Developmental Service Worker Apprenticeship

Program: DSAA
Credential: Apprentice Week Certificate
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: Apprentice Placement
Length: 2 Semesters
Duration: 780 hours
Effective: Fall 2021
Location: Orillia


A Developmental Services Worker supports people who have a developmental disability to realize their full potential so that these individuals may participate fully in their communities. DSWs have the specialized knowledge and skills required to work with people with developmental disabilities across the life span.

Developmental Services Worker is a trade regulated by the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. Qualified individuals may obtain a Certificate of Qualification, which confirms its holder has the skills, knowledge and experience that meet industry standards of practice for the trade.

In order to complete an apprenticeship training program in the trade, individuals must become members of the Ontario College of Trades (the College), and apprentices must remain active members for the duration of their apprenticeship.

Career Opportunities

Developmental Services Workers are employed by organizations that provide support to individuals with special needs, including faith and culture-based agencies and by school boards to assist in the classroom.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. promote their adaptive skills;
  2. maintain a safe environment;
  3. model and promote a healthy lifestyle;
  4. assist with medications;
  5. apply crisis prevention and intervention strategies;
  6. participate in the development and implementation of person-directed plans;
  7. support the individual in the development and maintenance of family, community and other relationships.

Program Progression

Fall Intake 

  • Developmental Services Worker Level 1 - Basic (DSAB) - Fall 2021

Winter Intake 

  • Developmental Services Worker Level 2 - Basic (DSAA) - Winter 2022

Admission Requirements

To qualify for an apprenticeship, you must:

  • be a least 16 years of age
  • have legal permission to work in Canada (for example, have a valid social insurance number)
  • have a sponsor in Ontario

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete both levels to receive a certificate.
  • Developmental Services Worker Level 1 - Basic (DSAB) 
  • Developmental Services Worker Level 2 - Basic (DSAA)  

Graduation Eligibility

Students must successfully complete all required courses as noted below. Further details, if applicable, are noted under "Additional Information" above.

Program Tracking

Level 1 - Basic (DSAB)

Plan of Study Grid
Program Courses
DSAB 1001 Social Services 30
DSAB 1020 Health and Wellness 1 45
DSAB 1021 Health and Wellness 2 45
DSAB 1022 Health and Wellness 3 45
DSAB 1023 Health and Wellness 4 45
DSAB 1018 Developmental Disabilities 1 45
DSAB 1019 Developmental Disabilities 2 45
DSAB 1002 Person Directed Planning 45
DSAB 1004 Pharmacology 45
 Total Hours390

Level 2 - Advanced (DSAA)

Plan of Study Grid
Program CoursesHours
DSAA 1000 Philosophy of Support 30
DSAA 1003 Responding to Abuse 30
DSAA 1004 Dual Diagnosis 45
DSAA 1005 Community Building 45
DSAA 1014 Intervention Strategies 1 40
DSAA 1015 Intervention Strategies 2 20
DSAA 1021 Teaching Strategies 1 30
DSAA 1022 Teaching Strategies 2 30
DSAA 1018 Professionalism 1 40
DSAA 1019 Professionalism 2 40
DSAA 1020 Professionalism 3 40
 Total Hours390

Disclaimer: The information in this document is correct at the time of publication. Academic content of programs and courses is revised on an ongoing basis to ensure relevance to changing educational objectives and employment market needs. 

Program outlines may be subject to change in response to emerging situations, in order to facilitate student achievement of the learning outcomes required for graduation. Components such as courses, progression, coop work terms, placements, internships and other requirements may be delivered differently than published.

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