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Health care aides (HCA) are an unregulated workforce that provide basic health services and support with daily living activities for clients who have medical conditions or major functional limitations. HCAs work under the direct or indirect supervision of a regulated health professional, such as a nurse, in a variety of settings including:
- home care
- assisted living facilities
- long-term care
The Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum-2019 is owned and managed by the Ministry of Health.
The following requirements must be met to be eligible for entry into a licensed HCA program.
Academic English Language Arts (ELA)
- English 20-1 or English 20-2 or equivalent with a minimum score of 60% OR
- English 30-1 or English 30-2 or equivalent with a minimum score of 55% OR
- Deemed equivalent by completion of ACCUPLACER (assessment placement test)
Note: Students who have not completed the ELA, 20-2 level requirement and achieved the minimum grade are subject to completing the ACCUPLACER assessment test. This can include students out of province, out of country or mature students that have been out of school for a significant length of time.
English Language Proficiency (ELP)
Candidates where English is a Second Language (ESL) must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement in addition to the Academic English requirement. Equivalencies are as follows:
- Required Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of a minimum of 7 in each of the 4 language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and not an average of 7; OR
- By completing high school in Canada. Studies must have been in English at an approved Canadian high school (grades 9, 10, 11, 12) with at least three consecutive years of full-time academic study; OR
- By completing a recognized post-secondary degree or diploma program in Canada. The program must have involved at least two full years of full-time, consecutive academic study in English.
Approved English Language Proficiency Tests
Tests benchmarked at a CLB 7 for all 4 language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing). Official results must be submitted directly to the PSI.
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic: 6 (no section score below 5.5);
- Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Testing (TOEFL iBT): 71;
- Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General: 7 (with no section score below 6); and
- Canadian Language Benchmarks/Milestones Test (7 in each strand, not an average of 7).
Test Currency: results must have been obtained within two years of the start date of the program.
Test Validity: IELTS (Academic) and TOEFL results are valid for two years from the day of testing. Results that expire prior to the Start Date of the program will not be accepted.
Candidates must possess knowledge of computer/technology tools to be successful in the program. Candidates must:
- Be able to communicate, research and understand information
- Know how to use computer to surf web, email
- Be able to critically evaluate and understand how technology can affect one’s behavior
- BE able to create, produce content and effectively communicate using email, media, internet
Other Requirements for Students Admitted to HCA Program
Health and Safety Requirements
All students admitted to the HCA Program must have the following items completed and submitted by August 1 after being admitted to the program:
- Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Clearance
- Immunization – some immunizations including Hepatitis B, may need to be initiated prior to the first day of the program.
- Standard First Aid
- CPR – BLS - Must be through Heart and Stroke - no other certificate will be accepted. Must be current for the year as of the date set out by the department. No exceptions.
- COVID-19 Vaccination
There are also other forms that will be required by August 1 and those will be provided to students upon successful admission.
Standardized uniforms are required - information will be provided upon admission.
Academic Progression Criteria
A grade of 70% is the minimum passing grade for all the HCA courses.
In order to progress to into the clinical experience courses, HC1050, HC1080, and HC1090, students must successfully meet the minimum passing grades for each pre-requisite course.
HCA students must achieve a minimum final grade of 70% in each course and pass the provincial HCA Examination to graduate from the HCA Program and receive the GPRC/Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum Certificate.
An HCA student has three attempts to pass the provincial HCA examination (initial examination and two re-writes). Any fees associated with writing the provincial HCA examination will be the responsibility of the student. The HCA Fee Schedule can be found on the Alberta Health Care Aide Directory webpage albertahcadirectory.com under the Provincial Exam page.
Transfer from Other Government of Alberta Provincial HCA Curriculum Programs
Students can transfer to other Post-Secondary Institutions offering the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum (2019). Up to 50 per cent of course credits or hours can be transferred from one HCA Program to another.