Continuing Care Assistant program
Continuing Care Assistant program

Learn. Qualify. Immigrate.

Program Overview

Graduates of the Continuing Care Assistant program provide care services to people in need support in their daily activities, enrich their quality of life for people of all ages, but often elderly clients.

Caregivers are members of a collaborative care team and contribute to the provision of high-quality, safe, compassionate, and efficient care to meet the needs of clients and families. Caregiving is a client-focused job, where you work directly with clients in long-term care, providing home care, in hospitals or with assisted living.

Entry Requirements
What you need to know

Internship

Get a guaranteed work placement when you study with us. 

We know how difficult it can be to find the right position, so we’ll use our established contacts in high-quality care institutions to find you a work placement as a CCA in Halifax. It’s an amazing chance to put into practice what you learn while you study! 

What will you learn?

CCA program is designed to provide graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to deliver appropriate, timely, and respectful person-focused care to individuals. Our program offers a unique, blended approach to training that combines technical, employability, and other essential skills.

Placements may occur in a variety of employment settings, including:
Home Care, Nursing Homes/Homes for the Aged, Acute Care Facilities, and other approved care settings that employ CCAs.

May consist of these scheduled placements:

Home Support
Nursing Homes / Homes for the Aged
Open Mentorship

Modules included in the program

This module introduces the learner to the Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) program and the health care sector by providing an overview of the Program, and an understanding of the Program’s role within the Nova Scotia health care sector. It also introduces the learner to the framework governing the delivery of care and the various types of health care services and service providers in Nova Scotia.

This module also introduces learner to the role of the CCA and the CCA’s general responsibilities as an integral provider of care and member of the health care team. Learning outcomes include the social philosophy of care; CCA Scope of Practice; professional responsibilities and the professional qualities and behaviours expected of a CCA.

This module will introduce the learner to effective interpersonal communication practices for CCAs. The learner will become familiar with different types of professional relationships and the appropriate forms of interpersonal communication that occur in care settings. The learner will assess his/her strengths and areas for improvement in interpersonal communications generally. The learner also will understand and practice communication strategies and approaches that will strengthen his/her ability to deal with the varied situations s/he might encounter as a CCA.

This module will provide an introduction to the various forms of written communication required of CCAs in care settings and how CCAs can approach care-related written communication appropriately and effectively. The learner will recognize the importance of documentation in the coordination and monitoring of care and will overview various forms of documentation. The learner also will develop his or her written communication and documentation skills. Additionally, the learner will be introduced to the appropriate uses of technology by CCAs both inside and outside care settings.

In this module, the learner will gain an understanding of his/her role as a CCA in providing a safe and secure environment. S/he will become familiar with strategies, rules, regulations and protocols that will help him/her to minimize workplace risk. There is an emphasis on infection control.

This module introduces the principles of body movement and safety, to be followed during the performance of all direct and indirect assistance activities. Learner will learn how to position and transfer individuals by using person specific assessments and safe application of positioning and transfer strategies.

This module is designed to enable the learner to develop the skills required for the basic safety and cleanliness of the person’s care setting, according to the scope of employment policies. It prepares the learner to organize and complete daily care setting management tasks, set priorities and develop time management skills.

In this module learners will acquire the knowledge related to the principles of growth and development and how to apply them in order to meet the person’s needs. Topics include: physical, emotional and social development across the life span

This module will enable the learner to acquire a basic knowledge of the normal structure and function of the body. It provides an introduction to common health issues and the implications for care.

In this course learners will attain the skills and knowledge related to the provision of personal care. Using a person-centered philosophy of care approach. Learners will acquire the competencies required to implement respectful, safe and effective personal care, to individuals across the life cycle.

In this module learners will be introduced to nutrition and the role of the CCA in meeting the dietary needs of individuals of all ages. Learners will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to plan, serve and prepare basic meals.

This module is designed to prepare the learner to recognize and support individuals who are experiencing mental health issues as well as various types of abuse and neglect. It explores strategies to maintain mental health and social well–being.

This module allows the learner to cultivate an awareness of medications and the role of the CCA in supporting the needs of the person. The module introduces commonly used medications as well as some basic principles of pharmacology. Learner will acquire the skills to competently apply medicated topical creams, ointments and drops.

Employment & Career
Highlights

$39,000-$40,000

average yearly salary

in Halifax as a caregiver

1,590

caregiver vacancies

due to growth and retirements,
2021-2023

$57,000,000

investment

was made in 2021 into long-term
care to add more staff and open more beds by Nova Scotia

What’s on the horizon: Before you apply for the Continuing Care Assistant program

The Continuing Care Assistant program allows international students to qualify for work as a caregiver in Nova Scotia. 

Applicants may have had previous experience providing care to seniors in their home country, possibly professionally, or perhaps caring for a relative. So, many applicants will already know that this work can be both physically and emotionally demanding and requires dedication to those in their care. To meet Government eligibility requirements, applicants are likely to be between 21 and 53 years of age. 

The program requires both academic study and practical vocational training. Applicants will need a High School diploma, or their home country’s equivalent; a licence that allows them to drive a vehicle in Canada; a good level of English language; and they will need to show that they have basic computer skills to enable them to keep records about seniors in their care. It’s likely that successful applicants will have already had some experience of international travel before they apply for the program. 

If you aren’t sure that your background is right for the program, we’d encourage you to talk to us before you make your application. By making an application, we can look at your individual circumstances and give you a definite answer. 

Program fees for our 40-week Continuing Care Assistant program are currently $20,000 (Canadian Dollars). These program fees contribute to the cost of your academic learning, upkeep of the college as well as the pastoral and employment support that you will receive as a student.  

We understand that you might need reassurance before investing such a considerable sum of money into your career as a caregiver. It’s worth remembering that a limited number of students pay no tuition fees at all if they receive a scholarship. 

We’ll check to see if we can award you a scholarship after you have paid your Application Fee and passed your admissions interview. If you have been awarded a scholarship, you won’t need to pay any tuition fees before you enroll on the program (T&Cs apply)

Salaries in Nova Scotia for caregivers are extremely good. Latest surveys show that on average, caregivers are paid somewhere between $39,000-$40,000 (Canadian Dollars) every year. This means that you should be able to comfortably support yourself and your family once you start work, as well as recover the cost of any investment in program fees very quickly. 

We are so confident that you will find suitable work when you graduate that we can go over and above what other colleges are prepared to offer. We call this our ‘no job, no fees’ guarantee. Once you are able to work in Nova Scotia, we’ll help you to get job offers, and if you don’t get opportunities to work as a caregiver, we’ll refund your $20,000 (Canadian Dollars) program fees in full.  

Ask us more about these costs and our guarantee right now to put your mind at rest.

Halifax is a vibrant and growing city with a variety of accommodation options.   

With a large number of students, there's a great choice of accommodation in Halifax designed to fit the unique needs of students. But the large student population also means that the best accommodation can get booked fast. So it's important to start looking at least two months in advance of a program start date.

Many students choose the college’s homestay program. This offers a room with a hosting family and meals. At just $900 (Canadian Dollars) a month, this is a great solution for students who are traveling to Canada by themselves, rather than bringing their family with them.

Students wanting their own space, or who are bringing a family with them, could look at furnished and unfurnished rental apartments, available at a range of prices. Typically, they might rent privately from well-known names such as Air B&B (Airbnb.ca) or Kijiji (kijiji.ca). They may also consider furnished and serviced apartments from a provider like Premier Suites Halifax (premiersuites.com).  Other rental companies worth looking at might include:-  

Killam Apartments 

www.killamreit.com 

Metcap apartments 

www.metcap.com 

Southwest apartments 

https://apartments.southwest.ca/ 

Westwood Apartments 

www.westwoodgroup.ca 

Universal Realty Group 

www.universalgroup.ca 

Northpoint Properties 

www.rentinhalifax.com 

Templeton Properties 

www.templetonproperties.ca 

 

Some hotel chains like Marriott (Marriott.com) even offer long term accommodation, but this can be a costly choice. 

Getting your visa sorted is an important part of your journey to Halifax. 

The Canadian Government set the rules for visa applications, acceptance, and costs. Because you’ll need to be in Canada at the start of your program, you should apply for a visa to study as soon as you can. Your family will probably need tourist visas if they want to travel to Canada with you. 

Your visa determines when you can enter the country, how long you can stay after you graduate and how many hours you can work while you are in Canada. To support your visa application, we will issue you a formal letter of admission showing that you intend to join our program as a Continuing Care Assistant in Nova Scotia. East Coast International College is recognised as a Designated Learning Institute (DLI), and you may need to quote our DLI number of O267638647882 on your visa application. 

You should consult a qualified Canadian immigration consultant if you are not clear about what you must do when you apply for a visa. We ask all our scholarship students to attend an immigration interview so that they have the best advice before they make a visa application. We recommend you use the Canadian Government’s Student Direct Scheme if you can, since this can produce faster and better results than other application options.  

International students in Canada need a permit to enroll in a program. 

You’ll need to have two permits for the Continuing Care Assistant program at East Coast International College. A Study permit covers your academic learning, and you’ll also need a Co-op Work permit so that you can take part in the regular work placements that are embedded into your program. These permits are in addition to any travel visa that you may have applied for to enter Canada. 

You must apply for your Study permit and your Co-op Work permit using your letter of admission before you leave your home country. Because you need to have both permits before your program starts, make sure that you are issued with both a Study permit and a Co-op Work permit when you enter Canada at the border. East Coast International College is recognised as a Designated Learning Institute (DLI), and you should quote our DLI number of O267638647882 when you apply for a permit. 

We know that at $20,000 (Canadian Dollars), the program fees for the Continuing Care Assistant program are a considerable investment in your future. 

We’re pleased to be able to offer a limited number of tuition fee scholarships to qualifying students on a first-come, first-served basis. A scholarship could really help those students who would otherwise struggle to afford the costs of their study. We’re able to offer scholarships with the support of the Nova Scotia Provincial Government for selected program start dates. 

We’ll check to see if we can award you a scholarship after you have paid your Application Fee and passed your admissions interview. If you have been awarded a scholarship, you won’t need to pay any tuition fees before you enroll on the program (T&Cs apply). If a scholarship is unfortunately not made available to you, we’ll ask you to make a first deposit payment against your program fees at this stage. 

Please remember that you’ll need to have additional finances to support your study when you apply for your visa. Although a scholarship can cover tuition fees, you must still show that you can afford your living expenses, travel costs and accommodation while you are in Canada as a student on the program. 

Your journey to Halifax: Making your application for the Continuing Care Assistant program

Our Continuing Care Assistant program gives graduates the knowledge, practical skills, and professional qualification to equip themselves for life as a caregiver in Nova Scotia. 

We’ll ask you to formally apply for this 40-week program once you have decided it’s right for you. We’re interested in what experience you may have already had as a caregiver, your academic qualifications, your language skills and – very importantly – why you want to study and work as a Continuing Care Assistant. So, it’s best if you can show us all the documents that we ask for when you make your application. 

If you aren’t sure that you can meet the requirements of the program, we’d recommend that you make an application and find out. However, successful applicants are likely to have experience as a caregiver already, must be able to study and work in Canada, will be at least 21 years of age, and should intend to work as a caregiver once they graduate in Nova Scotia. 

Well done. You’ve taken your first step towards a bright new future as a Continuing Care Assistant in Canada.  

We’ll now look through your application and any supporting documents. We know that you are keen to hear back from us, so we’ll do this as quickly as we can. We need to make sure that we only make conditional offers to the right applicants because we want every student who starts to get the best from their program. 

We aim to let you know if you have been successful within seven days of receiving your application. 

Read your conditional offer letter carefully - and keep it safe! You’ll see what you need to do to start your program in Halifax. Please remember that it is your responsibility to meet any requirements or conditions shown in your conditional offer letter. 

We’ve tried to be clear about the start date that we’ve offered to you, what fees you need to pay, and any additional conditions that you need to meet before you enrol. But if we haven’t been clear enough, or you don’t think that you’ll be able to meet the deadlines, get in touch with us. We’ll always try to help. 

We now need you to pay your $1,000 (Canadian Dollars) Application Fee. Make sure that you are prepared to meet all the requirements shown in your conditional offer letter before you pay your Application Fee. In some cases we may be able to refund part, but not all, of this Application Fee.

After you have paid your Application Fee, you’ll need to book an interview with one of the admissions team as soon as you can. This is so that we can make sure that you are suitable to start the program – and it’s a great chance to ask any questions that you might have, and to find out what it’s like to study and work in Canada. Your conditional offer letter will show you how to book this interview. 

Congratulations - you’ve now met one of the major requirements shown on your conditional offer letter! Only those applicants who are a good fit for the Continuing Care Assistant program pass their admissions interview. You can be proud that you are one of these successful applicants and look forward to starting your program. 

We may also ask you to make a $10,000 (Canadian Dollars) Deposit against your program fees by a specific date, but if you qualify for a suitable scholarship, we will not ask you to pay a Deposit. This Deposit is to secure your place in the Continuing Care Assistant program. We will deduct the value of any Deposit you pay against the total cost of your program fees. 

You are there now. Your letter of admission confirms that we will sponsor you as a student for the Continuing Care Assistant program in Nova Scotia.  

Now it’s time to organise your study visa. You’ll need to send a copy of your letter of admission when you make your visa application, and the Government will ask you to pay an application fee.  

Don’t wait to make your visa application – do it as soon as possible - and use the Student Direct Stream if you can to make your application. Government processing times can vary, and you cannot enter Canada until you have been granted a study visa. If you apply too late, you could miss the start of your program, and if that happens, you will need to make another visa application.  

We have no influence over the visa process, application costs or even if a visa is granted. These are all managed by the visa authorities in the Government. It’s important that you show the Government that you are intending to come into Canada to study, that you have enough money to support yourself, and that you could return to your home country when you graduate if asked to do so. 

We’re able to give a limited number of selected applicants a scholarship for their tuition fees.  

If you receive a scholarship letter from us, you’ll see the value of the scholarship, and any specific conditions that we may attach to our offer. As our scholarship funds are limited, we offer them on a first come, first served basis for a specific program start date. This could mean that if you were to miss the start of your program for any reason, we might not be able to offer you another scholarship on a later program. 

We ask all our scholarship students to attend an interview with an independent immigration consultant and to make their visa application using the Student Direct Stream where they can. The immigration consultant will be able to answer your questions about making your visa application and the opportunities to work and settle afterwards in Canada. Although you will need to pay a small fee for this interview, we believe that this gives you the best chance of having a study visa issued as the immigration consultant can give you advice about the different visa application routes that are available. 

Please remember that although the scholarship may cover some – or all – of the cost of tuition fees, you must fund your own living expenses, accommodation, and travel costs for the time of your stay in Canada. You’ll need to prove you have planned for this when you make an application for a study visa, and this is a separate amount over and above any tuition fee scholarship. 

At last! You are now ready to come into Canada and start your program. 

Read your documents carefully because they will say when you are able to travel. Do not travel before this date, because you may be turned back at the border, and this could affect your ability to enter Canada later.  

It’s important that you arrive in time for the start of your program. With such an intensive program, we do not allow students to start late. Late starters would miss valuable learning and experience and not get the best from their time on the Continuing Care Assistant program. If you think that you will not be in Canada in time for the start of your program, let us know immediately. 

Enjoying a bright new future: Your life in Nova Scotia as a caregiver

The Continuing Care Assistant program qualifies caregivers to look after the large community of senior citizens in Nova Scotia. 

Unlike graduates of most other private colleges in Canada, students who qualify as a Continuing Care Assistant will find their qualification is actively sought out by a government work and immigration initiative that encourages experienced caregivers to study and work in Canada. When you access the International Graduates in Demand Stream (IGDS), we would expect you to be warmly welcomed into the workplace in Nova Scotia by care institutions, national and provincial authorities, and the Canadian people. 

With around 25% of caregiving vacancies in Nova Scotia currently unfilled, and an aging population, demand for caregivers is high, and will remain high for many years to come. Our program is vocational, combining academic learning and practical experience in a real-life care institution. The relationship that you build up during your work placement makes you ideally suited to apply to that care institution for permanent work once you graduate. 

Once you have graduated from your 40-week course, you’ll need to apply to the Nova Scotia Government for a work permit as a caregiver. You’ll support this application with your accreditation as a Continuing Care Assistant, which unfortunately means that you cannot apply for a work permit in advance. We would strongly encourage you to apply for a work permit as soon as you graduate, and make sure that you are financially prepared to cover your living costs in Canada while you wait for a work permit in Canada. You may also wish to travel back to your home country to catch up with family and friends until your work permit arrives. 

You can apply to bring your spouse and dependent children with you while you study and work on the Continuing Care Assistant program. 

We recommend anyone who wishes to accompany you enters Canada on a tourist visa, so would not be eligible to work in Canada unless they apply successfully for a work permit. Travelling on a tourist visa means that your family members have the best chance of being able to share your experiences in Canada. It’s particularly important that you, and your family, comply with any visa restrictions to protect your long-term chances to work and settle in Canada. We recommend that you take advice during your application from a licensed Canadian immigration consultant to consider your family’s specific visa requirements. 

Please remember that you’ll need to show that you have enough money to support any family members that you bring with you. Guidelines can change, but be prepared to budget for $10,000 for yourself, another $4,000 for your spouse, and $3,000 for every other dependent (Canadian Dollars).  

Nova Scotia will also offer free schooling for primary age children at a suitable public school. This is a wonderful opportunity for your children to improve their language skills, experience a vastly different culture – and help you to make an informed choice about all your futures in Canada. If your child is not ready for primary school yet, and because Co-op work placement is an integral part of the CCA program, you may need make additional child care provision to cover shift rosters, illness or school holidays.

Once you have been accepted into the International Graduates in Demand stream by Nova Scotia, you can apply for a work permit from the Canadian Government.  You will then have the opportunity to apply to settle in Canada through the Canadian Government’s Permanent Residency process, which is often called ‘applying for PR’. 

Your qualification as a Continuing Care Assistant gives you an extremely compelling case to make an application for Permanent Residency to the Government. You’ll boost this by maintaining a good work history, and by showing that you have complied with any visa restrictions since you entered Canada. Your application for Permanent Residency can take some time – possibly up to 24 months - so be prepared to wait. Your work permit will allow you to support yourself, and your family, as a caregiver while the Government considers your application. 

After some time as a Permanent Resident, you would be eligible to apply for full Canadian citizenship. 

Demand for qualified caregivers in Nova Scotia is very high. So we're extremely confident that you will receive an offer of employment once you graduate.

But we will refund your Tuition Fees in full if you successfully complete the Continuing Care Assistant course and you do not receive an offer of employment after you graduate. To be eligible, your ECIC/CCA supervisor will need to confirm that you:-

  • Maintained required attendance during the program, including at your co-op work placement
  • Received passing grades in both written and practical elements of the program
  • Received satisfactory reports from your co-op work placement provider
  • Worked respectfully and professionally with Senior residents from varied ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexes
  • Attended and positively participated in your job and interview skills classes
  • Attended interviews with at least 3 potential employers in addition to your co-op work placement provider
  • Demonstrated a strong desire to attain the position of a caregiver in Nova Scotia
  • Successfully passed the Nova Scotia provincial licensing exam, which you are able to take up to 3 times

Nova Scotia Nominee Program

Graduation

Graduate (all CCA modules, placement and exams). Covered under Study and Co-op permit

Secure Job

Secure a full-time CCA position in Nova Scotia (minimum of 30 hours per week) (NOC 3413)

Apply

Apply for Nova Scotia Nominee Program International Graduates in Demand stream

Submit

Submit Work Permit application before existing study permit expires (supported by the employer)

Work Permit

Receive new Work Permit and begin work for a 2-year period. (unless passport expires before 2 years)

Residency

Apply to IRCC for your Permanent Residency visa within 6 months.

Processing

Work in Health Care industry while Permanent Residency application is being processed – approximately 18-22 months.

Complete

Become Canadian Permanent Resident

Graduate (all CCA modules, placement and exams). Covered under Study and Co-op permit

Secure a full-time CCA position in Nova Scotia (minimum of 30 hours per week) (NOC 3413)

Apply for Nova Scotia Nominee Program International Graduates in Demand stream

Receive new Work Permit and begin work for a 2-year period. (unless passport expires before 2 years)

Apply to IRCC for your Permanent Residency visa within 6 months.

Work in Health Care industry while Permanent Residency application is being processed – approximately 18-22 months.

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