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Health Care Aide Workplace

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Health Care Aide Workplace

Increase your earning potential as a certified health care aide and work anywhere in Alberta. This apprenticeship-style program allows you to complete your coursework online while continuing to work and earn an income in your current role.

Fund your education and career advancement through the Alberta Workplace Program Bursary. Receive up to $3200 to complete your coursework and gain your certificate. Learn more.

This program is offered monthly except January.

What to expect from the program

Are you currently working as a health care aide, or in an equivalent caregiving position, and want to become certified? The Health Care Aide Workplace Education option is one of the only programs in Alberta and is offered in partnership with health-care employers. Ideal for both rural and urban students, this program includes:

  • Online, self-paced coursework that you can complete from the comfort of your home
  • Scheduled online course exams
  • Access to a tutor who will mentor and support you while assessing your skills and knowledge in the workplace
  • Preparation to help you successfully write the Alberta Health Care Aide Provincial Exam
  • The ability to achieve your health care aide certificate and increase employment opportunities

You are more likely to be successful in this program if you:

  • Have access to a computer and basic computer skills
  • Are physically and emotionally able to manage workplace demands
  • Have access to a vehicle or reliable method of transportation (bus etc.) to travel to complete their practicum
  • Are able to complete 160 hours of clinical hours in a DSL/4 and above or LTC setting

Graduate with experience

At NorQuest College, we believe in providing a well-rounded, modern education that includes a combination of theory coursework and hands-on training. In this program, you’ll graduate with 320 hours of work experience. The hours you complete while working onsite as a health care aide go towards this requirement.  

You’ll also complete a variety of labs and have your clinical skills assessed and evaluated by a worksite tutor.  

Career opportunities

There is currently a very high demand for certified health care aides in many urban and rural areas of Alberta.

As a health care aide, you will be responsible for providing and supporting clients in continuing care settings, such as personal care, bathing, dressing, transferring, eating, and participating in recreational activities with clients. You will also help support nurses with medication administration.

Upon completion of the NorQuest Health Care Aide Workplace program, you must pass the Alberta Health Care Aide Provincial Exam before receiving your certification. Once you are certified, you can find work in:

  • Home care
  • Supportive living and long-term care
  • Acute care hospitals
  • Private/respite care in clients’ homes

Career coaches are available in the NorQuest College Career Centre for in-person or virtual support.

Future education opportunities

Graduates of the HCA Workplace program can request prior learning assessment and recognition for the HEED 1000 and NCOM 1000 courses once they’ve been accepted into the Practical Nurse program.

Visit Prior learning assessment and recognition for more information

How to apply

To apply for the HCA Workplace program as a student, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you are currently employed in a health care aide, continuing care assistant, or similar role with an Alberta employer.

  2. Speak with your manager about the availability of a workplace tutor. The tutor must be employed at the same facility and willing to assess you on your lab and clinical skills at the workplace.

  3. Apply through ApplyAlberta and select NorQuest College, HCA Workplace Program, and the term you’d like to start in. Note that admission requirements must be met at least two weeks prior to your anticipated start date. Plan to apply at least two months in advance to ensure time for documents to be processed.

    You may have to pay a $400 tuition deposit after you apply.

    • February – April: Winter term
    • May – August: Spring term
    • September – December: Fall term

  4. Complete the workplace Tutor Employment Confirmation Form online, download it to your computer, and email it to to let us know you’ve applied.

    Note – only complete page 4 of the sponsorship form if your employer is paying all or part of your tuition.

  5. You will be contacted by the NorQuest admissions team about the next steps of your application.

If you’re ready to submit your application, visit ApplyAlberta.

Frequently asked questions

I am an international student, am I still eligible for HCA Workplace program?

Unfortunately, the HCA Workplace program is not available for international students. To view our popular programs for international students, please visit this webpage.

I went to school in another country. I don’t have my transcripts. How can I order my transcripts? Is it possible if I can get enrolled into the program without my transcripts?

If you attended a school outside of Canada, you will need to request your transcripts when applying. For more information, visit our transcripts page.

If you are not able to receive your transcripts immediately, you may request conditional admission by sending scanned versions of your original educational documents.

How can I get my certificate as I have passed the provincial exam?

Once a student has passed the provincial exam, the HCA directory will notify NorQuest College and we will update your pass mark in the non-credit course HLTH 3000. This will trigger for a physical copy of the HCA certificate to be mailed to the address on your MyQuest account.

I cannot login into my MyQuest account and NorQuest email, what should I do?

When you apply for a program at NorQuest College, you will receive an email to your personal email account with steps to login to your MyQuest and NorQuest email accounts.

For more information on logging into your MyQuest account, see this helpful guide. For more information on accessing your NorQuest email account, view this guide.

What are the eligibility criteria for the bursary?

All eligibility criteria can be found on the program requirements page.

I started my application process two months in advance, but it is taking me longer to get my supporting documents in. I applied for winter term, but it's now spring term. What happens to my application?

Your application will be closed because the winter term has passed. You will have to reapply to the next available term start date. Unfortunately, we will not be able to refund your application fee should this situation occur.

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