Professional Behaviour Development Rubric

The Professional Behaviour Development Rubric[1] sets out expectations for student conduct within the Health Care Assistant program with a view to effectively preparing graduates for success in today’s health care workforce. This rubric is intended to positively reinforce and support the development and application of professional behaviour. It responds to feedback from HCA educators and employers alike that HCA program students and graduates could gain from additional strategies to support their success in the program and allow for more productive employee integration and retention.

Given the associated learning outcomes and course content, it is suggested that this tool be introduced for learning and discussion during the HCA Introduction to Practice course. It could be used as a formative evaluation tool (either graded or non-graded) during both the HCA Introduction to Practice course and the Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistance course. Constructive feedback gained throughout the program could then guide further development and application when used as a final evaluation tool (graded) during practice education coursework. The behaviours addressed within this tool align with the learning outcomes for both the Practice Experience in Multi-Level/Complex Care course and the Practice Experience in Home Support, Assisted Living and/or Group Home course. Competent performance (in all areas) could be required for successful completion of practice education coursework.

Rubric Sections

There are four sections to the rubric:

  • Section 1: Appropriate Behaviour includes Attitude, Appearance, Integrity, and Technology
  • Section 2: Respect for Self and Others includes Communication (Verbal/Non-Verbal), Communication (Written), Nonjudgmental, Caring, and Team Player
  • Section 3: Commitment includes Time Management, Adaptability, and Stress Management
  • Section 4: Competence includes Accountability, Continuous Learning, and Problem-Solving

Integration and Assessment

A variety of approaches are encouraged to address the development of professionalism throughout the HCA program. By taking an ongoing, integrated approach, students can be supported in behaving in a way that will most greatly support their success when they move into their practice education experiences and into the workforce. When using this tool, it will be important for instructors (as well as practice education site mentors) to provide ongoing input,
informing and enabling students to reach a “competent” level for each of the behaviours by the end of the practice education placement. When assessing behaviours, specific examples and suggestions for development should be provided.

Measurement Definition
Developing The student is in the process of learning and applying the behaviour.
Competent The student meets expectations for the behaviour.
Exemplary The student exceeds expectations of the desired behaviour.

Professional Behaviour Development Rubric[2]

Student Name                                 Date                                

1. Appropriate Behaviour Developing Competent Exemplary
Attitude: The attitude of the student is positive, friendly, helpful, courteous, person-centred, optimistic, and team oriented.
Appearance: The appearance of the student is appropriate: hair and body are clean; no noticeable body odour and scent free; clothes are clean, wrinkle free, and appropriate; wears name tag; appropriate footwear and minimal jewellery and nails are clean, short, and polish-free.
Integrity: The student interacts with people in a respectful manner: their manner is honest, ethical, sincere, reliable, empathic, and committed.
Technology: The student uses technology (e.g., mobile phone, including photo and video recording features; computer; social media) in alignment with established policies and procedures. Does not use personal communication or media devices inappropriately.
Comments (examples and suggestions):


2. Respect for Self and Others Developing Competent Exemplary
Communication (verbal and non-verbal): The student communicates in an appropriate manner, verbally and non- verbally. Verbal communication is appropriate: able to speak in turn without interrupting others, takes into consideration tone and volume, does not speak too quickly or unclearly, avoids use of profanity and slang, appropriate self-disclosure. Is considerate of non-verbal communication (e.g., posture, facial expressions, and other body language).
Communication (written): The student communicates in an appropriate manner in written communication. Written documentation is legible, with correct spelling and grammar, objective (fact-based), and uses appropriate terms and abbreviations. E-communication, such as text messages and emails, are written in a suitable manner, taking into consideration the relationship with the recipient. For example, informal “SMS language” such as common texting abbreviations are avoided when communicating with the instructor or practice education site personnel.
Nonjudgemental: The student demonstrates a nonjudgmental attitude in all settings: respecting diversity, differing opinions, and beliefs. Displays a positive approach to differences.
Caring: The student displays a caring attitude with clients/team in all settings. Actively listens, and is kind, respectful, gentle, thoughtful, considerate, compassionate, sincere, person-centred, concerned, team oriented.
Team player: The student demonstrates they are a positive team player. Contributes to the group, committed to team goals, shares the workload, participates in tasks, accountable for actions, takes a multi-disciplinary approach.
Comments (examples and suggestions):


3. Commitment Developing Competent Exemplary
Time management: The student manages their time effectively. Student is punctual, prepared, and efficient. Student can effectively prioritize and multitask and is dependable.
Adaptability: The student displays a positive attitude when adapting to changes such as shifts in team/group members or shifts in environment such as increased workload, changes in client assignment, and practising in diverse settings.
Stress management: The student manages their stress appropriately by demonstrating: awareness of and management of triggers (precipitating factors), able to accept when situations cannot be changed, utilizes and continues to develop individual coping skills, maintains professional boundaries effectively (leaves personal life at home), prioritizes appropriately.
Comments (examples and suggestions):


4. Competence Developing Competent Exemplary
Accountability: The student demonstrates accountability through appropriate application of skills and knowledge, staying informed of learning goals and requirements, asking questions and seeking guidance, recognizing client status, reporting issues and changes, and advocating for the client.
Continuous learning: The student demonstrates continuous learning by openly offering, receiving, and applying feedback; seeking out learning opportunities; attending available in-services and workshops; and focusing on personal and professional development.
Problem-solving: The student demonstrates problem-solving skills: uses critical thinking skills, follows policies and procedures, understands chain of command, maintains calm and competent presence in unforeseen situations/circumstances.
Comments (examples and suggestions):


Download Professional Behaviour Development Rubric [PDF].

  1. Note: The Registry would like to acknowledge the Continuing Care Assistant Program in Nova Scotia,, for developing the original version of this resource, which has been adapted for use in the B.C. Health Care Assistant Program. © Continuing Care Assistant Program. (2013). Professional Behaviour Development Rubric. Nova Scotia.
  2. © Continuing Care Assistant Program. (2013). Professional Behaviour Development Rubric. Nova Scotia.