becoming a cca

How do I become a Continuing Care Assistant (CCA)?

 

Student Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 or GED equivalent to grade 12; however, an applicant may be considered who is at least 21 years of age and has been out of school for at least one year. Approval of mature students is the responsibility of the education provider.
  • Clear Canada wide criminal records check
  • Able to meet the physical and mental demands of the job.
  • Provide transportation that is acceptable to their placement agency

Expectations of a Continuing Care Assistant Student

Students are expected to maintain regular attendance in class, lab, and clinical placements. They must pass the theory studies before being accepted into placements (on the job training). Students must pass each placement before being accepted into the next placement. You must pass all the components before being eligible to write the provincial examination. You are expected to complete successfully all components (theory/lab/placements) of the course and to function as a participant rather than an observer in each component.

In return the student can expect to develop the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to provide quality services to clients/residents who live at home or in a nursing home/home for the aged. You can expect the education institution to provide a primary instruction that will instruct, monitor, and encourage you throughout all components of the course.

Upon successful completion of the minimum 510 theory/lab hours and 330 placement hours, and on the recommendation of the primary instructor and placement sites the student may write the provincial examination. All provincial examinations are written under the direction of the designated CCA examination monitor. The pass mark for the provincial exam is 75%. Your provincial exam is arranged by the education institution with the CCA Administration.

Once you graduate from the CCA Program or gain CCA Certification through alternative methods, your name and statistics will be kept in a database at the CCA Administration.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for Gaining CCA Certification 

CCA Equivalency

As of April 2006 CCA Certification is an entry-to-practice requirement to work in this role of direct care and support services provider in nursing homes/homes for the aged and/or home support agencies providing services to Department of Health clients.

This means all persons hired to work in either licenced, level II, nursing homes/homes for the aged or home support agencies, for the first time, must be certified CCAs. However, previously employed HSWs, PCWs or NSCC HHPs may continue to be employed in their field.

The CCA Program Advisory Committee has developed a way for HSWs, HHPs, and PCWs to gain CCA equivalency, if they so desire. These designations do not require CCA certification to continue to work in their current field. However, recognizing that some currently trained PCWs, HHPs, and HSWs would want to increase their career mobility the CCA Equivalency was developed.

One advantage of being a CCA is that you would have more cross sector opportunities, meaning you could work in both long term care and home support at the same time. As the continuing care sector continues to integrate, this will be seen as an asset to the employer. It will benefit both the employer and the employee. The employer has a more flexible employee. The employee (you) would have opportunity for a more flexible work schedule.   Acute care—hospitals--are now hiring CCAs as members of the health care team as a support to RNs and LPNs.

Those eligible for CCA Equivalency are:

Home Support Workers with a certificate of completion from Home Support Nova Scotia Association. Home Support Workers graduating before 1998 must show proof that the additional Client Specific Tasks have been completed (see your home support employer for proof of completion).

Personal Care Workers with a certificate from the Nova Scotia Department of Health.

Home Health Provider/Home Health Care with a certificate from the Nova Scotia Community College.

To gain CCA Equivalency you must complete and show proof of:

The certificates and workshops include :

  • Nova Scotia Alzheimer Disease and Other Dementia Care Course  
  • WHMIS Awareness (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System)
  • Introduction to OH&S Act
  • Food Handler's Course -- Department of Agriculture or Basic food safety from the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism
  • First Aid/CPR Level C from either St. Johns Ambulance or Red Cross

AND the following CCA Program curriculum:

If you are a PCW, you will need to obtain through an approved education institution:

  • Module 1 and 2 (Introduction to the CCA Program and Continuing Care Sector with an emphasis toward home support)
  • Module 3 (3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.6–generational, SoP and personal wellness)
  • Module 5 (5.3 -Fire Safety as it relates to home support)
  • Module 7 (Household Management)
  • Module 9 (components of all)
  • Module 11 (Planning and Preparation)
  • Module 12 (12.2, 12.3, 12.4, 12.5, 12.6 – mental health issues, prevention/intervention non dementia, crisis prevention, well being, CCA role identify/report abuse)
  • Module 13, Medication Awareness
  • Palliative (Legal & Ethical issues of Death & Dying)

If you are a HSW, you will need to obtain through an approved education institution:

  • Module 1 and 2 (Introduction to the CCA Program and Continuing Care Sector with emphasis toward Nursing Homes/Homes for the Aged)
  • Module 3 (3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.6–generational, SoP and personal wellness)
  • Module 5 (5.2, 5.3 -Aseptic Technique/Infection Control & Fire Safety as it relates to Nursing Homes/Homes for the Aged)
  • Module 9 (components of all)
  • Module 10.5.01, 10.5.03 (Vital Signs and Medications)
  • Module 12 (12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4,–meaningful activity, mental health issues, prevention/intervention non dementia, crisis prevention)
  • Module 13, Medication Awareness

If you are a HHP, you will need to obtain through an approved education institution:

  • Modules 1 and 2 (Introduction to the CCA Program and Continuing Care Sector with emphasis toward Nursing Homes/Homes for the Aged)
  • Module 3 (3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 3.6 –generational, SoP and personal wellness)
  • Module 9 (components of all)
  • Module 10.5.01, 10.5.03 (Vital Signs and Medications)
  • Module 12 (12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4,–meaningful activity, mental health issues, prevention/intervention non dementia, crisis prevention)
  • Module 13, Medication Awareness  

Link to the Equivalency Application Form

 

Course Recognition Process  

The course recognition process is designed for interprovincial formally educated direct care and support service providers.  To gain CCA Certification, an RPL Application must be completed and send into the CCA Administration including a copy of the certificate/diploma. The learning paths reflect the CCA Curriculum, September 2009 and are the direct result of evaluating a particular curriculum.

Each learning path requires:

  • Proof of graduation with required graduation certificate/diploma
  • CCA Modules (theory and lab components)
  • A practicum placement in Nursing Home/Home for the Aged and/or Home Support Organization (if required)
  • Skills demonstration using the CAT (Competency Assessment Tool) in an approved setting
  • Successfully passing the CCA Provincial Exam (mark of 75% or higher)

 

RPL Application (link to RPL Application)

Please fill out application and provide a copy of graduation certificate/diploma when applying to take one of the course recognition learning paths.


Current Course Recognition Learning Paths
:
(Please note: as new learning paths are approved they will be posted)

National
Licensed Practical Nurse (PN) to CCA graduated 1996 or later Link to Document

Nova Scotia (NS)
Futureworx (CNWAP) Home Health Aid to CCA graduated 1996-2002 Link to Document

Prince Edward Island (PEI)
Marguerite Connolly Training College , Registered Care Worker, graduated 2000-2007 Link to Document
Holland College, Registered Care Worker, graduated 2007 or later, Link to Document
CompuCollege, (2 campuses) PSW to CCA 2005 or later Link to Document   

New Brunswick (NB)
New Brunswick Community College , Personal Care Worker - Acute Care, graduated 2000 or later Link to Document

CompuCollege, (2 campuses) PSW to CCA 2005 or later Link to Document

Newfoundland (NL)
CompuCollege, PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document
Keyin College
, HSW-PCA to CCA 2006 or later Link to Document
VON Corner Brook, HSW-PCA to CCA 2006 or later Link to Document 
Western College, HSW PCA to CCA, 2005 or later
Link to Document

Ontario (ON)
Algonquin Careers Academy, PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document
St.Lawrence Community College, PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document
Everest Colleges, (15 campuses) PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document
ICAN Colleges, PSW to CCA, 2006 or later Link to Document

Evergreen College, PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document
National Applied Institute of Technology, PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document
Medix College, PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document 
TriOs College, PSW to CCA,  2005 or later Link to Document
Learning Centres, PSW to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document
WeCare Home Health Services, PSW to CCA, 2005 to later Link to Document
Canadian College, PSW to CCA, 2005 to later Link to Document

Saskatchewan (SK)
Saskatchewan Institute of Applies Science and Technology, Continuing Care Assistant, graduated 2007 or later Link to Document

Manitoba (MA)
Red River College, Health Care Aide, graduated 2004-2009 Link to Document

Alberta (AB)
Alberta Business and Education Services, Health Care Aide, graduated 2005 or later Link to Document
BowValley
College
, Health Care Aide, graduated 2005 or later Link to Document

Medicinehat
College
, Health Care Aide, graduated 2005 or later Link to Document
NorQuest College , Health Care Aide, graduated 2005 or later Link to Document
Northern Lakes College , Health Care Aide, graduated 2005 or later Link to Document 
Portage College , Health Care Aide, graduated 2005 or later Link to Document

British Columbia (BC)
New Caledonia College, HS-RCA to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document

International
Philippines, RN to CCA, 2005 or later Link to Document

For more information on the PLAR Process please contact the CCA Administration:
Cailleagh Sharples, (902) 832-8500 ext. 275 or cailleagh.sharples@healthassociation.ns.ca

 

 

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

P rior learning assessment & recognition (PLAR) is defined as a systematic process that involves the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of learning (i.e., skills, knowledge and values).  This learning may be acquired through formal and informal study including work and life experiences, training, independent study, volunteer work, travel, hobbies and family experiences.

Day, M., & Zakos, P.  (2000)

The CCA PLAR process looks at an individual’s past experience and education (formal or on-the-job training) that would relate to working as a CCA and gives them credit toward CCA Certification. During the PLAR workshop and working with a PLAR Assessor the individual identify the past experiences and education that are equal to the CCA Program. The individual and the assessor will then identify ways in which they can prove that they have this knowledge. Some examples of proof, called evidence, are curriculum and transcripts from formal education, essays, tests, letters of reference, case studies, etc. The individual will then work on their own to gather this evidence and work toward proving their knowledge and skills that equates with CCA Certification. The assessor will then evaluate the work and grant, or not grant, credit for modules within the CCA Program. The next step entails gaining the additional education that the individual needs to complete their CCA Certification. The final step is writing the CCA Provincial exam. The individual will have approximately two years to complete the full process. 

CCA PLAR Program Goals

As of April 1, 2006, the Nova Scotia Department of Health implemented a new entry-to-practice standard that requires new hires to have provincial certification before employment.   Click here to view the current policy dated September 2007.

The Department also initiated an Implementation Plan to the entry-to-practice policy.  Click here to open the Information Package: Implementation Plan Educational Requirements For Entry to Practice Policy

The CCA Program Advisory Committee recognized the need for the development and implementation of a CCA PLAR process that will address the credential gap and potential resulting limited employment mobility of individuals working as direct care providers without provincially recognized credentials.  PLAR will also contribute to the recruitment and retention of a qualified work force for continuing care.   PLAR will provide a means to recognize out-of-province training and inter-provincial recognition of direct care provider courses thereby promoting a flexible national/international workforce.  CCA PLAR is a means for persons who wish to gain recognition for the skills and knowledge they have acquired on the job and through other formal and informal educational experience as credit toward their CCA Certification.

Target Audience

Ø       employees of the NS health care sector in the role of  direct care and support services providers without a recognized credential

Ø       employees of the NS health care sector not in the role as direct care and support service providers but wishing to move into that role

Ø       persons with experience in the health care sector (in or out of NS) either in the role of  direct care and support service providers or other health care provider roles

Ø       persons with certificates as direct care and support service providers from out of the province of NS

Delivery Process

The CCA PLAR program can be delivered through multiple processes. One method of delivery will be centralized and managed through the CCAPAC and the CCA Administration.  Another delivery process could be through approved education providers, a third through employers and a fourth through independent CCA PLAR assessors.  All CCA PLAR delivery processes will follow the same policies, principles and assessment methods developed under the direction of the Department of Health and CCA Program Advisory Committee in partnership with project partners in both the CCA PLAR Pilot Project 2005 and the CCA PLAR Implementation Project 2006/2007.  All PLAR participants will receive the same opportunities, workshop process and assessment standards regardless of method of delivery.  Only those assessors approved by the CCAPAC will be eligible for assessing participants in the CCA PLAR Program. 

Obtaining Remaining Modules and Certificates (Education Gaps)

Several educators have been currently approved by NSAHO for delivery of the CCA program. The learner must contact educators to obtain specific information about what they provide. A list of education providers can click here for a list of education providers.   The learner should look to develop a learning contract with the education provider for her/his required modules.  If demand is sufficient the education provider may offer the module(s) in a traditional classroom format.  Another option would be self-study modules from Home Support Nova Scotia Association.  More information about self-study can be found above under Self-Direct Module section.  Click here for Options for Learners document which provides a broader look at the options for filling education gaps identified through PLAR.

The participant can request, in writing to the CCA Program Advisory Committee or its designate, an extension at any time during the two (2) year completion period. If accepted, the participant will receive a six (6) month deferral in the completion of required modules/certificates; renewable two (2) times only.  Click here for an extensions request form.  Extensions will be addressed on an individual basis.

Writing Provincial Exam

Upon completion of all the components of the CCA Program the learner can register for the CCA Exam.  There are various times and locations of exam settings every year.  The learner can contact the CCA Administration to discuss the exam schedule before registering. 

Learners will not be permitted to write the exam until all components of the CCA Program are successfully completed and proof of completion is submitted to the CCA Administration as noted on the registration form.  Learners must also submit the CCA Administration fee upon registration for the exam. 

All provincial examinations must be written under the direction of the designated CCA examination monitor.  The pass mark for the provincial exam is 75%.   An examination schedule will be forward to the program coordinator.

NOTE:  Click here for the CCA PLAR Exam Registration Form for CCA PLAR Implementation Project participants.

Click here for the CCA PLAR Exam Registration Form .  

Click here to view the full CCA PLAR Handbook .

Upcoming PLAR Information Sessions - Stay tuned!

Do you wish to become certified as a Continuing Care Assistant?

The Continuing Care Assistant: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (CCA PLAR) Program will offer an opportunity for individuals who wish to gain recognition for the skills and knowledge they have acquired on the job and through other formal and information education experience as credit toward their CCA certification.

We are inviting interested, qualified individuals, with the goal of working towards their CCA designation to participate in the CCA PLAR process.

The qualifications for PLAR participants are:

Ø        A high school graduation diploma or Grade 12 equivalency;

Ø        A clear criminal records check or pardon.

 

Are you interested in becoming a CCA PLAR Assessor/Advisor? Please read the following documents:

Assessor letter

Assessor Q-A

Partnering with the Sector

In order for CCA PLAR to be a viable avenue for CCA Certification, the CCA Program Advisory Committee (CCAPAC) needs the support and assistance of the sector.  This support needs to come in various forms, such as:

n       Support the training of qualified employees as CCA PLAR Assessors

n       Increase awareness for PLAR

n       Work with CCA DLC & CCA PAC to provide opportunities for PLAR assessment

n       Provide opportunities for practicum assessment

n       Provide opportunities to fulfill required practicum

History of the CCA PLAR Program

The Department of Health and the CCA Advisory Committee, working with the Human Resources Sector Council (HRSC), the Department of Education, and other industry partners have developed a model for the CCA PLAR process.  The pilot for this process was completed in March 2005.  Click here for the pilot project report.

The Department of Health next engaged a project management team for the implementation of the PLAR model-- Human Resources Sector Council (HRSC), the Nova Scotia Community College and the Prior Learning Assessment Centre. The CCA PLAR Implementation Project objectives includes, but not limited to, addressing the recommendations from the PLAR model pilot, developing and delivering a training program for PLAR assessors and advisors and rolling out the PLAR process in four regional areas of the province. The end result of the implementation project was to provide a workable and sustainable CCA PLAR process that could be passed to the CCA Advisory Committee for administration. This project was completed in April 2007.  Click here for the CCA PLAR Implementation Project report.

For more information contact:

Cailleagh Sharples, CCA Certification Coordinator
Health Association Nova Scotia
2 Dartmouth Road
Bedford, NS B4A 2K7
Phone: 902-832-8500 ext.275
Fax: 902-832-8505
Email:
 cailleagh.sharples@healthassociation.ns.ca

Chuck McDow, CCA Placement Coordinator
Health Association Nova Scotia
2 Dartmouth Road
Bedford, NS B4A 2K7
Phone: 902-832-8500 ext.243
Fax: 902-832-8505
Email:
chuck.mcdow@healthassociation.ns.ca

Vanda Newton, CCA Administration
Health Association Nova Scotia
2 Dartmouth Road
Bedford, NS B4A 2K7
Phone: 902-832-8500 ext.249
Fax: 902-832-8505
Email: 
vanda.newton@healthassociation.ns.ca