Faculty of Health
Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program - Diploma
Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program
Care aides and community health workers are also known as health care assistants or HCAs. They are frontline care providers in a variety of institutional and community settings including home support agencies and residential care facilities.
The Health Care Assistant (HCA) Diploma Program is designed to enable the students to develop the essential knowledge and skills necessary to function effectively as frontline care givers and respected members of the healthcare team, in community and facility settings. Under the direction and supervision of a health professional, students learn to provide person-centered care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients/residents. A graduate from our Health Care Assistant program will be fully competent and confident in performing skills in a variety of settings including acute care, health care facilities, private community agencies and individual homes.
The Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program is an innovative and Interactive thirty-two week journey to a career that is in high demand and can truly make a difference in the lives of individuals. By learning skills focused on health promotion, illness prevention, healing and wellness, students become enveloped in a holistic approach to health care, both personally and professionally. Students learn to maintain the health, safety, comfort, independence and well-being of individuals and families while working at a caring and rewarding career. The First College Advantage is that we offer a full-time program that features evening & weekend classes, highly qualified & passionate instructors, state-of-the-art facilities, small class sizes, as well as FREE training in First Aid, CPR, FoodSafe, SPECO (Student Practice Education Core Orientation), and an Employment Preparation workshop to ensure our students are prepared to enter the workforce.
The BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry reviews and recognizes Health Care Assistant (HCA) programs in BC. First College is on the list of educational institutions that offer recognized Health Care Assistant (HCA) programs in British Columbia. Also, Health Care Assistant (HCA) program was reviewed and approved by the registrar of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training.
The 8-month HCA health care assistant diploma program prepare students to become top notch care givers. A graduate from our Health Care Assistant program will be fully competent and confident in performing skills in a variety of settings including acute care, health care facilities, private community agencies and individual homes.
Note: First College will provide FREE training in CPR, First Aid, Food Safe, and Student Practice Education Core Orientation (SPECO) before Practice Education.
32 WEEKS - DIPLOMA PROGRAM
Health Care Assistant (HCA) Program Admission Requirement
First College admits applicants on a first-qualified basis, whereby applicants must meet one of the following 2 admission criteria plus Proof of meeting English Language Competency Requirements*.
1. The student has graduated from Grade 12 or equivalent (B.C. high school diploma, B.C. Adult Graduation Diploma, General Educational Development) or an equivalent secondary school completion from another jurisdiction; or
2. The student has mature student status (is 19 or older before the start of classes) and has demonstrated evidence at the appropriate level of literacy, numeracy, comprehension and/or written skills to enable successful completion of the program.
Proof of meeting English Language Competency Requirements*
(Students must have strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as satisfactory and active English comprehension skills. All applicants must meet the English Language Competency requirements)
English Language Competency Requirements
Applicants whose first language is English
English 10 or equivalent
Evidence of one of the following:
1. Proof of completion of Grade 10 English; or
2. College courses determined to be equivalent to completion of Grade 10 English (or higher) by post-secondary institutions. Applicants must produce transcripts as evidence of completion. A minimum of a C grade is acceptable.
3. Canadian Adult Achievement Test (CAAT): Reading Comprehension 35/50
4. Language Placement Index (LPI):
The three individual scores (Sentence Structure, English Usage, and Reading Comprehension) must total a minimum of 20, out of a maximum possible score of 40. Essay level of 4, with a minimum essay score of 24/40
Grade 10 level or higher Recommended Cut Scores*:
Reading Comprehension 60
Sentences Skill 55
*Educational institutions may conduct their own predictive validity studies to confirm appropriate cut scores
Applicants whose first language is not English
Standardized English language proficiency test score from an authorized assessment centre
Evidence of one of the following test scores:
1. Canadian Language Benchmark Placement Test (CLB PT): test within the last year: Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6 Note: a CLB Report Card from a LINC Program may also be accepted.
2. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP – General): test within the last two years, Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6
3. International English Language Testing System (IELTS): Academic or General -- test within the last two years: Overall score of 6 with a minimum of 6 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 5.5 in Reading and Writing
4. Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)-- -- test within the last two years: Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50
5. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): test within the last two years, IBT only -- Overall score of 76 with no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 18 in Reading and Writing
In cases where applicants already hold Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) results (testing within the last 2 years), the following minimum scores will be accepted: Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 6, Writing 6.
Considering English as a first language
To achieve functional language proficiency and be termed as a speaker of English as a first language, one would require seven (7) years of education in a listed country with English language systems/institutions (see list provided below). These years could be acquired in either a consecutive or non-consecutive manner. If, however, these years were all consecutive and inclusive of only secondary or post-secondary education in an English-speaking environment, the number of years to be considered as a speaker of English as a first language could be achieved in a period of three (3) years.
British Virgin Islands
St. Kitts and Nevis
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caico Islands
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
United States of America (USA)
US Virgin Islands
*Applicants educated in Quebec at an institution where the language of instruction was not English, must meet the current English language proficiency requirements.
Practice Education Requirements
Requirements are due prior to the first day of Clinical Placement, the Student Service Department will assist you with obtaining necessary documentation.
1. A Criminal Record Check Clearance
A criminal record check clearance from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General’s Criminal Records Review Office. First College’s admission offices will provide applicants with instructions and forms for applicants to submit to the Solicitor General’s Office and a deadline for the College to receive the clearance letter.
2. Immunization Record
Documentation of immunization status that meets Practice Education Guidelines for BC.
3. A Tuberculin Skin Test (also called a Mantoux tuberculin test) performed by CDC or physician
A tuberculin skin test (also called a Mantoux tuberculin test) is done to see if you have ever been exposed to tuberculosis (TB). The test is done by putting a small amount of TB protein (antigens) under the top layer of skin on your inner forearm.
4. Medical Exam
First College will provide the Medical Exam Form
Practice Education Requirements Provided Free by First College:
First Aid, CPR Level “C”, Food Safe Level I, Student Practice Education Core Orientation, WHMIS.
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