Advance your desire to help by choosing to embark on a career as a Health Care Aide (HCA), an integral part of the health care system, providing direct care, personal assistance and support to clients. This Government of Alberta program is delivered through a mix of theory, lab and work-integrated learning experiences. The Health Care Aide program prepares you to become a valued member of the health care team. 

In the classroom, you’ll develop an understanding of safe work practices, client support and hygiene, medication delivery and everything else you need to know to positively affect the lives of clients each day. During your work-based practical experiences, you’ll put theory into practice, providing client-focused services and assistance with daily living activities. 

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Career Opportunities

Your certificate in the Health Care Aide - Government of Alberta program will prepare you for a wide range of employment opportunities, including:

  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Health Care Agencies
  • Home Care
  • Hospice Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term Care Facilities
  • Medical Clinics
  • Physician Offices
  • Private Health Care Providers
  • Respite Facilities

Visit ALIS website for more career information.


number of hours you’ll work during two work-integrated learning experiences

1 year

is all it takes to complete this program

Provincial Curriculum (2019)

this program delivers the Government of Alberta Health Care Aide provincial curriculum that includes theory, lab and work-integrated learning experiences




Credential / Accreditation



1 year

Dates and Deadlines

Visit the Program Application Status page for more details.

Program Availability
Domestic Status
International Status
International Status with Study Permit
Fall 2024


This program is available for International Students.

New applicants are accepted into the Health Care Aide program for the Fall (September) term.

General Admissions Requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs.

Academic Requirements

Applicants to this program do not require a high school diploma; however, they must satisfy the following specific course requirements (or equivalencies):

  • Grade 11 English (equivalent to Alberta's English 20-1 or English 20-2) with a minimum score of 60% achieved or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; or
  • Grade 12 English (equivalent to Alberta's English 30-1 or 30-2) with a minimum of 55% or Canadian jurisdiction equivalent; or
  • Deemed equivalency by completion of ACCUPLACER (assessment placement test) reading and writing tests, with a minimum score of 237 in each category. 

Applicants where English is a Second Language (ESL) must also meet the English Language Proficiency requirement in addition to the Academic English requirement. Equivalencies are as follows:

  • By attending high school in Canada. Studies must have been in English at an approved Canadian high school (grades 9, 10, 11, 12) with at least three consecutive years of full-time academic
    study; or 
  • By presenting a Canadian High School Equivalency Diploma (General Education Development test (GED))
  • By providing evidence of attending two consecutive years of full-time equivalent post-secondary study in English in a subject other than a HCA  program at a Canadian institution; or
  • By completing one of the Approved ELP Tests.
  • Official test results must be submitted directly to the PSI.

Approved English Language Proficiency (ELP) Tests:

  1.  International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic: 6 (no section score below 5.5);
  2. Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Testing (TOEFL iBT): 71;
  3. Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General: 7 (with no section score below 6);
  4. Canadian Language Benchmarks Tests/Milestones Test (7 in each strand, not an average of 7);
  5. Duolingo English Test (minimum score of 95); and
  6. Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN): 7 in each area of listening, reading, writing and speaking, not an average of 7.
    Test Currency: results must have been obtained within two years of the start date of the program.
    Test Validity: IELTS (Academic) and TOEFL results are valid for two years from the day of testing.
    Results that expire prior to the Start Date of the program will not be accepted

It is recommended applicants possess the following knowledge of computer/technology tools to be successful in the program.

  • Be able to communicate, research and understand information
  • Know how to use computer to surf web, email
  • Be able to critically evaluate and understand how technology can affect one’s behavior
  • Be able to create, produce content and effectively communicate using email, media, internet
Graduation Requirements

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, and successfully passing the Alberta Provincial HCA Examination, students are awarded a Health Care Aide certificate.

Important Note: 

  • Students graduating from the program are required by Alberta Health to register into the Alberta HCA Directory. The academic program is required to provide graduates names directly to the Alberta HCA Directory.
  • Students must pass the Alberta Provincial HCA examination to graduate from the program and receive a certificate. A student has a maximum of 60 days from program completion to write and pass the Provincial Examination within three attempts (initial examination and two re-writes). Students who are not successful in passing the Provincial HCA Exam must re-enroll and re-take the entire HCA Program. Details and fees associated with writing the provincial exam will be provided prior to registration in the Health Care Aide program.
  • Students seeking Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) should contact the Program Chair immediately upon accepted admission to the program to allow sufficient time for assessment.
  • Students receive a program handbook upon acceptance into the program outlining the program's policies and expectations. It is very important for learners to review and understand these requirements.
  • Students must achieve a minimum final grade of 70% in each course to pass.

All Post-Secondary Institutions (PSIs) offering the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum (2019) will allow transfer credit on a course by course basis from other PSIs offering the Government of Alberta HCA Provincial Curriculum (2019). Up to 50% of course credits or hours can be transferred from one program to another.

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Pre-Placement Requirements

This program has a required Work-Integrated Learning Pre-Placement Requirements (WIL) component. The College dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the WIL.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the WIL setting as determined by programs, practice agencies and/or legislated by government bodies. These may include health (e.g. immunizations, screening tests, etc.), privacy and security (e.g. police information check, IT access, etc.), and OH&S requirements (e.g. CPR certification, Fire Safety, WHMIS, Mask Fit-testing, etc.).

Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) coverage - WIL placement agencies and employers usually require WCB coverage on behalf of the student. Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Alberta are deemed to be employees of the Province of Alberta and, as such, provided WCB coverage. In certain instances for students outside of Alberta, WCB coverage may not be provided (e.g. non-Alberta residents taking a course solely through distance learning with a WIL placement outside of Alberta). These students are advised to contact the program prior to application.

Students with disabilities who may require accommodations must schedule an appointment with Accessibility Services at Lethbridge College preferably upon acceptance to the program and no later than the Add/Drop deadline to identify potential impacts of their disabilities in the WIL setting. As part of this process, it may be necessary to collaborate with WIL supervisors to determine appropriate accommodations that do not compromise the health and safety of clients, essential placement requirements, or mandatory licensing processes. Failure to consult with Accessibility Services in a timely fashion may compromise the student's WIL placement and opportunities for success in the WIL setting.

In order to participate in a WIL, a student may be required to complete a Police Information Check or other type of Security Clearance to the satisfaction of Lethbridge College and the WIL organization. Completion of a WIL does not guarantee employment with a WIL organization. Many disciplines are provincially or otherwise regulated (e.g. health professions under Alberta's Health Professions Act); such regulation is beyond Lethbridge College's control. Completion of a WIL and graduation from a certain program do not guarantee one's licensure or admission into a regulatory body. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with a representative of the relevant regulatory body if they have concerns.

WIL sites may include Lethbridge, surrounding rural communities, and may extend beyond these boundaries depending on WIL site availability and approvals. WIL’s may include day, evening, and/or weekend schedules. Students will be expected to travel to assigned sites and will be responsible for arranging travel and any associated costs.

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Delivery Formats

The Health Care Aide ­– Government of Alberta program is available through the following delivery formats.

On Campus

This program is delivered in a face-to-face format on the main Lethbridge College campus. Lectures, labs and hands-on training opportunities will all take place on campus in Lethbridge.


View all courses
Year 1
Term I
HCA-1130Health Care Aide Role and Responsibility3
HCA-1131The Human Body, Health and Chronic Illness3
HCA-1132Communication and Documentation in the Health Care Environment3
HCA-1133Providing Person-Centered Care and Comfort6
Term II
HCA-1134Clinical Placement I3
HCA-1135Meeting Complex Care Needs6
HCA-1136Special Activities for Clients With Various Health Conditions6
HCA-1137Clinical Placement II6
Term III
HCA-1138Consolidated Clinical Placement3
 Total Credits39
View course timetables

Tuition and Fees

Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1
View detailed program cost estimates
International Students
Title Tuition Fees Books/Supplies
Year 1

Costs for supplies may vary considerably depending on what students already have or where they purchased their supplies; cost provided is on the moderately high end.

Students will be charged a medical/dental benefit fee unless they opt out by demonstrating alternative coverage prior to the end of the first week of class.

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Alberta Health Care Aide Tuition Bursary

Start your career as a Health Care Aide with some help with your tuition.
Alberta Health, in partnership with Alberta Health Services, has launched a health care aide tuition bursary program to assist individuals starting their health care aide careers. This initiative aims to expand the number of qualified health care aides for continuing care facilities across the province. The link below will take you to the Norquest College Site to apply as they are administering the bursary. All Lethbridge College Students are eligible for this bursary.

More information on how to apply

With just one online application, you can apply for all the Lethbridge College awards and scholarships for which you qualify, including these featured scholarships: