Activity Assistant

Activity Assistant

  • Program Length 
    4 Months
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 
    Nanaimo, Online

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4 Month Part-time Certificate Program (Blended Online and Face-to-Face)

This part-time program is designed to provide post-basic training for individuals with previous Health Care Assistant (HCA) or Education Assistant and Community Support Worker training and experience. Graduates will be prepared to work as Activity Assistants in a variety of settings.

Members of the HEU, as defined by their criteria, may be eligible for funding towards the cost of the program tuition, through the FBA Education Fund.

Career Opportunities

The Activity Assistant Program provides students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary to plan and implement individual and group activities for older adults in intermediate and extended care facilities and community settings. The graduate is prepared to function under the direction of an appropriate health care professional and to work collaboratively with other team members, families and volunteers.

Program Content

Building on the HCA Program, students will explore the theory and skills necessary to work as an Activity Assistant. Students are introduced to activity as a part of life that influences, and is influenced by, health, age, interests, values, and environment.

The program consists of classroom instruction and practicum experience. Topics include:

  • Framework for the Activity Assistant role
  • Activity for well-being
  • Programming ideas for clients with cognitive impairment
  • Practicum

Course Delivery

Courses are offered on a part-time basis. The theory components are typically scheduled on a weeknight and Saturdays. The observational practicum (40 hours) and full practicum (90 hours) are scheduled to reflect the requirements of the practicum site and student may require part-time and/or full-time availability. Efforts will be made to hold practicum placements in your home community wherever possible.

The 2023 theory courses will be held online on Thursday evenings and face-to-face at the Nanaimo Campus on Saturdays. All students must have access to a desktop or laptop computer with a working camera, audio and Internet service in order to complete this program.

All practicums will be face-to-face at a selected site. The 40 hour Observational Practicum will be held between February 27th to March 24th, 2023. Please ensure that you are available to attend 40 hours of observational practicum over this time frame.  The 90 hour Full Practicum will be held between April 3rd to April 28th, 2023. Please ensure that you are available to attend 90 hours of practicum over this time frame. If you are employed during the program, it may be necessary that you take time off work to meet the required practicum hours.

Admission Requirements

  • Current Health Care Assistant/Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HCA/HS/ RCA) Program Certificate from an approved post-secondary institution, or equivalent standing through prior learning assessment.
  • Proof of employment as an HCA/HS/RCA within the last 4 years
  • Physically able to perform the role. 

Other Program Requirements

Proof of successful completion of the following is required in order to participate in the practicum.  Once you have been accepted to the program, it is strongly recommended that you have these required documents completed before the program start date.  Please email this documentation to on the first day of class. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they have the correct credentials and meet all of these requirements prior to the deadlines outlined in their acceptance letters. 

  • Criminal Record Check
    • Fieldwork and/or practica will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. Further information on obtaining your CRC through VIU will only be sent if you are accepted to the program, and will be sent with your acceptance letter from the Registrar's Office. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the Ministry according to the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through the RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act.
  • Immunization Requirements Form with a recent TB skin test report within 12 months of entering the program are required. (If the TB skin test is positive, a negative chest x-ray is required.) Please note that some immunizations are given in a series and may take several months to complete.
  • CPR Level "C" Certificate (Please note:  Occupational First Aid and Emergency First Aid are not acceptable alternatives.)
  • Foodsafe Level 1 Certificate
  • HSPnet Student Consent Form
  • Island Health Confidentiality Acknowledgement Form

2023 Important Dates*



Applications Open 

April 1, 2022

Information Session 

June 28, 2022. See below for Zoom link.

Please contact us at with any specific questions, and we will be happy to respond.

Applications Close**

November 15, 2022

Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline

November 30, 2022

Non-refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due

Within 3 weeks of admission offer

Balance of Tuition Due

December 9, 2022

Last Day to Withdraw (no refunds will be issued after this date). NOTE: Professional Development and Training refund deadlines are earlier than standard academic program deadlines. 

December 9, 2022

Program Start

January 12, 2023

Program End

April 28, 2023

* Dates are subject to change

** Late applications may be accepted if there is still room in the program 

2022-2023 Program Fees

All Tuition and Fees are subject to final approvals

  • Program Tuition: $2,764.73
  • Application Fee:  $43.40
  • Student Union Fees: $120 (approx.)
  • Student Activity Fees: $225 (approx.)
  • Graduation Fee: $56.28
  • Criminal Record Check Fee: $44.70
  • Textbooks:  $250.00 (approx.)

Bursaries are available each academic year for HEU members and eligible family members. For further information, see HEU Bursaries 

Useful Links

Program Contact

Yan Li, Program Assistant
Professional Development & Training (Health & Human Services)

How to Apply

Apply Online or use a paper application for admission.  An application fee is required.

Information Session

Attend an information session via Zoom on June 28, 2022, at 6:30 pm. Details below:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:
Password: 625467
Meeting ID: 667 6434 0403

Or join by telephone:
Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        Canada: +1 778 907 2071  or +1 204 272 7920  or +1 438 809 7799  or +1 587 328 1099  or +1 647 374 4685  or +1 647 558 0588

    Password: 625467

International numbers available: