Program delivery note

Program delivery note: Fanshawe will temporarily deliver this program as listed under "locations" to the right of your screen or in the "+ more details" menu on mobile.

Overview - 2021/2022

Fanshawe understands that you’re busy. That’s why, if you’re looking to fast track your career as a Personal Support Worker but need to complete the program on the weekends, we’ve created a weekend study option. In only 45 weeks of in-class and weekend sessions, you'll have the skills and knowledge needed to begin your career.

A career as a Personal Support Worker takes heart, compassion and a dedication to helping those most in need. It also takes a highly specialized set of dynamic technical and interpersonal skills. If you’re interested in a career that is personally satisfying, this program is for you.

You’ll begin the program by creating a strong foundation in the fundamentals of personal support. You’ll learn about health and wellness, the human body and how it functions, along with examining mental health issues and life transition theories. In addition to classroom instruction, you'll also complete placements in long-term care facilities as well as a community placement, where you'll get valuable experience providing care to clients. This means that you’ll begin your career with a highly developed set of experiences to draw on as you enter the workforce. This program also utilizes simulation learning. Learn more about our simulation labs.

When you graduate, you'll be ready to work with clients with clearly identified needs, helping to make them comfortable and keeping them safe. You’ll provide personal care for clients in retirement homes, long-term care facilities, hospitals and in the home.

Why is the Personal Support Worker program perfect for your busy schedule? Click here to learn about all the benefits of Fanshawe's Weekend College Programs.


Please note: the "St. Thomas" offering for this program is located in Aylmer, Ontario.


For admissions questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar Advising Centre at or 519-452-4277.



Admission Requirements - 2021/2022

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
Mature applicant with appropriate preparation

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Any Grade 12 English (C), (U), or (O)
  • Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U)
  • Grade 11 Health Care (C) OR Grade 12 Human Development Throughout the Lifespan (M)

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Knowledge of and interest in working with seniors and families
  • Development of personal responsibility and emotional maturity by participating in social organizations interested in helping people
  • Ability to co-operate with others in the delivery of health care
  • Ability to effectively communicate in conversational English in order to safely take directions from members of the health care team

Advanced Standing

  • Applicants currently employed as a Home Support Worker or Health Care Aide may be eligible for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) and receive credit for part of the course work.

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive. Please refer to for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate - Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers (HCP) in accordance with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Canadian Guidelines for CPR
  • Evidence of Good Health (including immunizations)
  • Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC), including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
  • Placement Agreement


Personal Support Worker-2021/2022

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
HLTH-1092Foundations of Personal Support2
In this course, the student is introduced to the role of the Ontario Personal Support Worker (PSW) and the scope of practice for the PSW within the health care system. Through class discussion, seminars, lectures, the student will explore confidentiality and privacy, client rights and boundaries, ethical issues, professional behavior, and legislation involving the health care system.
HLTH-1093Health & Wellness5
Students will be introduced to core concepts and skills: providing compassionate care to all; growth and development throughout the life span; food safety, meal planning and feeding; assisting with mobility, positioning, lifts and transfers; ensuring safety in both homes and institutions; personal hygiene and grooming; infection control; caring for mothers, infants, children and the elderly; abuse; and documentation. The individual's rights to safety, dignity, respect, privacy and confidentiality will be emphasized.
HLTH-1094Self & Others for PSW3
In this course, the student will examine self, personal beliefs and values as well as explore the concept of the helping relationship and interpersonal relationships with others. Knowledge, skills and attitudes for career and college success will also be developed.
HLTH-1095Human Body Structure & Function3
This course is designed to introduce the beginning personal support worker to the structure and basic function of the human body. Discussion will center on the normal and will include age related changes that occur across the lifespan. Medical terminology will be used throughout the course enabling the student to begin to develop a basic scientific vocabulary that will grow over time.
HLTH-1096PSW Laboratory Practice1
This course is designed to introduce the basic skills involved with activities of daily living (ADLs). When taken concurrently with Clinical Practice I, the student has opportunities to practice in both clinical and laboratory settings. Throughout this course, emphasis is placed on respecting the client's need for privacy, confidentiality, as well as for dignity, preferences, safety and respect.
HLTH-1098Life Transitions2
This course is focused on selected life transitions or passages from one way of living to another. These life transitions include illness, rehabilitation, admission to a long-term care setting, and death and dying. Supportive personal care for special needs children and individuals with developmental disabilities is also included. The role of the personal support worker in household management is explored. Health promotion, a value that upholds clients' and families' rights to make choices and have a sense of control about their health situation and lifestyle, is emphasized throughout the course.
HLTH-1099Ongoing Health Challenges2
In this course, students study how to care for clients with a variety of health challenges. The impact of specific chronic illnesses and / or disabilities throughout the lifespan is discussed, as well as ways PSWs can support individuals and their families with these chronic health challenges. In addition, assisting with medication administration is introduced. The individual's rights to safety, dignity, respect, privacy, and confidentiality are emphasized throughout this course.
HLTH-1100Mental Health & Cognitive Impairment2
In this course, students will be introduced to those illnesses referred to as, 'Mental Illness, Mental Health Disorders, Emotional Illness and Psychiatric Disorders,' with a special emphasis on Cognitive Disorders. Mental health disorders can affect all aspects of a person's life: the physical, emotional, spiritual, social and intellectual.This course will examine mental illness and cognitive impairment with an emphasis on appreciating the lived experience of the client, and what it means to the person who is living with a mental illness, and how to care for people experiencing mental disorders, cognitive impairment, or dementia.
HLTH-3047PSW Laboratory Practice 21
This lab practice course is designed to build on the skills learned in HLTH-1096 PSW Laboratory Practice. In this course, the student integrates learned theory and skills while participating in a hands-on learning environment within a simulated practice setting. This type of experiential and active learning simulates the reality of a clinical long-term care and community setting while providing a risk-free learning environment for students to demonstrate critical thinking and judgment skills without fear of harming the client.
HLTH-1252PSW Clinical Preparation2
This course prepares students for the PSW Clinical Professional Practice course in a risk-free learning environment by introducing them to concepts such as confidentiality, safety, organizational skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, advocacy, and communication. Through the use of simulations, standardized patients, classroom discussion, and hands-on lab practice, students will have an opportunity to learn how to use critical thinking and judgment skills without fear of harming an actual client.
HLTH-3054PSW Clinical Professional Practice6
This practical course enable students to apply all of the skills and concepts learned in the PSW Clinical Preparation course, the classroom and laboratory by providing care for residents in a long-term care setting. In this course, students are first introduced to the role and responsibilities of the PSW while providing basic care and appropriate communication to clients and the health care team, and through practice, they eventually are expected to synthesize learned knowledge and continue to provide safe, competent care for an increasing number of clients. During this course, students will be introduced to the afternoon/evening shift at their clinical agencies, in order to understand of the challenges that face clients throughout the day and evening periods. The student must satisfactorily display competence in all five domains in order to progress into the PSW Consolidation Professional Practice course.
HLTH-3055PSW Consolidation Professional Practice3.75
This consolidation practicum will enable the student to work both independently and as part of the team while enhancing their problem-solving and critical thinking within a PSW's scope of practice. The student will be expected to demonstrate all acquired skills in a consistent and competent manner as well as confidentiality, safety, organization, communication, and documentation while caring for a variety of clients in a long-term care setting during days, evenings and midnight shifts. Students must display reliability and accountability at all times throughout this course by following the policies, rules and regulations of both Fanshawe College and the host agency.
HLTH-3056PSW Prof Practice Community Setting6
This practicum course enables the student to work both independently and as part of the team in the care of individuals and families at various stages of the life cycle in a community setting, while refining their problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. The student, acting within the role of a PSW, will be expected to demonstrate all acquired skills in a consistent and competent manner as well as confidentiality, safety, organization, communication, and documentation while caring for a variety of clients. Students must display reliability and accountability at all times throughout this course, by following the policies, rules and regulations of both Fanshawe College and the host agency. Shift work may be expected during this practicum.
COMM-1133Professional Communications for PSW3
This course develops written and oral communication skills for students in the personal support worker field. Students demonstrate the ability to write multiple examples of workplace materials. The principles of effective writing - organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone - are reinforced throughout the course. The focus is on research writing, career development including building a portfolio, professionalism in the students' field, and communication strategies to deal effectively with different demographics. In preparing promotional materials to market themselves in the PSW field, researching and documenting current issues, and delivering short presentations to their peer groups, students gain skills in effective workplace communication.

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 11 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

Careers - 2021/2022

Career Opportunities

Graduates are employed in long term care facilities, retirement homes, hospitals, and community agencies.

More Information - 2021/2022

A One-Year Ontario College Certificate Program
A Weekend College Program

Program Code: PSW9
Campus Code: LCQ (LCQ - London-Weekend)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at

School of Nursing: 519-452-4220

Program Code: PSW9S
Campus Code: STQ (STQ - St. Thomas-Weekend)
January Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at

St. Thomas/Elgin Regional Campus: 519-633-2030

Program Description

Personal Support Worker is a three level program leading to an Ontario College Certificate.  Graduates, as entry-level unregulated workers, have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to provide personal care and home management services to clients in both community and institutional settings.

Personal Support Workers work with clients who are stable and who have clearly identified needs that are not expected to change significantly. They work under the supervision of care/service teams (which include nurses and other regulated or non-regulated care providers) as well as under the direction of the client.

Other Information

  • Students will attend classes on Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday, and may be required to complete online courses. All courses are equivalent to the full-time Weekday program.
  • For Weekday offering apply to: Personal Support Worker program, Program Code PSW6.
  • If you are currently on E.I. or have collected E.I. in the last three years, or maternity benefits in the last five years, you may qualify for financial assistance.
  • The PSW clinical courses are designed to allow the student to synthesize all learned theoretical and laboratory information gained throughout the PSW program and are designed to be taken sequentially. Due to their course design, no exceptions can be made to this order for any reason. As such, students must be aware of the following:

(a) All clinical practice experiences must be taken in sequence and the student must successfully complete all clinical courses in their correct order.
(b) If a student is unsatisfactory in the Clinical Professional Practice course, that student will not be allowed to progress to the next clinical practice experience. Similarly, if a student fails the Consolidation course, he or she cannot progress to the Community course.
(c) In order to progress to HLTH-3056 PSW Professional Practice in a Community Setting, students must first pass ALL theory, lab and clinical courses. This final course is designed to allow the student to synthesize all learned theoretical and clinical information  
(d) Students must be aware that this failure to progress to their next clinical course may have tuition funding implications and full-time students will be held responsible for that full term's tuition. Students who require further explanation are advised to seek clarification from the PSW Program Co-ordinator or from the Office of the Registrar. 

NOTE: Agencies will not accept students who have a criminal record. Students who are denied placement as a result of this screening may complete the academic components of the program, however, will not meet the requirements for graduation from the program.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

1. work within the personal support worker role in community, retirement homes, long-term care homes and/or hospital care settings* in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer’s job description, policies, procedures and guidelines.

2. act responsibly and be accountable for own actions while recognizing the boundaries of knowledge and skills within the personal support worker role that require collaboration with the clients, families, supervisors and/or other members of the interprofessional care/service team*.

3. participate as a member of the interprofessional care/service team* and maintain collaborative working relationships in the provision of supportive care* in community, retirement homes, long-term care homes and/or hospital care settings*.

4. provide client-centred* and client-directed* care that is based on ethical* principles, sensitive to diverse client and family values, beliefs and needs, and which follows the direction of the plan of care/service plan*.

5. establish and maintain helping relationships* with clients and their families reflecting open communication, professional* boundaries, employer’s policies and adhering to confidentiality and privacy legislation.

6. identify relevant client information using basic assessment and communication skills and report and document findings in accordance with the requirements of employer policies and procedures and all applicable legislation.

7. promote and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for clients, their families, self and others including the implementation of infection prevention and control measures and emergency first aid procedures that are in keeping with the plan of care/service plan*, employer policies and procedures, and all applicable legislation.

8. assist clients across the lifespan with routine activities of daily living* by applying basic knowledge of growth and development, common alterations in functioning, disease prevention, health promotion and maintenance, rehabilitation and restorative care*.

9. assist clients with medication* in keeping with the direction of the plan of care/service plan* and under the direction and monitoring of a regulated health professional* or most accountable person* and in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer’s policies.

10. assist with household management tasks* and instrumental activities of daily living* in accordance with the plan of care/service plan* and considering the preferences, comfort and safety of clients, families and significant others.

11. assist clients who are caring for dependent individuals* considering client and family choices, professional* boundaries and the direction of the plan of care/service plan*.

12. identify and report situations of neglect, and potential, alleged or witnessed/actual incidents of abuse, and respond in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer’s policies and procedures.

13. assist in the provision of culturally relevant* palliative and end-oflife care* to clients experiencing life threatening illness and to their families and significant others, from diagnosis through death and bereavement, and in accordance with clients’ choices and the plan of care/service plan*.

14. use identified approaches and best practices to support positive and safe behaviour in clients experiencing cognitive impairment, mental health challenges and/or responsive behaviours*.

Program Pathways

For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2021 September
London Campus Weekend
2022 January
St. Thomas - Weekend

International Students

Start Dates
2021 September
London Campus Weekend
Program Code
Academic School

Professor and Program Coordinator:

Alicia Davies, RN, MScN

Ontario College Certificate
45 weeks