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Personal Support Worker

Personal Support Worker

Personal Support Worker

Personal hygiene, preparing meals and taking essential medication are elements of daily life that most people take for granted, but there are many individuals who are unable to perform these tasks independently. The personal support worker (PSW) is the front-line care provider whose responsibilities focus on the provision of personal care and support that include activities of daily living with client populations across all institutional, community care and service settings. They provide compassionate, client-centred care to enhance quality of everyday life.

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Program Description

Personal support workers are valued members of the health-care team. As a graduate, you will have the skills required to provide assistance with daily living activities including:

  • Assistance with medications
  • Household and family management
  • Nutrition
  • Mobility and ambulation
  • Palliative and restorative activities
  • Personal care and hygiene
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Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 11 or 12 biology or biology upgrade (C, M or U) (recommended)
  • Keyboarding/basic computer skills (recommended)


  • Students who begin classes in September will complete Semester 1 in the fall and Semester 2 in the winter/spring semester
  • Students who begin classes in January will complete Semester 1 from January to April and Semester 2 from May to August.
  • Students who begin classes in May will complete Semester 1 from May to August and Semester 2 from September until the end of December

Pre-placement requirements

To be eligible for the field placement component of this program you must (at your expense) provide:

  • A clear and current Criminal Reference Check (CRC) with Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). If you cannot provide a clear CRC with VSS, you may not be accepted for placement by a field placement agency. CRCs with VSS must be obtained from your local police station. You may be required to obtain additional CRCs with VSS to meet field placement agency requirements
  • Current Level C CPR from a recognized provider
  • Current Emergency First Aid Certification from a recognized provider
  • Entry immunization form completed by a health-care provider

Please note: CPR Level C and Emergency First Aid training will take place during the first semester of the Personal Support Worker program at Durham College at no additional cost to student The session will be booked for you on campus and additional details will be provided during the semester.

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Career Options


  • Personal support worker


  • Community service agencies
  • Group homes
  • Home care agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Retirement homes
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Program Costs

YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational
Compulsory Ancillary


Program Incidental$220$200
Total Fees:$4,211$14,383

Please note: fees are based on the 2016-2017 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Part of your training includes the opportunity to practice what you learn through supervised placements in institutional and community settings. Practicum experiences take place throughout Durham Region and you are responsible for your transportation to and from your practicum agency.

Your practicum will enable you to:

  • Become job ready
  • Be sought out by local employers
  • Provide care for clients in health-care facilities under the direction and supervision of experienced faculty
  • Learn in a state-of-the-art simulation lab and health care learning centre
  • Obtain recognized certificates including Palliative Care, St. Peter’s Feeding and GPA training
  • Experience small group instruction in practicum and laboratory settings
  • Write a comprehensive exam
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Opportunities For Degree Completion Or Additional Credentials

Graduates may also be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study through Durham College’s partnerships with many Canadian and international colleges and universities.

Please visit the Transfer Guide for more information.

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  • code: PSWK
  • Program length: Two semesters
  • Credential awarded: Ontario College Certificate
  • Location: Oshawa
  • School: School of Health & Community Services (HCS)
  • Domestic tuition: $2,851 (CDN)
  • Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: May 2017
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2017
    • Program intake status is Open Open: January 2018
    • Program intake status is Open Open: May 2018
  • International Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: May 2017
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2017
    • Program intake status is Closed Closed: January 2018
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