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Continuing Care 
Assistant (CCA)

Work in the health care field: This program is of interest to people who are seeking a rewarding career in the health care sector in Nova Scotia, where employment opportunities continue to grow.


Program overview

Offer care and support to people of all ages: CCAs are members of the collaborative care team and contribute to the provision of high quality, safe, compassionate, and efficient care to meet the needs of clients and families. A Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) provides assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) to individuals of all ages in a variety of practice settings, promoting holistic health and independence. A CCA provides direct care and support services to people of all ages, enriching their quality of life. 

Get your CCA qualification: To practice as a CCA in Nova Scotia, an individual must be 1) a graduate of a CCA Program delivered by a licensed education provider, and 2) successfully pass the Nova Scotia CCA Certification Exam.

Learn the skills and participate in work placements: The East Coast International College (ECIC) CCA program is designed to provide graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to deliver appropriate, timely, and respectful person-focused care to individuals. Our program offers a unique, blended approach to training that combines technical, employability, and essential skills. Placements may occur in a variety of employment settings, including the following: Home Care, Nursing Homes/Homes for the Aged, Acute Care Facilities, and other approved care settings that employ CCAs.  




Start date

Application fee

Tuition fee



40 weeks

July 4th, 2022

July 25th, 2022

September 12th, 2022

November 5th, 2022

January 9th, 2023

April 3rd, 2023

September 11th, 2023

$300 (International student $1000)


Tuition fee includes three (3) sets of uniforms, textbooks, mandatory certificate courses, and CCA exam fee.

Apply for a work permit in Nova Scotia

Graduates from a CCA program offered at a Nova Scotia Private Career College, are eligible to apply for a work permit as a CCA through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program, International Graduates in Demand Stream (IGDS). Graduates from Private Career Colleges are not eligible to apply for an open work permit in the PGWP.

Career opportunity

Following successful completion of the program, graduates may seek employment in health care settings such as

  • Home support agencies

  • Long term care facilities 

  • Small options homes

  • Homes for the aged

  • Private homes 

  • Hospitals


This program initiative provides a pathway to a meaningful career and the building of a skilled, adaptable and self-sufficient workforce that contributes to the prosperity of Nova Scotia communities. 


Email for more information. 

Admission requirements

​Applicants to the CCA program must meet the following minimum, provincial, admission requirements: 

  • Nova Scotia or International Grade 12 certificate, GED Certificate or equivalent or

  • Adult Learner Status: An applicant may be considered if he/she is at least 19 years of age and been out of regular high school system for at least one year, as per NS CCA Curriculum Standards and NS PCC approved assessment (such as TABE; Wonderlic) for domestic students with less than Grade 12 or GED.

  • Capable of performing all job requirements (physical and other).

  • Valid Driver License (where required) and access to reliable transportation to reach placement site. 

  • Demonstrated proficiency in the official language in which the Program is delivered (English): ECLC’s UCP 400 and/or CLB 8 or IELTS (Academic) 6.0. 

  • Ability to apply basic computer skills (basic word processing, send/receive emails, web browsing).

  • Clear, Canada-wide, Criminal/Vulnerable Record Check or Police Clearance Certificate (International students).

  • NS Child Abuse Registry Check (where applicable).

Admission process

To be considered for a program seat, all applicants are required to:

  • Successfully complete ECLC’s UCP 400 Level, or submit a valid IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0

  • Participate in an Interview for Program Entry 

  • Provide clear Canada-wide Criminal/Vulnerable Record Check or Police Clearance Certificate 

  • Provide copy of High School Diploma or equivalent 

  • Submit any relevant support documentation (where applicable, identified during interview) 

  • Participate in an Employer Selection Review Process (if required) 


Please note: Final approval and seat allocation is made by way of Selection Panel or Program Selection Committee. 

Program related costs

  • Uniforms: All CCA learners will be provided with three (3) sets of scrub uniforms for use during Clinical Placements and some Lab components. Included in tuition fee.

  • Shoes: All CCA learners are required to obtain 1 Pair of Duty Shoes (non-marking; non- skid soles; full-foot enclosure) Students must purchase (average cost $40-60).

Seniors Socializing
Home Nurse Making Bed


All learners must complete/obtain the following certificate courses in their entirety. 

  • Dementia Care Course

  • Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS)

  • Introduction to Occupational Health & Safety

  • Standard First Aid/CPR Level C  

  • Food Hygiene Course or Basic Food Safety Training

  • LEAP Long Term Care (Palliative Care) Course

  • Mental Health First Aid 

Program Modules:

  • Introduction to CCA Program and Health Care Sector

  • CCA Personal and Professional Development 

  • Communication in the Care Setting

  • Documentation and Technology in the Care Setting

  • Environmental Safety 

  • Safe Handling and Mobility

  • Care Setting Management 

  • Growth and Development 

  • Body Structure; Function and Care Implications 

  • Personal Care 

  • Nutrition and Meal Preparation 

  • Mental Health and Social Wellbeing 

  • Medication

Program requirements

  • The NS Private Career Colleges Act and Regulations mandate minimum attendance requirements for all scheduled classes, lab practice, and placements.  Current regulations require a minimum attendance rate of 90%. Please note that some certificate courses, program modules, and/or placements require 100% mandatory attendance. It is the responsibility of the education provider to maintain attendance records. Failure to meet attendance requirements will lead to dismissal from the program. 

  • The CCA Program entails clinical placements in Long Term Care, Home Care, and approved health care settings.  Students are required to provide their own reliable transportation to clinical placements. This is of particular importance for home care placements. 

  • Shift work is an integral part of this occupation and learners are expected to follow the rotation of their placement mentors. Therefore, placements can involve day, evening, and night shift assignments, for up to 12 hours per shift. While classroom instruction is held between Monday and Friday of each week, placements may occur any day of the week. 

  • Students must successfully complete all program components in order to graduate and be eligible to write the provincial certification exam. 

  • The pass mark for each program module/course is 75%. 

  • The CCA program has additional requirements related to immunizations/vaccinations. Learners are responsible to obtain relevant vaccinations and provide documentation that they have completed these requirements at the beginning of the program. 


Is East Coast International College (ECIC) an approved Designated Learning Institution (DLI)?

Yes. Our DLI number is O267638647882. This means that that we can provide a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for students to apply for a visa.


How long is the Program?

ECIC’s CCA Program is 40 weeks long.


Are the 40 weeks one term or are there any breaks?

There are no breaks in the program so students need to be available for the 40 weeks.


Can I do the program online?

No. Currently, this program must be taken in person.


How much does the program cost?

The tuition fees are $20,000 for the program. There is also a $300 non-refundable application fee.


How old do I have to be to take this program?

All students in the CCA Program must be at least 19 years old to register.


Can I get a work permit when I graduate from the CCA Program?

Yes. Students who graduate are allowed to apply for work as a CCA, and when they get a job offer, they can apply for a work permit. In Nova Scotia, there is a new immigration stream for CCAs through the Nova Scotia Nominee Program. It is called the International Graduates in Demand Stream. The government of Nova Scotia has recognized that there are many job vacancies for CCAs in our province; therefore, they have opened up this new stream for CCA graduates from private career colleges.


Can I get a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) when I graduate form the CCA Program?

No. Students who graduate from a Private Career College are not eligible for a PGWP.


What IELTS score do I need to apply for the CCA Program?

Students need an IELTS 6.0 to be eligible to apply for the CCA Program.



If I don’t have an IELTS 6.0, what do I do?

If you need to improve your English skills, you can first take English training at our language school, East Coast Language College. We offer a University and College Pathway (UCP) program to prepare students for post-secondary studies. We have many university and college partners already, and ECIC is now one of our pathways. Students need to successfully complete our UCP Level 400 in order to be ready for the CCA Program.

I don’t have any medical knowledge in English. How can you help me get prepared for the CCA Program?

As part of the UCP 400 curriculum, we have a specially designed English for Medicine component, specifically for those going on to our CCA Program. It provides you with medical terminology and CCA vocabulary.


Can I get a Conditional Letter of Acceptance (CLOA) from ECIC?

Yes. ECIC will offer you a Conditional Letter of Acceptance (CLOA) to the CCA Program based on your successful completion of ECLC’s UCP 400 level.


Do I have work placements as part of the CCA Program?

Yes. There are three work placements in different types of institutions: Home Support, Nursing Homes/Home for the Aged, and an open Mentorship. In addition to the three work placements, there is a Skills Development Placement that takes place before the work placements to help students develop their skills under the supervision of an RN (Registered Nurse) or LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse).


Is the work placement (Co-op) within the 40 weeks?

Yes. The work placements are part of the 40-week program.


Are the work placements paid or unpaid?

The work placements are unpaid.


When are the work placements during the program?

The work placements are all towards the end of the program, usually during weeks 30 to 39, once students have learned the skills and the knowledge that they need to apply in a workplace setting. Timings of placements may be changed depending on current circumstances.


How long are the work placements?

Home Care Support is 80 hours (3 weeks of the program); Long Term Care is 80 hours (3 weeks of the program); and the Open Mentorship is 60 hours (2 weeks of the program).


Are there any specific medical requirements?

Yes. Anyone working in a health care setting is at risk of exposure to communicable diseases. Therefore, up-to-date vaccinations are required. Please refer to our CCA Program Overview to review the vaccinations required.


Are there any special clothes or equipment that I need to prepare or buy for this course?

The tuition fee covers textbooks, uniforms, mandatory certificate courses, and the CCA exam fee. Students will need to bring their own laptops (cell phones are not acceptable) to classes. They will also be required to purchase one set of Duty Shoes (non-marking, non-slip soles, full-foot enclosure). Average cost for Duty Shoes is between about $40 and $60.

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