The Backstory

It’s no secret that qualifying to become a health care aide can be challenging — especially for newcomers to Canada. CHAA has begun work to better understand the challenge points along various pathways, such as conventional classroom/college program delivery vs workplace tutor delivery. We're also speaking with learners and newly graduated HCAs to find out what might make their career journey smoother and simpler to navigate.

CHAA's initial research with employers suggests there are four critical points along the HCA journey that lead to the highest drop-off among learners: (1) High school English prerequisite; (2) Inadequate understanding of what HCA work is actually about; (3) Difficulties passing the final exam; and (4) Interrupted earnings during the education pathway.

Addressing barriers to success

Anecdotal evidence from operators suggests only 3.6 out of 10 aspiring HCA learners end up working in their field. Many of the challenges could be addressed through supportive workplace programming.

Next Steps

The sector for HCA education and clinical practicum is large and diverse, and there are many excellent initiatives already under way to streamline and support learners. CHAA is starting to speak with colleges, government, employers and of course learners. Our aim is to collaborate across the sector on workable solutions.