Ontario Report

Ontario Personal Support Worker Program Standard (2014)

*revised version will be released in 2022

Title(s) Used

PSW, Clinical Assistant, Patient Assistant, Resident Care Aid, Care Support Assistant, Personal Caregiver, Patient Service Partner, Health Care Aid, Personal Care Provider Personal Services Representative, Support worker, Residential Care Aid, Home Services Worker, Home Support Worker


  • PSW programs in community colleges
  • PSW programs in private schools
  • PSW programs in secondary school/adult learning environments
  • Bridging and pathway programs promote continued learning into nursing programs
  • Intakes usually September and/or January
  • 600 hours minimum (theory, lab and clinical combined)

Additional/similar programs offered in region

  • Supportive Care Aide (CICan initiative) offered in some colleges
  • Recent “fast track” programs with funding from government to pay student fees and for time in clinical. (No ROS- return of service)
  • Multiple other “levels” of unregulated care provider courses with varied program length and graduate titles offered


Registry/Health Authorities/Regulatory Bodies

  • Failed volunteer registry with OSCA
  • Michener Institute developed framework for another volunteer registry- never “opened”
  • Bill 283:  reached Royal Assent in April 2021 outlining upcoming regulation for PSWs by way of a volunteer registry and “Oversight Authority”.


Legislation passed in spring, 2021 put in force the development of a volunteer registry and an Oversight Authority to be created in attempt to regulate PSWs in the province


MCTU PSW Program Provincial Standards (last updated 2021)

Two PSW led “professional” associations- OPSWA and PSW Network

Temporary pay raises during COVID 19 pandemic

Scope of Practice

No official Scope of Practice

Employment Prospects

Shortage of PSWs in Ontario

Many part time and casual positions

Low pay- only temporary pay raises

Educator Group

Ontario PSW Educator Group – (OPSWEG)

Co Chairs:  Susana Burgos and Gennie Mae Sabeniano (Centennial College)

Education Standards

  • Ministry of Colleges and Universities: has issued provincial PSW Program standards that are used for Ontario Colleges and Private Career Colleges (last version 2014, updated in 2020/21.
  • Ministry of Education has standards used for high school programs


Lack of standardization

No title protection

Recruitment and retention

Lack of high level regulation