Personal Support Worker (PSW) Diploma 

The PSW Program is based upon the Ontario Personal Support Worker Training Standard released in October 2014.  The program content, standards and guidelines, combined with the clinical component of the program, ensure that the graduates have the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful as a Personal Support Worker.  It is a single training program that sets a common standard for Regulated Career Colleges, Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology and Boards of Education.

The Personal Support Worker (PSW) program prepares graduates to provide supportive care to individuals across their lifespan by assisting them with their activities of daily living, including clients experiencing cognitive impairment, physical disability, and mental health challenges.

The Program was developed and maintained by a committee consisting of consultants, program design experts, subject-matter experts from both the Regulated College sector, and employer groups.

The range of services provided by Personal Support Workers depend upon the individual needs of each person they support and may include personal care such as dressing, personal hygiene, mobility and other routine activities of living in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act, home management such as shopping, light house cleaning and meal preparation, family responsibilities such as routine care giving to children and assisting with social and recreational activities.

As front line workers, Personal Support Workers must develop a broad range of abilities beyond dexterity skills.  They must provide not only for the comfort, safety and well-being of their clients, but also demonstrate sensitivity and respect for those in their care.  The attitude, abilities and approach of the PSW are critical to the well-being and health of the people they support.

The PSW will develop a skill/knowledge level that includes basic care and social service training.  The scope of responsibilities for a Personal Support Workers is as follows:

  • Co-operates with all members of the health team
  • Promotes safety and works in a safe manner
  • Assists with walking, movement and positioning
  • Assists with mechanical and physical lifts and/or transfers
  • Assists with personal care, personal hygiene, dressing, including laundry related tasks
  • Assists with meal preparation, grocery shopping, feeding, dietary planning, food handling
  • Answers call bells
  • Checks and records vital signs
  • Teaches life skills
  • Assists with range of motion exercise and other rehabilitative measures
  • Practices universal precautions and maintains a clean working environment
  • Provides emotional and social support services to care-receivers and their families
  • Is aware of common allergies and related first aid measures
  • Works as a supportive care worker for palliative care and hospice patients
  • Observes and reports clinical and treatment findings, behavioural changes and changes in ongoing conditions.
  • Maintains records, documents procedures

The PSW Program Modules:

  • PSW Foundations
  • Safety and Mobility
  • Body Systems
  • Assisting with Personal Hygiene
  • Abuse and Neglect
  • Household Management, Nutrition, and Hydration
  • Care Planning/Restorative Care/Electronic Documentation/Working in the Community
  • Assisting the Family, Growth and Development
  • Assisting the Dying Person
  • Assisting with Medications
  • Cognitive and Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries
  • Health Conditions
  • Clinical Placement (Community)
  • Clinical Placement (Facility)

Program Length:

  • In-school Theory & Practice 390 hours
  • Clinical Placement – Community 110 hours
    • (Skills Passbook completed)
  • Clinical Placement– Facility 200 hours
    • (Skills Passbook completed)

Financial Assistance

The college can offer deferred payment plans. For more information, please consult the admission officer at the college.

Admission Requirements

The following are the admission requirements for this Personal Support Worker (PSW) diploma program:

  • GRADE 12 (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) at the General Level or equivalent,
    MATURE STUDENT: 19 years of age or older and out of school for 1 year or more.
  • ENTRANCE TESTING is required for all students not possessing a Grade 12 diploma at the general level or better.
  • FITNESS TO COMPLETE THE PRACTICAL: Medical Certificate (Immunization Form) is required indicating that the student is fit to undertake the program, has up-to-date immunizations and is free of communicable diseases.
    * Immunization for Hepatitis B is strongly recommended.
  • CPR & FIRST AID CERTIFICATES: Students must complete STANDARD FIRST AID and BASIC RESCUER CPR prior to clinical placement.
  • POLICE CHECK (CLEARANCE) OF CRIMINAL RECORD: Must be produced within 30 days of starting school. Individuals who have a criminal record are not able to participate in the clinical placement and therefore are unable to graduate.

Total Program hours:                         700 hours