Health Care Aide PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition)
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Health Care Aide PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition)


SepOnlineOnline w/ in-person labs
JanOnlineOnline w/ in-person labs
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Program length

4 months



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  • Minimum of English Language Arts 10-1 (or provincial equivalent) or successful completion of NorQuest academic assessment
  • 600 hours of experience in the last three years as a health-care worker, documented with a proof-of-employment letter from the employer(s).
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The Health Care Aide provincial curriculum is currently being updated, and we anticipate changes to the program in 2019-20 as a result. See the FAQ below. This page will be updated when more details are available.

New Curriculum FAQ
  1. Why is the Health Care Aide curriculum being updated? 

    The Health Care Aide curriculum must be updated to align with the new Alberta Health Care Aide Competency Profile, 2018 and to remain current with health care trends and standards.

  1.  What will the length of the program be under the new curriculum?

    The Health Care Aide program will be 8 months (2 terms) in length.

  2. Will there be new program requirements?

    Yes. The new admission requirements for 2019-20 will require a minimum of 60% in English Language Arts 20-2 (or equivalent), or successful completion of NorQuest academic assessment.

  3. When will the program changes take effect?

    The new curriculum and new program requirements will go into effect for either Fall 2019 or Winter 2020, depending on the license approval process. We will resume taking applications for the program once the timelines are known.

  4. What are the impacts for current Health Care Aide students?

    Any student who began the Health Care Aide program prior to these changes must complete all requirements by June 30, 2020 in order to graduate under the older curriculum.

The Health Care Aide PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition) is a certification process for individuals who have directly related work experience in the past three years, but do not currently have a certificate that is recognized in Alberta.

This would include:

  • Individuals who have been working as a nursing attendant or personal support worker, but do not have a certificate currently recognized in Alberta.
  • Other candidates may include nurses or nursing attendants trained in another country who have experience in geriatric care and believe they have the skills and knowledge to meet the standards for a NorQuest Health Care Aide certificate.
  • Practical Nurse students who have successfully completed their continuing care theory and practicum may also apply.

When you begin the process, you will receive an individual learner plan for self-study and skills assessment to achieve the level of proficiency required for the Health Care Aide certificate.

Contact the Faculty of Health and Community Studies at 780.644.6370 to request your HCA PLAR application.


Edmonton, Online