Title Protection for Unregulated Care Providers in Canada
Personal Support Worker, Health Care Aide, Personal Attendant, Community Worker, Clinical Assistant, Health Care Assistant; these are some of the titles used by 1 year trained Unregulated Care Providers (UCPs) who provide care and support to clients across the lifespan. The umbrella term of UCP has been used to describe this group and this specifically denotes how this worker is not regulated (does not have a governing body) compared to their other health care team members (nurses, and doctors).There are over 60 different titles being used across Canada and this is putting quality of care and patient safety at risk in addition to keeping the UCP profession from progressing, meeting the continued demands on this level of worker.
The Canadian Association of Continuing Care Educators (CACCE), a national network of publicly funded post-secondary faculty and leaders responsible for the education of unregulated personal care providers recognizes the importance of having one standardized title. Currently there are multiple national initiatives related to the UCP sector (some funded by the health Canada) that are underway. With national standards of education and regulation being elusive, the CACCE identified a need to move forward the conversation of having one standardized title (title protection). A survey was developed and distributed to UCPs, employers, educators, and UCP students across Canada to determine what title they want. This paper will review in greater detail the need for title protection and survey results.