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Public Review – National Occupational Standard (NOS) for Personal Care Providers (PSWs, HCAs, CCAs, RCWs, etc.)

The public review of the national occupational standard for personal care providers* will take place from July 21, 2022 to September 8, 2022.

About the project

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has worked with its members, provinces and territories, employers, workers, and other stakeholders to create a draft of a national occupational standard for personal care providers (PSWs, HCAs, CCAs, RCWs, etc.).

An occupational standard results from a job task analysis of a specific occupation. It is an inventory of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes required for workers to perform proficiently in the role. Following its review and validation from industry stakeholders, it will provide voluntary guidelines to help employers, educators, and job seekers make informed decisions about hiring, skills training, and career choices.

This is the first time that an occupational standard has been created at the national level for this occupation.

Benefits of a national occupational standard

Other sectors and occupations have benefitted from the creation of a national occupational standard. Some advantages include:

  • Employees and job seekers are better able to plan and prepare for a career path
  • Employers can focus on recruiting the right workers with the right skills
  • Educators can create curriculum based on clear, consistent training requirements

This document also highlights the crucial role these front-line healthcare workers play in caring for people in Canada by naming the tasks, competencies, and skills required of the occupation.

What has been done so far?

The draft occupational standard was first created by a national working group in consultation with an advisory committee of sector stakeholders. Revisions were made based on important feedback received from focus groups held across all provinces and territories as well as through a national survey. In total, over 500 individuals contributed to its development including personal care providers, educators, employers, government and public health officials, and other healthcare professionals.

What kind of feedback are we requesting?

We are inviting everyone who has a connection or interest in this work to review the NOS. This includes personal care providers, their clients, family members of clients, other healthcare professionals, public health officials, educators, managers, supervisors, and employers in the long-term care, home care, and community services sector.

You will have the opportunity to provide general or specific feedback on the draft. Reviewing the national occupational standard and answering the short survey should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

What are the next steps?

Following this public review, the national working group and CICan will review the comments and make any necessary revisions before the document is submitted to the federal government later this year.

Click on the link below to review the draft and provide your feedback.

Provide Feedback

Thank you for your help shaping this important document. We are committed to ensuring the occupational standard is accurate and representative on a national level and encourage you to share this page with your colleagues and network.

For more information, questions, or concerns regarding the national occupational standard, please contact Audrey O’Brien, Senior Program Officer, at

This work is funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program and is part of CICan’s Building Capacity in Long-term Care project.

* Important note: Personal care provider is a generic term used to describe a worker, often unregulated, who provides direct personal care and defined support services in a variety of settings. Several occupational titles include personal support worker, health care aide, health care assistant, continuing care assistant, home support worker/personal care attendant, home and continuing care worker, residential care worker, and home care assistants. It is not our objective to propose this term as a national title.