College Gallery

Health Care Aide - PLAR

Program Details

Program Description

This short program is suitable for non-certified Health Care Aides who wish to receive recognition for their knowledge and experience. Travel to a Northern Lakes College campus may be required to assess your skills. Expenses relating to required travel are the students' responsibility. You may start the 1st day of any month (with the exception of July and August) if you register by the 10th day of the previous month. The Health Care Aide Program follows the Government of Alberta's curriculum. You must enrol in and complete HCAF1100 HCA Role & Responsibility. Once successfully completed, you can then challenge the other 5 courses in the program. If a challenge is not successful, you will be required to enrol in and complete the entire course in the Employed Student Tutored Education Program (eSTEP). Students are also required to successfully PASS the HCA Comprehensive Provincial Licensing Exam prior to obtaining their HCA Certification. If you need additional information to determine your eligibility, request a complete information package from Admissions and contact the Program Coordinator.

Fees (Select to view):

Program Delivery



To Be Determined

Program Year


Program Length

12 weeks

Academic Requirements

Credit in English 20-2 (60%) or equivalent. Credit in Math 20 or equivalent is strongly recommended. If academic requirements are not met it will be necessary for students to complete an ACCUPLACER assessment.

Mature students will be accepted if they successfully complete a skills assessment.


Students may apply for recognition of prior learning for courses successfully completed in the Government of Alberta Health Care Aide Curriculum Certificate (2019) at institutions who are licensed to offer the Alberta Health (2019) Provincial Curriculum.

Other Requirements

Resume including dates of work experience as a health care aide or in a related job position as well as supportive education certificates (e.g., workshops taken, CPR, First Aide, etc.).

Letters of recommendations from current employer and/or letters of reference outlining the candidates suitability for the PLAR process. Letters must describe the: motivation to learn, problem-solving ability, maturity, empathetic attitude towards others, organizational skills, teamwork, communication and documentation skills.

Proof of work experience as a HCA of 600 hours within the last two years as provided by employers.

Review of Prototype Curriculum's Performance Checklist (checklist provided by the educational institution) and filled out by the candidate in conjunction with employer's regulated nursing professional (LPN,RN,RPN).

A clear Criminal Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Check must be submitted upon acceptance to the program. The Criminal Record and Vulnerable Sector Check must have been obtained within the 90 days of presenting proof to the Program. Presence of an unclear Criminal Record or Vulnerable Sector Check may impede your ability to complete the practicum required for successful completion of the program and may be a barrier in securing employment as a HCA after graduation. Applicants are required to be fit for practice in the various capacities of the role. The applicant must be in good physical, emotional and psychological health. An up-to-date Immunization Record must be submitted prior to the practicum placement. Proof of current Canadian Heart and Stroke CPR certification for Health Care Providers must be submitted prior to the practicum.

Course List


Apply for this Program

Application for Admission

Northern Lakes College provides top-quality post-secondary education right where you live, using technology that connects you to your instructors and other students throughout northern Alberta.

Apply Now
  1. Choose your program
  2. Choose your dates
  3. Gather your documents