**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
New Pilot Program Supports People to be Certified as Continuing Care Assistants
Government wants to encourage more people to become certified to work in the continuing care field in Nova Scotia.
That is why a new pilot program will provide funding for people to have their skills and experience assessed and to complete the Recognizing Prior Learning process to become certified to work as continuing care assistants.
This process will help those who may be currently working as long-term care assistants, or care workers who have come to Nova Scotia who want their credentials and experience recognized.
“Continuing care assistants look after our loved ones in long-term care as well as at home,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “By helping more people have their skills and experience recognized and become certified continuing care assistants, we are supporting the workforce to provide more care for those who need it.”
The Recognizing Prior Learning process has two phases. The first is an assessment, where the participant shows what they know. The second phase is education, where the participant completes any outstanding training, education modules, or skills demonstration, and writes the certification exam.
The pilot program will support up to 200 participants by waiving the assessment phase fees ($800), and/or reducing the education phase fees by $800.
To qualify, participants must:
— be accepted as a participant in the Phase One or Two of the Recognizing Prior Learning program between March 1, 2020 and March 1, 2021
— provide a letter from a Nova Scotia continuing care employer indicating the participant is currently employed or has been offered employment
— sign a letter of intent to work in Nova Scotia for one year after certification
The pilot program will also provide for 10 new assessors and more support for employers to screen participants.
Funding for this initiative comes from the Canada-Nova Scotia Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addiction Services Funding Agreement.
To apply, visit http://www.novascotiacca.ca/.
“The Recognizing Prior Learning process acknowledges the knowledge, skills and attitudes gained through on-the-job training, formal education, and life experiences. It allows people to demonstrate their abilities and become certified continuing care assistants more quickly.”
– Pam Shipley, Continuing Care Assistant Program Manager
— the pilot program will run until March 1, 2021 and will be managed by the Health Association of Nova Scotia
— costs for the education phase vary, depending on the additional training needed, and typically range between $800 and $1,800
— 293 people have been certified through the Recognizing Prior Learning process in the last five years
— this is one of several initiatives underway to recruit and retain more continuing care assistants. Others include launching a bursary program in 2019 and making it easier for retired and internationally-trained nurses to work in the field