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Health Care Aide

Program requirements for May 2024

Academic requirements
  • English Language Arts – this requirement can be met with any of the following, or an equivalent course:
    • 60% in English Language Arts 20-2
    • 55% in English Language Arts 30-2
  • Academic Assessment - Applicants who have submitted an application may be able to meet their academic requirements with a free assessment. Click here for more details or email to meet with an advisor.

Note: Academic admission requirements are different from English language proficiency requirements. NorQuest College English for Academic Purposes courses may be used to meet academic requirements. See below for details.

Prior learning assessment and recognition

Transfer credit: Up to 50 percent of course credits or hours can be transferred from one Alberta licensed HCA Program to another Alberta licensed HCA Program.

You may be eligible to receive prior learning assessment and recognition for some courses in the program if you have relevant work experience as a health care aide or caregiver and wish to meet provincial health care aide certification requirements. Email for more information.

English language proficiency requirements

If English is your second language, you must provide proof of English language proficiency before admission. These results must be no more than two years old when you start your program.

Test scores we accept:

  • IELTS Academic: 6; no section score below 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT: 71
  • Duolingo: 105
  • CLBA or CLBPA: no section score below 7
Health Care Aide Workplace Education requirements
  • all program admission requirements listed
  • must be employed currently as a front-line caregiver with similar HCA responsibilities in a participating agency to be considered
  • meet the academic requirements for the program listed above.
  • must complete additional workplace Tutor Employment Confirmation Form for consideration for admission into the HCA Workplace program

Practicum/work experience requirements

Before you attend your first practicum, you will need:

  • to successfully complete all prerequisite courses.
  • the following courses. Certificates will be awarded upon completion:
    • WHMIS: XBUS 1017 (current within three years)
    • BLS (CPR): XHLT 1200. For the duration of your practicum, you must hold BLS for Health Care Provider’s certification that has been completed within the last 12 months
    • HBPE: XHLT 1023 (current within three years)
  • a clear Police Information Check. A Vulnerable Sector Check is also needed if you are over 18 years of age.
  • an up-to-date immunization record.*
  • to complete the AHS or Covenant Health information & privacy online learning module.
  • to complete the HSPNet consent form.
  • N95 mask fit testing arranged by the program (current within two years).

* Immunization requirements:

  • For full-time, all other part-time, and online delivery students, up-to-date immunizations must be completed and a record submitted two weeks before the first clinical practice.
  • For regional part-time delivery students, up-to-date immunizations must be completed and a record submitted two weeks before entry into the program.

There may be costs associated with completing these requirements. See Completing work, practicum, and clinical requirements for details and further instructions.

International students: You must get a co-op work permit before beginning the work-integrated learning component of the program. A medical exam may also be needed. See Co-op work permit for more information.

Fund your education with the Alberta Health Care Aide bursary

Progression and graduation

Students must receive a pass grade in each course to progress through the program.

Students must pass all courses to qualify for graduation.

A Provincial Comprehensive Exam must be completed within 60 days of the successful completion of HLTH 2551 to be eligible for graduation.

Honours criteria

  • Overall grade point average (GPA) greater than or equal to 3.7
  • The student must not have failed or repeated any courses

Have a question about the Health Care Aide program?