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Health Care Assistant

Diploma 28 weeks

Health care assistants (HCAs) in British Columbia have an essential and unique role within the healthcare system, supporting patients in various facilities, including retirement homes, hospices, group homes, and long-term care facilities.

Health Care Assistants

CDI College's Health Care Assistant diploma program is for you if you enjoy being a caregiver and helping people live their best physical, emotional, and psychological lives.


HCAs excel at listening and understanding the needs of their clients, including bathing and hygiene, interacting with family members, and assisting with medications.

Hands-on Health Care Assistant Training

In the Health Care Assistant courses, you'll complete Student Practice Education Core Orientation, Provincial Violence Prevention Curriculum, Dementia Care Training certificate, Recognizing and Responding to Adult Abuse Course Certificate, and HCA Practice in BC Modules Certificate on top of Food SAFE Level 1, and Standard First Aid and CPR Level C. 


You'll also get to test your new skills in two work experience placements – one in assisted living, home support, or a group home, and the other in a complex or multi-level care environment.


Industry Certified

To be eligible to work as a health care assistant (HCA) in any public health care setting in BC, applicants must be registered with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry. If you plan a career as an HCA through studying an HCA program, students need to complete a recognized HCA program to be registered to work as an HCA in BC. CDI College, as noted above, has a status of full recognition.


Upon graduation from the Health Care Assistant diploma program, you will be 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 and Skills Training.

International Student and English Language Proficiency Requirements

To be accepted into a recognized BC HCA program, applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. Students must be able to communicate effectively in English to be successful in their studies and capable of providing safe and competent care to patients/clients/residents in the work environment during practice education components.


To ensure consistency and quality assurance, institution-created tests are not acceptable for the assessment of HCA program applicants. For clarification, three years of full-time instruction in English is defined as three (3) years of full-time secondary and/or post-secondary education in the English language at a recognized institution on the list of Approved English Speaking Countries. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses will not be considered.


Applicants who provide evidence of three years of full-time instruction in English6 must also provide proof of one of the following:

  1. Completion of Grade 10 English (or higher). A minimum of a C grade is acceptable.
  2. Completion of college courses determined to be equivalent to Grade 10 English (or higher) by post-secondary institutions. A minimum of a C grade is acceptable.
  3. ACCUPLACER Next Generation Test Results: Reading 230, Writing 230 and Writeplacer 4

Applicants who cannot provide evidence of three years of full-time instruction in English are required to provide proof of one of the following standardized proficiency tests from an authorized assessment agency.

English Language Standardized Test   Proof of Completion

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

(IELTS Academic, IELTS General or IELTS Academic Online). Test in the last two years.

  • 6.0 overall
  • Min. 6 speaking, listening
  • Min. 5.5 reading, writing              

Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT)


Test in the last year.

  • Listening: 7
  • Speaking: 7
  • Reading: 6
  • Writing: 6

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

(TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition). Test in the last two years.

  • 76 overall
  • Min. 20 speaking, listening
  • Min. 18 reading, writing

Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program

(CELPIP General or CELPIP Online). Test in the last two years.


  • Listening: 7
  • Speaking: 7
  • Reading: 6
  • Writing: 6

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment

(CAEL or CAEL Online). Test in the last two years.

  • Band 60 overall, with no section less than 50

In cases where applicants already hold the Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) results (testing within the last two years), the following minimum scores will be accepted: Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 6, Writing 6.


In addition to the tests and test scores listed above (#2), recognized BC HCA Programs also have the discretion to accept HCA program applicants with a CLB Report Card from a LINC Program indicating “Completing” CLB Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 7 and Writing 7 AND “Recommended Class Placement” as Speaking 8, Listening 8, Reading 8 and Writing.

Campus Availability

This program is approved to be offered at the following campuses. Please contact the campus of your choosing for program availability.

  • Richmond
  • Surrey
  • Online

Delivery Mode

The program is approved to be delivered in the following methods.

  • In person (On Campus)
  • Combined

My teachers push me to do my best, even when I doubt myself. They make sure to teach towards everyone's needs.

Chelsea, Healthcare Program Graduate
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Program Courses

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