The BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry continues to make further improvements to the proposed health care assistant (HCA) program recognition process. The Registry is developing the process to ensure that all HCA students in the province receive the same level of training. To be approved by the Registry, an educational institution offering an HCA program will have to demonstrate that it follows the provincial curriculum and meets minimum delivery standards.
The Registry recently shared the revised draft program recognition process. The BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) is pleased that the Registry addressed concerns we raised in our August 2013 letter. We asked the Registry and Ministry of Advanced Education to confirm that qualified out of province and international applicants would continue to be eligible to register with the Registry after July 30, 2014. The previous timeline stated that after July 2014, only graduates from BC HCA programs listed on the Registry website would have been eligible for registration.
The BCCPA was concerned that, taken at face value, the timeline suggested that qualified HCAs from out of province and outside of Canada would not be eligible to register, and thus, not eligible for employment in a publicly funded health care setting (or in a private setting when the Registry’s scope expands).
The revised timeline provides clarity, now stating that after July 30, 2014 “all those who have completed their HCA program in BC will require evidence that they have graduated from one of the HCA programs listed on the Registry website (as updated) in order to become registered.”
The BCCPA also expressed concern that the instructor qualifications required lab and practice instructors to have two or more years nursing experience in Canada. The Association cautioned that requiring “Canadian experience” may raise human rights concerns as it could be viewed as discrimination.
In the revised draft, the requirement has been replaced with “two or more years of full-time nursing experience (1 year = 1400 hours) with relevant knowledge of the Canadian health care system, the roles and responsibilities of healthcare team members and current policies and procedures within residential and community care settings.” The instructors must have current full registration with the CLPNBC, CRNBC or CRPNBC.
“The BCCPA commends the Registry for its ongoing work to find solutions to achieve its well-intentioned mandate of protecting vulnerable British Columbians, improving standards of care and promoting professional development,” says Heather Campbell, BCCPA’s director of policy and research.