Colleges and Institutes Canada to lead the development of a national occupational standard for personal care providers

Ottawa, September 1, 2021 –  The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial role front-line health-care workers play in caring for Canadians. At the same time, it has exacerbated and exposed several challenges in the personal care sector, including labour shortages and skills gaps. To address these challenges, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) will be leading the development of a national occupational standard (NOS) for personal care providers (also called personal support workers, health care aides, and other titles).

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program, and part of CICan’s Building Capacity in Long-term Care project, the NOS will provide a comprehensive definition of what it means to work as a personal care provider and identify the skills, knowledge, and abilities required to succeed in the role. The standard will help employers, job seekers, workers, students, and educators make informed decisions about hiring, skills training, and career choices.

The NOS will also include statements of effective performance which have been agreed to by key stakeholders. It will provide the basis for national consistency and help ensure every individual receiving support from these roles can count on a high level of care.

To create the standard, CICan is working with its members, personal care providers, employers, provinces and territories, educators, workers’ organizations, and sector representatives.

CICan is actively seeking additional stakeholders to help shape the new national occupational standard by responding to two surveys. Interested individuals can complete a contact form and will receive the first survey by email in mid-September.

The National Occupational Standard for Personal Care Providers will be completed by the spring of 2022.



“CICan is proud of the leadership role colleges and institutes are playing in the creation of a national occupational standard for the personal care provider role. The standard will help strengthen the health-care sector and be a leap forward for this important profession. It will mean job seekers and workers can better plan and prepare for a career path, employers can focus on recruiting the right workers with the necessary skills, and educators can create a curriculum based on clear training requirements. Most importantly, a national benchmark will help reduce skills gaps by identifying the workplace competencies required for the role, ultimately leading to better and more consistent care for our loved ones.”

Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada


About Colleges and Institutes Canada

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.


For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Phone: 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter: @CollegeCan