Personal Support Worker (PSW) Program | Cestar College

NACC Personal Support Worker (PSW) Course

Full-time, accelerated PSW program. Become a fully certified PSW in just over 7 months!

  • Hours per Week:

  • Total Hours:

  • Duration:

    28 weeks
  • Admission Requirements:

    • a) Have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent;
    • b) Be at least 18 years of age and pass an approved qualifying test
    • AND
      Pass the NACC Technical Literacy Exam
    • AND
      Complete a Medical Certificate Immunization Form
    • AND
      Complete a Canada-Wide Policies Clearance of Criminal Record, including Vulnerable Sector
  • Skills:

Client Care Techniques
Client Care Techniques

Learn how to assist your clients with daily tasks.

Common Health Conditions
Common Health Conditions

Familiarize yourself with common ailments among seniors.

End-of-Life Care
End-of-Life Care

Understanding the physical and emotional toll of death.

Communication Strategies
Communication Strategies

Learn to be an excellent communicator with your clients.

  • PSW Program

  • Program Goals & Learning Outcomes

  • PSW Courses

  • Career & Postgraduate Education Opportunities

  • Instructional Methods

  • How You Will Be Evaluated

  • Program Qualifications & Accreditation

  • Referral Bonuses**

  • How to Apply

The Personal Support Worker Program provides quality education and training for aspiring Personal Support Workers (PSWs). This certificate program is carefully designed to impart the skills and competencies needed to effectively take on the Personal Support Worker role. It features comprehensive and updated course content and carefully designed learning experiences facilitated by experienced instructors.

To fully equip learners to deliver optimum health care service as PSWs, the following courses are included in this certificate program:

  • PSW Foundations
  • Safety and Mobility
  • Body Systems
  • Assisting with Personal Hygiene
  • Abuse and Neglect
  • Household Management, Nutrition and Hydration
  • Care Planning / Restorative Care / Documentation / Working in the Community
  • Assisting the Family, Growth and Development
  • Assisting the Dying Person
  • Assisting with Medications
  • Cognitive and Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries
  • Health Conditions
  • Clinical Placement (Community)
  • Clinical Placement (Facility)

Cestar College’s Personal Support Worker Program equips career-minded learners with the needed skills to effectively administer health care services as valuable contributors to the healthcare industry. The curriculum is designed with the demands of adult education in mind. Therefore, learners are given the optimum environment to cultivate independence, self-direction, and marketability.

Learners are prepared to succeed in the dynamic landscape of health care with the following core skills:

Empathy and Patience

In the field of health care, empathy and patience are two of the most important attributes to have. Personal Support Workers need utmost patience and empathy as they care for people through old age, illness, or recovery. PSWs need to be able to show that they are willing to listen and understand their clients’ needs. They also need to be able to show that they truly care even in instances when clients or patients are “difficult.”

Keen Observation and Critical Thinking

In providing care services, two of the most important skills that need to be instilled in aspiring PSWs is that of keen observation and critical thinking. Personal Support Workers spend plenty of one-on-one time with their clients and therefore have the opportunity to detect changes in their client’s appetite, behaviour, and attitude. These changes need to be reported immediately as they can be indicators of what’s needed in terms of the client’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Familiarity with Health Conditions

As a valuable profession in health care, Personal Support Workers are expected to have fundamental knowledge regarding health conditions that are common to the demographic of their clients - as well as the best practices when faced with scenarios related to such health conditions. A few of the common health conditions that personal support workers need working knowledge on include: depression, brain injuries, dementia, Alzheimers, impaired hearing, impaired vision, mobility issues, and so on.

Safe and Effective Assistance with Daily Living

Personal Support Workers need the skills to safely and effectively assist a client with tasks of daily living, thereby helping clients maintain independence and dignity. A big portion of providing care service is giving assistance with personal grooming, hygiene, mobility, nutrition, medication, and so on. Personal support workers need to be able to hone a personalized approach depending on the client’s unique needs.

Support for a Dying Client and Their Family

Personal support workers have a special role in providing support to clients who are approaching death and helping family members to cope. PSWs are trained to make the client as comfortable as possible in their remaining days, being mindful of the client’s rights and wishes regarding support. In line with this, PSWs also need to be equipped with the right mindset and best practices to cope with feelings of sadness, frustration, and/or anger surrounding the loss of a patient.

Cestar’s post-secondary Personal Support Worker Program is suited for both local and international students who aspire to begin a rewarding career in care service. The entire PSW program takes about 7 months to complete and encompasses a total of 700 hours. The program’s hours are allocated in such a way that all the needed PSW classes are covered.

Additionally, learners will undergo clinical placements where they will be able to gain valuable hands-on experience in a real world setting.

Courses 700 Hours
PSW Foundations 55
Safety and Mobility 40
Body Systems 30
Assisting with Personal Hygiene 30
Abuse and Neglect 15
Household Management, Nutrition and Hydration 30
Care Planning/Restorative Care/Documentation/Working in the Community 30
Assisting the Family, Growth and Development 25
Assisting the Dying Person 30
Assisting with Medications 20
Cognitive and Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries 40
Health Conditions 45
Clinical Placement (Community) 110
Clinical Placement (Facility) 200

Becoming a Personal Support Worker is one of the most rewarding and stable health care careers out there. To become a PSW, one must complete the needed post secondary education which can be completed in as little as 7 months. This path of accelerated learning is one of the factors that make this career path so enticing. Along with this, one can look forward to the following career opportunities and options for further education:

Your PSW Career

Potential employers are aware of the benefits of hiring graduates of the Common Standards Group Personal Support Worker Program that is offered by Cestar College. These benefits include:

  • Assurance that graduates have been trained to meet established learning outcomes and program standards
  • Assurance that the graduate has the knowledge required to do the job as verified by third party testing
  • Assurance that the skills required to do the job have been verified in clinical settings prior to graduation

As such, Cestar College graduates are in the best position to secure careers such as:

32K. Home Support Worker Provides companionship and personal care to clients within the client’s residence
37K. Respite Worker Steps in and provides the needed care for a patient when the primary caregiver opts for a break
38K. Continuing Care Assistant Provides assistance to clients in long-term care, home care, and assisted living communities.
39K. Community Support Worker Provides care and support to individuals within and throughout a specific community

Future Education Options

Continued learning is a good way for Personal Support Workers to continue to advance in their field. The main sources of continued learning can be the employer or a training institution. The Canadian Centre for Health and Safety offers continued learning courses for PSWs that are free of charge. These courses can include topics such as mental health, health and wellness, musculoskeletal disorders, and pandemic planning.

Another option for future education can involve gaining the training needed to become a Registered Nurse. Numerous colleges offer PSW to RPN bridging which allows PSWs to upgrade their clinical qualifications to that of a Registered Practicing Nurse, thereby opening further career opportunities and a potential increase in salary.

Here at Cestar College, we make use of various instructional methods in our Personal Support Worker certificate program to facilitate a comprehensive and effective learning experience that supports all kinds of learning styles.


We maintain smaller class sizes for our lectures to make sure that we have student-teacher ratios that support personalized and in-depth learning. In our PSW program lectures, our faculty members impart the essential information as well their own learnings in the field. Lectures also involve activities and group discussions to keep the learners engaged.


In our seminars, students will be able to work in cooperative groups and participate in group activities to reinforce their learnings from the seminar. Faculty members rotate to each of the groups to provide constructive feedback.

Practical Clinical Work

Practical clinical work is a valuable learning opportunity wherein students are immersed in hands-on activities related to the tasks of Personal Support Workers.

Independent Project Work

Time is scheduled for the students to be able to work independently on specific assignments and projects related to their courses.

Before the beginning of any Personal Support Worker program, students are familiarized with the various evaluation tools that will be used to gauge their progress, as well as guidelines on how to succeed in the program. Students are therefore placed in the right mindset to be able to self-evaluate and to perform peer reviews. For any evaluated task, a learner will be able to try a certain number of times before being evaluated by the instructor.

For more information on this, please refer to the published course outlines.

The Personal Support Worker program is open to local and international students. All students must possess a high school diploma to be eligible for post secondary education. International students must have an IELTS score of at least 6.0 to qualify for the program.

The Cestar College Personal Support Worker program is certified by the National Association of Career Colleges. We utilize their curriculum in our teaching methods. More details on the NACC PSW certification can be found here.

For every friend that officially enrolls and starts the program, we will reduce your fees by $500. That means if you refer 6 friends and they all join the program, your fees are FREE! We will also offer a $500 discount to the friend you referred.

In order for the promotional discount to be applied to your fees, both you and the person being referred must reference each other prior to the program start and must enroll and officially start the program in the Winter 2021 semester (Estimated start date March 2021).

**Ask Us About Our Referral Bonuses Question mark

**Please note that referral bonuses cannot be shared between multiple individuals or combined with any other offers. Extension of this promotion past the Winter 2021 semester will be at the full and sole discretion of the College.

Ready to begin your training to become a successful Personal Support Worker? Then please head to our Admissions page for the detailed instructions on next steps.

If you have any further questions regarding our PSW program, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Due to the current shortage and urgent need for PSWs in Ontario, we are offering this program at a reduced cost of $1,000, that's almost 90% off the regular program fees.
This promotion applies to the class starting in Winter 2021 semester only, so don't miss your chance - register now to lock in this special offer!

Read what clients have to say about Cestar College

I turned to Cestar for its Paralegal program. The teachers and Administration has helped me get through the program with no trouble. The teachers and Adrian Sharma have been supporting me since the first day of classes. The Paralegal program at Cestar School will guarantee you have every one of the fundamentals to set you up for the Law Society licencing exam, the teachers are educated, and above all welcoming.

Reviewer: Jananan Sri

Cestar College

5 out of 5 stars

Cestar College has a very professional staff, management, instructors and education facility for Part-Time and Full -time studies. You want to LEARN and GROW, sign up for a course in CESTAR. My appreciation and thanks goes to Adrian Sharma & George Thelwell for the unparalleled support and guidance. Thanks Adrian & George.

Reviewer: Arvinder Dhaliwal

Cestar College

5 out of 5 stars

Visited for my PMP examination, staff were friendly and professional and the testing facilities were well maintained and comfortable. Easy access to the TTC subway, about a ten minute walk

Reviewer: Chris Graham

Cestar College

5 out of 5 stars

Read what clients have to say about Cestar College