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Supportive Care Assistant

Supportive Care Assistant


The Supportive Care Assistant Program is a new fully subsidized micro-certificate developed to address the labour shortages in the long-term care sector. Through this program, learners have the opportunity to discover a new career, gain work experience, and make a difference in their community. This program is an excellent first step for learners looking to pursue a health related career. Graduates of the program can access a $5,000 stipend if they choose to pursue further studies and complete a Health Care Aide certificate.

This program is offered at no cost to eligible applicants and is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada as part of Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan) Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.

College and Institutes Canada



Supportive Care Assistants assist Health Care Aides and the health care team to support clients. This role involves performing non-clinical activities including:

  • 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




This micro-certificate includes six weeks of online training and a paid work placement (2 to 4 months).

Delivery Method:

Online: This course is available online 24/7. The first six weeks will consist of online independent theory learning, done at your own pace.  


No tuition cost to learners – fully subsidized 

There is no cost for tuition or to register for the Supportive Care Assistant Program. You may be expected to cover certain costs associated with the work placement including a criminal record check or other employment requirements (ex. immunizations, appropriate clothing or footwear).Bursaries are available for dependant care and transportation during your work placement.



Admission Requirements:

To be granted admission into this program, learners must: 

  • Have basic computer skills 
  • Be at least 18 years of age  
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada (international students cannot register)  
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations 
  • Have achieved a minimum grade of 60% in grade 10 English 
  • English as a second language speakers, must provide proof of English language skills (IELTS 6.0; CLB 6; CEFR B2) 

Prior Learning/Approved Equivalencies 

This program ladders into the full Health Care Aide Certificate at RDP.  

Program Details:

Professionalism (20 hours)

This module focuses on the background information and skills needed to provide professional client-centred assistance. Learners will learn to 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. 

Client and Family-Centered Assistance (20 hours)

This module focuses on the background information and skills necessary to provide supportive client-centered care.   Learners will reflect on their own attitudes, beliefs, skills, knowledge, and actions and understand how this may impact the assistance they provide through exploring the concepts in this module. Learners will demonstrate respect for the clients and families worked with by providing client and family-centered supports.

Communication (20 hours)

This module focuses on inclusive and respectful communication, highlighting the background information, skills, and effective communication techniques to provide inclusive client-centered support.  Learners will demonstrate inclusive practice skills when interacting with clients, families, and other interprofessional team members.  This will involve respecting the clients' beliefs, values and rights while responding to situations with honesty, humility, and integrity. Learners will also begin to understand the importance of communication and relaying information appropriately. Learners will discover the importance of clear, respectful communication, including the client, family, and interprofessional team members.  Learners will reflect on personal attitudes, beliefs, skills, knowledge, and actions and understand the impact of the assistance provided in this role.

Supportive Assistant (20 hours)

This module focuses how to provide personal support as part of the role of a Supportive Care Assistant (SCA). Learners will explore how to practice safe and supportive assistance to promote client independence.  Through lessons, demonstration videos, and practice at home, learners will demonstrate the proper supportive assistance techniques expected. 

Infection Control and Safety (20 hours)

This module focuses on the chain of infection, disease, transmission, safety hazards, as well as unsafe situations. Learners will demonstrate knowledge of the chain of infection related to disease and transmission.  Through lessons, demonstration videos and practice at home, learners will be able to implement proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE) to supporting adherence to the guidelines and policies in various health care settings. Learners will identify and respond to safety hazards and unsafe situations when dealing with clients.  

Integrated Work Placement (560 hours)

This course provides an opportunity for learners to consolidate theory learning and apply it to professional practice. Learners will integrate knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors within a comprehensive care setting. 

Program Schedule:

Courses available 24/7

Placement: Day/Evening/Night Shifts: 8- 12 hours per shift

Program Materials:

You require regular access to a PC or MAC computer with an internet connection and recent versions of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer installed.

Program Completion Requirements:

The following requirements must be met for learners to receive the Supportive Care Assistant Micro-Certificate: 

A successful grade in all five online modules 

Complete the hours of the paid work placement (280 - 560 hours) over a maximum of four months 

Work Placement:

Upon completing the online component, learners will be connected with an employer and begin their in-person, four-month paid work placement. For their work placement, learners should: 

Have access to transportation for work placement(s)  

Be available to work shifts (evenings/nights/weekends)  

Be physically able to stand/walk with some bending, twisting, and lifting 

Note: Additional requirements may include a criminal record check and proof of certain immunizations. You may be exposed to communicable diseases during your work placement. 

How to Apply

Applications are currently closed. To join our interest list for future offerings, please contact the Division of Extended Education via email at extended [dot] ed [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca.


You have questions, we have answers. Contact us by extended [dot] ed [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (email) or call 403.356.4900

We understand that you still have questions about the programs.
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