please visit www.ufv.ca/studentservices to learn about the broad range of services designed to help you learn about and adjust to the university environment.

I’m not sure that this program is for me. Can I speak with someone about my options?

Absolutely. We want to hear from you!  If you’re unsure of your direction, contact Student Services, connect with an educational advisor, or arrange for career counselling. Main switchboard numbers are:

Abbotsford toll free 1-888-504-7441
Chilliwack Campus at the Canada Education Park at 604-792-0025
Student services Abbotsford local 4528 or direct line at 604-854-4528
Student services Chilliwack   local 2808 or direct line at 604-795-2808 

Feel free to contact Health Studies directly by calling 604-795-2841 or click here to contact us by email.

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