March 23, 2023

A national standard means the care economy is a bit easier to navigate (SDGs 3 & 8)

Addressing labour shortages in the long-term care sector is about more than just recruiting workers. Educators, employers, and workers themselves all need tools to help reduce skills gaps, better understand job expectations, and improve consistency across the sector. The National Occupational Standard (NOS) for Personal Care Providers, released in November 2022, is a step in the right direction.

Front-line healthcare workers like PSWs, CCAs, and HCAs play a vital role in caring for our loved ones. Now, for the first time ever, the NOS compiles and documents the duties, competencies, and skills required of the occupation. It’s an example of our work collaborating with the country’s largest postsecondary network, their partners, and industry and community members. Over 600 stakeholders from across Canada contributed to finding solutions to Canada’s skills challenges.

National occupational standards (NOS) are inventories of the competencies and skills required for workers to perform proficiently in a particular job or occupation. That means job seekers can better plan their career paths, employers can focus on recruiting the right workers with the necessary skills, educators can create curriculum based on clear learning objectives, and workers, including those who were internationally trained, can have their skills and experience more easily assessed and recognized.

The NOS for personal care providers is a practical, voluntary guide and a first step towards reducing skills gaps, improving worker conditions, and ensuring our loved ones receive quality and consistent care.

What we’ve heard: “I believe this profile to be an excellent tool. Any staff member proficient in this tool would be a well-rounded and productive employee” (From a manager of personal care providers and health professionals working in long-term care in Alberta).

The national public review survey to validate this tool revealed that 89% of respondents find the NOS useful for practitioners, employers, educators and government, and 80% were satisfied the NOS accurately reflects the tasks expected of a personal care provider.

At the intersection of Good Health (SDG 3) and Decent Work & Economic Growth (SDG 8), the NOS plays an important role in our work to make progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contribute to positive change.

Download and share the National Occupational Standard for Personal Care Providers.

The NOS was developed as part of CICan’s Building Capacity in Long-term Care (BCLTC) project, which supports and strengthens the sector by mobilizing Canada’s colleges and institutes to address acute labour shortages and ensure the sector continues to grow sustainably.