Programs & Courses

Supportive Care Assistant


About the Program

UPDATE: The Supportive Care Assistant program at MHC is now full and all accepted applicants have been contacted.

The Supportive Care Assistant (SCA) program* is a new, fully subsidized micro-certificate developed to address the labour shortages in the long-term care sector. The program allows you to learn in-demand skills, get paid work experience, and make a difference in your community. It can also kickstart your career in health care.

Graduates of the SCA program can receive a $5,000 stipend if they take the next step and complete an eligible health care aide program. Please note, the stipend is awarded upon completion of the health care aide program.

The micro-certificate includes six weeks of online training, done at your pace, followed by a paid work placement in a long-term care, home care, or community care setting.

This program is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program and is part of CICan’s Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.

*Priority access to MHC’s SCA program is given to applicants from Southeast Alberta.



What is the role of an SCA?

Gain experience to help prepare for a career in the sector while providing much needed support to clients and staff. The role involves performing non-clinical activities which could include:

  • Assisting with meals
  • Providing companionship, comfort, and support
  • Assisting with grooming, dressing, elimination, and hygiene
  • Stocking materials required by clients and health-care staff
  • Assisting with tidying, cleaning, and disinfecting
  • Encouraging and assisting with mobility
  • Assisting and directing visitors, COVID screening
  • Participating in activities with clients

  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • You must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada (international students cannot register)
  • For English first language speakers, you must provide proof of proficiency as determined by your college or institute (Grade 10 English (most provinces) or college admission testing may be used as an equivalency).
  • For English as a second language speakers, you must provide proof of English language skills (IELTS 6.0; CLB 6; CEFR B2) or equivalency as determined by your college or institute

Additionally, you should:

  • Have regular access to a PC or MAC computer with an internet connection and recent versions of Google Chrome or Internet Explorer installed
  • Have basic computer skills
  • Have access to transportation for work placement(s)
  • Be available to work shifts (evenings/nights/weekends)
  • Be physically able to stand/walk with some bending, twisting, and lifting

Note: Additional requirements may include a criminal record check and proof of certain immunizations. You may be exposed to communicable diseases during your work placement.

The six-week online training is divided into learning modules and will prepare you for your role as a supportive care assistant. Modules include:

  • Professionalism;
  • Client and Family-centred Assistance;
  • Communication;
  • Supportive Assistance; and
  • Infection Control and Safety.

There is also a module related to your work placement that will be completed before, during, and after your placement. Each module will take approximately 20 hours to complete and can be done at your own pace.

After completing the required modules, you will be connected to an employer who will provide between 280 to 560 hours of paid employment.

Once you have successfully completed all the requirements, you will be granted a micro-certificate. You may wish to further your studies to become a health care aide. If you choose to do so, you could receive a $5,000 stipend to help with education-related expenses such as tuition, books, dependant care*, and transportation. You may also receive some recognition for the micro-certificate towards the new training.

Please note that you will need to apply and meet the admission requirements for that program.

*A $1000 bursary is available to support dependant care during the work placement. Click here to apply. Note that the bursary is first-come first serve. Apply early!

In the next 30 years, the number of Canadians over the age of 85 is expected to triple and the demand for health care workers will increase. Completing the Supportive Care Assistant Program is a steppingstone towards a career in a growing sector.

The program is fully subsidized and flexible. You get free tuition, and the online training can be completed on your own schedule. The paid work placement will provide you with the opportunity to build new skills and get practical experience while earning a wage.

A career in long-term care can be challenging but rewarding. You can make a difference in the lives of others and create meaningful connections with older adults, other people requiring assistance, and their families. It’s a good career fit for people who are compassionate and like working with others.

This program could be right for you if you:

  • Enjoy working with older adults and other people requiring assistance
  • Can communicate effectively and have strong interpersonal skills
  • Are friendly, flexible, and can provide warm encouragement
  • Enjoy working with others and as a member of a team
  • Are trustworthy and honest
  • Are compassionate and have demonstrated empathy, resilience, and sensitivity
  • Have an interest in a career in health care

Take the next step with MHC's Health Care Aide program!

Complete the SCA micro-certificate and apply for MHC's Health Care Aide* program. Available in-person and via flexible learning.

*Please note: completion of the SCA program does not guarantee admittance into MHC’s health care aide program as admission requirements differ. Please visit the HCA page for details. Students who meet the HCA admission requirements may want to consider applying to HCA and SCA at the same time to ensure a seat is available in the HCA program for Fall 2023.