Personal Support Worker Certificate

A young personal support worker in Ontario assists her elderly patient.
Next program start dates:
Monday, October 2, 2023
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Student-Focused Program
Instructors provide individual coaching to students to ensure they fully understand course material
Interactive Classrooms
An industry-experienced instructor offers a lively interactive classroom to make learning fun
Career Preparation
Students get job search assistance; resume preparation, interview stimulations, references and more

Personal Support Worker Certificate


28 Weeks






Varying Schedule

Personal Support Worker Certificate Summary

Personal Support Worker (PSWs) in Ontario is an integral part of Canada’s health care system and is a field that is high in demand. Graduates of this program can use their skills in various jobs including long-term care homes, palliative care, and much more!

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Personal Support Worker Certificate Highlights

ABM College’s Personal Support Worker program extensively covers the roles of multiple health care workers like health care aides, home support workers, attendants/respite workers, and more!  This PSW Certificate Program ensures you succeed not just in class, but in your future career.

The Personal Support Worker program was developed as part of the Ontario government’s plan to add 19,000 more health care workers to the Ontario health workforce, which includes nurses and personal support workers. 

Discover Key features of the PSW Certificate program:

  • Participate in 16 weeks of in-class learning at our Toronto campus followed by a comprehensive 12-week clinical work placement in long-term care homes and community based homes.
  • Comprehensive course that provides necessary skills such as medical administration, palliative care, support procedures and more.
  • Prepares students to care for individuals needing assistance with their routine activities, including identifying potential risks, infection control, body mechanics, and proper positioning.
  • Gives the ability to work in a variety of settings including homes, assisted living facilities, long term care, and more.

Career Opportunities

  • Personal Support Worker
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Caregiver/Companion
  • Residential Care Aide
  • Health Care Attendant

Salary Range

A graph shows the estimated salary range for a personal support worker in Ontario ranging from $35,000 to $58,000.

Personal Support Worker Certificate Information Kit

This kit includes important details on the Personal Support Worker Certificate program at ABM College.

Note: For non-domestic students with a study permit or visa, please see our International Students form here.

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Is this program right for you?

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The fun online quiz will take you less than 5 minutes to complete and will help us understand your career goals and the kind of setting where you would be most comfortable working.

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A young black personal support worker in Ontario assists her elderly patient.

Admission Requirements

Standard Admission

1. Successful completion of Grade 12 or equivalent. 2. Passing score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam. 3. Passing score on the Accuplacer Test. 4. Successful interview with ABM College Admissions.

Mature Admission

1. Applicants must be out of high school for at least two years. 2. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age prior to admission. 3. Passing score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam. 4. Passing score on the Accuplacer Test. 5. Successful interview with ABM College Admissions.

Detailed & International Requirements

For any other program or region-specific requirements, please contact one of our Admissions Advisors. For International Students, please refer to the International Students Admission Requirements.
Domestic Detailed Admission Requirements

ABM College is one of the best private colleges in Calgary. This college has may useful programs such as Personal Care Support Worker those who want to excel in their knowledge and skills. Those who study in college get really good benefits as they are able to enter into the job markets very quickly.

Alvy Chowdhury

Course Curriculum

PSW Foundations

The introductory module provides an overview of the scope of responsibilities of PSWs in a variety of settings. Students will learn about client-centered versus client-directed care; and emphasizing the individuality of the client and his/her relationship with family, friends and others. Key topics include work relationships, stress and time management, interpersonal skills and communications, including conflict resolution and problem solving, and applicable legislation.

Safety and Mobility

The second module covers safety as it relates to both the client and the worker. One of the fundamental activities of the PSW is that of assisting the client with routine activities of living. Students will learn about risks of unsafe equipment or settings and appropriate actions to take when unsafe situations are identified. Topics include infection control methods, body mechanics, and transferring and lifting techniques using equipment to increase safety and reduce client anxiety.

Body Systems

This module will introduce the student to the basics of anatomy and physiology. Students will gain an understanding of human body systems in order to apply that knowledge in their daily work as a Personal Support Worker. These body systems are: the musculoskeletal, digestive, urinary, integumentary, reproductive, cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, and endocrine. Common disorders and age-related changes for each body system will also be covered.

Assisting with Personal Hygiene

PSW’s assist clients with all activities or routines of daily living. Students will learn how to care for the ill, disabled, injured and/or confused client. Frailness, dignity and levels of dependence will be considered. Personal hygiene includes oral care, perineal care, bathing, grooming, dressing, bed making, shaving, hair care, and skin care. It includes mobility considerations and involves personal safety, self-esteem and dignity. The foundation of this module is humanistic health care.

Abuse and Neglect

This module introduces students to the concepts of violence and abuse, including its possible signs, and the appropriate actions and legal requirements if abuse is suspected. Personal beliefs and attitudes about family violence and abuse are examined, as is the concept of worker abuse of the client and, abuse of the worker. PSW will learn to recognize both indicators and causes, and the requirements of legislation, employer policy, and provisions of the service contract or support plan.

Household Management, Nutrition, and Hydration

Students will learn to assist the client with their nutritional needs, household activities, and household management according to client preferences, comfort and safety within employer guidelines as required. Nutritional needs include planning balanced menus, preparing shopping lists and shopping, safe handling of food, and storage and specific cooking techniques. The special dietary needs of certain clients and their cultural and religious preferences will all be addressed.

Care Planning, Restorative Care, and Working in the Community

This module identifies the support provided through the care plan or service contract to the client to relearn or regain routine abilities. They will understand its significance, and the rights of the client as a receiver of support and the purpose, methods, and persons involved in its creation. Student will also be introduced to working in the community health care environment, providing support to patients and families in communities, conducted in accordance with employer guidelines.

Assisting the Family / Growth and Development

Students learn to understand family characteristics in terms of structure, functions, roles, lifestyles and relationships. The influence of cultural values, practices, religious beliefs as well as the effects of illness, stress, and disability on family relationships will be emphasized as central to the PSW’s ability to provide effective support. This module also explores the stages of growth and development throughout the life cycle and the role of the PSW in providing respite to families.

Assisting the Dying Person

In this module students learn about hospice, palliative and end-of-life care, the integration of a palliative approach to care, ways of being, communication and practical strategies to provide psychosocial support and physical comfort care for both the person and their family. This module addresses provincial palliative care competencies (2018-2020) including competencies for caring for First Nation, Inuit, Metis and urban Indigenous peoples.

Assisting with Medications

Within the PSW scope of practice, students learn about medication administration versus assistance. They gain basic knowledge of the drugs used in the treatment of common diseases and disorders including use, classification, effects, and routes of administration. They identify purposes, required instruction, and cautions; and the importance of observation for both desired and undesired outcomes, as well as the procedures to be followed in the event of a concern or problem with medications.

Cognitive/Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries

This module introduces students to common psychiatric conditions such as affective disorders, schizophrenia, substance abuse, cognitive impairment, and brain injury. The possibility of multiple conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression will be discussed along with the role of the family caregiver and the importance of observation, documentation, and reporting in order to recognize changes in behaviour that can be related to psychiatric conditions or an increased risk of suicide.

Health Conditions

Students are introduced to ongoing conditions and basic concepts of assistance, as well as the general effects on the person of common disabilities, conditions and diseases. Students will gain skill in the necessary techniques while focusing on the importance of providing support safely, effectively and comfortably. Concepts of maintenance, rehabilitation and restoration are discussed, as is the importance of the support team in providing assistance and training of these additional skills.

Clinical Placement (Community)

Clinical placement provides students with an opportunity to practice their new skills in a work setting. While on placement, students gain experience in a wider range of PSW skills, become more self-confidant and in some cases receive offers of employment from the placement site. In this module the students will spend time working in a community setting under the supervision of a preceptor provided by the host site. The instructor will be available by phone and email at all times during the placement. Students must meet the hour requirements and have a satisfactory rating with no critical deficiencies in all placement activities to pass the program.

Clinical Placement (Facility)

Clinical placement provides students with an opportunity to practice their new skills in a work setting. Students gain experience in a wider range of PSW skills, become more self-confidant, and may receive offers of employment from the placement site. They spend time working in a facility setting for 100 hours under the supervision of their instructor and under a preceptor provided by the host site for 100 hours. The instructor will be available by phone and email during the placement.

Gentle Persuasive Approaches in Dementia Care

Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) is a multi-disciplinary program designed for everyone who interacts with older adults in the workplace. Participants are guided to fully understand responsive behaviors in order to be able to respond effectively and appropriately in a workplace setting.

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