Health Care Aide Courses & Diploma Alberta, CA

Health Care Aide

Program Info:

Admission Requirements

The following requirements must be met to be eligible for entry into a licensed HCA program.

Academic English Language Arts (ELA)

  • Grade 11, 20-2 level course, with a minimum score of 60% achieved or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; OR
  • English 20-1 with a minimum of 60% achieved or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; OR
  • English 30-1 or 30-2 with a minimum of 55% or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; OR
  • Deemed equivalent by the completion of ACCUPLACER (assessment placement test)
  • Note: Students who have not completed the ELA, 20-2 level requirement, and achieved the minimum grade are subject to completing the ACCUPLACER assessment test. This can include students out of province, out of the country, or mature students that have been out of school for a significant length of time.

English Language Proficiency (ELP)

  • Candidates, where English is a Second Language (ESL), must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement in addition to the Academic English requirement. Equivalencies are as follows:
  • Required Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of a minimum of 7 in each of the 4 language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) and not an average of 7; OR
  • By completing high school in Canada. Studies must have been in English at an approved Canadian high school (grades 9, 10, 11, 12) with at least three consecutive years of full-time academic study; OR
  • By completing a recognized post-secondary degree or diploma program in Canada. The program must have involved at least two full years of full-time, consecutive academic study in English.

Approved English Language Proficiency Tests

Tests benchmarked at a CLB 7 for all 4 language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Official results must be submitted directly to the PSI.

  1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic: 6 (no section score below 5.5);
  2. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Testing (TOEFL iBT): 71;
  3. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General: 7 (with no section score below 6); and
  4. Canadian Language Benchmarks/Milestones Test (7 in each strand, not an average of 7).

    Test Currency: The results must have been obtained within two years of the start date of the program.Test Validity: IELTS (Academic) and TOEFL results are valid for two years from the day of testing. Results that expire prior to the Start Date of the program will not be accepted.

Program Highlights

The Health Care Aide program will prepare the student to become a vital member of the healthcare team. The Health Care Aide (HCA) assists professional nurses in performing activities of daily living including long-term care, home care, and assisted living. The Health Care Aide program utilizes the materials of the Government of Alberta Provincial Curriculum that includes both theory and practical experience.

Students gain a fundamental understanding of anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, and development across the lifespan. They also learn about interpersonal communications, behavior management, chronic conditions, death and dying, and health and wellness.

Career Opportunities

HCAs work under the direct or indirect supervision of a regulated health professional, such as a nurse, in a variety of settings including:

  • home care
  • assisted living facilities
  • long-term care


  • Course 1: HCA Role and Responsibility
  • Course 2: Human Body, Health, and Chronic illness
  • Course 3: Communication and Documentation in the Health-Care Environment
  • Course 4: Providing Person-Centered Care and Comfort
  • Course 5: Clinical Placement Experience I (2 weeks with instructor)
  • Course 6: Meeting Complex Care Needs
  • Course 7: Special Activities for Clients with Various Health Conditions
  • Course 8: Clinical Placement Experience II (four weeks with instructor)
  • Course 9: Consolidated Clinical Placement Experience (two weeks with HCA Buddy)

Practicum Requirements

Prior to the practicum, these requirements will be needed.  Extra fees may be associated with these:

  • First Aid/CPR
  • Criminal record check
  • Immunizations

Mask-fitting may be required depending on the practicum site.

Graduation Requirements

HCA students must achieve a minimum final grade of 70% in each course and pass the provincial HCA Examination to graduate from the HCA Program and receive the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum Certificate.

Extra fees are associated with writing the Provincial Exam not covered by the tuition.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

A post-secondary institution will implement and make available PLAR for the entire HCA Program based upon the identified learning outcomes for each course.

  • A post-secondary institution will use the Government of Alberta standardized PLAR process.
  • An instructor teaching the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum must conduct all PLAR assessments.
  • The post-secondary institution will support HCA Program candidates deciding whether to proceed with the PLAR process.
  • HCA Program candidates failing a PLAR attempt must take the failed course through regular course delivery.
  • Post-secondary institutions will set and follow policies to identify the number of courses an HCA student may receive credit for through the PLAR process.

Credit Transfer

  • All post-secondary institutions offering the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum will allow transfer credit on a course by course basis from other post-secondary institutions offering the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum.
  • Up to 50 percent of course credits or hours can be transferred from one HCA Program to another.

Program Type:


Anticipated salary:

C$26,313 – C$47,861
(Information from PayScale Canada)

Program Duration

22 Weeks

Program Notes:

Tuition fees include all materials and student manuals. Financial assistance may be available to qualified students.

Program Category:

Program Syllabus:


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