Native Education

Health Care Assistant

Program Description

This program allows individuals to work as front-line healthcare providers in various community and institutional settings. The program will provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to function independently as healthcare workers and members of the healthcare team. Through a combination of theory, lab, practicum, & Indigenous teachings learners gain the skills and knowledge required to provide the highest standard of personal care that promotes the physical, social, and emotional well-being for clients.

 In addition to meeting the Provincial Health Care Assistant Program Curriculum learning outcomes, the HCA program at NEC uses the Indigenous wellness model to prepare learners with knowing how to provide appropriate care for Elders, Indigenous families, and people with special needs. NEC has also partnered with various health authorities to provide the HCAP program for students. HCAP is an opportunity for students to be hired and sponsored by their employer to complete their training through a partnered educational institution such as NEC. You can join this program without any prior health care experience. 

Health Care Assistant

Why choose NEC to study HCA?

Get tuition-free

Indigenous people, Canadian citizens and permanent resident can apply to scholarships available 

Students are hired by Coastal Health

Paid training & guaranteed employment. by the Government of BC

Gain skills to work as a HCA

Graduates of this program leave with skills that will improve your resume and therefore better job opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Health Care Assistant Certificate, learners will be proficient in the following areas:

1. Provide person-centred care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual resident or client.

2. Use an informed problem-solving approach to provide care and assistance that promotes the physical, psychological, social, cognitive and spiritual well-being of clients/residents and families

3. Provide care and assistance for clients/residents experiencing complex health challenges

4. Provide care and assistance for clients/residents experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges.

5. Interact with other members of the healthcare team in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals

6. Provide personal care and assistance in a safe, competent and organized manner.

Get paid while you learn through HCAP - 100% Education and Training paid by the Government of B.C.

Classes start on Oct 23rd 2023, in Vancouver B.C. and New Aiyans B.C.

Career Path

Graduates of the HCA program are eligible to register with the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry and become a Certified Health Care Assistant. To learn more about this certification, please visit the BC Care Aide & Community Health Registry.

The HCA Certificate Program provides many career options for graduates, these include but are not limited to: 

  • Direct employability within various specialty areas such as: 
  •  Complex-care 
  • Assisted-living facilities 
  • Community home support agencies, 
  • Long-term care  
  • Transferable to Access to Practical Nursing Programs (LPN) within BC 
  • Advanced HCA Programs: Acute Care, Mental Health, Palliative Care 

Program Summary

This program is Full-time, Monday to Friday

8 Month

Become a Health Care Assistant in 8 Months

Certified +

First Aid and CPR Level C, FOODSAFE Level I, Non-Violence Crisis Intervention (NVCI) , WHMIS

25 Credits

HCA program is transferrable to any post-secondary in B.C.  recognized by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.​

Get Paid

Students will receive $801.00 per week throughout the study period * Restrictions apply*

Course Descriptions

HCA100:Introduction to Practice -33 hrs

This course provides an introduction to the roles and functions of the Health Care Assistant
within the British Columbia health care system.

HCA 110: Health & Healing: Concepts for Practice -72 hrs

The course provide a foundation for competent practice as a HCA , focuses on concepts of caring
and person centered care; basic human needs and human development; family, culture, and
diversity as they relate to health and healing.

HCA 120 :Lifestyle & Choices -33 HRS

This course introduces students to a holistic concept of health and the components of a healthenhancing lifestyle. Aboriginal health and healing concepts will be integrated within this

HCA:130 Interpersonal Communication -53 hrs

This course focuses on the development of self- awareness, increased understanding of others
and development of effective interpersonal communication skills that can be used in a variety of
care giving contexts

HCA 140: Personal Care & Assistance-144

This practical course is comprised of lecture and supervised laboratory experiences which assist
the students to integrate theory from other course to develop care-giver skills that maintain and
promote the comfort, safety, and independence of individuals in community and facility areas.

HCA 150: Common Health Challenges -117

This course introduces students to the normal structure and function of the human body and
normal bodily changes associated with aging, focusses on person-centered practice as it
relates to the common challenges to health and, in particular, to end-of-life care

HCA 160: Cognitive & Mental Health Challenges – 63

This course builds on content from other courses to assist students to work effectively with
individuals experiencing cognitive or mental challenges. The emphasis in this course is on
supporting clients with dementia, recognizing responsive behaviors and identifying
person-centered intervention strategies.
HCA 170: Complex Care Clinical practicum-152 hrs. 19 shifts 60 DOCUMENTED hours of Specialized Dementia Care

This supervised practice experience provides students with an opportunity to apply
knowledge and skills from all other courses in the program with individuals in a multi-level
or complex care setting. A portion of this clinical experience will be devoted to working
with individuals experiencing cognitive challenges. Opportunity will be provided for
students to gain expertise and confidence with the role of the HCA with a continuing care

HCA 180 Complex Care Clinical practicum/ Preceptorship-80 hrs.

The purpose of this final preceptorship is to consolidate all previously learned theory and
skills. Students will have the opportunity to practice in a complex care setting under the
guidance and supervision of a qualified Preceptor and appropriate facility staff.
This experience allows the student to put theory into practice from previously acquired
knowledge and clinical skills. Over the specified time period, students will gradually
assume the role of the care aide/HCA and be expected to work as a full-scope HCA upon
completion of the preceptorship.
By the end of this rotation, students are expected to safely and competently work as a fullscope HCA (assuming the full resident workload of the Preceptor) by the completion of
this rotation.

HCA 190: Home & Community Care Practicum – 80 hrs

This practice course will provide students with an opportunity to apply knowledge and
skills from all other courses with individuals and families in a community setting.
Opportunities will be provided for students to become more familiar with the role of the
HCA within a Home Support Agency and gain abilities that will prepare graduates to
assume the role of a Community Health Worker


Admission Requirements

High School Applicants
Mature Applicants
Fully funded program


Successful completion of Grade 12 with a minimum of English 10 grade "C" or equivalent.

Note: All applicants must meet the English language requirement per the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. If transcripts are unavailable or outdated, for more information:

■ Refer to the English Language Competency Requirements as specified by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. See the link below for more information

  • (18 years of age or older) with a minimum of English grade "C" 10 or equivalent.
  • Note: All applicants must meet the English language requirement, as per the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.
    If transcripts are unavailable or outdated; and for more information:
    Refer to the English Language Competency Requirements as specified by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

HCAP is covered by the province, HCAP studies first have to apple to the local Health Authority before being accepted into the program

The sooner you apply, the better your chances

Apply now!

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