FAQs

Supportive Care Assistant Program – Prospective Students

What colleges and institutes are offering the program?

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

What will I receive when I finish the program?

After completing the online training and your work placement, you will receive 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.

Are there any costs to participate in the Supportive Care Assistant Program?

The Government of Canada has funded this program. This means that there is no tuition. In addition, there are no textbooks or equipment requirements. There is a limited number of bursaries available to help with costs related to childcare or other care of dependents.

However, there are some costs associated with the program and the work placement such as:

  • Internet and computer access
  • Fee for a criminal record check
  • Any costs for immunizations
  • Appropriate clothing and shoes for work placement (depends on the employer)

There may be additional requirements depending on the college or institute and the employer.

Can I get credit for this program if I go into other health care programs?

Each college will consider your previous education including this program and what you have learned during your work placement when you apply for further education. Additionally, you will have to meet the admission requirements for that program. Each college and institute have upgrading programs if you need to take additional courses.

How do I apply?

You will complete an application with a college or institute delivering the program. You can find a list of institutions offering the program on our website.

How much will I get paid during the work placement?

This will depend on jurisdiction, region, province, and employer. Employers are required to respect provincial working regulations and pay at least minimum wage.

Will I get paid while receiving on-the-job training?

During your online training, you will not be paid. Once you start your work placement, you will become an employee and any on-the-job training would be paid.

Can I work at the same long-term care setting as my friend?

You can make a request to the college or institute delivering the program. They may be able to place you and your friend with the same employer, but there is no guarantee that they would be able to accommodate your request.

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 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.

Internship Programs - Intern eligibility and participation questions

I am currently applying for my permanent residency, am I eligible for Career Launcher ?

Unfortunately, persons awaiting their permanent residence or refugee status, as well as those who hold a temporary visitor visa, student visa or work visa, are ineligible to participate.

Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada are eligible to apply under the Career Launcher program. Refugee protection must be conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

What is considered post-secondary education?

Post-secondary education can be provided by public and private institutions that are recognized by the government and have the authority to grant academic credentials by their provincial or territorial governments. See official Statistics Canada definition below:

Postsecondary education refers to those whose highest level of educational attainment is an apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma (including ‘centres de formation professionnelle’); college, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma; university certificate or diploma below bachelor level; or a university degree (bachelor’s degree; university certificate or diploma above bachelor level; degree in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or optometry; master’s degree; earned doctorate). Statistics Canada Definition

How do you define underemployment? 

An individual is considered underemployed when they are employed below their level of education or on a part-time basis. Unemployment is also included under this category.

I will be 30 years of age at the start of my internship, can I still qualify for a Career Launcher internship?  

Yes. Qualified interns must be 30 years old or less at the start of their internship.

I am an international student and have a work permit. Am I eligible for Career Launcher? 

No. Unfortunately, persons awaiting their permanent residence or refugee status, as well as those who hold a temporary visitor visa, student visa or work visa, are ineligible to participate. Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada are eligible to apply under the Career Launcher program. Refugee protection must be conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

I have already participated in a Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS) Internship. Can I be an intern again?

YESS internships are funded through various federal department programs. You can only benefit from another YESS internship if they are funding by a different federal department program. This means that if you have already been hired through any delivery organizations that offer the Science Horizons, STIP-Green Jobs or DS4Y programs, you cannot be hired in an internship funded by that particular program.

Are you unsure if this applies to you? Contact us

I’ve been selected by an employer as an intern. What documents will I be required to submit for the application and once the internship has begun? 

Prior to hiring, your potential employer will have you complete the Participant Information Form (PIF). This is used to ensure that you are eligible to participate and for reporting purposes. During the internship you will have to complete:

  • a mid-term report, at the mid-term point of the internship
  • a final report, at the end of the internship