Academic Calendar Winter/Summer 2019

Health Sciences

Health Care Assistant certificate

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

Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to work in any level of continuing care, including home support, adult day care, assisted living, complex care (including special care units), and some acute care settings.

The program is based on the 2015 provincial curriculum and includes classroom and laboratory instruction, as well as practicum experience in a variety of settings throughout the Fraser Valley. This is a full-time program with daily attendance expected. A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the program.

Entrance requirements

Academic entrance requirements

  1. Successful completion of one of the following academic prerequisites:
    • Grade 11 with regular English 11 or ENGL 081
    • B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent with regular English 11 or ENGL 081
    • A minimum of 6 credits at post-secondary level
    • Mature students, age 19 or over, will be considered if they meet the prerequisites for ENGL 091, ENGL 099, or ENGL 105 at UFV
  2. One of the following:
    1. Native English speakers: seven years of education in an English-speaking environment (can be acquired in either consecutive or non-consecutive years). Applicants who have had four consecutive years of secondary or post-secondary education in an English-speaking environment will be given consideration to meet the native English speaker requirement.
    2. Non-native English speakers are required to complete one of the following English language competencies:
      • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), IBT only: overall score of 88 with no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 20 in Reading and Writing. Test must have been within the last two years.
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic or General: overall score of 6 with a minimum of 6.5 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 6 in Reading and Writing. Test must have been within the last two years.
      • Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLB PT): Listening 8, Speaking 8, Reading 8, and Writing 8. Test must have been within the last six months.
      • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), Academic or General: aggregate score of 4H or better, with 4H or better in Speaking and Listening and 4H or better in Reading and Writing.
      • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL): overall Score of 70, with no section less than 50.

Other entrance requirements

  1. Current Red Cross standard first aid certificate or St. John's standard enhanced first aid certificate.
  2. Submission of a signed health assessment indicating physical fitness and emotional stability. (Form will be provided at interview.)
  3. Completion of an immunization program prior to the start date. Immunization forms will be included with the letter of acceptance. Proof of immunization must be received by the date specified.
  4. Satisfactory interview with a program faculty member who may accept or defer acceptance based on:
    • Knowledge of and motivation toward a career as a health care assistant
    • Financial preparation
    • Communication skills
  5. Health-care experience. Your health-care experience must consist of:
    • Experience as an employee working in a long-term care setting with elderly clients with a satisfactory reference; or
    • 30 hours of volunteer experience with residents in a long-term care setting with a satisfactory reference. (Applicants may use the reference form attached to the back of the HCA program application form.)
  6. Satisfactory written reference (work or personal).
  7. Successful completion of a security clearance check. Criminal records check forms will be included with letter of notification of acceptance to the program.
  8. A valid driver’s licence (learner’s licence is not acceptable) and reliable transportation to all clinical sites.
  9. Students must be familiar with computers and associated technology.

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider Qualifying Studies.

When to apply

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year. Applications should be received by May 1 for the Fall intake, or September 1 for the Winter intake. See Continuous application process for more information.

How to apply

  1. Students may apply to the program prior to the completion of all entrance requirements. Apply online at The following documents must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar in order to process your application:
    • Proof of academic prerequisites (transcript required; see Note)
    • Completion of non-native English speaker requirement as necessary

      Note: If you are currently enrolled in Grade 12, a letter is required from your school counsellor, stating that you are making satisfactory progress towards meeting the educational requirements for Grade 12 graduation.

    Once these documents have been received by the Office of the Registrar, your application will be forwarded to the Health Care Assistant program.
  2. The following documents must be submitted to the School of Health Studies, Chilliwack campus:
    • Health Care Assistant application form (available at
    • Valid Standard First Aid certificate
    • Basic Rescuer—Level C certificate (included in Standard First Aid certificate
    • Proof of valid driver’s licence (learner’s licence is not acceptable)
    • Work or personal reference
    • Volunteer health care experience reference(s)

    Documents required in order to achieve "complete applicant status" for Health Care Assistant applicants include:

      • UFV application form
      • Health Care Assistant program application form
      • Proof of academic prerequisite (transcript required)
      • Satisfactory employment or volunteer reference working with elderly clients in a care setting or with residents in a long-term care setting (minimum 30 hours)
      • Current Red Cross standard certificate or St. John's standard enhanced first aid certificate
      • Work or personal reference
      • Valid driver’s licence (learner’s licence is not acceptable)

    • Once "complete applicant" status has been obtained, applicants will be notified of and expected to attend a program information session. Failure to attend the information session may delay entry to the program. Applicants will be contacted when dates and times have been established; a health questionnaire will be provided and must be returned to the School of Health Studies prior to interview.
    • Applicants to be interviewed will be notified.
    • Applicants will be notified in writing regarding their acceptance. Upon acceptance to the program, applicants will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required by a specified date in order to reserve a seat in the program. This money will be applied toward tuition fees. If students do not register for courses and pay the deposit, their place will no longer be held.

Basis for admission decision

Applicants who meet the entrance requirements will be admitted based on the date of complete applicant status. This date is set when an application, all required documentation, and the application fee have been submitted.

Dates and locations

This is a 24-week program which starts in either September or January. Classes are located at the CEP, Chilliwack campus. Approximately one-half of the program takes place in a variety of facilities throughout the Fraser Valley.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section.

Additional books, supplies, and field trips will cost about $250. Uniform(s) and white duty shoes will cost approximately $200. The cost of parking and travelling to and from practicum locations is the responsibility of the student.

Program outline

Course Title Credits
HCA 110 Health I: Interpersonal Communications 2
HCA 111 Health II: Lifestyle and Choices 1
HCA 112 Healing I: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges 7
HCA 113 Healing II: Cognitive and Mental Health Challenges 2
HCA 114 Health and Healing: Concepts for Practice 4
HCA 115 Introduction to Practice 1
HCA 120 Healing III: Personal Care and Assistance 3
HCA 130 Complex Care Practice 3.5
HCA 131 Specialized Dementia Care Practice 2
HCA 132 Community Setting Preceptorship 1.5
Total 27

Continuance policies

Due to the integrated nature of the courses, progression through the program requires successful completion of each course. Successful completion of each theory course requires a grade of 65% or better. Lab and clinical courses are graded as credit or no credit.

Students who withdraw or fail may re-apply to the program. The HCA courses are closely related and are considered corequisites. Failure in one course may necessitate retaking of previously completed courses. Each student will receive a UFV HCA Student Guidelines & Policy Manual which further explains the program's continuance requirements and polices.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section.

Current Students