Supportive Care Assistant

One year or less
Discover a new career, gain work experience, and make a difference in your community through a new fully subsidized micro-certificate developed to address the labour shortages in the long-term care and home care sectors.

Intake date: March 1, 2023 - June 1, 2023

The Supportive Care Assistant is a free program!

This program is sponsored by the Canadian Federal Government. Government funding fully covers tuition. Students will not directly receive these funds.

Do you want to work in the long-term care and home care sectors after you graduate from the Supportive Care Assistant Program? You can receive a $5,000 stipend to help pay for the new program! If you’re interested, please email sca [at] (sca[at]mohawkcollege[dot]ca) to learn about the next steps. You can also consult the Stipend Information PDF with more information.

Program Highlights

The micro-certificate includes approximately six weeks of online training and a four-month paid work placement. The program can help accelerate the next step of a student’s career if they choose to pursue further studies and become a fully certified Personal Support Worker

What you'll learn

Students will gain experience to help them prepare for a career in the sector while providing much-needed support to long-term and home care staff. As a supportive care assistant, the student will assist Personal Support Workers and the healthcare team in supporting clients. The role involves performing non-clinical activities which could include: 

  • Assisting with meals 
  • Assisting with cleaning and disinfecting 
  • Stocking materials required by clients and health care staff 
  • Making clients’ beds, cleaning their rooms and other areas 
  • Providing companionship, comfort, and support  
  • Assisting with moving about and accompanying clients as they move about 
  • Participating in activities with clients 

Program Length

One year or less


Admission Requirements

Supportive Care Assistant (SCA) / Assistant-préposé en soutien aux soins (APSS)

Minimum mandatory admission requirements:

  • Must be 18 years of age
  • Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who have been granted refugee status in Canada.
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations
  • English/French as first language speaker – proof of proficiency as determined by each jurisdiction. (Quebec Secondary III credits in language of instruction. Grade 10 English (most provinces) or college admission testing may be used as an equivalency. Visit English equivalences across provinces chart.
  • ESL or FSL applicants - demonstrated English (IELTS 6.0*; CLB 6; CEFR B2) or French proficiency (CLB 6; DELF/DALF B2; TFI B2/650; TEF B2 (6); TCF B2 (4), 400-499) or equivalency as determined by college/institute

Optional recommendations (should be included in recruitment materials)

  • Interest in working with seniors
  • Able to communicate effectively with strong interpersonal skills
  • Strengths include empathy, resilience, and sensitivity
  • Regular access to a PC or MAC computer with an internet connection and recent versions of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer installed
  • Basic computer skills
  • Access to transportation for work placement(s)
  • Availability to work shifts (evenings/nights/weekend(s)
  • Physically able to stand/walk with some bending, twisting, and lifting

    Note - May be exposed to communicable disease

*6 = Competent user Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

Tuition and Fees

The Supportive Care Assistant is a free program!

This program is sponsored by the Canadian Federal Government. Government funding fully covers tuition. Students will not directly receive these funds.


Course Overview & Descriptions

Module 1 Professionalism

As a supportive care assistant, it is important to understand your role within the interprofessional team. You will engage with the client and interprofessional team members to support the client's well-being by demonstrating professionalism, accountability and confidentiality to the client, families, interprofessional team members, and employers. This module provides the background information and skills needed to provide professional client-centred assistance.

Module 2 Client and Family-Centred Assistance

This module provides the background information and skills to provide supportive client-centred care. You will reflect on your own attitudes, beliefs, skills, knowledge, and actions and understand how this may impact the assistance you provide through exploring the concepts in this module.

Module 3 Communication

This module provides the background information, skills, and effective communication techniques to provide inclusive client-centred support. You will learn about the importance of clear, respectful communication, including the client, family, and interprofessional team members. You will reflect on your own attitudes, beliefs, skills, knowledge, and actions and understand the impact of the assistance you provide in this role.

Module 4 Supportive Assistance

In this module, you will learn how to provide personal support as part of your role of supportive care assistant. You will learn how to practice safe and supportive assistance to promote client independence. Through lessons, demonstration videos, and practice at home, you will implement the proper supportive assistance techniques as per your role.

Module 5 Infection Control and Safety

In this module, you will learn how to demonstrate knowledge of the chain of infection related to disease and transmission. Through lessons, demonstration videos and practice at home, you will be able to implement proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE) to support your adherence to the guidelines and policies in various health care settings.

Module 6 Paid Placement

The purpose of this module is to ensure you have all your pre-placement requirements and to provide information you will require for your 280-hour paid work placement over 4 months in a long-term care, retirement or a community-based setting.

Experiential Learning

How you'll gain skills

  • After completing the required modules, students will be connected to an employer. 
  • Students are required to complete 280 hours over 4 months (16 weeks).  
  • Demonstration of learning will be provided to the delivery institution liaison through a learning plan, record of hours, student skills checklist, preceptor evaluation, and student self-evaluation of the program competencies. 
  • Students must achieve all program competencies to receive their micro-credential.

To learn more, please visit the Centre for Experiential Learning.

Pre-clinical requirements

All accepted applicants are required to complete certain requirements prior to clinical placement and are responsible for the associated costs. Details about pre-placement requirements will be emailed to you once you accept your offer of admission.

To be eligible for clinical placement, you must not have been convicted of any offence for which you have not been pardoned. If your Police Check is 'not clear', your acceptance and suitability for placement is at the discretion of the agency. Mohawk College cannot guarantee placement changes if refused by the agency.  

Clinical Placements

Clinical placements may occur at locations that are not accessible by public transit. Students should expect to either have access to a car or the ability to supply their own transportation when attending clinical placements in our catchment area that includes Hamilton, Brantford, Halton, Niagara, Norfolk and surrounding regions. Students are responsible for their own travel and costs to clinical placements.

Clinical placements can include days, evenings and weekend shifts. We recommend and encourage students to be flexible with placement hours as the placement facility will arrange and schedule their shifts. ONLY students who have successfully completed the SCA modules 1-5 and non-academic requirements (NARs) will be eligible for paid clinical placement.

For more information regarding the SCA clinical placement, please contact the [at] (clinical placement specialist)

Successful completion of Clinical Placement

Successful completion of clinical placement is a requirement for graduation from the SCA program. Agencies that provide placement opportunities require you to have a clear Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (PRCSVS). As such, to be eligible for placement, you must submit proof of a clear PRCSVS, which will be retained on your departmental file and used only for purposes related to your placement.

If you register in the program without a clear PRCSVS, and, as a result, are unable to participate in placement, you will not be able to progress in the program. A clear PRCVS is required annually, and more often if requested by the placement agencies.

Non-academic requirements (NARs)
Students are responsible to cover all costs associated with non-academic requirements (NARs). Students must have the following non-academic requirements (NARs) submitted by week 5 of the SCA program:

  • Vulnerable Sector Police Check (Valid within 6 months)
  • Immunizations
  • Tuberculin Skin Test
  • Flu Vaccine (recommended)
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Standard First Aid and CPR-Level 'C'
  • WSIB Consent


  1. Understand the role of the Supportive Care Assistant within the interprofessional team.
  2. Engage with the client and interprofessional team members to support client well-being.
  3. Demonstrate professionalism, and accountability and confidentiality to the client, families, interprofessional team members, and employers.

Client and Family-Centred Assistance

  1. Respect the client's unique physical, cognitive, psychological, cultural, social, and spiritual needs when providing assistance.
  2. Support clients' rights to privacy, dignity, respect, and confidentiality
  3. Understand the need for empathy towards each client in recognizing that each client is unique and may experience health challenges differently.


  1. Demonstrate inclusive practice when interacting with clients, families, and other interprofessional team members.
  2. Show respect for clients and their families' beliefs, values, and rights while responding to situations with honesty, humility, and integrity.
  3. Understand the importance of communication and relaying information appropriately.

Supportive Assistance

  1. Practice safe, supportive assistance to promote client independence during activities of daily living.
  2. Implement practices to maintain a clean and organized client care environment.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate use of touch while providing supportive assistance.

Infection Control and Safety

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the chain of infection as it relates to disease transmission and prevention.
  2. Implement proper infection control measures to adhere to guidelines and policies.
  3. Respond to safety hazards and unsafe situations.

Career Opportunities

Your future career options

Working alongside a Health Care team in Long term care, retirement and home care settings.

Where you could work includes

  • Nursing homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Home Care settings

Educational Pathways

Mohawk Pathways 

Upon successful completion of all the requirements, students will be granted a micro-certificate. The student may wish to further studies. If they choose to do so, they may receive recognition for the micro-certificate towards the new training. Please note that the student would have to meet the admission requirements for the new program.

To learn about using the Prior Learning Academic Record (PLAR) process towards the Personal Support Worker program, email sca [at] (sca[at]mohawkcollege[dot]ca).

Program Coordinator

Contact us

Domestic Canadian Students

Contact Student Recruitment
Haven’t applied yet and have questions?
Contact our Student Recruitment team for information on programs, how to apply, and more.

Contact Admissions
Contact our Admissions advisors for questions about your application by emailing ehealth [at] (ehealth[at]mohawkcollege[dot]ca).

Accessible Learning Services

Are you a student with a confirmed or suspected disability? Visit our Accessible Learning Services website to discover how we can help you.

Program Inquiries

Please email sca [at] (sca[at]mohawkcollege[dot]ca).

Program Coordinator

Canadian Domestic Students

Online Learning
Mar 2023
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