If you're interested in providing personal assistance to those in need, and are understanding and non-judgmental, the Health Care Aide program can prepare you for a rewarding career in health care.


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Future Students

Everything you need to know to be successful.


HCA students

Your caring heart and desire to help those who are struggling could be best suited to providing client-focused services and personal assistance with daily living activities – we’ll show you how in the Health Care Aide program. This 485-hour certificate program mixes theory and hands-on training to deliver an education experience based on the Health Care Aide Provincial Curriculum of Alberta.

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 patients each day. During your 200-hour work-based, practical experiences, you’ll put theory into practice, gaining the skills vital to your career as a health care aide.

Start a career you’ll love in this high demand field – apply to the Health Care Aide program today!

Career opportunities

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

  • Doctors’ practices
  • Health care agencies
  • Hospice facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Medical clinics
  • Private health care providers
  • Respite facilities


Effective Fall 2020 the Health Care Aide program is changing to a one-year certificate with adjustments to the admission requirements. Please contact the program office for more details regarding admission for Fall 2020 by emailing healthcareaide@lethbridgecollege.ca.

Starts In: September, January
Application Deadlines:

For current application status, terms being processed and application deadlines visit the Program Application Status page.

Duration: 485 Hours
Credential: Certificate
Delivery Format
Learning Environment

Special note: Lab classes will be scheduled intermittently throughout the academic year and may occur on evenings and weekends. Attendance is mandatory in person for lab courses.

Year 1 Term I
Course Code Course Name Credits

Important note: Progression into HCA-1105 (Practicum I) requires successful completion of HCA-1103, HCA-1107, HCA-1112, HCA-1113, HCA-1114, HCA-1115 and HCA-1116.

Year 1 Term II
Course Code Course Name Credits

Important note: Progression into HCA-1111 (Practicum II) requires successful completion of HCA-1105 (Practicum I).


New students are accepted into the Health Care Aide program for the Fall (September) and Winter (January) terms.

General admission requirements

All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Lethbridge College programs as indicated in the Admissions section of this calendar.

Academic requirements

Effective Fall 2020 the Health Care Aide program is changing to a one-year certificate with adjustments to the admission requirements. Please contact the program office for more details regarding admission for Fall 2020 by emailing healthcareaide@lethbridgecollege.ca.

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

  •  Grade 10 English

Practice-based experience (PBE) requirements

This program has a required Practice-Based Experience (PBE) component. The College dictates the legal terms and conditions governing the PBE.

Students must meet and maintain certain requirements to participate in the PBE 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.).

As a post-secondary health care program in Alberta, provincial immunization standards apply to students in this program. As per the provincial “Standard for Immunization of Post-Secondary Health Care Students and Students in Other High-Risk Occupational Programs”, all Post-Secondary Institutions (PSI) have the responsibility of assessing the immunization status of each healthcare student at the time of initial enrollment and to ensure all healthcare students are fully immunized before leaving post-secondary programs. There is an administrative fee for this assessment and vaccinations required to become fully immunized.

Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage – PBE 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 PBE 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 PBE setting.  As part of this process, it may be necessary to collaborate with PBE 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 PBE placement and opportunities for success in the PBE setting.

In order to participate in a PBE, 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 PBE organization. Completion of a PBE does not guarantee employment with a PBE 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 PBE 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.

PBE sites will include Lethbridge and may include surrounding rural communities. PBE’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.

Find out more about pre-placement requirements for your program.

Prior learning assessment (PLA)

If you have experience working in this field of study, you may be eligible for prior learning assessment.

Applicants who lack the required academic admission requirements can apply to the Academic Upgrading program to upgrade their academic skills.

Academic Year Tuition Fees Books & Supplies
Year 1 $6,528.00 $1,154.00 $1,300.00

Our Budget Wizard is a free self-service tool that can help you make sense of your finances and the cost of your education. Give it a try!

Budget Wizard

  • 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.
  • Tuition for international students is assessed at three times that of domestic students. The cost of additional fees, books and supplies is the same for all students.

In demand in just 485 hours

Our grads are often hired immediately by the organization they worked for during their practicum.

With a focus on hands-on training that prepares you for the actual job, it’s no surprise grads from our program are in demand. Often, they’re hired immediately by the organization they worked for during their practicum. You, too, can look forward to a fast path to your career. Just 485 hours, the Health Care Aide program packs a lot of training into a short amount of time while following the provincial curriculum for health care aides.

Hands-on, immersive learning

SPHERE: A learning environment like no other

Experience realistic health training made possible by on-campus and industry collaboration.

SPHERE: A learning environment like no other

The Simulated Patient Health Environment for Research and Education (SPHERE) helps to close the gap between theory and practice. What can you expect from your experience in SPHERE during your program?

Well, the simple answer is: anything you might encounter on the job.

The experiences students have during their programs range from communication-focused interactions with simulated patients to acute medical or surgical patients requiring more complex care. All the experiences in SPHERE are specific to your health profession and are aligned with what you are learning in the classroom.

SPHERE is an evolving learning environment primarily for students in the Centre for Health and Wellness that uses using high-tech manikins and role-playing. SPHERE provides a comprehensive range of health-related experiences to enhance your education and better prepare you for your future role.

SPHERE focuses on creating collaborative opportunities within the Centre for Health and Wellness, other campus programs and departments, as well as industry stakeholders. SPHERE strives to ensure all elements of realism are present in the experiences so students get to experience the most realistic experience.

Created in collaboration with programs to meet their specific needs, scenarios either use high-tech manikins or people to role-play the patient and family members. This level of simulation encourages students to treat/interact with a patient just as they would during a clinical experience.

For more information about SPHERE or experiences you’d have within your program please contact sphere@lethbridgecollege.ca

Student spotlight

What I liked best about my college experience was the hi-fidelity trainings sessions we did as part of the program. The college makes them so realistic.

Kaleigh HilltonMy mother had a brain injury two years ago. In the hospital, the one person who was consistently there for her emotionally and physically was her health care aide. Her health care aide was the one person who my mother trusted, and that gave our family a lot of reassurance. I chose Lethbridge College because I heard from my peer about how the Indigenous culture is so involved with the college. I come from northern B.C. but my band is Chipawan, which is located in northern Alberta. My culture has always been very important to me and I feel that Lethbridge College recognizes Indigenous students. What I liked best about my college experience was the hi-fidelity trainings sessions we did as part of the program. The college makes them so realistic. We have to use critical thinking skills to work with the patients, just as we would on a real person. I never knew how well I could do until I had the support of the instructors and college support systems.

Kaleigh Hillton
Health Care Aide

Success stories from Wider Horizons