Personal Support Worker (PSW) Course

The course consists of 5 Assignments, 5 Tests, 3 Workshops, 70 hours of paid on-the-job training and results in a “Personal Support Worker” – Entry Level certificate.

On June 24th, 2021, the Vickers’ Health Care Aide for Special Care Homes course was recognized by the office of Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification, of the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, “as an approved technical training program for the occupation of Personal Support Worker.” (PETL approval of HCA Course, March 6th, 2024).

“Full tuition costs to be covered for personal support workers . . .” (News Release; Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour; August 6th, 2021)

Training is provided through Vickers Distance Education, 100% tuition free if through NB Works’ Labour Force Training Funding (NB Works’ Offices).

As part of their funding application, employers would need to submit:

  • An invoice for the total course fees
  • A Training Contract signed by the employer, the student, and Vickers
  • A copy of Vickers’ PSW Curriculum
  • A start and finish date for the student’s 6 month course

 Course Structure:

As the student completes each of the five Study Modules, they would do a verbal/visual test with Elizabeth Vickers, through Messenger, Facetime, or WhatsApp, internet services.

Compliance with supervision will be ensured by having the student do a slow scan of the desk area and surrounding room, before the testing starts, and twice more during the testing.

Feedback is given during the testing, with the final mark at the end.  

After the testing, Ms. Vickers will send an updated Course Summary to the Student and their Supervisor, along with any feedback she thinks they should know.

Feedback, and the test mark, will be given to the Student at the end of the testing period, with a follow up email to the Student’s employer.

The Student will attend 3 Workshops; Lift & Transfer Techniques, Personal Care, and Alzheimers Disease, with the final aspect of the course being 70 hours on-the-job training which the employer will supervise.

The Student should complete this course within 6 months of receiving the Study Modules.


There are two acceptable textbooks for the course; the student can buy one, or have the Sorrentino one delivered directly to the employer by Vickers.

“Sorentino’s Canadian Textbook for the Support Worker” 5th edition, by Wilk et al
“Mosby’s Canadian Textbook for the Support Worker” 4th edition, by Sorrentino et al
(Just click on image to be directed to Amazon or Indigo site)

After a textbook has been obtained, I would need a training contract signed by the Student, and the Employer.  When that is signed, I just need the 3rd page returned, along with a copy of the Student’s first aid certificate.  That page can be scanned to me, or if a clear picture can be taken and sent with your cell phone, that is also acceptable.

On the training contract, you would have indicated which textbook has been obtained and whether I am to bill the Student or the Employer.  I will email that person an invoice for the course registration fee.  When I receive that money, I can email the materials needed for the 1st Study Module, and send an enrollment verification letter, which will satisfy the Department of Social Development’s ARF Coordinators that the Student is enrolled in the course.

The Student’s 6 month time limit starts when they get the first Study Module.

Upon receiving the first Study Module, the student should visit the “Booking your test” tab of our website, and they will be able to see the available days and times to book your test dates.

Students seem to do better if they book all 5 tests at the start of the course instead of one at a time as they go along. This way, they know when their tests will be and they can plan their studying accordingly.

Testing is done verbally and visually with Elizabeth Vickers through Messenger or WhatsApp.  Test results and verbal feedback are given during the testing hour.

After the testing, Ms. Vickers will send an updated Course Summary to the Student and their Supervisor, along with any feedback she thinks they should know.

Payments to Vickers can be made through e-transfer to, or cheque/money order to mail to Vickers Distance Education, 433 Fundy Drive, Saint John, N.B. E2M 2R8. 

Vickers will offer the 3 workshops twice a year, in English only, as demand dictates, in Saint John, Moncton, Bathurst and Fredericton.  Alternatively, the Employer can choose to conduct their own workshops; Vickers will supply the learning objectives and must approve the Instructors.

Program Consultants from the Working NB offices throughout New Brunswick are eager to speak with Employers re available funding options based on eligibility.  One of the newest programs is called the Labour Force Training Program.