Activity Assistant

Activity Assistant

  • Program Length 
    4 Months
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 

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

Do you love working with the elderly and creating happiness in their lives? 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. Students are introduced to activity as a part of life that influences, and is influenced by health, age, interests, values, and environment. Students will also learn to program activities for clients with cognitive impairment.

This part-time program is designed to provide post-basic training for individuals with previous Health Care Assistant (HCA) training and experience.

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

Graduates are prepared to work as an Activity Assistant within Island Health and other care facilities. Under the general supervision of an appropriate health care professional, and in cooperation with an interdisciplinary team, the Activity Assistant assists with the provision of activity and social programs for residents/clients, and provides personal care assistance for participants.

Program Content

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
  • Observational Practicum and 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 students may require part-time and/or full-time availability. Efforts will be made to hold practicum placements in your home community wherever possible.

The 2024 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 26th to March 22th, 2024. 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 1st to April 26th, 2024. 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. 

*Note that admission may be considered on a case-by-case basis for those that do not have the above certificates but do have related work experience. Please contact if you wish to see if you may be eligible.

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

Important Dates*



Applications Open 

February 1, 2023

Information Session 

June 22, 2023  6:30 - 8:30pm

Join via Zoom

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

Applications Close**

November 17, 2023

Proof of Admission Requirements - Document Deadline

December 1, 2023

Non-refundable $200 Tuition Deposit Due

Within 3 weeks of admission offer

Balance of Tuition Due

December 8, 2023

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 8, 2023

Program Start

January 11, 2024

Program End

April 26, 2024

* Dates are subject to change

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

Program Fees

All Tuition and Fees are subject to final approvals

  • Program Tuition: $2,820.02
  • 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 

How to Apply

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

Program Contact

Yan Li, Program Assistant
Professional Development & Training
Faculty of Health Sciences & Human Services

Useful Links