Course: Health Care Assistant


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Program Overview

This program is designed to train learners to become Health Care Professionals. Our dedicated and experienced instructors will provide quality education with hands-on training to prepare students for the real world. Students will practice their techniques in labs equipped with articulated mannequins, hospital beds, medical gear, and fixtures. Furthermore, students will participate in a designated facility or a hospital and interact with patients throughout the practicum training period. This training will help students learn proficiency and the confidence most needed on a job. Our graduates work in both private and publicly funded facilities and hospitals as well as a variety of community settings. These may include extended care, intermediate care, assisted living, home support, rehabilitation facilities, and group homes. HCAs work as part of a team within a health care unit under the supervision of a health care professional such as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Effective September 2016, Gateway College will be implementing the HCA Provincial Curriculum 2015 into all the HCA courses. Graduates of the Health Care Assistant delivered by Gateway College are eligible for registration with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.

* This program has been approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.

Student loans are available for qualified local students.

Program Duration

Health Care Assistant: 33 Weeks

Program Delivery Options

To meet the need of students who require flexibility and convenience, this program is offered in:

  • Traditional Education (In-class)
  • Distance Education: Blended Learning (Online + In-class)

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must be 19 years of age prior to the start of the study period or graduation from grade 12 (or equivalent)
  2. Applicants must provide proof of meet Language Competency Requirements
  3. Completion of an HCA Competency Assessment by the Nursing Community Assessment Service, with a remedial education referral letter from the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry. *

* Note: The standardized PLAR assessment required is the Nursing Community Assessment Service (NCAS) HCA Competency Assessment with a Remedial Education Referral Letter issued by the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry.

The following are to be completed prior to the first practice education experience:

  • 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 Ministry of Justice, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults
  • First Aid
  • CPR Level “C” or “HCP”
  • FoodSafe Level 1 (or a course deemed equivalent)
  • Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum (PVPC) E-Learning Modules

* Note: Additional Police Certificate from the country of origin, including clearance to work with vulnerable adults, is required for international students.


Program Details

  • Concepts for Practice (theory, roles, law, organization)
  • Interpersonal Communications (empathy, medical terms)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (intro to body systems)
  • Lifestyle and Choices (activities of daily living)
  • Personal Care Skills (hygiene, comfort, simple treatments)
  • Caring for Common Health Challenges (life cycle)
  • Mobility Techniques (body mechanics)
  • Pharmacology (assisting with medication delivery)
  • Gerontology (study of aging process, demography)
  • Cognitive and Mental Health (including addictions)
  • Dementia (causes, stages, behaviors, Alzheimer’s Disease)
  • Palliative Care (end-of-life care, pain management, grieving)
  • Family Dynamics (culture, diversity, domestic violence)
  • Nutrition (menu planning, diet, Canada’s Food Guide)
  • Safe Work Practices (infection control, WHMIS, fire safety)
  • Assault Response (defensive and preventive skills)
  • Professional Development (transitions, employment skills)
  • Basic Computer Skills (Word Processing, Email, Internet Search, Netiquette)*
  • Acute Care (Acute Care Settings, Roles of HCA in Acute Care)*

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to obtain:

  • Health Care Assistant Diploma
  • Standard First Aid & CPR Level C Certificate issued by Red Cross
  • FoodSafe Certificate issued by BC FOODSAFE
  • Dementia Certificate
  • WHMIS Certificate
  • Medication Administration Certificate
  • HCA Acute Care Certificate*
  • Provincial Violence Prevention Certificate*
  • 280 hours of practicum experience.
  • Eligibility to register with the "BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry."

* Effective September 2016

Course List

  • Health and Healing: Concept for Practice
  • Health Care Assistant: Introduction to Practice
  • Health 1: Interpersonal Communications
  • Health 2: Lifestyle and Choices
  • Healing 1: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Common Health Challenges
  • Healing 2: Caring for Individuals Experiencing Cognitive or Mental Challenges
  • Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistant
  • Practice Experience in Home Support and/or Assisted Living
  • Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care
  • Red Cross Standard First Aid & CPR Level C
  • FoodSafe

Start Date

  • Traditional Mode: Please contact our Admissions Office.
  • Distance Education (Blended Learning Mode): September 9


Program Variations

Gateway College offers variations of HCA program to suit the needs of different students.

HCA 33-week Program is best for students who are working or have other commitments as the courses is delivered in a slower pace with combination delivery option (in-class + online) which allows flexibility in schedule.

HCA-Accelerated Program is a fast track option for students who can devote more time to studies and complete the program in less than 6 months.

HCA-Access Program is ideal for students who have prior learning or work experience in the field, and would like to refresh or update their skills and knowledge to meet and exceed the BC Provincial Standards.

HCA & Communication (Year 1 & Year 2) provides international students or those without any background in healthcare a comprehensive training in language, Medical Terminology as well as HCA training- students can even apply directly for the Second year (Year 2) if they have the required English proficiency.

You may visit our website at and contact us for more information regarding these program variations. One of these could be the best fit for you!


Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

Gateway College can proudly state that it has been training thousands of students to be a Health Care Assistant since 1986. Gateway College graduates are working as valuable members of the health-care ... Read More

Gateway College can proudly state that it has been training thousands of students to be a Health Care Assistant since 1986. Gateway College graduates are working as valuable members of the health-care team in private and public hospitals, long-term care, complex care, assisted living, independent living, special care, palliative care facilities as well as home support agencies. Read less