Important notice: We are currently updating program information for the 2021-22 academic year. The fees displayed on this page are for the 2020-2021 academic year, to see fees for the 2021-2022 academic year click here. This notice will be removed when updates are complete.

See the Courses tab below for details on program delivery.


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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 - Government of Alberta program.

This 1-year certificate program delivers the Government of Alberta Health Care Aide Provincial Curriculum (2019) that includes theory, lab and work-integrated learning experiences. The program will prepare you to become a valued member of the health care team. Health care aides work in collaboration with and under direct supervision of a regulated health care professional. Health care aides assist and support clients with a range of daily living activities to optimize their health and well-being. A variety of employment opportunities exist, including long-term care facilities, community settings, assisted living and acute care settings.

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 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 - Government of Alberta program today!

Career opportunities

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

  • Physician offices
  • Health care agencies
  • Hospice facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Medical clinics
  • Private health care providers
  • Homecare
  • Respite facilities
Starts In: September
Application Deadlines:

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

Duration: 1 year
Credential: Certificate

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.

Delivery Format

A blended course is intentionally designed to include continuum of both face to face/on-campus and online delivery. This includes both synchronous (in real-time on a set schedule) and asynchronous learning strategies (learning that does not occur at the same time or same place). Communication, instruction and assessment components of a blended course provide consistent information but go further by enhancing and supplementing each other. Students may complete some of their lessons online and may also be required to come to campus.


Learning happens in real time. Student and instructors interact and engage with each other in a specific virtual space, through a specific online medium, at a specific time. This can include video conferencing, live chatting, and live-streaming lectures.


Learning Environment

Special 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. 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.
Year 1 Term I
Course Code Title Credits
Year 1 Term II
Course Code Title Credits


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

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

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

  • A minimum grade of 60 percent in Grade 11 English (equivalent to Alberta's English 20-2) OR equivalency determined by Accuplacer.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) through one of the following acceptable methods:

  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in each of speaking, listening, reading and writing (not an average of 7)
  • Studies in English at an approved Canadian high school (grades 9, 10, 11, 12) with at least 3 consecutive years of full-time academic study
  • A recognized Post-Secondary diploma program in Canada (involved in at least 2 full year of full-time, consecutive academic study in English)
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic: 6 (no section score below 5.5)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet Based Testing (TOEFL iBT): 71
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General: 7 (with no section below 6).

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 3 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 will include Lethbridge and may include surrounding rural communities. 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.

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.


Upon successful completion of all program requirements, students are awarded a Health Care Aide certificate.

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 $18,228. 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

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