Skip to main content

Health Care Assistant: Certificate


The Health Care Assistant (HCA) program is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary to function as a front-line caregiver in a variety of health care settings, including acute care, complex care, and home support. The graduate is prepared to meet the care needs of adults who may be experiencing diverse and often complex health and illness challenges.

Graduates are prepared to function collaboratively as members of an inter-disciplinary health care team. In a facility they work under the direct supervision of an appropriate health professional. In a home care setting they work more independently but are always under the direction of a health professional.

In addition to tuition fees, students will spend approximately $1,500 for textbooks, course materials, uniforms and shoes, transportation and parking, etc., during the program. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to clinical experiences.

The student will have a variety of experiences over the program length, including classroom, laboratory, simulations, complex care, and home support facilities.

Note: Students will be expected to do both daytime (0700–1500) and evening (1500–2300) shifts as part of their practice experiences.

The last five weeks of the program will be a full-time work experience.

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of the program, graduates are qualified to work in any of the following health care areas:

  • Complex Care
  • Acute Care
  • Home Support
  • Assisted Living
  • Adult Day Care

Admission Requirements

All students, domestic or international, applying to the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Health Care Assistant Program must meet one of the following English standards for admission to the program:

  • BC English 12 with a minimum of grade of C (or equivalents)*; or
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): IBT 76 or higher, with no sub score less than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no sub score less than 18 in Reading and Writing, taken within the last two years; or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Overall band of 6.0 or higher, with a minimum of 6.0 in the Speaking and Listening band, and a minimum 5.5 in Reading and Writing band, taken within the last two years; or
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): Score of 60 or higher with no sub score less than 50, taken within the last two years

* For applicants educated in an English-speaking environment for 7 non-consecutive years of elementary or secondary school or 4 consecutive years of secondary or post- secondary school.

In addition, applicants are required to provide proof of completion of the following:

  • Standard First Aid Certificate and CPR Level C
  • Food Safe Level I
  • Ministry of Justice Criminal Record Check (completed within six months prior to enrolment in the program)
  • TB test

Note: Students are also required to provide proof of up-to-date immunizations consistent with requirements of the Health Authorities prior to commencement in the practice experiences.

Students in the program are required to demonstrate the ability to perform a variety of cognitive, emotional and psychomotor skills safely and knowledgeably.

Continuance Requirements

Students are required to obtain a grade of 60% or higher in each course throughout the program.

Curricular Requirements

Semester 1

All of:
  CAHS 1101 Introduction to Technology and Academic Writing in Health Care 3 credits
  ECHS 1114 Communications for Caring Professions 2 credits
  HCAP 1120 Wellness: Health, Lifestyle & Choice 1.5 credits
  HCAP 1124 Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice 1 3 credits
  HCAP 1126 Personal Care Skills & Clinical Practice 8 credits
  HCAP 1135 Person Centered Practice in Healthcare 1.5 credits

 Semester 2

All of:
  HCAP 1224 Health and Healing: Concepts for Practise 2 3 credits
  HCAP 1225 Health Care Assistant Advanced Skills 3 credits
  HCAP 1240 Dementia and Special Needs: Theory and Practise 5 credits
  HCAP 1245 Health Care Assistant Final Practicum 5 credits

Credential Awarded

Upon successful completion of this program, students are eligible to receive a Certificate in Health Care Assistant.

At a Glance

Faculty of Health

Program Type:

  • Vocational

Credential Granted:

  • Certificate

Offered At:

  • KPU Langley  Langley

Start Date(s):

  • Fall Intake (September)  September
  • Spring Intake (January)  January

Intake Type:

  • Limited Intake  Limited intake


  • Full-time  Full-time

Minimum Credits Required:

  • 35

Instructional Cycle:

  • Semester-based

Curriculum Effective Date:

  • 01-Sep-2015

Applying to KPU:

Last Updated: 14-Jun-2016

This online version of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar is the official version of the University Calendar. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, KPU reserves the right to make any corrections in the contents and provisions of this calendar without notice. In addition, the University reserves the right to cancel, add, or revise contents or change fees at any time without notice. To report errors or omissions, or send comments or suggestions, please email