Developmental Service Worker - Apprenticeship

Program: DSAP
Credential: Ontario College Certificate
Delivery: Full-time
Work Integrated Learning: Apprentice Placement
Length: 780 hours
Effective: Fall 2024
Location: Orillia


The Developmental Services Worker - Apprenticeship program provides training for individuals who are interested in working with and/or are currently working with persons with a variety of developmental needs. The purpose of the program is to provide apprentices with the knowledge, skills and abilities to assist persons who have intellectual and/or other related developmental disabilities achieve their potential.

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.

Career Opportunities

Students taking this program may be employed or find employment in a variety of social service and health related agencies and/or educational settings that provide supports to individuals with disabilities and their families.

Instructors of persons with disabilities teach children and adults using a variety of techniques to facilitate communication, rehabilitation, social skills and increased independence. They are employed in rehabilitation centres, specialized educational institutes and throughout the school system.

Program Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. provide support to persons with disabilities which facilitates personal growth and empowerment in ways which respects their dignity, autonomy, and decision-making capacity;
  2. conduct oneself in an ethical, competent and accountable manner in all professional relationships;
  3. create, employ and adapt formal and informal strategies to support the learning of people with developmental disabilities;
  4. adhere to safety regulations and standards of practice when assisting persons with disabilities;
  5. create professional development plans to enhance job performance and well-being.

External Recognition

Upon successful completion of their in-school training, these apprentices must complete the remainder of the required skills outlined in the Training Standard Log Book to qualify for their Apprenticeship Certificate. Thereafter, they are eligible to write their Certificate of Qualifications exam. Graduates may also receive credit toward further education in the Developmental Services Worker diploma program.

Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, mature student status
  • Prospective students must be registered apprentices with the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development

Additional Information

An apprenticeship involves practical training provided on-the-job by a skilled worker, or trainer. The skills or competencies to be developed are set out by the trade’s apprenticeship training standard and are recognized by the industry as being essential to the practice of the trade.

As these essential skills are developed, the apprentice’s sponsor or trainer signs the relevant sections of the training standard to indicate that the apprentice has met the individual training objectives by demonstrating the skills required of a skilled worker, or journeyperson, in the trade.

Those who complete the apprenticeship are encouraged to continue their studies to obtain a Developmental Services Worker Diploma from an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology, which may include completing general education courses, a practicum and residency.

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 CoursesHours
DSAB 1001 Social Services 30
DSAB 1002 Person Directed Planning 45
DSAB 1004 Pharmacology 45
DSAB 1018 Developmental Disabilities 1 45
DSAB 1019 Developmental Disabilities 2 45
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
 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 1018 Professionalism 1 40
DSAA 1019 Professionalism 2 40
DSAA 1020 Professionalism 3 40
DSAA 1021 Teaching Strategies 1 30
DSAA 1022 Teaching Strategies 2 30
 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.

use +/- to expand menu options