May 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Calendar 
2024-2025 Academic Calendar

Health Care Assistant Certificate

Experience the rewards of working in a caring profession, supporting older adults and vulnerable members of society as part of a dynamic health care team. As a graduate, you will be qualified to work as a frontline care provider in a variety of settings, including adult day programs, group homes, community care, residential care facilities or acute care hospitals.



Admission Requirements

  1. 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. Please complete the following English Competency Self-Declaration form.
  2. Completed HCA Intake Package. Carefully read the Health and Program Information Bulletins. Prospective students must review these bulletins and decide whether they believe the HCA program is suited to them. Prospective students who have questions or concerns should contact an educational advisor.

Applicants who have been educated in an English-speaking environment

Applicants must provide proof of the following:

Applicants who have not been educated in an English-speaking environment

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:

  • Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLBPT) or CLBPT Remote. Test in the last year.  Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6.
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP General or CELPIP Online). Test in the last two years. Listening 7, Speaking 7, Reading 6 and Writing 6.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic, IELTS General or IELTS Academic Online). Test in 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.
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL or CAEL Online). Test in the last two years. Overall Score of 60, with no section less than 50.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition). Test in the last two years. Overall score of 76 with no score lower than 20 in Speaking and Listening and no score lower than 18 in Reading and Writing.
  • 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.
  • Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) Test in the last two years with results of Speaking 7, Listening 7, Reading 6, Writing 6.

Indigenous Priority Admissions

North Island College is dedicated to improving its ability to meet the educational needs of Indigenous students. NIC’s Indigenization Plan, “Working Together” outlines our commitment to Indigenization, reconciliation and decolonization. To further advance these goals, North Island College has reserved seating and priority admissions in many of our program for students of Indigenous ancestry. 

Applicants will be considered on a first-applied, first-qualified basis for all programs with the exception of Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, where a selective admission process will be used.

To be considered for a priority admission seat, Indigenous students must:

  • Self-identify as an Indigenous person
  • Complete the Indigenous Priority Admission Request for a Reserved Seat form
  • Meet NIC’s general admission requirements, and/or specific program requirements

Before Classes Begin

Once accepted to the program complete the following:

  • Submit the Criminal Record Check form, which will be sent to you by Admissions once you are offered a seat in the program.  This process can take some time, so submit promptly to ensure your clearance arrives prior to the clinical experiences.
  • Arrange to complete the immunization form, which will be sent to you by Admissions once you are offered a seat in the program. This form must be validated by a Health Professional (such as a public health nurse at your local health unit, a family doctor, or private immunization clinic) and must be submitted to the Health Care Assistant program faculty.  This process can take some time, so begin as soon as you can.
  • Ensure you hold and submit a current Standard First Aid with CPR C certificate or equivalent that will not expire before the end of the HCA program. 
  • Ensure you hold and submit a Food Safe Level 1 certificate or equivalent that does not expire before the end of the HCA Program.

Note: FAC 021 , FAC 081 , and TFS 010  are offered at NIC.  If you take a course at an institution other than North Island College, it is your responsibility to ensure it meets the requirements of the HCA program.  Please consult an NIC educational advisor or the HCA program Department Chair for information on course equivalencies.

These pre-practice requirements must be completed and submitted to the HCA program records in order for you to enter the Practice Experience placement sites.  If circumstances deem it impossible for you to complete these pre-practice requirements before the first day of class, please contact your instructor to develop a plan for completing any outstanding requirements by 30 days prior to entering the practice experience placement site.

Completion Requirements

  1. The HCA certificate must be completed within 2 years of admission to the program.
  2. To successfully complete the program, students must achieve a C or better in each course.
  3. Successful completion of the appropriate HCA theory courses is required to progress into the practice experience.
  4. A student who has failed a course, may re-apply to re-enter the program to complete that course and any subsequent courses.  Re-entry to the program is dependent on seat availability and any conditions as outlined upon the student’s withdrawal from the program.  If more than three months elapse between the completion of lab skills coursework and a practice experience course, students will be retested on their lab skills and may be required to complete remediation prior to readmission.  This is important to ensure student safety and currency in practice skills. 
  5. If a student is unsuccessful in the program a second time, they can only re-enter through admissions to repeat the whole program.
  6. Students are required to adhere to program professional conduct requirements as outlined in the HCA program manual. Failure to adhere to these program expectations may result in the student being required to leave the program.