The Supportive Care Assistant Program is a new fully subsidized program developed to address the labour shortages in the long-term care sector. The program allows students to discover a new career, gain work experience and make a difference in their community.

The program includes six weeks of online training and a four-month paid work placement. It can help accelerate the next step of a student’s career if they choose to pursue further studies and become a fully certified continuing care assistant.

The program is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada and is part of CICan’s Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.

Role of a supportive care assistant

This program includes a four-month work placement in a long-term or home care setting. 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 continuing care assistants and the healthcare team to support 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 curriculum

The six-week online training is divided into learning modules and will prepare students for their role as a supportive care assistant.

Modules include: Professionalism; Supportive Client-centred Care; Communication; Supportive Assistance; and Infection Control and Safety. There is also a module related to the student’s work placement that will be completed before, during and after their placement. Each module will take approximately 20 hours to complete and can be done at the student’s pace.

After completing the required modules, students will be connected to an employer who will provide paid employment over a four-month period (280 to 560 hours, depending on the placement).

Once they have successfully completed all the requirements, students will be granted a statement of achievement. The student may wish to further their studies to become a fully credentialed continuing care assistant. If they choose to do so, they may receive recognition for the program towards the new training. Please note that the student would have to meet the admission requirements for that program.

Participant eligibility

To be eligible to participate:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada (International students or those on work visas cannot register)
  • You must be legally entitled to work in Canada according to the relevant provincial legislation and regulations
  • For English first language speakers, you must provide proof of proficiency as determined by your college or institute (Grade 10 English (in most provinces) or college admission testing may be used as an equivalency.)
  • For English as a second language speakers, you must provide proof of English language skills (IELTS 6.0; CLB 6; CEFR B2) or equivalency as determined by your college or institute

Additionally, you should:

  • Have an interest in a career in long-term care
  • Have regular access to a PC or MAC computer with an internet connection and recent versions of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer installed
  • Have basic computer skills
  • 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.


There is no cost for tuition or to register for the Supportive Care Assistant Program. The program is subsidized by the Federal Government and is being offered at no cost to participants. Bursaries are available for dependent care and transportation during the student’s work placement through CICan.

Students may be expected to cover certain costs associated with the placement including a criminal record check or other employment requirements (ex. appropriate clothing or footwear).

Start dates and application deadlines

The program start dates and application deadlines are below:

  • Application deadline: Applications are now closed. 
  • Program start dates: To be determined.

Note: There are a limited number of positions available nationally. Students are encouraged to register early to ensure their place.

How to apply

Applications are now closed. 

For more information on this program, you can access these resources:

CICan - Building Capacity in Long-term Care

For more information regarding the Supportive Care Assistant Program, please email: sca-apss@saskpolytech.ca 

Information sessions

The Supportive Care Assistant Program is a new fully subsidized micro-certificate program that allows students to discover a new career, gain work experience, and make a difference in their community.  The program includes six weeks of online training followed by a four-month work placement (280 to 560 hours, depending on the placement) in a long-term care setting. Prior to beginning the placement, students complete learning modules that were developed in collaboration with colleges and institutes from across the country. Modules include professionalism, client and family-centred assistance, communication, supportive assistance, and infection control and safety. 

Employer partners in the Supportive Care Assistant Program play an important role. They provide opportunities for workers to explore a new career and help them develop new skills through a work-learning experience.  As students assist staff in the day-to-day activities of their facility, the employer’s health-care team can focus on providing care. Employers also benefit by meeting and training a new pool of candidates who can help fill future staffing needs. Employer partners receive a $5,000 wage subsidy per student and provide 280 to 560 hours of paid work over the 16-week placement.

If you would like to become an employer partner, this info session is for you. During the session, you will learn more about the Supportive Care Assistant program, how to become an employer partner and your responsibilities as an employer.

  • There are currently no sessions scheduled.

Contact us

For more information regarding the Supportive Care Assistant program, please email sca-apss@saskpolytech.ca 

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Funded by Government of Canada