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Get the Skills to Become a Health Care Assistant

Health Care Assistant in a medical setting.
Health Care Assistants positively impact their patient’s lives by attending to their basic but essential needs

30-Week* Health Care Assistant Training Program in British Columbia

Health Care Assistants (HCAs) play a crucial role in the healthcare system, providing essential care to patients, supporting other healthcare professionals, and helping to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery.

If you’re compassionate, enjoy helping others, and are interested in starting a rewarding healthcare career in a short period of time, Cambria College’s Health Care Assistant program could be an excellent opportunity for you.

The best way to see if Cambria College is the right fit for you is to come in and visit the school. You can tour our facilities, and meet with both students and instructors. Book an Appointment Now or Get more info.

Health Care Assistant

30-Week* Diploma | $52,140 median annual salary**

  • Expected Job Openings in BC (2023-2033): 22,480**
  • Graduates hired by retirement homes, hospitals & assisted living residences
  • Advance into Medical Assisting, Residential Care, Nursing and much more!

visited on May 30, 2024. Salary source for health care assistants in British Columbia with lowest 10% earning $41,600 to the highest 10% of workers earning $54,080.

Becoming a Qualified Health Care Assistant

The Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function effectively as front-line caregivers and respected members of a healthcare team. Under the direction and supervision of a health professional, graduates provide person-centered care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual well-being of clients.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to work in a variety of practice settings including home support, assisted living, residential/complex care, special care units, other home and community care settings and acute care.

It is endlessly challenging which makes it endlessly rewarding. Being around the elderly, living in these moments and experiences are the reasons that I became completely devoted to health care. This is where I found my passion.
Sarah S

This program is eligible for up to $3,000 in scholarships.

Is a Career as a Health Care Assistant Right for You? Take the Cambria College “Health Care Assistant Career Training Readiness Quiz”

This fun, online quiz takes 3-minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Get Your Health Care Assistant Career Training Readiness Score Now >>

Practical “On-The-Job” Training

Health Care Assisting is a hands-on job. There’s no better way to learn than by actually working side-by-side with doctors and other medical professionals in a real healthcare setting.

As a student in this program, you have the opportunity to complete a 210-hour clinical placement and a 60-hour practicum. These two practice education experiences are an excellent way to get a feel for your new career, gain real-world job experience and make valuable industry contacts before you graduate.

Course Breakdown
Course No.Course NameHours
Concepts for Practice
Food Safety Certification
First Aid & CPR/AED Level C Certification
Interpersonal Communications
Lifestyles and Choices
Introduction to Practice
Common Health Challenges
Cognitive and/or Mental Health Challenges
Personal Care and Assistance
Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care
Practice Experience in Home Support, Assisted Living and/or Group Home Setting
Career and Employment Strategies

Program Duration

Total Program Hours785
Practice Education Hours270
Total Program Weeks30*

Admissions Requirements

  1. High School Graduation or equivalent OR mature student status (19 years or older prior to starting the program)
  2. Meet one of the following English Language Competency requirements:
    • Applicants who provide evidence of three years of full-time1 instruction in English must also provide proof of one of the following:
      • Completion of Grade 10 English** (or higher). A minimum of a C grade is acceptable.
        **Includes any English Language Arts 10 course or GED indicating completion of the English requirement.
      • Completion of college courses determined to be equivalent to completion of Grade 10 English (or higher) by post-secondary institutions. Applicants must produce transcripts as evidence of completion. A minimum of a C grade is acceptable.
      • ACCUPLACER Next Generation: Recommended minimum cut scores are as follows: Reading (230), Writing (230), Writeplacer (4)


    • Applicants who cannot provide evidence of three years of full-time1 instruction in English are required to provide proof of one of the following standardized proficiency tests from an authorized assessment agency:
      • Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) or CLBPT Remote. Test in the last year. Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6.
        *Note: A CLB Report Card from a LINC Program indicating “Completing” CLB Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 7 and Writing 7 AND “Recommend Class Placement” as Speaking 8, Listening 8, Reading 8 and Writing.
      • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP General or CELPIP Online). Test in the last two years. Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6.
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic, IELTS General or IELTS Academic Online). Test in the last two years. Overall score of 6 with a minimum of 6 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 5.5 in Reading and Writing.
      • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL or CAEL Online). Test in the last two years. Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50.
      • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition). Test in the last two years. Overall score of 76 with no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 18 in Reading and Writing.

1Applicants must provide a transcript(s) or a BC personal education record as evidence to confirm completion of a minimum of three years of full-time instruction in English. To meet this threshold, the Registry looks to confirm that applicants have studied over a period of three years and completed a minimum of two semesters of studies within each year. In addition, it is expected that the student will be taking full time studies (30 credits per academic year to a minimum of 18 credits per academic year [60% courseload]). In this way, it is typically a minimum of six semesters with total credits between 54 – 90 credits, completed over the three-year timeframe.

In cases where applicants already hold Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) results (testing within the last 2 years), the following minimum scores will be accepted: Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 6, Writing 6.

3. Completion of the Criminal Record Review Program (CRRP) application form for the purpose of working with children or vulnerable adults.

International Students: A clear police certificate from the country of origin must be provided prior to acceptance given that HCA students provide care to vulnerable clients within the practice education portion of the program.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • Provide person-centered care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual client.
  • Use an informed problem-solving approach to provide care and assistance that promotes the physical, psychological, social, cognitive, and spiritual well-being of clients and families.
  • Provide care and assistance for clients experiencing complex health challenges.
  • Provide care and assistance for clients experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges.
  • Interact with other members of the health care team in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  • Communicate clearly, accurately and in sensitive ways with clients and families within a variety of community and facility contexts.
  • Provide personal care and assistance in a safe, competent, and organized manner.
  • Recognize and respond to your own self- development, learning and health enhancement needs.
  • Perform the care provider role in a reflective, responsible, accountable, and professional manner.

Program Fees

Domestic Students: 

  • Application Fee: $250
  • Assessment Fee: $100
  • Tuition: $8,442
  • Textbooks: $897
  • Course Materials: $580
  • Others: $144

Total: $10,413

International Students: 

  • Application Fee: $500
  • Assessment Fee: $100
  • Tuition: $10,974
  • Textbooks: $897
  • Course Materials: $580
  • Others: $144

Total: $13,195

Career Opportunities

Health Care Assistants are prepared to work in a variety of health care facilities and community agencies. They are important and valued members of the healthcare team. Health Care Assistant’s promote and maintain the health, safety, independence, comfort and well-being of individuals and families. HCA’s provide personal care assistance and services in a caring manner that recognizes and supports the unique needs, abilities and backgrounds of clients and their families. They work as members of a health care team in a variety of settings with direction and supervision from regulated health care professionals.

The work done by HCA’s is based on a set of fundamental values, beliefs and ethical principles that are consistently reflected in all aspects of their work with clients, families, team members and others. Amongst these core values, beliefs, and principles, which serve as foundations of HCA practice, are those related to:

  • Human Beings
  • Older Adults
  • Health and Healing
  • Health Care
  • Caring and Caregiving
  • The Family in Health and Healing

(Excerpt from B.C. Health Care Assistants Core Competency Profile, Government of British Columbia, March, 2014, p. 5). Designed to prepare graduates for NOC 3413.

This program is approved by the Private Training Institution Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

Cambria College’s Health Care Assistant program holds Full Recognition status with the BC Care Aide Registry.

Is a Rewarding Career as a Health Care Assistant Right for You? Get More Info…

If you’re interested in learning more about a career as a Health Care Assistant and exploring whether Cambria College is right for you, fill out the form on this page to receive more information.

For immediate questions, call your nearest Cambria College location today.

Richmond: (604) 242-4000
Surrey: (604) 416-5522
Vancouver: (604) 428-7500
Victoria: (778) 265-7547

*Program length when completed in normal time