Personal Support Workers serve an important role in our communities.

Program: Personal Support Worker



Program length: 1 Year

Start date: September – onsite program, Distance program has intake throughout the year


  • Certificate


  • Full Time
  • Part Time
  • Online
  • Classroom
  • Lab
  • Practicum

Program Description

The PSW program prepares people to work in a variety of community health care settings. PSWs work to promote and maintain physical, psychological, and social well-being. They work as part of the health care team providing basic care, assistance and support with activities of daily living.

Program Eligibility

Applicants may be admitted into the Personal Support Worker program based on one of the following pathways: academic, mature student/experiential and previous related studies.

Academic Pathway

Applicants may be considered for admission who:

  • Are at least 18 years of age; and
  • Have successfully completed English 10-2.

Applicants who have completed the Aurora College Occupations and College Access Program (OCAP) in the Personal Support Worker Pathway may also be considered for admission if they have:

  • Successfully completed Aurora College English 140.

Equivalencies and other post-secondary education may be considered.

Previous Studies

Students who have successfully completed related courses may be eligible to receive transfer credit. Applicants who have completed part-time courses in the Personal Support Worker program, or who are interested in having their prior learning recognized should speak to the Aurora College Registrar or the Program Head, Health Programs, regarding transfer credits and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.

Mature Student/Experiential Pathway

Applicants who are 20 years or older, have been out of school for at least one year, and have relevant work/life experience may be considered for admission on an individual basis. Eligibility for the program may be determined through an interview and/or placement test. The applicant may be required to submit a resume or other relevant work/life experience.

Regardless of the pathway for admission, all applicants must:

  • Submit official transcripts from high school and post-secondary education, as applicable.
  • Submit a satisfactory* Criminal Records and Vulnerable Sector Check.**
  • Submit a copy of immunization records showing proof of compliance with the NWT Immunization Schedule published by the Department of Health and Social Services, and evidence of tuberculosis screening.**

* A record of certain offences may prevent candidates from completing all elements of the program, in particular, working with clients and securing practicum placements (see Aurora College Policy C.21 Practicums/Internships). As the program is practice based, including working with clients, a satisfactory Criminal Records and Vulnerable Sector Check is mandatory. ** Prior to working with clients, students must have submitted their Criminal Records and Vulnerable Sector Check, proof of CPR/First Aid certification, and current immunization record. These are typically required to be submitted by the end of September.

Depending on the applicant’s pathway, they may be advised/requested to submit:

  • A resume or other evidence of relevant work/life experience.
  • A letter outlining why they should be considered for priority admission based on the criteria outlined in the Program Admission section below.

Applicant Assessment

Applicants must complete an Aurora College application form, submit official transcripts (high school and post-secondary) to be considered for admission.

Applicants who are currently enroled in one or more of the required academic courses for admission are encouraged to apply early and provide transcripts that demonstrate that they are currently registered in these courses. Applicants may receive a conditional acceptance that is dependent on their successful completion of the required courses. Applicants who are conditionally accepted will be required to provide a final transcript upon completion of the required courses to be fully accepted.

Students who have already completed post-secondary course work in related courses may have transferability into this program. Post-secondary transcripts and course syllabi/outlines will be required for evaluation. Students seeking transfer credit will be required to follow process defined in Aurora College Policy C.01 Transfer Credit.

Program Admission

Applicants will be admitted to the program based on how well they meet the program eligibility requirements and on space availability. Indigenous persons, long-term residents of the NWT*, and graduates of the OCAP Personal Support Worker Career Pathway at Aurora College will be given priority in the selection process if they have submitted a complete** application before April 1. Priority consideration for admission will not be considered for applications received on or after April 1. Applications will be processed based on the date that their application is complete**.

* Preference will be given to longer-term northern residents from the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut before short-term residents of one year or less.

** A complete application is one in which all required documentation (ex. application, transcripts, letter of reference) and all requested documentation (ex. additional documentation that supports your eligibility that is requested for your application).

Program Information

The program is designed to be flexible in its format. It may be offered full-time, part-time, using online courses, or in a modular format. The curriculum of the program is designed to be reflective of the program needs of the community. Each course has core curriculum, principles and theory that can accommodate the focus of the specific community needs.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program students will have the knowledge and skills needed to:

  1. Under supervision, assess, plan, implement, and evaluate care for people and families in the community;
  2. Safely apply the knowledge and skills from the program in the practical area;
  3. Demonstrate organizational and time management skills;
  4. Practise in a safe, ethical and legally responsible manner; and
  5. Integrate traditional knowledge in the care giving setting.

Completion Requirements

To receive a certificate, students are required to complete all courses, including practica, within five years.

Document of Recognition

Aurora College Personal Support Worker Certificate