November 2014 - The gold standard for PSW education

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many of them graduated from different PSW programs throughout Ontario at different times. But sometimes different programs taught different skills. Sometimes an important set of skills were taught in one program but not in another.

But this has now changed.

After consultations with government ministries, colleges and universities, school boards, and other PSW stakeholders, Ontario’s Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities released a PSW educational standard for all PSW training programs in Ontario. This standard will replace all three existing educational standards with a specific set of learning outcomes for PSW graduates. This announcement is in line with SEIU Healthcare’s Sweet$16 campaign, which was central to securing the recent $4 wage increase for PSW’s.

All colleges who offer a PSW program must meet or exceed the educational standard’s new learning outcomes. That means certain classes have to be taught in each program. And students have to be evaluated in the same way. Each program at each college can offer additional programs, but the core programs must be offered everywhere throughout the province.

New PSW graduates will demonstrate core skills and knowledge required to succeed in an entry level position and provide residents, clients and their families with the best care possible.

Nurses, doctors, and physiotherapists over time moved towards a standardized education program. And PSWs are following along the same paths as they become recognized as highly skilled healthcare professionals.

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