Personal Support Worker

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The section discusses the following topics :

> What Is a Personal Support Worker?

>What Do PSWs do?

>Where do Personal Support Workers work?

>Education & Preparation


>Professional Associations

What Is Personal Support Work?

Personal Support Workers are a part of the healthcare services offered in Ontario.

Personal support workers are involved in personal care, home management, family responsibilities, and social and recreational activities.

What Do PSWs do?

The personal support worker will help each client with their individual needs.
Examples of services provided include:

  • Bathing
  • Mobility
  • Routine Activities
  • Shopping
  • Meal Preparation

Where do Personal Support Workers work?

Personal Support Workers work in a variety of settings including:

  • Patients’ homes
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Supportive house settings
  • Group homes
  • Hospitals
  • Educational facilities

Education & Preparation

PSWs must complete an eight-month (approximately 700 hour) certificate course from a community college, private school, or district school board. There are variations in the PSW program length, course curricula, and method of delivery between these three types of educational providers, however, all PSW programs must offer theoretical, clinical, and community practicum components.


There is currently no licensure, as Personal Support Workers fall under the unregulated care provider (UCP) category. The title “PSW” is currently not a regulated title.

Students expecting to graduate from a private school or district school board must write a provincial comprehensive exam, in order to standardize their knowledge with community college graduates, who generally have taken a more rigorous program.

Professional Associations









Inerprofessional Education Initiatives: Working together across disciplines