Personal Support Worker (PSW) Certificate

Personal Support Worker (PSW) Certificate

Take the next step towards your new career

Find out more information about start dates, requirements, tuition & financial aid

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Arnprior Campus
Ottawa Campus
On Campus
Program Length:
23 weeks
Diploma Issued:

Become a Personal Support Worker

Now is the time to become a Personal Support Worker

Stand out from the crowd

You will stand out from all the other Personal Support Worker (PSW) graduates with seven additional industry certifications and certificates in your program that employers demand in the workplace.

Get hired

Be more attractive in the job market when you can save employers hundreds of dollars! The Personal Support Worker program offers a fast-track, hands-on skills training program with a practicum guaranteed, which can often lead to employment in Ottawa and Arnprior. You can become a qualified Personal Support Worker and enter the in-demand healthcare field in only 32 weeks.

The Personal Support Worker program includes:

  • Willis College Personal Support Worker Certificate
  • National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) PSW Certificate Pin
  • 7 Additional Industry Certifications & Certificates which employers demand including CPR/First Aid, WHMIS, Client Intervention and Support Workshop, Fire Safety, Fall Prevention, Gentle Persuasive Approach, and Food Handlers
  • National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) approved curriculum
  • Classrooms and labs that simulate real-world healthcare settings, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, lifts, and other required equipment
  • Practicum: 8 weeks of clinical work placements in community and/or long-term care facilities
  • Personal assistance for job placement

Is the Personal Support Worker program right for you?

This program is an excellent fit for:

  • Someone who is caring and works well in a team atmosphere and is passionate about helping others
  • A mature student who has previous job experience, looking to enhance and develop new or existing skills that are relevant in today’s job market
  • A recent graduate who wants to specialize in an emerging and in-demand health field
  • Someone who wants to fast-track to a new and exciting career in healthcare
  • Someone interested in fast-tracked, hands-on PSW courses.
  • The Practicum Advantage: 8 weeks
  • On the job experience before even you graduate
  • Great networking opportunities for potential hiring after graduation
  • Practical Personal Support Worker skills training and development
  • Work with real clients
  • Possible job references to add to your resume
  • Smooth transition into the job market
  • Willis College will find you a practicum* in this program
  • Many practicum placements lead to employment – some graduates get two job offers during their practicum terms

*Willis College is not responsible for the distribution of the incentives offered by the Province of Ontario
**providing you have met all academic and financial obligations four (4) weeks before commencement of the placement

Total program length is 23 weeks
15 instructional weeks, 8 weeks practicum placement
Up to 2 weeks break

Our Ottawa, Ontario campus is registered with the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.

Job Market

Successful graduates of this program may pursue a wide variety of interesting and rewarding professions, including:

  • Personal Support Worker
  • Healthcare Aide
  • Personal Aide
  • Long Term Care Aide
  • Patient Care Aide
  • Patient Service Associate
  • Personal Care Attendant – medical
  • Resident Care Aide – medical

Salary Information

Average Wage ($/hr) – $15.75
High Wage ($/hr) – $21.00
National Occupation Classification (NOC) for this program: 3413
Source: &

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements:
Canadian High School diploma or equivalent. Willis College Admission’s Team uses the Wonderlic assessment tool.

For Mature Students:
If you don’t have a High School Diploma, we have admissions options specifically for you depending on which province you are in enrolling. Please contact us to see how our Admissions Team can help you achieve your new career.


Able to pass a clear police check including a clear Vulnerable Sector check; a clear medical certificate indicating current immunization and free from communicable diseases; demonstrated fluency in English; completion of a Student Questionnaire to determine suitability for a career as a Personal Support Worker.

Program Outline

Please click on the course title to see the course description.

  • Abuse & Neglect

    This course provides an introduction to family violence and abuse. Students will learn how to recognize possible signs of abuse, appropriate actions to be taken if abuse is suspected, and related legal requirements.
  • Assisting a Person with Personal Hygiene

    This module involves caring for the ill, disabled, injured, and/or confused client. Frailness, dignity, and levels of dependence are considered. Personal hygiene involves personal safety, self-esteem, and consideration of dignity.
  • Assisting the Dying Person

    This course discusses the concept of dying as a part of life and the possible impact of life-threatening illness on the person and their family. Students will examine personal beliefs about life-threatening illness, dying, and the provision of support to the dying person, and their family and friends.
  • Assisting the Family, Growth and Development

    This course emphasizes the influence of cultural values and practices, religious beliefs, and the effects of illness, stress and disability on family relationships as central to the PSW’s ability to provide effective support.
  • Assisting with Medications

    Students will gain basic knowledge of the drugs used in the treatment of common diseases and disorders. This includes drug classification, use, therapeutic effects, side/adverse effects, brand/ generic names, dosage forms, routes of administration, and directions for use of medications.
  • Body Systems

    Students will be introduced to the basics of anatomy and physiology, and gain knowledge and understanding of human body systems that will help them as Personal Support Workers.
  • Care Planning/Restorative Care/Documentation/Working in the Community

    Building on the materials presented in the introductory module, PSW Foundations, this course identifies the support to be provided to the client, its need, and significance.
  • Career Management

    Our Career Management program will introduce and enable students to apply the most effective strategies to achieve employment in the career of their choice. Students will learn effective job search strategies, cover letter and strategic resume writing, effective interviewing skills and interview preparation to ensure their success in the career search process.
  • Clinical Placement Community

    This placement provides students with an opportunity to practice new skills in a work setting. While on placement, students will gain experience using a wide range of PSW skills, become more self-confident, and in some cases, receive offers of employment from the placement site.
  • Clinical Placement Facility

    This placement provides students with an opportunity to practice new skills in a work setting. While on placement, students will gain experience in a wider range of PSW skills, become more self-confident, and in most cases, receive offers of employment from the placement site.
  • Cognitive/Mental Health Issues and Brain Injuries

    This course introduces topics of common psychiatric conditions of affective disorders and schizophrenia, substance abuse, cognitive impairment, and brain injuries.
  • CPR First Aid level C

    This course prepares students for certification to verify they have the knowledge and skills to deal with emergency situations and to prevent injuries from occurring.
  • Falls Prevention – Certificate

    This course prepares students for their certificate and focuses on Falls Prevention algorithm for healthcare providers with the checklist for risk of falling.
  • Food Safety-Food Handler

    This course prepares students for certification. Well-informed food handlers provide safer foods to the public, understand their responsibilities clearly, and may improve the bottom line of a business.
  • Fire Safety

    This course prepares students for their certificate and focuses on evacuation of a long-term care facility, fire extinguisher operation, and fire safety procedures that challenge the industry.
  • Gentle Persuasive approach in Dementia Care

    This course prepares students for certification and focuses on responding to persons with challenging behaviours. Professional caregivers and healthcare workers intervene in an effective manner that is non-punitive, respectful, and self-protective.
  • Health Conditions

    This course introduces the basic concepts of assistance, as well as the general effects on the person of common disabilities, ongoing conditions, and diseases. Students will be provided with the skills to perform necessary techniques, with a focus on the importance of providing support safely, effectively, and comfortably.
  • Household Management, Nutrition and Hydration

    In this course, students will learn how to assist the client with their nutritional needs, household activities, and household management according to client preferences. Comfort and safety within employer guidelines, as required, are also discussed. Students will learn that nutritional needs include planning balanced nutritious menus, preparing shopping lists, shopping, safe handling of food, storage, and specific cooking techniques.
  • Non-Violent Crisis Intervention

    This course prepares students for certification and focuses on the safe management of disruptive and assaultive behaviour.
  • PSW Foundations

    Students are introduced to the principles of client-centred versus client-directed care, emphasizing the individuality of the client and his/her relationship with family, friends, and others. This course focuses on interpersonal skills and communications, including conflict resolution and problem-solving.
  • Safety and Mobility

    This course develops the concept of assisting the consumer/client with routine activities of living. Topics include body mechanics, consistency in transferring, lifting techniques, and the use of equipment to increase safety and to reduce client anxiety, confusion, and dependency.
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

    This course prepares students for the certification exam and covers basic safety and health hazards that may be presented at their workplace.
  • Veteran Sensitivity Training

When I first started at Willis I was a shy, self-conscious girl… but Willis changed all that! My time at Willis was knowledgeable, fun and most importantly self-rewarding. The PSW program was amazing. I learned so much. All of the staff are absolutely awesome; they looked at you as a person and not just a number filling up a seat. Rachel Goyer Personal Support Worker

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