Supportive Care Assistant (Micro-credential)

Program: SCAS
Credential: Recognition of Achievement
Delivery: Part-time, online, micro-credential
Work Integrated Learning: 1 Work Placement
Duration: 660 hours
Effective: Summer 2024
Location: Barrie, Midland, Muskoka, Orangeville, Orillia, Owen Sound, South Georgian Bay


The Supportive Care Assistant Program is a new fully subsidized micro-certificate developed to address the labour shortages in the long-term care sector. The program allows students to discover a new career, gain work experience, and make a difference in their community.

The micro-certificate program includes a four-month work placement in a long-term or home care setting. Students gain experience to help them prepare for a career in the sector while providing much needed support to long-term and home care staff. 

There is no cost for tuition or to register for the Supportive Care Assistant Program. Bursaries are available for dependant care and transportation during the student’s work placement. Students may be expected to cover certain costs associated with the placement including a criminal record check or other employment requirements.

Career Opportunities

As a supportive care assistant, students assist certified personal care providers and the health care team to support clients. The role involves performing non-clinical activities, which could include the following:

  • assisting with meals
  • assisting with cleaning and disinfecting
  • stocking materials required by clients and health care staff
  • making clients’ beds, cleaning their rooms and other areas
  • providing companionship, comfort, and support
  • assisting with moving about and accompanying clients as they move about
  • participating in activities with clients

Program Learning Outcomes 

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. explain the role of the supportive care assistant within the inter-professional team;
  2. engage with the client and inter-professional team members to support client well-being;
  3. practice professionalism, accountability, and confidentiality to the client, families, inter-professional team members and employers;
  4. respect the client's unique physical, cognitive, psychological, cultural, social and spiritual needs when providing assistance;
  5. support clients' rights to privacy, dignity, respect and confidentiality;
  6. practice empathy towards each client while recognizing that each client is unique and may experience health challenges differently;
  7. apply inclusive practice when interacting with clients, families, and other inter-professional team members;
  8. show respect for clients' and families' beliefs, values, and rights while responding to situations with honesty, humility, and integrity;
  9. practice effective communication and the importance of relaying information in an appropriate manner;
  10. practice safe, supportive assistance to promote client independence during activities of daily living;
  11. implement practices to maintain a clean and organized client care environment;
  12. practice appropriate use of touch while providing supportive assistance;
  13. implement proper infection control measures to adhere to guidelines and policies as appropriate through knowledge of the chain of infection and as it relates to disease transmission and prevention;
  14. respond appropriately to safety hazards and unsafe situations.

External Recognition 

The program is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is part of Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan) Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.

Admission Requirements

Minimum mandatory admission requirements: 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age 
  • Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada (international students cannot register)
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations
  • For English first language speakers, students must provide proof of proficiency as determined by the college or institute (Grade 10 English (most provinces) or college admission testing may be used as an equivalency)
  • For English as a second language speakers, students must provide proof of English language skills (IELTS 6.0; CLB 6; CEFR B2) or equivalency as determined by the college or institute

Additional Information 

Additionally, students should

  • have an interest in working with older adults and other people requiring assistance
  • be able to communicate effectively and have strong interpersonal skills
  • be friendly, flexible, and able to provide warm encouragement
  • have regular access to a PC or MAC computer with an internet connection and recent versions of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer installed
  • have basic computer skills
  • have access to transportation for work placement(s)
  • be available to work shifts (evenings/nights/weekends)
  • be physically able to stand/walk with some bending, twisting, and lifting

Note: Additional requirements related to the work placement may include a criminal record check and proof of certain immunizations. Students may be exposed to communicable diseases during their work placement.

Note: There are a limited number of positions available nationally. Students are encouraged to register early to ensure their place.

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Graduation Requirements

Once students have successfully completed all the requirements, a micro-credential will be awarded.

After completing the required modules, students will be connected to an employer who will provide 560 hours of paid employment over a four-month period.

 Graduation Eligibility

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

Program Tracking

Plan of Study Grid
Program CoursesHours
HSCI 0278 Supportive Care Assistant Module 1: Professionalism 20
HSCI 0279 Supportive Care Assistant Module 2: Client and Family-Centered Assistance 20
HSCI 0280 Supportive Care Assistant Module 3: Communication 20
HSCI 0281 Supportive Care Assistant Module 4: Supportive Assistance 20
HSCI 0282 Supportive Care Assistant Module 5: Infection Control and Safety 20
HSCI 0283 Supportive Care Assistant: Placement 560
 Total Hours660

Graduation Window

Students registered in part-time studies programs must maintain continuous registration in order to complete the program according to the curriculum in place at the time they were admitted. Students who do not remain continuously registered must be readmitted to the program and follow the new curriculum.

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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