Personal Support Worker Training in Ontario


Providing support for elderly people living in long term care homes and others who require assistance in daily life in diverse settings are high-demand occupations with increasingly demanding responsibilities as demographics, policy frameworks and economies shift. Indeed, long term care is one of Canada’s fastest growing industries with ongoing worker shortages, even in this period of fragile economic recovery. Working as a personal support worker (PSW) in Ontario does not necessarily require formal training or examination; however, there are an array of PSW training programs offered in private colleges, public colleges, school boards, in-service training and online training. In 2013 the Ontario government announced a plan to develop a common educational standard for PSW training programs. While this standard may address the variability in available educational options, it remains to be seen how this shift will impact working PSWs, current students, and employers. This project encompasses a qualitative, intersectional analysis of the emerging educational standard for PSWs.

The project aims to answer the question: what are the implications of establishing a common education standard for PSW training in Ontario? The project has three key objectives:

  1. To document the process and goals of developing a common educational standard for PSWs
  2. To identify possible emerging issues and implications of the educational standardization
  3. To use theoretically-informed analysis to evaluate whether the standard will effectively reflect and address complex social, human resources, and other issues of contemporary long-term care settings.

This research is supported with funding from the Government of Ontario through the Bruyère Centre for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long Term Care.

The views expressed on this website are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.

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