1 Year - 2 Semesters
Campus: Sault Ste. Marie
Start Dates: May 2021


Do you love to care for others? Your passion to help inspires us!

The 1-year Sault College Personal Support Worker (PSW) program teaches you the skills to provide personal care for the elderly, the chronically ill and persons with accessibility challenges across many different settings.

Learn how to successfully support and promote the physical, emotional and social well-being of clients in:

• Long-term care facilities
• Hospitals
• Private agencies
• Retirement homes
• Home care settings
• Boards of education (special needs children)
• Palliative care settings
• Senior citizen recreation centres
• Respite settings
• Group homes

Work with clients and families and start making a difference now!

As a student of the PSW program, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in field placements to further your skills, gain valuable experience and increase your confidence level as you enter the workforce.

You were meant to be a vital member of community healthcare. And you will find it here.

Requirements & Program Information

To enter the Personal Support Worker program, you`ll need to have Ontario Secondary School diploma with Grade 12 English (C) ENG4C or mature student status.

A mature student is someone who is 19 years of age or older by the first day of College and has not graduated from high school. If you have graduated from high school but haven`t been to school in a while, you`re an adult learner.

If you`re a mature student, you can still apply to College, and have two options: You can pay $25 to write the Canadian Academic Achievement Test (CAAT) for Math and/or English requirements only or you can take Academic Upgrading for free to get your high school equivalency for any of our college programs.

If you`re an adult learner that, is, have graduated from high school and have been out of school for a while, you still may want to consider free Academic Upgrading to re-fresh your skills before the start of the Personal Support Worker program. Upgrading programs start at the beginning of each month. Call 705-759-2554 ext., 2433 to learn more.

Clinical Field Place

Throughout the program, you will gain valuable experience in your practicum placements. You will be working with clients and families in a variety of settings and circumstances. Further, you will have many opportunities to make a positive difference in their lives.

To be able to attend these practicum experiences, you`ll need to complete the requirements listed below and bring in documents to support completion prior to starting your practicum placement. This is necessary to have in place before practicum starts as planning begins several weeks in advance. Having your requirements completed ensures that you are able to gain the experience needed to meet the course outcomes successfully.

  1. Standard 1st Aid Certificate (current within 3 years) – no online courses permitted
  2. CPR (Health Care Provider or Basic Life Support Level) Certificate (yearly recertification required) – no online courses permitted
  3. WHMIS Certificate (current within one year)
  4. N95 Mask Fit Testing Card (renew every 2 years). Successful mask fit testing requires a clean shaven face (minimal facial hair) to administer the test.
  5. Immunization & Health Record
  • A complete College Health Form along with official immunization documentation must be submitted to the College Health Centre. Contact your health care provider, medical clinic or in Sault Ste. Marie and District, Algoma Public Health if you need to update your immunization record.

Documentation of the following is required:

  • proof of a 2-step Mantoux test for tuberculosis. For a known positive test, you must be assessed by a physician and receive medical documentation to have access to placement (a chest x-ray is required). If a 2-step was completed over a year ago; a 1 step TB test is required.
  • proof of measles, mumps and rubella immunization
  • proof of tetanus/diphtheria immunization
  • proof of chicken pox immunization
  • Influenza immunization each October/November of the program. The flu vaccine is not mandatory however in the event that a student refuses the vaccine, the student must follow placement agency policies. This may mean removal from clinical placement for the duration of an influenza outbreak. Students can contact their coordinator if they have any questions.
  • NOTE: Hepatitis B vaccination is not mandatory but strongly recommended.

Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC) – Level 3 Criminal Record Check

  • This document is mandatory for agencies to grant access to vulnerable persons. You will be given detailed information about obtaining a current Criminal Record Check during the first month of classes or when clinical placements are confirmed. (Note: If a criminal record exists or charges are pending, you are required to disclose this information to the Chair of the Health Programs before the start of your program.)
  • The Police Vulnerable Sector Check is a yearly requirement that must be updated annually.

All costs associated with these requirements are the responsibility of the student.

You will also sign a Statement of Confidentiality Form.

Notice to International Students:

  • The necessary immunizations for your program can be obtained from your home country and you will need to submit those immunization records along with the College Health Form to the Sault College Health Centre.
  • All other requirements (Standard First Aid, CPR, WHMIS, N95 Mask Fit, Criminal Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Search) must be obtained and completed after your arrival in Ontario.
  • As per Canadian Immigration policy, all International students completing a program with a practicum (field/clinical placement) component must obtain a Coop/Work Permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada stating that they are permitted to attend practicum as an integral part of their studies. International students will not be able to attend placement without submitting this permit for verification.

For further information regarding clinical and field placement requirements for this program, please contact Lori Zuccato by email: lori.zuccato@saultcollege.ca.

Career Path

The staff and faculty are committed to providing an academic environment that will help you achieve personal and professional success. When you have completed the Personal Support Program here at Sault College you will be able to work in various settings such as long-term care facilities, hospitals, community agencies, and various other settings offering opportunities to work with various age groups.

Dress code

The public we serve and the institutions with which we share contractual agreements expect a neat and well-groomed appearance of the Personal Support Worker student. A professional image communicates respect, caring and inspires confidence and trust with our clients and others.

It is expected that Sault College Personal Support Worker students will follow a dress code when in labs/clinical placements and also adhere to the policies of the agencies they will be placed in.

Fees & Costs

Domestic International
Tuition Ancillary Tuition Ancillary
$2,716.50 $1,117.00 $15,180.80 $1,577.00

These fees are estimates for the 2021-2022 academic year (year 1 of study), for planning purposes only, and are subject to change. Approved fees are expected to be posted in April 2021.


The Personal Support Worker program gives you a strong foundation for going on in the health care field of study if you would like to further your education.

After graduating successfully from the program, you can work part-time on week-ends and evenings as a Personal Support Worker at a competitive wage to help pay with your education while going on in school.

To go on to become a Practical Nurse after graduating from the Personal Support Worker program, you will still need two additional courses: Grade 12 Chemistry (C) SCH4C and Grade 11 Foundations for College Math (C) MBF3C to enter the Practical Nursing program.

Both of these are offered through our free Academic Upgrading program and can be done simultaneously if you choose while taking the Personal Support Program. Call 705.759.2554, ext. 2433 to learn more about taking these courses.

If you successfully complete both PSW108 and PSW118 while studying in the Personal Support Worker program, those will be accepted for Grade 11 Biology (C) SBI3C, which is required for the Practical Nursing program. You will also be exempted from the Medical Terminology portion of Practical Nursing if you have completed Medical Terminology in the Personal Support Worker or within the Continuing Education Program.

For more information about continuing on in your studies in health care, please call Lori Bertrand, Program Coordinator for PSW at 705.759.2554, ext. 2640 or by email at lori.bertrand@saultcollege.ca.

September and January intakes are available for this program. Please contact the Registrar`s Office for further information.

All Students will be required to have access to a personal computer (Laptop/Notebook) with a minimal 4GB of RAM that accepts a minimal Windows 7 software program to be used for remote learning (eg. on-line class attendance), assignments, and in-class  or on-line evaluation.  Students may also be required to download and use Sault College software through the LMS for use during on-line testing.

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