Native Education

Health Care Assistant Certificate

Credentials: Certificate 

Hours: Full-time, Mon-Friday, 9am-4pm 

On-Site Delivery Program in:
• Vancouver B.C.
• New Aiyans B.C.
• Kamloops B.C.


Apply now and become a health Care Assistant at the Native Education College

The HCA program at NEC uses an Indigenous wellness model to prepare learners to become competent caregivers that provide evidence-based appropriate care for Elders, Indigenous families, and people with special needs. Students will develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function effectively and independently as front-line caregivers and respected members of the health care team. Under the direction and supervision of a regulated health professional, graduates provide person-centred care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, psychological, cognitive, social, and spiritual health and wellbeing of clients and families 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 a (w)holistic well-being of the client.

 At NEC we acknowledge the Indigenous ways of knowing and being. We strongly believe that Indigenous perspectives add tremendous value to our college and to our communities; therefore, all the NEC HCA courses align with the Longhouse values and philosophies. It is our responsibility to support students in their learning journeys by incorporating the prevention of genocide in all our teachings. We commit to continue listening, learning, and humbly collaborating to the work of reconciliation and decolonization in Canada.

HCAP Application Process

Step 1

Submit your application to NEC; please review the entrance requirements.

Step 5

Receive confirmation of enrollment in HCA Program at NEC

Step 2

Interview and selection process by health employer

step 6

Complete the HCAP education segment at NEC while receiving weekly stipend. 

Step 3

Receive and accept offer of employment by health employer (Health Care Support Worker) HCSW.

Step 8

Complete the one year return service with your employer . 

Step 4

Complete Health Care Support Worker workplace orientation & onboarding

Become a Health Care Assistant

Admission Requirements

High School Applicants
Mature Applicants


  • October 

This program is Full-time, Monday to Friday, 8 months long.
Classes are in-person in Vancouver and New Aiyans B.C.

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

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, Medication Administration
Health Care Assistant

Why choose NEC to study HCA?

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

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

What to Expect

  • The Health Care Assistant Program is 32 weeks in length (full-time).
  • The program consists of theory, laboratory practice and practice education experiences in complex care facilities and community car sites.
  • The theory components are delivered through discussion groups, student presentations, lectures, online activities and demonstrations, and guest speakers. Students apply
  • the theory component in the laboratory and practice education settings

Student Progress/Assessment Methods

  •  Assignments, Quizzes, Presentations, Team Projects, Practicum evaluations, Exams

Certifications gained

  • First Aid Certification 
  • CPR Level “C” Certification or “Basic Life Support (BLS)” Certification
  • FoodSafe Level 1 Certification (or a certificate course deemed equivalent)
  •  Completion of the Student Practice Education Core Orientation (SPECO) (available on the LearningHub), which must include the following: -A signed checklist SPECO Checklist.pdf ( – Proof of meeting current immunizations / vaccinations as per health care organization policies / guidelines (or signed vaccination exemption form, except TB) -Criminal record check from the Criminal Records Review Program, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults. -WHMIS – Provincial Course – Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum E-Learning Modules and the 8hour Classroom component for medium to high-risk health workers.
  • Completion of the Health Care Assistant Practice in BC E-Learning Modules (LearningHub)
  • Completion of the Recognizing and Responding to Adult Abuse course (LearningHub)
  • Completion of the Introduction to Cultural Safety and Humility course (LearningHub)
  •  Home Support: Dementia Care Course (LearningHub)

Learning Outcomes

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

Provide person-centred care and assistance that recognizes and respects the uniqueness of each individual resident or 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/residents and families

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

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

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

Communicate clearly, accurately and sensitively with clients and families in a variety of community and facility contexts.

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

Recognize and respond to own self-development, learning, and health enhancement needs.

Perform the care provider role in a reflective, responsible, accountable, and professional manner

HCA100: Introduction to Practice -33 Hrs- 2credits  

This course introduces the role of the HCA within the British Columbia health care system. Students will be introduced to the health care team and the roles and functions of HCAs within the team. Students will also have opportunities to develop self-reflective skills required for competent practice and will be introduced to effective job-finding approaches. 

HCA:130 Interpersonal Communication -53 Hrs – 2 Credits  

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 caregiving contexts. Students will be encouraged to become more aware of the impact of their own communication choices and patterns. They will have opportunities to develop and use communication techniques that demonstrate personal awareness, respect, and active listening skills. 

 HCA 120: Lifestyle & Choices -33 Hrs – 2 Credits  

This course introduces students to a holistic concept of health and the components of a health enhancing lifestyle. Students will be invited to reflect on their own experience of health, recognizing challenges and resources that can impact lifestyle choices. Students will be introduced to a model that can be applied in other courses to understand the multi-faceted aspects of health and healing. 

 HCA 110: Health & Healing: Concepts for Practice -72 Hrs- 3 Credits 

 This course provides students with the opportunity to develop a theoretical framework for practice. Students will be introduced to the philosophical values and theoretical understandings that provide a foundation for competent practice as an HCA. The course focuses on concepts of caring and personcentred care; basic human needs and human development; and family, culture, and diversity as they relate to health and healing. Students will also be introduced to a problem-solving model that will be critical to their practice.  

HCA 150: Common Health Challenges -119 Hrs – 2 Credits 

This course introduces students to the normal structure and function of the human body and normal bodily changes associated with aging. Students will explore common challenges to health and healing in relation to each body system. Students will also be encouraged to explore personcentred 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 Hrs – 4 Credits  

This course builds on content from other courses to assist students to explore concepts and caregiving approaches that will allow them to work effectively with individuals experiencing cognitive and/or mental health challenges. The emphasis in this course is on supporting clients with dementia, recognizing responsive behaviours, and identifying person-centred intervention strategies.  

HCA 140: Personal Care & Assistance-123 Hrs -4 Credits  

This practical course offers students the opportunity to acquire personal care and assistance skills within the parameters of the HCA role. The course comprises class and supervised laboratory experiences, which assist the student to integrate theory from other courses to develop caregiver skills that maintain and promote the comfort, safety, and independence of clients in community and facility contexts. 

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 facility.  

HCA 180 Complex Care Clinical practicum/ Preceptorship- 60 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 – 60 Hrs  

This practice course provides students with an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills from all other courses with individuals and families in a community setting. Opportunity will be provided for students to become more familiar with the role of the HCA within a home support agency, assisted living facility, or a group home to gain abilities that will prepare graduates for employment in these settings. It is important that students understand the philosophy of community care settings and the importance of client choice and independence.