Personal Support Worker Program Standard


The approved program standard for all Personal Support Worker programs of instruction leading to an Ontario College Certificate delivered by Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (MTCU funding code 41469)

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, December 2004

© 2004, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

ISBN 0-7794-7472-4

This publication is also available as a PDF file (105 KB)


Acknowledgements

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities acknowledges with thanks the significant contribution of the many individuals and organizations who participated in the development of this program standard. In particular, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities would like to acknowledge the important roles of

Members of the Personal Support Worker Committee, including: Eve Adams, Ukranian Community Centre; Theodora Asare, Beate Brookfield, Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres; Valerie Broughton, Sheryl Cross, Victorian Order of Nurses; Ruthanna Dyer, Seneca College; Mary Gazel, George Brown College; Nancy Hacking, Conestoga College; Camille Hubert, Sister of Charity of Ottawa Health Services; Kathleen Kennedy, St. Lawrence College; Patricia Kirkby, Fanshawe College; Gaston Lavigne, Collège Boréal; Sue Ledger, Ontario Community Support Association; Jim Millington, Ontario Long Term Care Association; Angela Morris, Community Care Health Providers Association; Peggy Morrison, Canadore College; Steven Reynolds, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care; Judi Reid, Ottawa-Carleton Community Care Access Centre; Mary Sirotnik, Greater Niagara General Hospital; Beth Siurna, Loyalist College; and Diane Windsor, Victorian Order of Nurses, Waterloo.

The many individuals and organizations who participated in consultations with the project; and the secondee who led the development of the vocational standard: Linda Buschmann, Canadore College.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

This document is the Program Standard for all Personal Support Worker programs of instruction leading to an Ontario College Certificate delivered by Ontario colleges of applied arts and technology (MTCU funding code 41469).

Development of System-Wide Program Standards

In 1993, the Government of Ontario initiated program standards development with the objectives of bringing a greater degree of consistency to college programming offered across the province, broadening the focus of college programs to ensure graduates have the skills to be flexible and to continue to learn and adapt, and providing public accountability for the quality and relevance of college programs.

The Colleges Branch of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has responsibility for the development, review, and approval of system-wide standards for programs of instruction at Ontario colleges of applied arts and technology.

Program Standards

Program standards apply to all similar programs of instruction offered by colleges across the province. Each program standard for a postsecondary program includes the following elements:

  • Vocational standard (the vocationally specific learning outcomes which apply to the program of instruction in question),


  • Generic employability skills standard (the generic skills learning outcomes which apply to all programs of instruction offering similar credentials), and


  • General education standard (the requirement for general education in postsecondary programs of instruction).

Collectively, these elements outline the essential skills and knowledge that a student must reliably demonstrate in order to graduate from the program.

Individual colleges of applied arts and technology offering the program of instruction determine the specific program structure, delivery methods, and other curriculum matters to be used in assisting students to achieve the outcomes articulated in the standard. Individual colleges also determine whether additional local learning outcomes will be required to reflect specific local needs and/or interests.

The Expression of Program Standards as Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes represent culminating demonstrations of learning and achievement. They are not simply a listing of discrete skills, nor broad statements of knowledge and comprehension. In addition, learning outcomes are interrelated and cannot be viewed in isolation of one another. As such, they should be viewed as a comprehensive whole. They describe performances that demonstrate that significant integrated learning by graduates of the program has been achieved and verified.

Expressing standards as learning outcomes ensures consistency in the outcomes for program graduates, while leaving to the discretion of individual colleges curriculum matters such as the specific program structure and delivery methods.

The Presentation of the Learning Outcomes

The learning outcome statement sets out the culminating demonstration of learning and achievement that the student must reliably demonstrate before graduation.

The elements of the performance for each outcome define and clarify the level and quality of performance necessary to meet the requirements of the learning outcome. However, it is the performance of the learning outcome itself on which students are evaluated. The elements are indicators of the means by which the student may proceed to satisfactory performance of the learning outcome. The elements do not stand alone but rather in reference to the learning outcome of which they form a part.

The Development of a Program Standard

In establishing the standards development initiative, the Government determined that all postsecondary programs of instruction should include vocational skills coupled with a broader set of essential skills. This combination is considered critical to ensuring that college graduates have the skills required to be successful both upon graduation from the college program and throughout their working and personal lives.

A program standard is developed through a broad consultation process involving a range of stakeholders with a direct interest in the program area, including employers, professional associations, universities, secondary schools, and program graduates working in the field, in addition to students, faculty, and administrators at the colleges themselves. It represents a consensus of participating stakeholders on the essential learning that all program graduates should have achieved.

Updating the Program Standard

The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will undertake regular reviews of the vocational learning outcomes for this program to ensure that the Personal Support Worker Program Standard remains appropriate and relevant to the needs of students and employers across the Province of Ontario. To confirm that this document is the most up-to-date release, contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities at the address or telephone number indicated in the document entitled College Program Standard – Introduction.

Table of contents

II. Vocational Standard

All graduates of Personal Support Worker programs of instruction must have achieved the ten vocational learning outcomes listed in the following pages, in addition to achieving the generic employability skills learning outcome and meeting the general education standard.

Preamble

Personal support workers* are unregulated health care providers*. They work under the supervision* of a regulated health professional*, supervisor*, or, in the supported independent living environment under the direction of the client*. They provide clearly identified personal care*, routine activities of living*, and home management services*, by following care/service plans* and established policies and procedures. Personal support workers are responsible for their work to their clients and to their employers. Employers and supervisors, when assigning work to personal support workers, consider each client situation in relation to that client's condition, the task to be done, the associated risk of performing the task, and the environmental supports required to safely and competently carry out the task. In carrying out their assigned work, personal support workers are responsible for safely and competently following care/service plans, oral directions, and written guidelines, and for complying with established policies and procedures. Personal support workers cannot perform a controlled act (Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991) unless the authority is delegated* to them by a regulated health professional who, in making this decision, has used the practice specific guidelines outlined by their regulatory body.

Graduates, as entry-level workers, have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to provide personal care and home management services to clients in both community and institutional settings*. Graduates of personal support worker programs in the colleges of applied arts and technology have demonstrated the ability to work as members of care/service teams*. They interact and communicate effectively with clients, families*, and care/service team members. As part of their supportive role, these workers in an ongoing and timely manner make and report relevant observations to their supervisor and record these observations according to policies and procedures. Graduates are responsible for working productively and constructively within the personal support worker role, and for knowing the limitations of the role and their personal strengths and weaknesses within the role.

Following successful completion of their program, graduates may be employed in a variety of community and institutional settings*. Personal support workers* work with clients* who are stable and who have clearly identified needs that are not expected to change significantly. They work under supervision* and, as valuable members of care/service teams*, provide personal care* and home management services* to clients who are experiencing physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural challenges. They are capable of providing organized, competent care for individual clients and for their assigned multi-client groups. Personal support workers may also work under the direction of the client.

* Please see Glossary of Terms

Synopsis of the Vocational Learning Outcomes
Personal Support Worker Programs

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

  1. act within the personal support worker* role, under supervision*, and by following care/service plans* and established policies and procedures.
  2. participate as a member of care/service teams* in both community and institutional settings*.
  3. use, under supervision, basic knowledge*, care/service plans, and established policies and procedures.
  4. provide client*-centered and client- directed care under supervision and by following care/service plans and established policies and procedures, in both community and institutional settings.
  5. make, collect, and report to the supervisor* relevant observations in an ongoing and timely manner and record this information promptly.
  6. support the client's personal care* requirements by following care/service plans and established policies and procedures.
  7. support the client's home management services* by following care/service plans and established policies and procedures.
  8. communicate effectively and appropriately using oral, written, and nonverbal methods.
  9. assist in the promotion and maintenance of a safe and comfortable environment for clients, their families*, self, and others.
  10. perform the personal support worker* role in an ethical manner and within the law*.

Note: The learning outcomes have been numbered as a point of reference; numbering does not imply prioritization, sequencing, nor weighting of significance.

* Please see Glossary of Terms

The Vocational Learning Outcomes

1. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

act within the personal support worker* role, under supervision* and by following care/service plans* and established policies and procedures.

Elements of the Performance

  • Understand the role that the personal support worker has in providing client*- centered and client-directed care
  • Recognize the role difference between unregulated care providers* and regulated health professionals*
  • Act within the personal support worker role as an individual worker and as a member of the care/service team*
  • Be responsible and accountable for own actions, within the personal support worker role
  • Carry out assigned tasks, under supervision according to care/service plans and established policies and procedures
  • Recognize own strengths and limitations and seek out guidance appropriately
  • Know when and how to seek out information and request support from supervisors*
  • Identify when a procedure or task will require additional training and seek out appropriate guidance
  • Respect client rights to client-centered and client-directed care
  • Support client autonomy, self-determination, and decision making
  • Respect the client's definition of family* structure
  • Respect the role, rights, and responsibilities of clients and their families and of the care/service team members
  • Demonstrate work-related behaviours that lead to success, such as reliability, punctuality, efficiency, a neat clean appearance, and attitudes and behaviours that reflect positively upon the role and the employer
  • Follow the employer's quality improvement policies and procedures
  • Act upon constructive feedback from clients, supervisors, and care/service team members
  • Appreciate the need for continuous learning
  • Implement practices to promote own health and well-being
  • Have a basic understanding of different health care delivery systems in community and institutional settings*
  • Be aware of the role that community and self-help agencies can offer clients and their families

* Please see Glossary of Terms

2. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

participate as a member of care/service teams* in both community and institutional settings*.

Elements of the Performance

  • Value the role that the care/service team, including personal support workers*, has in providing optimal support and care for clients*
  • Use basic problem-solving skills effectively when functioning as a member of a care/service team
  • Develop effective work relationships with other care/service team members
  • Exhibit a willingness to work and learn as an effective member of the care/service team
  • Seek out information and request support and guidance from the supervisor*
  • Act upon constructive feedback from clients, supervisors, and care/service team members
  • Contribute to effectiveness and efficiency of the employing agency, organization, or facility

* Please see Glossary of Terms

3. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

use, under supervision*, basic knowledge*, care/service plans*, and established policies and procedures

Elements of the Performance

  • Provide safe and competent care to clients* across the lifespan by using basic knowledge appropriately
  • Use basic problem-solving skills effectively when providing personal care* and home management services* to clients
  • Use time management skills effectively to organize own client assignment
  • Apply knowledge from the care/service plans, manufacturer's guidelines, and the employer's established policies and procedures, to properly and safely use equipment and supplies
  • Apply knowledge of basic coping skills to adapt to work-related changes and stresses

Know and follow care/service plans, policies, and procedures to provide safe, competent personal care and home management services

* Please see Glossary of Terms

4. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

provide client*-centered and client-directed care under supervision* and by following care/service plans* and established policies and procedures, in both community and institutional settings*.

Elements of the Performance

  • Act within the personal support worker* role, as an individual worker and as a member of a care/service team*, to provide safe and competent care to diverse clients
  • Carry out assigned tasks in a caring* manner
  • Follow written and oral directions correctly and promptly
  • Organize their own multi-client assignments to provide care competently and efficiently
  • Recognize when tasks are too complex or require more time to be completed safely, that there is a need to request support from the supervisor*
  • Act within the personal support worker role, in a responsible, self-directed, flexible, and adaptable manner
  • Incorporate revisions made to the care/service plan by the supervisor or client
  • Promote a clean, orderly, safe, and accessible work environment while respecting the client's decision making and independence
  • Recognize and respect the cultural, religious, and spiritual beliefs of clients and their families*
  • Provide support and care for clients and their families through the grieving and/or dying process
  • Use basic problem-solving methods effectively and in consultation with the supervisor, to manage inappropriate, disruptive, and/or aggressive behaviours

* Please see Glossary of Terms

5. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

make, collect, and report to the supervisor* relevant observations in an ongoing and timely manner and record this information promptly.

Elements of the Performance

  • Act within the personal support worker* role when making observations regarding the client's* health, function, and emotional state
  • Use the care/service plan* as a guide when observing the client's health state, situation, and routine activities of living*
  • Follow checklists, other written guidelines, and/or oral directions when observing clients
  • Seek out information and guidance from the client and supervisor, as required, when making observations
  • Recognize and report changes in the client's usual condition, health state, situation, and/or routine activities of living
  • Make and report observations about the mental health and cognitive abilities of the client
  • Complete checklists and other forms of record keeping as required by the employer's policies
  • Provide to the supervisor oral and written reports containing accurate information about the client's condition, health state, situation, and/or routine activities of living
  • Contribute to the development and revision of care/service plans by providing information to the supervisor

* Please see Glossary of Terms

6. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

support the client's* personal care* requirements by following care/service plans* and established policies and procedures.

Elements of the Performance

  • Carry out care/service plans and follow established policies and procedures
  • Assist in supporting the client's rights to safety, dignity, respect, privacy, and confidentiality when providing personal care
  • Respect each client's personal preferences, pace, and space
  • Assist in supporting client comfort by following the care/service plan and client preferences
  • Assist in reinforcing client learning by referring to the care/service plan
  • Use safe feeding techniques that are specific to the client's needs and condition and comply with the care/service plan
  • Use basic principles of hygiene and grooming correctly and safely when assisting clients to meet their personal hygiene needs
  • Use body mechanics correctly and safely
  • Position, lift, transfer, move, and ambulate clients by using assistive equipment and supplies correctly
  • Make changes to the client's environment after consulting with the supervisor* and/or client
  • Use standard precautions and infection control measures correctly
  • Act within the personal support worker* role by following the care/service plan and established policies and procedures when assisting clients with their medication

* Please see Glossary of Terms

7. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

support the client's* home management services* by following care/service plans* and established policies and procedures.

Elements of the Performance

  • Provide home management services that promote the health, well-being, safety, and comfort of clients
  • Respect the client's preferences when providing home management services
  • Use body mechanics correctly when providing home management services
  • Report safety risks found in the client's personal living space and follow established policies and procedures to reduce or eliminate these risks
  • Follow the established policies, procedures, and the manufacturer's guidelines relevant to household equipment and appliance use and product use and disposal
  • Follow standard precautions and infection control when providing home management services
  • Assist clients to prepare a food-shopping list and budget that meet Canada's Food Guide, and the client's preferences and /or prescribed diet
  • Follow safe food handling, storage, and preparation procedures

* Please see Glossary of Terms

8. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

communicate effectively and appropriately using oral, written, and nonverbal methods.

Elements of the Performance

  • Use basic principles of helping relationships when providing care
  • Use a positive and caring* attitude, empathy, respect, and sensitivity to diversity* when interacting with clients* and their families*
  • Use communication skills and language appropriate to the client's needs and situation
  • Assist in providing an emotionally and physically safe and comfortable environment, by using effective communication with clients and their families and support systems
  • Recognize the influence that communication disorders and sensory deficits have on the client's ability to interact with their environment
  • Support the client's verbal and nonverbal communication by using assistive devices according to the care/service plan*
  • Use effective communication skills and strategies, in consultation with the supervisor*, to manage inappropriate, disruptive, and/or aggressive behaviour
  • Speak and write clearly using the correct terminology and abbreviations given in the established policies and procedures
  • Use effective communication skills when reporting to the supervisor
  • Complete checklists and other forms of record keeping accurately, promptly, and according to employer policies and procedures

* Please see Glossary of Terms

9. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

assist in the promotion and maintenance of a safe and comfortable environment for clients*, their families*, self, and others.

Elements of the Performance

  • Know and comply with health, safety, and emergency measures, relevant law*, and the employer's established policies and procedures
  • Recognize and report safety risks in the environment and, by following established policies and procedures reduce or eliminate threats to safety
  • Recognize physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and/or financial abuse and report this abuse promptly to an appropriate individual
  • Support client and staff rights to a safe, non-abusive, and non-threatening environment
  • Implement practices that promote personal safety and the safety of clients and others
  • Use self- protective equipment when providing personal care* and home management services*
  • Know when and how to call for first responders such as paramedics, fire fighters, and police

* Please see Glossary of Terms

10. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

perform the personal support worker* role in an ethical manner and within the law*.

Elements of the Performance

  • Understand and respect the influence that legislation has on the role and responsibilities of regulated health professionals*
  • Understand the role and responsibility differences between regulated health professionals and unregulated health care providers*
  • Perform activities within the boundaries of training, job description, the care/service plan*, employer's policies, and applicable law
  • Respect the client's* right to safety, dignity, privacy, and confidentiality at all times
  • Respect decisions made by clients about their health, safety, well-being, and lifestyle

* Please see Glossary of Terms

Table of Contents

Glossary of Terms

Basic knowledge – Basic knowledge includes having rudimentary information, appropriate to the personal support worker role about aging, growth and development throughout the lifespan; supportive personal care and home management services; communication; general health and healthy behaviours; common cognitive, physical, behavioural, and emotional conditions; and health and safety practices.

Care/Service Plan – A client-centered, client-directed plan of action that is determined by clients or their agents together with supervisors. Regulated health professionals and/or supervisors are accountable for the development of care/service plans, for the safe and competent implementation of these plans, for the evaluation of client outcomes, and for revisions to care/service plans as required. Personal support workers are responsible for competently carrying out assigned supportive care actions as outlined in care/service plans and according to established policies and procedures.

Care/Service Team – Individuals who by working together provide health, personal and supportive care, and/or home management services to clients. The team may consist of different configurations of regulated health professionals and other professionals, unregulated care providers, and other caregivers. Within the team, the client remains its centre and client-directed care its focus. All care/service team members maintain client confidentiality.

Caring – Caring is a human to human process. A caring personal support worker will demonstrate the characteristics of compassion, conscience, confidence and competence appropriate to the role, supportive communication skills, a nonjudgmental attitude, empathy, respect and, sensitivity to diversity, including respect for the cultural, religious, and spiritual differences unique to individuals and groups. [Adapted from Taylor et al. (2001). Fundamentals of Nursing. (4th ed.) Philadelphia, P.A.: Lippincott. (Page 76)]

Client – The individual, family, or group of individuals in community, long-term care, and/or acute care settings for whom personal support workers provide personal care and home management services. Clients are stable, with clearly identified needs that are not expected to change significantly. Clients may come from all ages of the lifespan and may be experiencing one or more physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and/or behavioural challenges. In the long-term care setting, since the facility is their home, clients are residents. In community settings, physically disabled clients are consumers and those without physical disabilities are clients.

Community and Institutional Settings – The environment in which personal support workers are employed, for example, community, long-term care, and health-care facilities, organizations, and agencies and supported independent living situations.

Diversity – A wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, beliefs and practices, socioeconomic statuses, ages, creeds, sexual orientation and identity, ableness, and health states representative of clients and colleagues with whom graduates will interact.

Family – A client's family consists of those individuals whom a client designates as being his/her family.

Home Management Services – The activities required to support clients and their families within their homes. These services include housekeeping activities such as vacuuming, dusting, laundry, making beds, meal and snack preparation, accompanying clients, shopping, and running errands. Successful home management requires personal support workers to know care/service plans and employer policies, operate and correctly use and maintain small appliances and equipment, carry out health and safety rules, and recognize and report risks and unsafe living conditions. Personal support workers make environmental changes appropriate for the home management task and use body mechanics correctly when carrying out their work. Home management services may include assisting family members in providing a safe and comfortable home environment, respite care, infant care, and childcare.

Law – The personal support worker is expected to know that law governs their work and to act within applicable law. Laws which influence the work provided by personal support workers include, for example, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Human Rights Code, Health Care Consent Act, Child and Family Services Act, Long Term Care Statutes Law Amendment Act and the acts it amends, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. While personal support workers are not governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) or its companion acts, they are expected to respect the boundaries of that legislation.

Personal Care – Personal care includes those activities that support the client's physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and behavioural requirements. Personal care activities are directed toward supporting the client's communication; activities of daily living, personal hygiene such as bathing, dressing/undressing, grooming, skin care, and oral care; meal planning and preparation; eating; hydration, elimination, sleeping; mobility; leisure and recreation; and the promotion of comfort and safety activities. Personal care provided by the personal support worker supports the client's health, well-being, and sense of self-determination.

Personal Support Worker – Personal support workers are valuable members of care/service teams in both community and institutional settings. While not governed by the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) or its companion acts, the personal support worker should understand the boundaries of the legislation; they should not perform within a scope of practice nor use a professional designation/title protected by the legislation. Under supervision by regulated health professionals and/or supervisors or under client direction, personal support workers provide basic personal care and home management services by following care/service plans and by complying with established policies and procedures. In order to promote the client's self-determination and control, personal support workers follow, whenever possible, the client's directions and preferences. Personal support workers are responsible for their decisions and actions and accountable to the employer when they provide personal care and home management services.

Regulated Health Professional – Those individuals who are members of a regulatory body mandated by the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA, 1991) and its companion acts. The RHPA sets the legislative framework for self-regulation and the companion acts contain the scope of practice, professional designation and title, and the controlled acts approved for the profession. In assigning activities to and supervising personal support workers, regulated health professionals should be satisfied those fulfilling the personal care functions are competent. The regulated health professional has the responsibility to provide continuing supervision for unregulated health care providers. In addition to supervising personal support workers, regulated health professionals guide, direct, teach, and may, under specific conditions, delegate controlled acts to these workers. Regulated health professionals registered by their regulatory body include dentists, dental hygienists, dietitians, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, physicians, physiotherapists, nurses, and respiratory care practitioners.

Routine Activities of Living – Those actions which under other circumstances, the client would perform independently but for which the client now requires assistance. Routine activities of living are performed by the personal support worker to support clients' health and well-being, promote their ability to care for themselves and their families, assist them to enjoy leisure and recreation, and help them to contribute to society and the community. The need for, the client's response to, and the outcomes of performing these activities have been established over time and therefore, are predictable. In addition, what may be considered a routine activity of living in one client situation should not be considered a routine activity of living for all client situations. Personal support workers assist clients' with their routine activities of living by following care/service plans, written guidelines, oral directions, and employer policies. These activities are supervised, directly or indirectly, by a regulated health professional/supervisor and/or they are under the direction of the client.

Supervision – The act of overseeing the activities or work of personal support workers and ensuring that the individual personal support worker has the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to perform an assigned task. The type and amount of supervision (direct or indirect) should match the client needs, the expected outcomes of care, and the associated risks in performing the task. Regulated health professionals/supervisors are accountable to the client, the employer, and the regulatory body for the quality of services provided. Employers are responsible for ensuring that personal support workers do not perform tasks that are beyond their level of knowledge and competence.

Supervisor – Employers or employer designates including members of the regulated professions who supervise the personal support worker and who are accountable for knowing and understanding the role responsibilities of these workers. Supervisors are accountable for their decisions and actions regarding delegating, teaching, assigning, and supervising the personal support worker. In the independent living setting, the supervisor may be the consumer.

Unregulated Care Provider – These health care providers are not regulated through legislation. All unregulated health care providers (UCP) perform clearly identified services under the direction and/or supervision of a client, family member, regulated health professional, or employer. Unregulated care providers include for example, personal support workers, personal attendants, homemakers, occupational therapist assistants, physiotherapist assistants, psychiatric assistants, and family/lay visitors.

Table of Contents

III. Generic Employability Skills Standard

All graduates of Personal Support Worker programs of instruction must have achieved the eleven generic employability skills learning outcomes listed on the following pages, in addition to achieving the vocational learning outcomes and meeting the general education standard. In the generic employability skills learning outcomes, an “explanation” of the outcome is also provided to help ensure clarity.

Synopsis of the Generic Employability Skills Learning Outcomes
Personal Support Worker Programs

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

  1. communicate clearly and coherently using written and spoken formats which fulfil the purpose and meet the needs of audiences.
  2. locate and select the current, relevant, and useful information required to complete tasks.
  3. interpret information, instructions, claims, and ideas with the accuracy required to complete tasks.
  4. execute mathematical operations with the accuracy required to solve routine problems.
  5. use computers and other technological tools to perform routine tasks.
  6. manage the use of time and other resources to complete tasks and attain goals.
  7. solve problems, using a variety of strategies.
  8. interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships.
  9. take responsibility for his or her own actions.
  10. analyze and present his or her skills, knowledge, attributes, and experience for personal development and employment purposes.
  11. adapt his or her current skills and knowledge to new situations.

The Generic Employability Skills Learning Outcomes

1. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

communicate clearly and coherently using written and spoken formats which fulfil the purpose and meet the needs of audiences.

Explanation

Communicating in a clear and concise manner requires producing the spoken and written material that best suits the situation. Graduates will have developed their ability to recognize the differing needs of their audiences, to identify what is required, and to match those needs with the message that is most appropriate. They will communicate using the style and conventions required, and they will check their communication for accuracy and clarity, making adjustments where necessary.

Elements of the Performance

  • Plan and organize communications according to the purpose and audiences
  • Incorporate content that is meaningful and necessary
  • Ensure that the message conforms to the conventions of a format (e.g., memo, e-mail, weekly report, care plan, daily log, formal presentation)
  • Use language and style suitable to the audiences and purposes
  • Revise the message, adjusting for errors in content and mechanics (e.g., spelling, punctuation, usage, sentence structure)
  • Use tone, volume, and pace suitable to the audiences and purposes
  • Employ effective listening and reading skills to gather feedback to communication
  • Respond to verbal and nonverbal feedback

2. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

locate and select the current, relevant, and useful information required to complete tasks.

Explanation

Completing tasks often requires information that can be used as support. Graduates, therefore, must be able to access current, relevant, and useful information and to make effective use of that information. Graduates will have developed and used strategies to locate an appropriate range of information. They will have learned how to select pertinent information and to sort it. This information can then be used to support decisions and to assist in the completion of tasks.

Elements of the Performance

  • Determine the nature of the information required
  • Consult a variety of information sources (e.g., people, text, databases, electronic and non-electronic libraries and networks)
  • Gather information from appropriate sources
  • Examine the information and select what is relevant, important, and useful
  • Use typical formats to record information
  • Use information ethically
  • Acknowledge and credit the source of material in both written and oral reports

3. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

interpret information, instructions, claims, and ideas with the accuracy required to complete tasks.

Explanation

Responding to messages from many sources requires the ability to receive messages and to comprehend what has been received. Graduates will have developed the skills to receive messages through listening, reading, and observation. The important role of information in personal and workplace situations requires graduates to be able to understand material produced by others. Graduates will have demonstrated their understanding of the messages they receive through accurate reports (in a variety of formats) or through completing tasks related to the messages.

Elements of the Performance

  • Use strategies to read, listen, and observe effectively (e.g., note-taking techniques, skimming, concept maps, concentration tools, asking for clarification)
  • Clarify what has been read, heard, and observed
  • Present an accurate spoken or written report of what has been read, heard, and observed
  • Outline the arguments used to support claims
  • Examine the material used to support claims distinguishing between fact and opinion
  • Acknowledge and credit the source of information, ideas, and concepts
  • Follow instructions
  • Complete tasks making use of the messages received

4. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

execute mathematical operations with the accuracy required to solve routine problems.

Explanation

Completing regular personal and workplace tasks requires the ability to use mathematical techniques to arrive at accurate solutions. Graduates will have developed their ability to identify tasks and problems which require mathematics, to apply mathematical techniques (concepts, conventions, strategies, and operations), and to check the results of their applications.

Elements of the Performance

  • Recognize situations that require mathematics
  • Estimate probable answers
  • Apply mathematical principles
  • Execute routine mathematical operations
  • Check for errors in numerical answers and the appropriate fit between problems and answers

5. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

use computers and other technological tools to perform routine tasks.

Explanation

Using computers and other technologies to increase productivity and to expedite everyday tasks requires graduates to have the confidence and ability to recognize when computers and other technologies contribute to completing routine tasks and solving problems. They will have demonstrated the ability to make use of the technological tools appropriate to typical daily tasks in personal and in working life.

Elements of the Performance

  • Use basic operating system functions (e.g., load, save, retrieve)
  • Choose the most appropriate available technology to complete the task
  • Use the software, equipment, and tools correctly and ethically to complete routine tasks
  • Deal with equipment and software problems and errors in a logical and systematic manner
  • Use common technological tools effectively (e.g., calculators, fax machines, voice mail systems, VCR's)

6. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

manage the use of time and other resources to complete tasks and attain goals.

Explanation

Achieving task-related goals in their personal and professional lives requires graduates to use time, money, space, and other often limited resources as efficiently as possible. Graduates will have developed their ability to plan and predict efficient ways of achieving goals. They will use tools designed to assist in the process.

Elements of the Performance

  • Set reasonable and realistic goals
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Use appropriate planning tools (e.g., budgets, schedules) to achieve goals
  • Use resources (e.g., time, equipment, materials, money, information, support systems) efficiently to accomplish tasks
  • Monitor the process and expectations, and make necessary adjustments

7. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

solve problems, using a variety of strategies.

Explanation

Solving a range of problems and dealing with a variety of tasks require the thinking skills and strategies that will allow graduates to identify what has to be done and to select and implement a suitable approach. Graduates will also be able to develop their creative thinking skills as they find alternative ways to address a situation.

Elements of the Performance

  • Recognize when there is a problem to be solved
  • Analyze the problem
  • Select the thinking skills and strategies (e.g., inductive and deductive thinking, brainstorming, clustering) which could be used to solve the problem
  • Develop solutions using selected skills and strategies
  • Implement the preferred solution
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies and the solution

8. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships.

Explanation

Working in teams or groups in either a work or a social context requires interacting effectively with the members of the group. Graduates will have demonstrated their ability to identify and complete the various tasks required of them as individuals and as group members. They will also have demonstrated their ability to consider and respond to others.

Elements of the Performance

  • Work with the group or team to clarify tasks, roles, and responsibilities
  • Clarify one's own roles and fulfill them in a timely fashion
  • Contribute one's own ideas, opinions, and information while demonstrating respect for those of others
  • Treat other members of the group or team equitably and fairly
  • Contribute to a group's evaluation of its progress and interactions

9. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

take responsibility for his or her own actions.

Explanation

Taking positions and completing tasks require graduates to be accountable for actions taken. Graduates will have demonstrated their ability to explain what they do and why they do it. They will acknowledge the consequences of their actions and examine feedback on their actions.

Elements of the Performance

  • Acknowledge one's actions
  • Acknowledge one's role in group activities
  • Review the results of one's actions
  • Identify the successes resulting from one's actions
  • Identify any problems resulting from one's actions and make adaptations
  • Evaluate and act upon feedback

10. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

analyze and present his or her skills, knowledge, attributes, and experience for personal development and employment purposes.

Explanation

Preparing for changes in their personal and professional lives requires graduates to assess and present their accomplishments and abilities. Graduates will have developed their ability to identify and reflect on what they have done and learned. They will have summarized their abilities in ways that are attractive and useful to potential recipients and to themselves.

Elements of the Performance

  • Summarize one's own skills, knowledge, attributes and experience fully and realistically
  • Present oneself using a format which best identifies skills, knowledge, attributes, and experience (e.g., resume, portfolio, interview, web page)
  • Analyze feedback to presentations of oneself

11. The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

adapt his or her current skills and knowledge to new situations.

Explanation

Graduates will have developed the confidence to know that their current skills are applicable to a range of changing, novel, and unexpected situations. They will have demonstrated their ability to reflect on what they can do, match those skills to the new demands, and identify additional skills which will make them effective in new situations. They will be able to plan for further learning opportunities to help them develop the new skills and knowledge.

Elements of the Performance

  • Assess current skills and knowledge
  • Recognize situations which require adaptation of skills and knowledge
  • Identify skills and knowledge required for new personal and workplace situations and make plans to acquire them
  • Set goals for continued broadening of skills, knowledge, attitudes, and experience to respond to changes in personal and working life

Table of Contents

IV. General Education Standard

All graduates of Personal Support Worker programs of instruction must have a locally determined general education requirement, in addition to achieving the vocational and generic employability skills learning outcomes.

The General Education Requirement for Ontario College Certificate Programs

Colleges may determine locally the appropriate inclusion of general education learning outcomes in Ontario College Certificate programs. However, it is desirable that graduates at this level will have been engaged in learning that incorporates some breadth beyond the vocational field of study.

The general education requirement is an integral component of the Personal Support Worker Program Standard, along with the vocational and generic employability skills learning outcomes.