Personal Support Worker
Develop your skills during placements. Become an integral part of a health-care team. Graduate job-ready or pursue further studies.

General information

Program code
2 Semesters (1 Year)
Ontario College Certificate
Work integrated learning
2 Clinical Placements
Full-time + Part-time

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2021 Barrie, Orangeville, Owen Sound
Winter 2022 Barrie, South Georgian Bay
Summer 2021 Owen Sound, South Georgian Bay

Program description

This program is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to provide support services to people living at home, in long term care or acute care facilities, and to function as integral members of the health care team. Upon successful completion of this program, students learn to effectively communicate with clients, families and members of the health care team, and to provide safe and competent care for individual clients experiencing physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural challenges. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are unregulated health care providers who work under the supervision of a regulated health care professional or in the supported independent living environment under the direction of the client.

Is this program right for you?

Passionate about helping people?

You can become a personal support worker in just eight months.

There is a high demand for PSWs and opportunities for local placements and jobs.

A personal support worker assists an elderly woman, seated, with a walker

Why this program?

  • Get real-world experience with two clinical placements at a local agency.
  • High employment rate in your local area.
  • Our faculty bring expert knowledge to the classroom from both private and public practices and institutions.
  • High demand for PSWs, including hospitals that prefer to hire Georgian grads.
  • Get local placements in your community.
  • Grads receive credentials to work in long-term care facilities and hospitals.
  • Grants and loans available – many students qualify for Second Career funding.

Why study at Georgian?

  • Our grads get jobs – Georgian has the highest graduate employment rate among all colleges in Ontario.
  • We are known for cultivating strong partnerships with local and international employers, and for providing industry with high-skilled graduates to sustain and grow their operations.

Career opportunities

Graduates provide and facilitate clearly identified personal care and routine activities of daily living in order to assist clients in being as healthy and as independent as possible. PSW graduates may find employment in retirement homes, long term care facilities, homes for the aged, various community agencies (private and public), acute care facilities, as well as in independent practice.

Admission information

Admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Mature students, non-secondary school applicants (19 years or older), and home school applicants may also be considered for admission. Eligibility may be met by applicants who have taken equivalent courses, upgrading, completed their GED, and equivalency testing. For complete details refer to:


Applicants who have taken courses from a recognized and accredited post-secondary institution and/or have relevant life/learning experience may also be considered for admission; refer to the Credit Transfer Centre website for details:

Criminal Reference/Vulnerable Sector Check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not pardoned will be prohibited from proceeding to a clinical or work placement.

Admission details

Clinical Placement Requirements:

In order to provide quality practicum placements, students will be placed in a variety of agencies in the region serviced by the campus. Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from all clinical placements. Student practicum placements will involve working the same shifts as the PSWs in the practicum agency. For example, day shifts may start as early as 6:00 a.m. and evening shifts may finish at 11:00 p.m.

Applicants must have an up-to-date immunization record in compliance with the Public Hospitals Act. Completion and submission of this record is required during registration in order to ensure your placement in clinical placement facilities.
To be eligible for all practicum placements, students must have:

  • a completed Clinical Preparedness Permit - current (within 1 year) Level HCP CPR and Standard First Aid on admission to the program. Level HCP CPR must be renewed annually while in the program; 
  • a current police check including a vulnerable sector screen (see Criminal Reference Check above);
  • a record of mask fit test (will be done at the college in semester one). Mask fit testing must be renewed every 2 years.


Program-specific Courses

  • BIOL 1014 - The Essential Body
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • PSWR 1035 - Professional Foundations
    (Semester 1 / 42 hours)
  • PSWR 1036 - PSW Laboratory Skills
    (Semester 1 / 84 hours)
  • PSWR 1037 - PSW Community Care
    (Semester 1 / 28 hours)
  • PSWR 1038 - Palliative Care
    (Semester 1 / 28 hours)
  • PSWR 1039 - Health Challenges and Continuing Care
    (Semester 2 / 42 hours)
  • PSWR 1040 - Mental Health Challenges and Continuing Care
    (Semester 2 / 28 hours)
  • PSWR 1041 - PSW Professional Practice 1
    (Semester 2 / 112 hours)
  • PSWR 1042 - PSW Professional Practice 2
    (Semester 2 / 224 hours)

Communications courses

  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
    (Semester 1)

General education courses

  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.
    (Semester 1)