Personal Support Worker in scrubs holding a tablet while relaying medication instructions to an elderly patient in a care home

Start your health-care career as a Personal Support Worker (PSW)

Personal Support Worker Ontario College Certificate program

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

Program code PSWR
Duration 1 Year
Credential Ontario College Certificate
Program Delivery Full-time +
Program delivery method(s) Hybrid +
In person
What does this mean?

Program information

Program description

The Personal Support Worker (PSW) program is a two semester Ontario College Certificate that provides you with the knowledge and practical skills to offer safe, supportive care to clients in settings such as private homes, long term care and acute care facilities. As a member of an interprofessional health care team, PSWs assist with daily living and the provision of person-centred care to individuals with a range of health conditions and/or individuals experiencing responsive behaviours. Through theory and hands-on lab classes, you learn how to provide a comfortable, safe environment for clients while assisting with personal care and home management. Two clinical placements in long term care and other healthcare settings, provide training in the delivery and documentation of care, and expand your ability to provide holistic, compassionate care throughout the lifespan to clients and their families.

Intake information

Start dateCampus
Summer 2024 Barrie, Owen Sound
Fall 2024 Barrie, Muskoka, Orangeville, Owen Sound
Winter 2025 Barrie, South Georgian Bay

*Program delivery methods apply to full-time programs only. Please contact recruitment for more information about the delivery method at the campus you’re interested in.

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

  • This program includes a clinical placement component where you’ll get clinical experience under the supervision of an experienced registered or licensed professional.
  • Learn about types of work-integrated learning at Georgian.

What are the admission requirements for the Personal Support Worker program?

Personal Support Worker admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, or mature student status
  • 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 for Prior Learning 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.

Additional information

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.

Information about placement requirements

To help you navigate the requirements to complete the clinical placement component(s) of this program (e.g. immunization, First Aid and CPR, criminal record screening and other non-academic requirements), please review the details below.

For more information about placements, visit the Placement Offices webpage.

Placement requirementsGeorgian College Chevron

In order to provide quality practicum placements (“Placements”), students are placed in a variety of agencies, largely in the region serviced by the campus. Students are required to provide their own transportation to Placements. Placements may vary in length (e.g. six to 12 hour days) and may include weekends and evenings, with varying start and end times (e.g. day, afternoon, overnight).

Many programs, including Health and Wellness, have immunization, First Aid and CPR, criminal record screening and  other non-academic requirements that need to be met prior to Placements starting. You are responsible for carefully reviewing and meeting these requirements. The failure to meet them may mean that the host agency may refuse to accept you for a Placement or, if you have started one, that you may be prevented from continuing. The result may be that you cannot complete your program. Program-specific requirements can be found on page 2 of the Clinical Preparedness Permit specific to your program.

You are responsible for meeting all immunization, criminal screening and other requirements by the deadline provided by your program and before you start your Placement.

Notes regarding the Criminal Record Check (“CRC”) and Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS)

Individuals who have been charged or convicted criminally and not yet pardoned or who have adverse entries on their CRC or VSS will be prohibited from proceeding to a Placement. Such a student will normally be counselled to withdraw from the program because the successful completion of a Placement is a program requirement.

Obtaining the CRC and VSS usually requires a processing time of up to 12 weeks and can vary between police jurisdictions. As some jurisdictions require longer lead time for processing, ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. Record checks and screenings conducted earlier than six months may not be considered current and not be acceptable. Refer to your Clinical Preparedness Permit for information regarding this. A host agency may refuse a Placement if the CRC or VSS is not satisfactory to it. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the necessary completed documents prior to the start of a Placement at the designated check time, and in the format set by Georgian College and stated in the Clinical Preparedness Permit Information Package. More information can be found on the Placement Offices webpage.

The costs associated with the provision of the CRC and VSS, anything related to them (including, if applicable, obtaining a pardon), and meeting any immunization and other Placement requirements, are to be borne by the student. The non-academic requirements of clinical agencies as described in the Clinical Preparedness Permit are subject to change at any time and host agencies may accept or decline students for any reason at their discretion. Georgian College  is not responsible for any of the costs associated with the foregoing, nor for the consequences of failing to comply with, any of the requirements set out above.  

What career paths can I take as a personal support worker (PSW)?

Your Personal Support Worker certificate gives you many 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.

Is the Personal Support Worker 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.

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 Better Jobs Ontario (formerly 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.
A personal support worker assists an elderly woman, seated, with a walker

Flex MORE. Study Personal Support Worker part-time

Benefits of studying part-time:

  • Register on a course-by-course basis, paying as you go!
  • MORE choices. We are always adding more flexible delivery programs and courses.

What you need to know:

What courses are included in the Personal Support Worker certificate program?

Course overview

7 Program Courses
2 Professional Practice Courses
1 Communications Course
1 General Education Course

Program-specific courses

Semester 1 courses are listed below. For a full list of courses in the program including course descriptions, view the Personal Support Worker program outline.

  • PSWR 1036 – PSW Laboratory Skills
  • PSWR 1037 – PSW Community Care
  • PSWR 1038 – Palliative Care
  • PSWR 1043 – Human Structure and Function
  • PSWR 1044 – Professional Foundations
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

Your course delivery method(s)


This program has a hybrid delivery method. Some parts are online and other parts are delivered in person. You’ll need to come to campus for part of your program.

In person

This program is delivered fully in person and requires you to attend campus.

Please note, delivery methods are based on planning for the upcoming semester and are subject to change.

Do you have questions about Personal Support Worker? Contact us!

Thinking about applying to Georgian?

Contact our student recruitment team to explore your study options.

Already applied to Georgian?

Connect with the Office of the Registrar for admissions-related questions.

Are you an international student?

Contact our international recruitment team to learn more about studying at Georgian. 

Ways to connect

Get to Know Georgian

Attend a Get to Know Georgian
virtual info. session on March 12.
Register for an upcoming session

Campus tours

Take a guided, in-person tour
of our campuses.
Book a campus tour

One-on-one appointments

Book a phone appointment
with a recruitment specialist.
Connect with a recruiter

Join our mailing list

Join our email list for event updates, contest information and more.
Sign up for Georgian updates

Accelerated PSW program *HIDDEN SECTION*

Become a PSW after just six months!

Now more than ever, there’s a demand for PSWs across the province. Be ready to join the health-care team in just six months with Georgian’s accelerated PSW (PSWA) program.

  • Six-month accelerated program to get you into the health-care field faster
  • Graduate job-ready with full credentials and essential skills to provide quality care
  • Tuition award that also covers compulsory ancillary fees for domestic students
  • Paid work placements in our community

This is a limited, one-time offer beginning Aug. 15 at Georgian’s Barrie, Muskoka, Orangeville and Owen Sound campuses.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I apply?Georgian College Chevron

Applications are accepted through Offers will be granted to qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s important to apply immediately if you’re interested in this program.

Please note, due to overwhelming demand, all intakes of the PSWA program have been waitlisted. However, applications for some September 2022 and January 2023 intakes of the eight-month PSW program are still open. Please visit if you wish to apply to the eight-month option, or connect with one of our recruitment specialists.

Are you waiving the OCAS fee to apply to PSWA?Georgian College Chevron

For this program, apply-for-free vouchers are not available.

Will the program be delivered online or in person?Georgian College Chevron

The program will be delivered via remote learning with one weekly in-person lab at the campus you choose to apply to.

What all is included in this special program funding?Georgian College Chevron

It is expected that students who are accepted into the August PSWA intake will receive funding to cover tuition costs and compulsory ancillary fees. There will also be a support subsidy for other program-related expenses and you will have access to a paid clinical placement. Successful applicants will receive more information in their offer of admission.

Will I still be eligible to apply for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)?Georgian College Chevron

Yes, applicants can apply for OSAP.

Do I need to pay the $250 deposit to reserve my seat in this program?Georgian College Chevron

No, you do not need to pay the deposit. However, you must confirm your offer in OCAS by the deadline in the offer letter or be at risk of losing your seat.

Will I achieve the same learning outcomes in the six-month accelerated program as I would in the eight-month program? What are the differences between the programs?Georgian College Chevron

Students from both programs graduate with the same credentials. The six-month program will be more intense as the same material must be covered in a shorter amount of time. Also, there is no study week or break between semesters.

I previously applied to the fall intake of the eight-month PSW program at the Barrie, Muskoka, Orangeville or Owen Sound campuses. Is it continuing as planned?Georgian College Chevron

The Barrie Campus cohort of the eight-month PSW program will proceed this fall. Cohorts in Muskoka (Bracebridge), Orangeville and Owen Sound campuses will not. Your admissions officer will contact you about participating in the Aug. 15 intake of the accelerated program instead.

I applied to the fall 2022 intake of the eight-month PSW program. Will I receive funding for this intake?Georgian College Chevron

Yes. Students who enter the fall 2022 intake of the eight-month PSW program will be eligible for a tuition award.

I’m interested in this program but don’t meet the admission requirements. Is there any upgrading programming I can take before PSWA starts?Georgian College Chevron

Yes, you can complete the Communications Placement Assessment (CPA) through Testing Services.

Depending on timing, it may be possible to complete an upgrading course via Academic and Career Preparation (ACP), to meet the admissions requirements. However, it’s recommended you apply to the PSW-A program immediately and discuss options with your admissions officer.

Are international students eligible for the PSWA program?Georgian College Chevron

International students are ineligible for the financial supports associated with this program including the paid placement, but can enrol if they self-fund.

What is the last day to start courses?Georgian College Chevron

Students are expected to be in class on the first day of their intake: Aug. 15.

What is the last day that I can withdraw from the program?Georgian College Chevron

The last possible day to withdraw from the program is the fifth day of class: Aug. 19.