The 745-hour program is approximately a 25-week or six-month program (based on a typical 30-hour instruction week) designed to provide students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function effectively as direct client care providers and respected members of the health-care team, in community and facility settings. Under the direction and supervision of a health professional, graduates provide person-centred care aimed at promoting and maintaining the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of clients/residents. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are prepared to work in any level of continuing care, including: home support, adult day care, assisted living, complex care (including dementia care units) and acute care.
B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, or
19 years of age and out of secondary school for one year as of the first day of classes.
A completed self-declaration, and
Native English speakers:
A minimum grade of 60% in English 11; or a minimum score of 24/40 or Level 4 on the Language Proficiency Index (LPI); or a minimum grade of 50% in English 12 or English 12 First Peoples; or a minimum grade of 60% in OC's ABE ENGL 080; or a minimum grade of 60% in both OC's ABE ENGL 081 and 082 (Composition 011 is not acceptable).
Non-native English speakers:
The completed self-declaration confirming seven years of education in an English-speaking environment OR proof of four consecutive years of education in an English-speaking environment* at the secondary or post-secondary level
AND one of the following:
*The LPI Test is no longer being offered after July 31, 2020. Okanagan College will continue to accept LPI Test results for two years from the date an applicant tested. Approved alternatives are available. Please consult academic entrance requirements.
The completed self-declaration confirming less than seven years of education in an English-speaking environment AND less than four consecutive years of education in an English-speaking environment* at the secondary or post-secondary level
AND one of the following:
It is recommended that students also complete a Grade 11 Science or ABE Science at the 70 or 80 Level.
Applicants must provide evidence of successful completion of a Red Cross Standard First Aid or St. John Ambulance Standard First Aid that includes Basic Life Support, CPR Level C no more than 12 months before admission.
A criminal record check clearance from the B.C. Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General's Criminal Records Review Office. Okanagan College's admission offices will provide applicants with instructions and forms for applicants to submit to the Solicitor General's Office and a deadline for the College to receive the clearance letter. Applicants should only initiate their criminal record check when instructed by Admissions. Failure to provide a clearance letter by the deadline will result in a cancellation of the applicant's admission application.
Applicants must provide evidence of a negative tuberculin test, taken no more than six months before the date of application (or evidence of appropriate follow-up if the test was positive.)
Attendance at a program orientation day is strongly recommended. Applicants will be notified of the exact date.
Applicants are advised that students in this program engage actively in laboratory practice, acting both as patient/client and as caregiver in simulated situations. Notwithstanding all specific program prerequisites, Okanagan College reserves the right to deny admission to any applicant when, in the opinion of OC, there is sufficient and substantiated evidence, medical or otherwise, to conclude that by granting admission OC would jeopardize the safety of clients under student care or would otherwise be negligent in providing for the safety and well-being of clients, agency staff or other students.
Location and Dates:
Kelowna Campus - August, January, May
Vernon - October to April
Penticton - October to April
Salmon Arm - May to October
Program Length: 25 weeks
Tuition - Students may enrol in a part-time program if space is available after all full-time students are enrolled. Fees are assessed by component. Full-time student fees are based on vocational rates.
Textbooks - $350 approximately
Uniforms - $250 approximately
Other Expenses - Students must provide a suitable uniform, transfer belt, duty shoes, name tags and OC badge. Students are responsible for their own transportation.
Practicum, Extern and Clinical Experiences
Practicum, extern and clinical experiences are an integral part of health and social services programs. Locations are throughout the Okanagan Valley. Students must arrange for their own transportation to and from practicum, extern and clinical sites. In most cases, that means a driving license and access to a reliable vehicle is required. Travel expenses are the student's responsibility.
Hours vary from six to nine hours per day during the practicum for a total of 30 hours per week.
* Countries with English language systems / institutions (where English is a primary, official language and the language used for education):
British Virgin Islands
St. Kitts and Nevis
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caico Islands
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
United States of America (USA)
US Virgin Islands
1Applicants educated in Quebec at an institution where the language of instruction was not English, must meet the current English language proficiency requirements.
A minimum passing grade (P) for HCA 103 and HCA 107; and a minimum grade of 70% in all other courses in the program outline.
Health and Social Development
2020-21: $3,387.87 (Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Penticton), $3,433.56 (Vernon)
This program is student loan eligible.
Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 01/15/2021