Supportive Care Assistant Program – Employer Questions

Who funded the Supportive Care Assistant Program?

The Supportive Care Assistant Program is part of a national initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses the labour shortages in the long-term care sector. It is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program and is part of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CICan) Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.

What is the difference between a supportive care assistant and a personal care provider (PSW, HCA)?

The roles are very different. The supportive care assistant role was developed as part of a work integrated training program. Students will support personal care providers (PSW, HCA) and the health care team. The role is limited to non-clinical activities such as:

  • 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 and accompanying clients as they move about
  • Participating in activities with clients

Personal care provider programs are much longer and as a result they have more responsibility and carry out more complex tasks, such as taking vital signs.

What does the Supportive Care Assistant Program look like?

The program has been developed as an asynchronous on-line program with a work placement. The program is based on five main competencies that have been developed collaboratively with 14 colleges and institutes from across Canada.

The six-week online portion is composed of five modules that each student works through. Modules include: Professionalism; Client and Family-Centred Assistance; Communication; Supportive Assistance; and Infection Control and Safety. Each module will take approximately 20 hours to complete and can be done at the student’s pace.

A sixth module is focused on the student’s work placement and is worked on concurrently with the first five modules and until completion of the program. The work placement module provides the materials and resources required by the student during their work placement.

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.

Once they have successfully completed all the requirements, students will be granted a micro-certificate.

What is a micro-certificate?

A micro-certificate is a formal way of recognizing the knowledge and skills that are very specific to the workplace or industry. It is often recognized with a badge: a digital representation of competencies that can be shared with a link to a platform that provides context and verification. The certificate will be awarded by the college or institute delivering the program at the end of the work placement.

Is the Supportive Care Assistant Program available in French?

Yes, all materials and curricula are available in French.

Who has been consulted for the development of the Supportive Care Assistant program?

Initially, CICan staff consulted with a wide number of stakeholders from across Canada. The Government of Canada, in turn, consulted with the provinces and territories. Following that process, 14 college representatives from across Canada formed a working group under the direction on CICan to design the program. Each college was tasked to consult with their provincial stakeholders to collect input during the development of the learning competencies. Additionally, a survey was distributed to over 600 stakeholders to validate the competencies.

Who will cover the workplace insurance for students?

As an employer, your insurance would cover the liability for the student during their four-month work placement.

How much does the student get paid per hour? Do we top them up to a higher wage? What is the regular rate for this role?

Each employer is eligible for up to $5,000 per student over the four-month work placement. This means that the wage subsidy would cover approximately $9/hr. The expectation is that the employer will top that amount to a least minimum wage in their province and commiserate with the labour market in the area.

Does on-the-job training time count in the working hours?

Yes, the training and on-boarding time is to be included in the working hours.

Do students need to be supervised at all times? Can they work independently?

There will be guidelines published in an employer handbook that will recommend the level of supervision required as the student gains experience. Initially, the student would shadow a personal care provider gradually becoming more independent.

Where is the program offered?

Select colleges and institutes are delivering the program across Canada. If you are a national employer or would like more information, please contact us.

How do I register as an employer?

To register, please contact us.

How do I get the wage subsidy?

The subsidy is a partial reimbursement of incurred wage expenses, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student for four months of full-time employment. Payments of the subsidy will be released in increments as employers fill certain milestone criteria, such as submitting time sheets, proof of payment of wages, midterm, and final evaluation forms. The final payment will be released after completion of all required tasks. For questions about registering as an employer, please contact SCA-APSS@collegesinstitutes.ca or 613-746-7093

Who can take the Supportive Care Assistant program?

To be able to take this program you must be:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • 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
  • Able to provide proof of English language ability (or French for francophone colleges). Each college will let you know their specific requirements but generally it will be equivalent to Grade 10 English.

In addition, you 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

There are some requirements as part of the workplace. This will be different from employer to employer but all students will be required to have:

  • A criminal background check with vulnerable sectors
  • Updated immunizations


Who funds the internship programs?

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) receives funding from the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. CICan acts as a delivery organization for the following programs:

Can the internship programs be stacked with other external funding options?

Stacking of other federal funding is allowed up to 100% of an intern’s salary. The internship programs are funded under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS), therefore you cannot stack funding from another YESS funded program as this would be considered “double dipping”.

Can I receive subsidies from more than one delivery organization to cover the expenses of the same internship?

No. You cannot receive funding from more than one delivery organization for the same internship. This would be considered “double dipping”.

Find the other delivery organizations here :

Can I receive subsidies from different delivery organization for different internships?

It is preferred that employers select one delivery organization to work with. It can cause confusion and lead to complications when employers have multiple internships with different delivery organizations.

That said, we understand that due to funding available this may happen, we just ask that employers notify us at the time they apply.

Can the internship programs funding be combined with the CEWS?

For the Digital Tech and ImpAct programs that already cover up to 100% of the intern’s salary, you cannot combine the funding with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

For the Natural Resources and Clean Tech subsidies, it is possible to combine funding with the CEWS. However, it is important to declare this in your budget so that adequate subsidy calculations can be made. If the CEWS is only indicated at the midterm or end of the internship, it will lead to a reduction in the subsidy payment.

Are wage subsidies under the Career Launcher program taxable?

Yes. According to the Canada Revenue Agency, if you get a grant or subsidy from a government or government agency, you’ll have to report it as income or as a reduction of an expense.

Generally, a grant or subsidy:

  • increases your income or reduces your expenses
  • relates to an income deficiency
  • relates to specific expenses

For example:

  • if you are a farmer and you received a payment to subsidize your income in a drought year, you would add the payment to your income.
  • If you are a business that receives a government employment grant to hire more students, you would generally deduct it from the wage expense you are claiming.

If your government assistance enables you to acquire capital property, it should not increase your net income. However, for depreciable property, you would reduce the capital cost of the property by the amount of the assistance received. For other capital property, you would reduce the adjusted cost base accordingly.

How much do the Career Launcher wage subsidies cover?

Each program covers differing amounts, please visit each program for details on the subsidy offered:

Does the subsidy cover Mandatory Employer Related Costs (MERCs) and Vacation Pay?

The subsidy covers employer charges including the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance (EI) and vacation pay. Employers may choose to pay out the 4% in lieu of vacation or to offer vacation within the contract.

Should employers wish to provide paid vacation days, they will need to ensure that the intern still completes the minimum length of the internship. Please note that the Clean Tech Internships and the Natural Resources Internships need to be a minimum of 26 weeks.

Can intern training costs be covered by the Career Launcher program?

Funding for training is dependent on the program stream and availability of funding. Please visit each program for details on the subsidy offered:

Internship Programs – Employer Eligibility

As a federal department, am I eligible to apply for the subsidy?

Unfortunately, federal departments are not eligible to apply for wage subsidies through Career Launcher.

Employer eligibility does vary. Please visit each program for details on the subsidy offered:

What is a Crown corporation?

Crown corporations are wholly owned federal or provincial organizations that are structured like private or independent companies. They include enterprises such as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), VIA RailCanada Post and the Bank of Canada; as well as various provincial electric utilities.

What does it mean to have an established payroll system?

Payroll is the process by which employers pay employees, at the end of a regularly set period, for the work they have completed. An effective and efficient payroll process ensures that employees are paid accurately and consistently: their pay is properly calculated, tracked and doled out and the correct amounts for tax, company benefits and other deductions are withheld.

If an employer is using a manual payroll process (i.e. they are not using a licensed payroll software or a third party to manage their payroll) they will be asked to provide proof of payment sent to their intern.

What is considered a process for supervising and mentoring interns?

Employers must have a process in place to onboard their intern, establish a work plan, supervise, guide and evaluate the work that the intern is conducting. This includes having a designated intern supervisor who is committed to guiding and supporting the intern throughout their experience. This person should have supervisory experience and ideally have subject-matter expertise in the field that the intern will be working.

If employers do not have their own tools developed for onboarding, setting workplans or conducting performance evaluations, they should refer to the Career Launcher resources page.

The Hiring Process

Can an individual currently employed by the employer be recognized as an intern?

No. The subsidy cannot be used for a currently filled position, to replace an employee who is on leave or for a current employee moving to a new position.

Exceptions may be made for an employer who has previously hired a co-op student or student intern and would like to use this funding to hire them after graduation in a new capacity.

Can an immediate family member be hired as an intern?

No. An immediate family member of the employer or a director or senior officer of the employer cannot be hired as an intern.

An immediate family member means a father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, foster parent, brother, sister, spouse or common-law partner, child (including child of common-law partner), stepchild, ward, father-in-law, mother-in-law, or any relative permanently residing with the employer.

If an employer already has a potential intern in mind, will Career Launcher support the hire?

Yes. Employers will be asked to indicate whether they already have a candidate when they complete their application and Career Launcher must approve the intern’s eligibility prior to their hire.

Please note that if you indicate that you already have a candidate, your internship won’t be posted publicly, and you will be provided with the necessary documents for you and your intern to complete.

How can Career Launcher support employers that are unable to find a candidate for an approved internship?

We know that recruiting the right candidate for your internship is a top priority. The Career Launcher team takes the following actions to support your recruitment efforts:

  • Post your internship on the Career Launcher job board
  • Promote your internship on our social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter). If you need extra support, we can extend our promotion or share it via our professional networks.

We also encourage you to take the following steps to help increase the visibility of your internship:

  • Share your internship on your organization’s social media pages
  • Post your internship on your local college, polytechnic or Cégep job board
  • Post your internship on relevant local job boards

Do you provide any support for onboarding an intern?

Yes. The Career Launcher toolkit helps employers integrate interns into the workplace and helps interns set goals throughout their internship. We also provide other useful resources for both interns and employers on a range of topics, from diversity and inclusion to mental health and wellness. Read our Employer and Intern Resources page for more.

Internship Eligibility

Can the same internship be approved for funding again next year?

All submitted internship applications are to be for new positions or new projects only. You may submit the same internship position for a new project in subsequent years. However, you must explain why you are applying for funding for a previously funded position. Approval of these applications will be subject to program criteria and priorities at the time of the application.

Can an employer submit more than one internship during the same year? 

Our priority is to reach a diverse group of employers across Canada and across different job sectors. Limits may be put in place to ensure a fair distribution of funding. Please be sure to visit the selected program stream page to know whether a limit is in place.

Can an intern work for more than the set internships length?

The goal of Career Launcher is to help employers hire students or grads for internships that can lead to full-time employment.

The wage subsidy can only be used for the length set for the internship. However, the interns can continue to work for the employer once the internship is completed.

What is the expected rate of pay for an intern? 

There is no defined rate of pay, but you can consult the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat salary guide as a reference for pay rates. It is important to note that employers must provide a living salary and ensure that they are respecting provincial minimum wages and to attract the best candidates, it is recommended to pay a competitive salary for your given industry.

How many hours can an intern work on a weekly basis? 

Interns under our internship programs must work a minimum of 30 hours per week, with the exception of the ImpAct Internships, which can include part-time positions.

Can an employer hire multiple interns with the same approved posting? 

Each internship that you wish to apply for funding requires a separate submission even if the position is identical. Every submission in our system represents a single internship and a single potential intern.

Depending on the availability of funding there may be a limit in place for the number of internships per employer.

Application Process

I have already participated as an employer in the Career Launcher program, do I still need to create an account?

Yes, the Career Launcher program has moved to a brand-new application portal. For this reason, all employers need to create a new login and complete their profile. Once this is done, you are all set up in our new portal and you will not need to recreate a profile every time. However, you can edit your profile if any information on your organization changes.

How does the 4-Step application process work?

There are four steps to the Career Launcher application process and funding is only confirmed once you have completed all four stages of the application process.

The four steps of the application process include:

  • Step 1: Create a profile on the Career Launcher portal and submit your internship application for pre-approval
  • Step 2: If your application is pre-approved, you will be prompted to submit your internship budget for review
  • Step 3: Once your budget is approved, you will be prompted to invite your selected candidate to complete their Participant Information Form (PIF) to determine their eligibility
  • Step 4: Once approvals for all of the first three steps have been given, you will move onto this fourth and final step which involves confirming the Subsidy Agreement Details and Signing the Agreement

Funding is only confirmed once you have completed all four stages of the application process within the required timeline.

How long does it take to go through the 4-step application process for the internship programs?

If your internship is pre-approved by the Career Launcher team in Step 1 of the application process, it will then take 3-4 weeks to complete the remaining three steps of the process. Note that applications are only reviewed when the deadline to apply has closed.

The 3-4 week timeline will depend on how long it takes for employers to recruit an eligible candidate. Funding is only confirmed once you have completed all four steps of the application process.

I completed Step 1 of application process. How long will it take for my internship application to be reviewed? 

There is a set date that employers will be notified of their application status following the submission deadline. Visit your specific internship program page for this information.

To confirm your application was submitted, please login to your account and verify that you correctly submitted your application. When every step in this application is complete, the “Submit” button to the right will become green and clickable. The application is not fully submitted until you click the green “Submit” button. Once you click “Submit” the application will no longer be editable

If you have not heard from us after the set notification date, please contact us. One of our program officers will contact you as soon as possible.

Once my internship application has been pre-approved, does this mean that my funding is confirmed?  

No, the pre-approval of your internship simply means that you have successfully completed Step 1 of the 4-Step application process. You are now invited to complete the rest of the application process. Funding is only confirmed once you have completed all four steps in the application process.

I have completed Step 2 of the internship programs application process. How long does it take for my budget to be reviewed?  

The budget review time will depend on how many applications are in process at the time of your submission. That said, the typical review time is approximately 1 week. Please login to your account to ensure that you have fully completed this step. Once you have filled out the budget form, you must click the “Submit” button on the right hand side of the page. The budget is not fully submitted until you click the green “Submit” button.

To accurately complete your budget please ensure that you refer to your approved program stream’s Internship eligibility criteria on the Career Launcher website and ensure that your internship is meeting the minimum length and weekly hours of work if applicable.

Once your budget is reviewed, you will be notified by email. Should you be required to make changes, these changes will be explained in the email, you will be reverted back to this step in the portal and you will see the same text instructions for how to complete your budget form.

I’ve been invited to move to Step 3 of the internship program application process. How do I send my selected candidate the participant information form (PIF)?

As soon as you have a prospective candidate, ensure they meet the eligibility criteria for your specific program by reviewing the Important Information in the “Request PIF” stage on the portal.

Invite your selected candidate to complete the Participant Information Form (PIF) by clicking “+ New Request”. You will enter the candidate’s name and email address and click “Send”. The candidate will receive an email asking them to complete the form. Once the candidate has completed the form, you will be notified, and you will need to log back in and click submit on the PIF & Important Information section. Only once you log back in and submit this section, will the Career Launcher team be notified to review your candidate’s eligibility.

I received confirmation that my selected candidate completed their participant information form (PIF). How long will it take for their eligibility to be reviewed?

The timeline for eligibility review will depend on how many applications are currently in process. That said, the typical review time can go up to one week.

Should your selected candidate not be eligible, you will be informed of the reasons and provided with instructions for the next steps.

I have confirmed the agreement details in Step 4 of the application Process. When should I expect to receive the agreement for signature?

Once your confirmation of the agreement details is submitted, the Career Launcher team will prepare the final agreement for signature.  This process may take between 5 and 7 business days from the time you confirm the information in the portal, as we follow an internal ISO process that requires multiple levels of review for agreement approvals. Please let your legal signatory know that they will receive an email directly from Docusign.

Please also note that the primary contact will receive a copy of the agreement once signed by both parties.

Reporting and Subsidy Payments

Why do I need to submit my banking information to CICan?

The Career Launcher wage subsidies are paid on a reimbursement basis at the midterm and end of the internship by direct deposit. To receive these payments, you must be set up as a vendor with CICan. It is important that this is done upon signature of your contract so that you can avoid any delays when you get to the midterm.

I have participated in Career Launcher in the past and received payment by direct deposit. Do I need to send in my banking information again?

If you have previously participated in the Career Launcher program and have received payment by direct deposit, then you don’t need to resend your banking information unless something has changed on your end. If you need to make a change, please submit a void cheque by email to cicanfinance@cican.info.

I prefer to receive my subsidy payment by cheque. Is this possible?

All participating employers must be set up to receive payment by direct deposit. Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to make payments by cheque.

I have participated in Career Launcher in the past and received payment by cheque. Do I need to send in my banking information?

If you have participated in Career Launcher in the past and received payment by cheque, you MUST submit your banking information so that CICan can set you up as a vendor to receive payments by direct deposit. If you do not complete this step now, it will cause delays for your first payment at the midterm of your internship.

Please submit a void cheque by email to cicanfinance@cican.info

Once a contract is in place for the internship, how does the subsidy payment process work?  

Subsidy payments are paid by direct deposit on a reimbursement basis at the midterm and end of the internship. Once you have signed your agreement, your application will move into the Active Internship stage and your midterm report documents will become available to you in the portal. You will be notified by email 10 days prior to your midterm to remind you to log in and complete these documents.

To process your midterm subsidy claim, you will be required to do the following on the portal:

  • Send a request for intern midterm report: Similar to the PIF request, you must send a request to your intern to complete this report.  You will be notified once your intern completes their report, please be sure to follow up with them to ensure they complete it in a timely manner.
  • Completed your employer midterm report
  • Upload a request for subsidy payment: You must download the request for subsidy form, complete it and upload it back into the system
  • Upload all the corresponding paystubs and training receipts (if applicable): Your intern must be paid a salary and you must submit official paystubs. Should you not have official paystubs, you must also include proof of payment (copies of e-transfer or direct deposit confirmations)

How long does it take for an employer to receive a payment once all documents are submitted? 

The Career Launcher team will process subsidy payments within 10 business days of receiving all required documents at the midterm point and end of the internship. If there is missing information or if corrections needed to be made, you will be notified by email and you will be prompted to go back into the portal and make the corresponding changes.

The payment will only be reviewed by Career Launcher once you have completed all the required steps for the midterm or final reporting and have clicked “Submit” on this stage.

Should I put Stat Holiday pay under Vacation or Salary?

Stat holiday pay should be calculated along with the salary, as it’s salary at an increased wage due to the holiday. It should not be calculated with vacation pay, which is a separate type of pay.

My company is a start-up. May I submit screenshots of direct deposits through online banking as proof of wage payment? 

All employers participating in the Career Launcher program must have a registered payroll system (e.g., ADP). The Career Launcher team must receive paystubs issued through a registered payroll system as proof of wage payment to process subsidy claims.

Exceptions may be made for employers using an in-house payroll system, if they are able to provide proof of payment along with the in-house paystubs, such as screenshots of the direct deposits or pay cheques.

As an employer, I would like to modify the length of my internship. Will this affect the total amount to be paid?  

In most cases, modifying the length of the internship will indeed affect the total amount to be paid. This change would require a contract amendment and the admissibility of this change will need to be determined by the Career Launcher team. Should you wish to inquire about this possibility, please contact the Career Launcher team.

My company is a start-up. Would a more frequent subsidy payment schedule be possible? 

Subsidy payments are made at the mid-term and at the end of the internship. Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide payments outside of the pre-determined schedule.

I have submitted all the required documents for my midterm or final report but have yet to receive a payment. Is that normal? 

Please login to ensure that you have properly submitted your midterm or final report. The payment will only be reviewed by Career Launcher once you have completed all the required steps for the midterm or final reporting and have clicked “Submit” on this stage.

The Career Launcher team will process subsidy payments within 10 business days of confirming accuracy of all submitted required documents at the midterm point and end of the internship. However, if there is missing information or corrections that need to be made, you will be notified by email and you will be prompted to go back into the portal and make the corresponding changes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Technical Support

I’m having a hard time using the Career Launcher application portal. How can I get support to move through each step in the process?

We invite you to consult our short introductory video to learn how to use the portal. Should you need additional support after watching this video, please call us at 613-746-5916 and one of our program staff would be happy to assist you.

I haven’t received a password reset email and it’s been over 10 minutes.

  • Make sure you are requesting the correct email address when submitting the password reset request.
  • Check the URL of the portal you are currently attempting to access. It should be: insert link Look back to any instructions sent to you Career Launcher.
  • Check your spam folder and make sure to whitelist @zenginehq.com

If you are still having trouble, reach out to Career Launcher to confirm you have an active application.

If you expected to but have not received an email from Career Launcher using Zengine.

  • Being patient and waiting typically resolves short email delays.
  • Check our status page (status.wizehive.com) for any reported delays
  • Check your spam folder and make sure to whitelist @zenginehq.com (this article will provide other steps you can take, Email Troubleshooting)

Having Tech issues? Try these general troubleshooting steps

In this section, the steps below should be tried before you reach out to the Career Launcher team. In most cases, these steps will resolve your issue. Further in the article, you will find more specific questions and resolutions steps.

  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection
  • Try clearing the browser’s history/cache. If you’ve received this error before, coming back to re-enter the same information may cause the system to bring up the same message. Here’s an article on how to do so. (Please be aware this link is from a third party; not affiliated with WizeHive)
  • Use a different browser. We generally recommend using the most up to date version of either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. If you aren’t using one of these, please do.  If you are using, for example, Chrome, please try switching to Firefox or vice versa. Check out our supported browsers.
  • Try logging in/creating the account using Incognito or Private browsing mode. Browsing in a private mode will allow you to log in without having your previous cache in the session.
  • Avoiding “Auto-Fill” browser features by manually typing in your username and password. The autofill feature of a browser like Google Chrome can cause issues when trying to log in. This information could be outdated, incorrect, or the feature could just be causing issues in general in combination with the user’s personal computer.
  • Lastly, please try restarting your device. If you are using a desktop/laptop please try restarting your system and logging back into the portal. If you are using a mobile/tablet device, we highly recommend using a laptop/desktop device to access the portals/applications.

The steps above can address the following issues:

Error Messages

  1. I am unable to type/upload information into my form/application.
  2. I am unable to login and received an E1005 Error.
  3. I received an error message when attempting to upload documents.

Login/Sign-up Issues

  1. I am getting a “We are unable to validate that you are human. Please try again.” What should I do?
  2. When I enter my login information, and press enter, I get sent back to the login page instead of getting access to the portal.