Personal Support Worker

Personal Support Worker

One Year, Ontario College Certificate
Program Code 0942
Welland Campus

The information on this page applies to the Fall 2015 intake term, unless otherwise noted.

Program Status

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Admission Requirements
Sept. 2015 to May 2016

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, including the following required courses:

  • English - any Grade 12 (C) or (U), or equivalent
  • Mathematics - any Grade 11 (C) or (U), or equivalent
  • Biology - Grade 11 (C) or (U), or Grade 12 (U)

Selection and Ranking Process:

  • For competitive programs (the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available places), selection will be based on the highest senior level final grade available at the time of ranking. Mid-term grades are not used for ranking purposes.
  • Testing or other supplemental evaluation may be required.

This program has additional requirements .

January Start Students

Students who begin the program in January 2016 complete Term 2 of the program during the Spring Term beginning in May 2016 and running into summer months.

May Start Students

Students who begin the program in May 2016 complete Term 2 of the program during the Fall Term beginning in September 2016.

Career Opportunities

Do you want to make a difference in the quality of life of others? Consider becoming a Personal Support Worker. This skilled health-care provider assists clients in all life stages, from infancy to end-of-life, to meet their physical and psychosocial needs.

Opportunities for graduates include:

  • Group homes
  • Seniors’ residences
  • Adult day programs
  • Home-care agencies
  • Acute-care hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Hospices/palliative care services

The NC Difference

  • Students’ skill development is grounded in thorough understanding of theory
  • Students gain confidence and competence during 42 hours of practice in controlled state-of-the-art lab facilities
  • Potential for employment optimized with real-life experience acquired during 220 hours of clinical placement in both long-term-care and community settings
  • Students graduate with additional certification in Gentle Persuasive Approach, a qualification that enhances student’s marketability and their ability to provide quality care. 
  • Interprofessional education with students from other health, disciplines strengthens students’ collaboration skills.
  • Unique program bridge to the Niagara College Practical Nursing diploma program.

Interested in the program bridge to Practical Nursing?

Apply today! (PDF)
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As a recent graduate from Niagara Colleges’ PSW program, I believe my experience at Niagara College has left me with a great sense of knowledge and pride as a PSW. In the beginning my dreams were set on becoming a RPN and unfortunately that program did not work out for me. I was devastated and turned to the PSW program because I still wanted to pursue a career in healthcare.

To be honest at first I was not happy with being a PSW because my dreams were set on becoming a nurse. After a couple weeks of classes, my attitude changed and I found the teachers in the PSW program to be very supportive and very knowledgeable. My negative attitude shifted to being a positive one and being able to turn my short- comings into a positive experience.

Furthermore, I started to fall in love with the program in my second semester with my placements and eventually my consolidation. Niagara College’s unique offering of courses on mental health and death prepared me well for my placements. During my placements, I realized the importance of PSW’s and that I have the opportunity to be a great impact on clients lives. I love interacting with people and fell in love with working with the patients on my consolidation. I feel that the PSW program was a great introductory to the world of healthcare and has greatly prepared me as I pursue my education as a RPN. Many thanks to all the professors in the PSW program for their support and guidance.

Hollie Kankowski, Personal Support Worker graduate
I’m grateful for the confidence and knowledge given to me. (The faculty and staff) have been a significant contribution to my future.Mike VanNatter, Personal Support Worker graduate
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Degree Options

Niagara College maintains articulation/transfer agreements with other colleges and universities within Ontario, the rest of Canada, and Internationally. To see if there are any agreements available for this program, please visit the Articulation Agreement website. Credit Transfer Options

Some post-secondary credits can be transferred into any NC program.
Find out more!

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The permanent address is:

For More Information

For general inquiries or information about this program please use our AskNC Knowledgebase or email the InfoCentre at

Take a Tour

Take a guided tour of our campus or campuses! Register online or book over the phone:

Welland: 905-735-2211, ext. 7559
Niagara-on-the-Lake: 905-641-2252, ext. 4208

Can't make it to the campus?

No problem! Take our Virtual Tour and experience a guided walk-through from the comfort of your own home.

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Additional Program Requirements

Health Requirement:

  • The confidential Communicable Disease Surveillance (CDS) form must be completed and submitted to Student Health Services prior to start of program. Please view the current CDS form and Checklist for requirements (vaccination documentation/proof of immunity to measles,mumps, rubella, varicella, and 2 step TB testing)at Influenza,hepatitis B, tetanus diphtheria pertussis vaccinations are recommended.
  • Students are required to provide copies of their certification for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation(CPR) at Level HCP (Health Care Provider),Adult/Child/Infant one and two rescuer CPR with AED and first aid for choking including artificial resuscitation using both pocket mask and bag-valve mask. (This program is designed for those with specific health care responsibilities). Students are responsible for maintaining annual CPR and First Aid certification throughout the program.
  • All costs associated with CPR/First Aid,vaccinations, and/or verification, are the responsibility of the student.
  • Please note that work as a Personal Support Worker may require heavy lifting.
  • All health requirements must be met prior to the start of the program or a placement will be denied.

Criminal Reference Check (CRC):

  • Many employers have instituted a CRC with vulnerable sector screening as a requirement for appropriate field placements. The CRC will be required at the beginning of term two. A recent criminal reference check must be provided to the Placement Agency on the first day of clinical placement for each subsequent term.
  • All costs associated with the CRC are the responsibility of the student.
  • Students with criminal charges or convictions for which a pardon has not been granted will be significantly limited in clinical placement opportunities and employment opportunities in the health care field.


  • Students are responsible for their own transportation in order to complete field placement requirements. Niagara College cannot guarantee placements that are readily accessible by public transportation. Students are responsible for all costs connected with such transportation.

The following requirements are for students starting in January and May 2015.


Term One (2015 Fall)
Course CodeCourse NameUnits
CLIN1112Supportive Care6
COMM1160Communication in Healthcare I3
HLTH1020Introduction to Interprofessional Education and Practice3
HLTH1137Community Support and Home Management3
HLTH1155Development and Health Promotion Across the Life Span3
HLTH1160Human Body Structure and Function3
HLTH1305Role of the Personal Support Worker3
Term Two (2016 Winter)
Course CodeCourse NameUnits
CLIN1079Long Term Care Institutional Placement4
HLTH1168Cognitive Impairment and Mental Health3
HLTH1304Alterations in Body Structure and Function3
HLTH1310End of Life Care2
PRAC1177Personal Support Worker Consolidation5
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