Introduction

The first Health Care Assistant Program Provincial Curriculum 2015 Supplement, released in August 2015, was produced to support the delivery and assessment of the required learning outcomes and course content set out in the Health Care Assistant Program Provincial Curriculum 2015. The third edition of the supplement was completed in November 2021 to ensure that materials and resources are current and reflective of educator and workforce needs. This edition, now called the Health Care Assistant Program Supplement to the Provincial Curriculum (2015), Third Edition, November 2021, (the Supplement) continues to be a supplement for the Health Care Assistant Program Provincial Curriculum 2015.

This third edition of the Supplement has been influenced by the changing health care context in British Columbia. In September 2020, the Premier released the B.C. Economic Recovery Plan announcing that thousands of new health care workers would be hired to help manage the response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure seniors get the quality care they need and deserve.[1] The Health Career Access Program was established to provide “a path for applicants with no health care experience to get hired and receive on-the-job training.”[2] The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training strategized on ways to introduce approximately 3,000 additional Health Care Assistants into the B.C. health care system. The Health Care Assistant Partnership Pathway (HCA-PP) project was born, enabling health authorities to hire Health Care Support Workers (HCSWs) to serve in a non-direct resident/patient/client care role in the long-term care or assisted living facilities where they were hired. Health authorities would partner with post-secondary institutions to enrol these HCSWs into HCA programs. The HCSWs would commit to attending an HCA program and their tuition and most educational expenses would be covered.

A Clinical Instruction Working Group of the HCA-PP project explored many strategies to help the project be successful. Considering the need to educate an additional 3,000 HCAs, there will also be a need to hire, orient, and support many new clinical instructors. Many of the strategies discussed by the Clinical Instruction Working Group involved augmenting current resources to support new and existing clinical instructors.

BCcampus was contracted in January 2021 to support the development of new resources as follows:

  • Update the resources in the Supplement.
  • Create a new section in the Supplement to include a new Clinical Instructor Orientation and Preceptor Orientation tools and resources.
  • Build new self-assessment video resources and add links to these videos in the Supplement.

The above work was initiated with the distribution of an HCA Resources Environmental Scan to all approved post-secondary institutions in B.C.:

  • Part 1 of the Environmental Scan examined the current state of resources, and recipients added newer and additional resources; 359 new resources were identified to be included in the third edition.
  • Part 2 of the Environmental Scan identified 19 topics that were prioritized for development of self-assessment videos.
  • Part 3 of the Environmental Scan explored the desire and willingness to support an HCA test bank. It was decided that the development of a test bank would not be pursued at this time.

The Environmental Scan was sent to 38 HCA programs in B.C. and 32 programs responded (84% response rate).

An Advisory Committee was established to oversee the project and three working groups were created:

  • The Creating Video Scenario Working Group developed scripts for the top five ranked video scenarios, and Selkirk College was contracted to develop these videos. Links to the five videos have been added to the Healing 3: Personal Care and Assistant course materials.
  • The Clinical Instructor and Preceptor Orientation Working Group prepared resources that are now housed in Section 4 of the Supplement.
  • The Test Bank Development Working Group examined whether to pursue test bank development and determined that this development work should be considered after the HCA curriculum is updated.

All amendments to the third edition are outlined in the Revisions Summary Table.

Note: The third edition has kept the many changes and additions that were made for the second edition, including the debate topics, research activities, role play/critical thinking activities, and case scenarios. The unfolding case study is still integrated throughout the third edition to emphasize concepts related to caring within each course, and resources are still formatted to support instructional delivery and student distribution. This edition also includes the standardized templates and sample evaluation tools that educators can adapt to support theory, lab, and clinical evaluation.

Using the Materials in the Supplement

Educational institutions delivering the Health Care Assistant Program may already have effective teaching and learning methodologies and assessment mechanisms in place. The resource material within the Supplement provides recommended activities, resources, and assessments and is not considered to be comprehensive. It should be noted that given the open licensing of the Supplement under Creative Commons, material within this document may be revised, remixed, and shared as long as attribution is given to the copyright holder, the Province of British Columbia; changes to the source material are noted and the adaptations are licensed with the same license. To streamline educator use, where student handouts are provided, attribution to the source has also been supplied.

 


  1. Government of British Columbia. (n.d.). Stronger B.C. for Everyone: B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, p. 17. https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/StrongerBC_BCs-Economic-Recovery-Report.pdf)
  2. Government of British Columbia. (n.d.) Work in the Health Care Sector. (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/economic-recovery/work-in-health-care).