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
Delivery Full-time +

Program information

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.

Intake information

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

Tuition and fees

Work-integrated learning

This program includes a clinical placement component where you will gain practical work experience under the supervision of a registered or licensed professional.

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

Personal Support Worker 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.

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 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:

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.

  • BIOL 1014 – The Essential Body
  • PSWR 1035 – Professional Foundations
  • PSWR 1036 – PSW Laboratory Skills
  • PSWR 1037 – PSW Community Care
  • PSWR 1038 – Palliative Care
  • Select 1 course from the communications list during registration.
  • Select 1 course from the general education list during registration.

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

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Join us for Virtual Open House!
Saturday, Nov. 13 | 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Learn more and RSVP

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Attend a virtual Get to Know Georgian session in November or December.
View the schedule and RSVP

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Book a phone appointment
with a recruitment specialist.
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Accelerated PSW program – HIDDEN SECTION

Due to overwhelming demand for this program, we are no longer accepting applications for the April and May accelerated intakes.

Now more than ever, there’s a demand for PSWs across the province. Be ready to join the health-care team by fall 2021 with Georgian’s accelerated PSW program, paid for by the Government of Ontario.

  • Six-month, accelerated program delivered remotely with one in-person lab
  • Graduate job-ready with full credentials and essential skills to provide quality care
  • Free tuition and compulsory ancillary fees for domestic students
  • Paid work placements in our community

This is a limited, one-time offer for April and May 2021 intakes only. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How do I apply?Georgian College Chevron

Due to overwhelming demand for this program, we are no longer accepting applications for the April and May accelerated intakes. However, applications for the September 2021 and January 2022 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 $95 OCAS fee to apply to PSW-A?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

It will be a combination of remote and in-person learning. There will be one three-hour lab per week in semester one and the rest of the program will be delivered remotely.

Will I need to attend my remote (online) classes at a specific time, or can I do them at my convenience?Georgian College Chevron

Each remote (online) class will be scheduled at a specific time where your faculty will review content and answer questions.

Does it matter which campus I choose to apply to?Georgian College Chevron

Yes. You must be able to participate in one in-person lab per week in semester one. This will take place at the campus you apply to.

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

It is expected that students who are accepted into the April or May PSW-A intakes 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 OSAP?Georgian College Chevron

Yes, applicants can apply for OSAP.

Will I still be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) if I enrol in this program?Georgian College Chevron

CERB is a federal income replacement program so students should contact either the Canada Revenue Agency or Service Canada if they have questions regarding their continued eligibility for that funding.

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 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 summer intake of the eight-month PSW program at the Owen Sound or South Georgian Bay campuses. Is it continuing as planned?Georgian College Chevron

No. Your admissions officer will contact you about participating in the May 10 intake of the accelerated program instead.

If you’re an international student who previously applied to the summer intake of the eight-month PSW program, your admissions officer will discuss your options with you.

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

Yes, you can complete admissions testing 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 PSW-A 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.

If I take this program, can I receive the COVID-19 vaccine before I go on my clinical placement?Georgian College Chevron

Georgian is working with the public health units in our jurisdiction to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible students who have placements in settings that are currently being offered the vaccine (e.g. long term care, hospitals, etc.).