George Brown has been training Personal Support Workers for over 20 years.

The two-semester Personal Support Worker (PSW) program teaches students the skills required to provide or assist with personal care for the elderly, the chronically ill and persons with accessibility challenges, who may be living in the community, in long-term care facilities or in select ambulatory care settings. Classes are held at our state-of-the-art Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences located at the Waterfront Campus.

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Personal Support Worker Students practice on low fidelity mannequin in the Simulation Centre on Waterfront Campus.


Program name
Personal Support Worker
Experiential learning
Clinical Placement
2 semesters
Starting month
September, January
Ontario College Certificate
Method of study

Year of Study

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Program Availability

Domestic students
Sept. 2020 Open
Jan. 2021 Open
May 2021 N/A
International students
This program is currently only available to domestic students.

Full Description

Personal Support Worker (PSW) is a two-semester program that teaches students the full range of skills required to assist clients with their personal and household needs in order to ensure their comfort and safety. PSWs provide or assist with personal care for:

  • the frail elderly
  • the chronically ill
  • people with physical disabilities living in the community
  • people in long-term care facilities
  • people in select ambulatory care settings
  • people in acute medical and surgical settings
  • people receiving palliative care

Courses focus on the skills and abilities needed to create a climate that promotes the optimal physical, social and emotional well-being of each client.

Personal Support Workers practice skills on a low fidelity mannequin in the Simulation Centre

Part Time Study Options

This program is not available on a part-time basis.

Experiential Learning

Clinical Placement

Your Field Study options

As a student in the Personal Support Worker program, you will learn how to practice as a member of an interprofessional health care team through a variety of hands-on experiences. These experiences will include supervised placements in institutional and community settings, and an interprofessional Simulation Centre experience.

Please note: Faculty supervised clinical practicums take place in various settings across the Greater Toronto Area. The clinical practicum experience may vary between day and/or evening shifts depending upon the practice setting.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Work within the personal support worker role in community, retirement homes, long-term care homes and/or hospital care settings in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer’s job description, policies, procedures and guidelines.
  2. Act responsibly and be accountable for own actions while recognizing the boundaries of knowledge and skills within the personal support worker role that require collaboration with the clients, families, supervisors and/or other members of the interprofessional care/service team.
  3. Participate as a member of the interprofessional care/service team and maintain collaborative working relationships in the provision of supportive care in community, retirement homes, long-term care homes and/or hospital care settings.
  4. Provide client-centred and client-directed care that is based on ethical principles, sensitive to diverse client and family values, beliefs and needs, and which follows the direction of the plan of care/service plan.
  5. Establish and maintain helping relationships with clients and their families reflecting open communication, professional boundaries, employer’s policies and adhering to confidentiality and privacy legislation.
  6. Identify relevant client information using basic assessment and communication skills and report and document findings in accordance with the requirements of employer policies and procedures and all applicable legislation.
  7. Promote and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for clients, their families, self and others including the implementation of infection prevention and control measures and emergency first aid procedures that are in keeping with the plan of care/service plan, employer policies and procedures, and all applicable legislation.
  8. Assist clients across the lifespan with routine activities of daily living by applying basic knowledge of growth and development, common alterations in functioning, disease prevention, health promotion and maintenance, rehabilitation and restorative care.
  9. Assist clients with medication in keeping with the direction of the plan of care/service plan and under the direction and monitoring of a regulated health professional or most accountable person and in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer’s policies.
  10. Assist with household management tasks and instrumental activities of daily living in accordance with the plan of care/service plan and considering the preferences, comfort and safety of clients, families and significant others.
  11. Assist clients who are caring for dependent individuals considering client and family choices, professional boundaries and the direction of the plan of care/service plan.
  12. Identify and report situations of neglect, and potential, alleged or witnessed/actual incidents of abuse, and respond in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer’s policies and procedures.
  13. Assist in the provision of culturally relevant palliative and end-of-life care to clients experiencing life threatening illness and to their families and significant others, from diagnosis through death and bereavement, and in accordance with clients’ choices and the plan of care/service plan.
  14. Use identified approaches and best practices to support positive and safe behaviour in clients experiencing cognitive impairment, mental health challenges and/or responsive behaviours.

Required Courses


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
PSW1001Role of the PSW in Client Care
PSW1017Providing Optimal Client and Personal Care (Lecture)
PSW1019Providing Optimal Client and Personal Care (Lab)
PSW1022Fundamentals of the Human Body
PSW1023Essentials PSW Communication Skills
PSW1024Foundations of Supportive Care
PSW1025Role of PSW in Medication Management


semester courses
CodeCourse Name
CARE1101Providing Support in a Facility Setting
CARE1103Providing Support in a Community Setting
CARE1112Health Conditions and the Role of the PSW
CARE1113Mental Health & Palliative Care
CARE1114Nutritional Care
CARE1115Providing Support in a Home Setting

Note: Curriculum review in progress. Course titles may change without notice. Such changes will appear here.

Detailed course outlines

General Education Electives

Your Career

PSW graduates find employment at locations such as:

  • ambulatory care settings
  • long-term care facilities
  • residential and supportive housing
  • community support agencies
  • acute medical settings
  • palliative care settings

Future Study Options

PSW graduates who meet all admission requirements and who wish to continue their education in order to enter the nursing profession may opt to apply to the PSW Pathway to Practical Nursing program (S119). They may also apply to the Practical Nursing program (S121) directly if they meet all admission requirements.

Graduates with an interest in working in long-term care facilities should consider applying to our new Interprofessional Complex and Long-Term Care postgraduate certificate. This two-semester program starting January 2020 is delivered online and includes a clinical field placement component. For details, visit



Additional Cost

* Amounts listed are the total of tuition, materials, student service and ancillary fees for the first two semesters of programs starting in Fall 2019. Fees are subject to change for programs starting in Fall 2020 and at later dates.

Financial Assistance

This program is approved for OSAP funding, provided the applicant meets OSAP eligibility criteria.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are selected on the basis of their academic achievement, including the required courses, and any other selection criteria outlined below.

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent**
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

** Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and no OSSD)

Mature Students may take the Admissions Assessment for English, OR may consider upgrading to achieve the credit(s) needed in English.

Please note that George Brown is committed to ensuring that applicants will succeed in their program of choice and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants may be required to have grades higher than the minimum requirements stated.

Course Exemptions

College or university credits may qualify you for course exemptions. Please visit for more information.

Note: This program is open to domestic applicants only.

Apply to

Domestic students should apply through Ontario Colleges

Special Requirements

Clinical Pre-placement health form requirements and program policy

  • Upon confirmation of acceptance into this program, students must meet and complete all the mandatory pre-placement requirements for this program. It will take up to 10 to 12 weeks to complete.
  • Students will need to process and provide proof of their medical records (such as MMR, Varicella, Hep B blood test reports/titres, Tdap shot valid every 10 years and Two Step TB Skin Test), a clear police vulnerable sector check must be renewed every six months, Standard First Aid certificate renewed every three years, CPR level HCP renewed every year, annual flu shot and mask fit test renewed every two years. These requirements must be submitted by the given deadline to ParaMed.
  • The health policies and non-academic requirements are designed to protect clients and vulnerable populations that students will engage in practice. Students who do not comply with the program’s health policy and non-academic requirements, or who do not submit all required documentation by deadlines established by the program will be excluded from the clinical practicum. Exclusion from clinical practicum for any reason may jeopardize students' academic standing and successful completion of this program.
  • All costs, service fees and fines associated with the overall health requirements are the responsibility of the student.
  • To download the mandatory pre-placement health form and for more details, go to the Pre-placement website at

Police Vulnerable Sector Check requirements and program policy (renew every six months)

  • In compliance with the requirements of our placement partners, all students in this program are required to have a police vulnerable sector check completed, and this check must be renewed every six months before entering into field or clinical placement.
  • The police vulnerable sector check process typically takes two to three months, but under some circumstances can take four to eight months. This is required to protect the clientele of our placement partner agencies, who are considered “vulnerable persons” under the law.
  • Students are responsible for ensuring that the police vulnerable sector check covers appropriateness for “individuals being employed and/or volunteering who will be working with vulnerable person(s).”
  • Students are required to keep the original copy of their police vulnerable sector check.
  • Students who are unable to provide a “clear” police vulnerable sector check will not be able to start their field or clinical placement and will therefore be unable to complete the program. Students who are not eligible to attend their practice placement due to a “not clear” status will jeopardize their progress in the program. Our agency partners have the final decision for students being allowed to practice in their agency.
  • Failure to meet the requirements for field placement will prevent students from completing the program and/or securing employment.
  • The fees for the police record check vary and must be paid by the student. For more information, please visit the Pre-placement website at

Success Stories

"Upon graduating from the Personal Support Worker program at George Brown College, I can honestly say that my life is changed for the better. The course work was gruelling and the practical exhausting but I have never had such a great experience with a school. To your professors you are not just a student number, you are someone who could one day be taking care of family members and loved ones. The amount of time and effort my clinical instructor put into my education was unforgettable. Her care over my academic and emotional well-being will stick with me forever. George Brown College truly prepared me for a exciting future full of meaning."

Mira Glogauer (Graduate 2018, Personal Support Worker)

Contact Us

Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing

Phone: 416-415-5000, ext. 2367


Office Hours: Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. & Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

For more information about George Brown College, you may also call the Contact Centre at 416-415-2000 (TTY 1-877-515-5559) or long distance 1-800-265-2002.

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