Health Career Profiles

Continuing Care Assistant

Career Description

Continuing Care Assistants (CCA) provide vital services to people who need support in their daily activities. Can you see yourself helping an elderly person? Or making a difference for someone who is sick? If so, you may find your passion as a CCA.

When you work as a CCA, your clients depend on you to provide direct care for their safety and well-being — and to enrich their quality of life. You help them participate in meaningful activities, including social interactions and recreation. You provide personal care and help your clients to live healthy.

Your workplace may be a nursing home or residential care facility, or you may work in people’s homes. Often you work on your own but always as part of an overall care team.

Academic and Licensing Requirements

  1. Complete a CCA program at a licensed educational institution — or, if you have previous healthcare experience, have your prior learning assessed and recognized
  2. Pass the CCA Certification Exam. More Information Here

Where to study in Nova Scotia

Où étudier en Nouvelle-Écosse (en français)

Bursaries Available

Bursaries are available for students at Nova Scotia Community College and Université Sainte Anne. Applications close September 4 for Université Sainte-Anne and September 13 for NSCC.

Becoming a certified Continuing Care Assistant

CCA Certification is the education required to work as a direct care and support service provider in most health care environments in Nova Scotia. As a certified CCA, you have passed the certification exam and have received provincial certification from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

A CCA program prepares you to deliver short or extended periods of assistance and support services to clients in various care settings. Your education includes both theory and practice. You learn in a classroom setting, in a laboratory setting, and through placements with real clients.

Placements may be with home support agencies who serve Department of Health and Wellness clients, nursing homes/homes for the aged, acute care facilities, and other approved care settings that employ CCAs.

How to become a candidate to write the CCA Certification Exam

  • Successfully complete the education components
  • Receive a positive recommendation from your primary instructor
  • Receive positive recommendations from your placement sites

Entry Requirements

  • Have grade 12 certificate, a GED equivalent to grade 12, or be a mature student:
  • Mature students must:
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have been out of school for at least one year
  • Demonstrate the necessary numeracy and literacy skills through a documented assessment process, such as a Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) or a Test of Workplace Essential Skills (TOWES)
  • Have no criminal record, evidenced by a Canada-wide police check current within six months of the being accepted into the program.
  • Must be capable of performing all job requirements, including physically demanding tasks.
  • Have acceptable transportation to the placement site.
  • Be able to demonstrate proficiency in the language the program is delivered in — French or English. Proficiency means, for example, at least Level 8 of the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) tool.
  • Have/obtain basic computer literacy skills before skills development placement — basic skills in word processing, checking and sending email, basic web browsing skills.

Education Options

The path to CCA Certification has two options:

  • Enroll in a recognized program
  • Apply for the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program— get credit for past learning and experience

[1] Enroll in a recognized program

The CCA program is available through licensed educational institutions from the list of where to study above. Most programs offer full-time study delivered over 30 weeks.

Summary of the education components

  • Classroom and laboratory learning: at least 522 hours
  • Placements in approved settings: at least 330 placement hours
  • External certificates: 6 (Such as first aid and food hygiene)

[2] Recognizing Prior Learning (RPL) — Get credit for past learning and experience

Do you have robust, current experience in healthcare? You may be eligible to pursue CCA certification through the Recognizing Prior Learning Program.

This program helps you get credit for the knowledge, skills, and attitudes you already have. You need to prove that you have the required knowledge. You need to prove that you can perform the required skills.

You may qualify for one of two RPL methods:

  • Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
    • PLAR allows knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) gained through on-the-job training, formal education, and life experiences to be assessed and credit awarded towards CCA Program education.
  • Course Recognition (CR)
    • Course Recognition means a course certificate or diploma is recognized by the CCA Program Advisory Committee (CCAPAC) and has an assigned learning path based on the education preparation.

For More Information Contact
CCA Program Administration
Cailleagh Sharples
cailleagh.sharples@healthassociation.ns.ca
902-832-8500, extension 275

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