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Personal Support Worker - University Gates

2018/19 | Conestoga College

Program Code: 1165waterloo
School of Health & Life Sciences

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

This is a companion document to the current Conestoga College Student Guide

Program Handbook Guidelines

The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting, and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly and students must check their program handbook for the current edition.


To the School of Health & Life Sciences

Your Bridge to Practice

bridge logo 

What Can This Mean For You?

  • The opportunity to begin, today, to become the professional you aspire to be.
  • The opportunity to learn in life-like settings and with real-life scenarios, rehearsing for the day when you will be in these real-life situations.
  • A unique inter-professional opportunity, given the number of different disciplines in the school. You will learn with, about and from your future colleagues.
  • An opportunity to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities, social and study spaces in our Cowan Health Sciences Centre, as well as other unique learning resources such as the Motz Emergency Service Bays in the Regional of Waterloo Paramedic Services Station, or the WeConnect Agora and Simulation Centre (Living Classroom at University Gates).
  • Your goal of being viewed by employers as a "preferred graduate" is up to you; your professors, support staff, administrative staff and college services look forward to supporting you as you journey from day one to your graduation.

Top 5 Expectations of You

1.    Use MyConestoga to Connect To:

Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, jsmith4567@conestogac.on.ca)

  • This is the official communication vehicle regarding your academic requirements. Communication with Faculty/staff should only be through your Conestoga email account. Communication through other accounts may not be responded to. Check it regularly and respond as requested.


  • This is your resource for all course-based program information and course-based communication with your faculty.
  • Make eConestoga your partner in learning; this is your guide to all course activity.
  • Only course logistics should be communicated through eConestoga, all other email communication should be done through your Conestoga email.

Student Portal:

  • Find your final grade information, college tuition invoices, class schedules and absence reporting.

Practicum Health Requirements: (Go to "Services" and find "Practicum Services Link")

  • Keep track of your requirements on an ongoing basis; check that they are complete to allow you to go on your practicum (if applicable).

2. Know and Plan Around Your Academic Schedule With Your Family

Course Schedule:

  • Your schedule has been planned with many people and multiple considerations in mind.

The Academic Year has critical dates: Please plan around these dates to ensure you are here when you need to be--including the potential need to be present for the two weeks after the semester ends if you might need to complete supplemental work to allow you to continue to the next semester. Program start and end dates, holidays and deadlines for course add/drop and withdrawal, are located on the website. Course changes (add/dropping) may also be made through the Student Portal under the "My Courses" tab.

Academic Dates
Fall 2018 Dates Winter 2019 Dates
Fall Orientation Week Aug. 27- 31st  Winter Orientation January 3
Fall Semester Classes Start Sept 4 Winter Semester Classes Start January 7
Student Success Week Oct. 22-26th Student Success Week Feb. 25-Mar. 1
Last Week of Semester December 10-14* Last Week of Semester April 15-19*
Intersession (no classes) Dec. 17- Jan. 4/19 Intersession (no classes) April 22-May 3

*Programs with exams outside this time will be notified by the academic area.

3. Be the Professional You Wish To Become - From Day One

Civility, respect and professional behaviours will be key in the quality of your learning experience—and a future employer's first and lasting impression.

Professional Dress & Conduct: See Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. The college's Student Guide sets out Student Code of Conduct for our community at Conestoga.

Pre-practicum Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your practicum and your program completion will be in jeopardy. 

Social Media: Use responsibly. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.

4. Attend To Enhance Success

Attendance Expectations: Attendance for class, labs and practicum supports student learning and your experience as a future professional. See attendance and student success strategies section in the handbook.

Absence from Evaluations: Must be reported in the Student Portal before your scheduled evaluation time. See attendance for evaluation section in the handbook.

Request for Accommodation for Religious Holidays: Request must be submitted to your Program Coordinator as per course schedule. See Religious Holidays sections in the Program Handbook.

5. Take Responsibility for Your Academic Status

Student Records: If you have questions about your student record, academic status and or program withdrawals, speak to your Program Coordinator.

Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.

Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Please refer to the Student Guide for more information.

Student Forms: To access forms go to the Student Forms page.

Academic Policies & Procedures: May be found under Policies and Procedures. Please read and understand the Rights and Responsibilities website. 

Student Affairs Policies & Procedures: May be found at the Student Affairs page.

Top 5 Resources for You

1. Your Teaching Team

Contact Information: Is posted in eConestoga and in your Program Handbook (Relationships Section in the Handbook)

Appointments: Making appointments (in person, by phone, email) helps to ensure your desired resource is available.
Email Inquiries: will be answered within two business days.
Urgent Need for Help: Program Assistants are available to help you reach one of the Teaching Team (contact information in Relationships Section of the Handbook)

2. Counselling and Services for Personal Needs

College Counselling: Professionally-trained counsellors can help you achieve your educational goals—for such common support as stress management, anxiety, depression, transition issues, family issues, etc. Counselling is free, voluntary and confidential. Arrange to see a Counsellor quickly if academic or personal problems stand in the way of your college success. Waterloo Campus, Main Office Room 1C4 or call 519-885-0300 ext. 5224.
Good2Talk: Confidential 24-hour phone line for stresses big and small: 1-866-925-5454
Conestoga Security: Provides a safe and secure work and learning environment. 519-885-0300 Ext 357, Level 1, B Wing at Waterloo Campus. Refer to the Student Guide for Conestoga's Safety and Security Services and procedures.
Student Financial Services: Student Financial Services can help you by providing you with options to finance your post-secondary education.
CSI Food Bank: The CSI Food Bank is an emergency food relief program for current Conestoga students., located inside the Waterloo Campus cafeteria. 

3. Accessibility Services

Students with Documented Disabilities are encouraged to book an appointment with Accessibility Services to access accommodations early in your program. Disability-related documentation will be required to book an appointment. Go to the Accessibility Services webpage for more information.
Adaptive Technology Aids and Special Facilities: Adaptive Aids are arranged through Accessibility Services; accessible washrooms are located throughout the campus. Contact the Adaptive Technology Lab for more information on adaptive technology aids.

4. Student Study Spaces and General Supports

WeConnect Agora – Enjoy the seating conversation or group work. Plug-ins for laptops are located throughout this area. The computer stations around the room are accessed by using your Conestoga College login.

Open Access Lab – The Lab space for Open Access will be posted daily. Sign in the calendar book to use this space and have a Practice Application Specialist available.

Lockers are available with your tuition; important to store your extra clothes and books, etc. so that you can be at your professional best in the lab. Your locker will be assigned to you at University Gates.  

Information Technology – IT Service Desk, 1E12 (provides supports & general assistance with college-related needs such as Email, Network accounts, connectivity & wireless printing. Go to the Web IT Service Desk for more information.

5. Services for Students

Library Resource Centre: Located on 2nd Floor B Wing; Go to the Library Resource Centre page for more information.
International Education Office: Check out the International Education Office for services available to you.
Learning Commons: Your one-stop resource for academic services and resources, such as Math, Writing Skills, Peer Tutors and resources for APA. Check out their website or Access through MyConestoga.
Student Engagement: Get involved and shape your experience. Visit the Student Engagement page or Connect to MyConestoga for your Co-Curricular Record.
Student Financial Services: Your one-stop resource to apply for student awards, bursaries, and scholarships apply early to increase your chances.
Bookstore: Your location to buy books (check out their options including used books), clothing for your program and general supplies. Find it at the Waterloo Campus.
Co-op and Career Advising: Your resource for Co-op Placements (if you are in a degree); your source of help to look for summer jobs or future careers and gain help preparing your resume. Check out the Co-op and Career Services site for more information.

Letter to Students

Dear Personal Support Worker Student,

Welcome to the Personal Support Worker (PSW) Certificate Program. We are very proud of our PSW Program at Conestoga College, and are proud of our students and graduates. 

This handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, guidelines and processes specific to the PSW Program. Reading, understanding, and following the information in this handbook is an important first step in your continued success in this program and your chosen profession. The handbook has been compiled with careful consideration for your personal and professional growth during your time at the college. If you do not understand any of the information in this handbook, please ask the Personal Support Worker Faculty or the Chair of Nursing for an explanation.

Use the index in this handbook as your guide and the contents as your continuous reference as you proceed through the program.  The PSW Faculty will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours.

In addition to the PSW Program Handbook, the Conestoga College Student Guide outlines important policies and procedures for you to follow. The PSW Program Handbook is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, the Conestoga College Student Guide.

We are here to help you succeed along your journey. Should you experience difficulty or need assistance in any area of your studies, please talk to your professor, Program Coordinator, or come to my office to seek direction.

All the very best to you in your studies.


Heather Cross Signature.PNG

Heather Cross, Chair of Nursing
PSW Program Coordinator, Faculty and staff

Welcome to the Schlegel Villages Living Classroom at University Gates

In 2006, Conestoga College and Schlegel Villages developed a Living Classroom program in Long-Term Care (LTC). This innovative and collaborative program consists of classroom and clinical teaching for Practical Nursing (PN) and Personal Support Worker (PSW) students, all in a real LTC and Retirement Home environment.

By participating in the Living Classroom program:

  • You have all the benefits of Conestoga College's PSW and PN curriculum and credentials, and
  • You have the additional benefits of learning at the Schlegel Villages University Gates.

The Living Classroom program embraces intentional interactions among you (students), the LTC and retirement living team, residents, and families. The program provides you with formal and active learning experiences in LTC and retirement living environments. The Living Classroom program includes:

  1. a specifically focused collaborative gerontological curriculum;
  2. intentional exposure to, and mastery of, knowledge, skills, and behaviours; and,
  3. the fostering of a formal and informal learning in a mentoring environment.

In addition to teaching and providing support for you as a student, Conestoga College PSW Program team members in the Living Classroom work together with the Schlegel Village team to integrate your learning with the activities in the facility, and create opportunities for your involvement. You are encouraged to take advantage of being in the Village by spending time with the residents and their families. The LTC and retirement Village also facilitates volunteering opportunities for you to assist residents and families. Furthermore, Schlegel Village teams receive special training on how to mentor and support you when you are in the Village.

The outcomes of the integration between learning and caregiving are mutually beneficial:

  • as a student, you gain more comfort and confidence in working with residents and families;
  • the team actively participates in your training;
  • residents are provided with care as well as social interaction;
  • you feel respected and valued as a member of the team;
  • the team and residents also feel valued as they are actively assist you with the learning and training process by sharing their own skills and experiences.
Schlegel Village of University Gates Welcome

Dear Conestoga College Student,

On behalf of the Team of The Village at University Gates we would like to extend a warm welcome to you.  Our Village is a place where Residents, Family Members, Team Members, Students, Researchers, and our Community Partners are all valued. 

In the Village Neighbourhoods we can all have the opportunity to learn from each other and grow together.  We trust you will enjoy your time learning in this unique living classroom environment. 

We wish you all the best as you begin this very rewarding career as a caregiver.

Warmest Regards,

Chris-Anne Preston
General Manager    

Program Overview

Program Description

Conestoga's Personal Support Worker Program offers an integrated plan of learning in which the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values critical to your goal of becoming a Personal Support Worker are presented in a logical sequence which builds on itself and provides the opportunity to integrate increasing knowledge with opportunities to apply theory to practice in more complex ways.

Program Philosophy

The philosophy of personal supportive care is based on the belief that the individual client and his/her family are unique individuals with unique experiences. Each individual and family have basic needs and the potential to meet their basic needs, however at times, assistance may be required because of age, environmental and health related factors.

Values/Beliefs that Guide the Personal Support Worker Program Curriculum

Our Beliefs about Those Receiving Supportive Care

We believe that:

  • The Personal Support Worker provides quality supportive care for individual clients and/or families throughout the lifespan and at various levels of health and wellness, utilizing a holistic approach.
  • The Personal Support Worker recognizes the interrelatedness of the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of the individual and stressing optimum functional restoration.
  • The individual client's right to respect, dignity, confidentiality, cultural integrity, independence, well- being, choice, and self-determination are supported and promoted by the Personal Support Worker to enhance quality of life throughout the life cycle.

Our Beliefs about Those Who Care For Individuals Requiring Supportive Care

We believe that:

  • The Personal Support Worker is a valued contributing member of the interprofessional health care team and works under the direction of registered and or designated personnel, and in partnership with clients and/or their families, in institutional and/or home care environments. An atmosphere of mutual respect between all individuals is promoted.
  • The Personal Support Worker learns in an environment that enhances personal and educational growth. Principles of adult education guide the teaching-learning process. Students accept responsibility for their learning, and the program team facilitates achievement of the student's learning needs.
  • Legal, moral and ethical guidelines govern the practice of the Personal Support Worker.
  • The Personal Support Worker recognizes that he/she will function in a continually changing society and health care system, which reflects an increasingly aging and multi-cultural population.

Our Beliefs Applied To the Personal Support Worker Program

We believe that Conestoga College's PSW Program incorporates the above philosophy into our program by:

  • Accommodating, to the best of our ability, individual situations, as appropriate for emerging adult learners.
  • Encouraging and expecting students to develop behaviors necessary in the workforce and in the PSW profession, including: self-reflection, responsibility for self and own actions, honesty, integrity, and punctuality.
  • Designing courses and experiences to support students in constructing knowledge about supportive care in meaningful ways.
  • Modeling a variety of teaching styles, providing a variety of learning and practice experiences, and by using a variety of evaluation methods.
  • Modeling communication and problem-solving skills as well as professional behaviours and attitudes required of personal support workers.
  • Supporting the integration of theory and practice by providing students with opportunities to connect theory and its application in combination with practical experience.
  • Facilitating students' understanding to enable them to "make sense" of their practical experiences in view of theory.
  • Engaging students actively in their learning process.
  • Recognizing and appreciating the different styles and approaches to learning that an emerging adult learner may use/exhibit (multiple intelligences).
  • Building on previous successes in order to enhance confidence of the student as a learner.
  • Supporting students as they develop their professional philosophy.
  • Mentoring students as they proceed through their journey of becoming a personal support worker in both the classroom, lab and through their clinical placement experiences.
  • Offering general knowledge and generic skills, in addition to specific vocational skills.
  • Endeavoring to support the PSW field and the local community, believing that learning is life-long, and that personal support workers play a vital role in our society.

Our Beliefs about the Experiential Learning Experience

Experiential learning experiences provide:

  • students with opportunities to develop skills to apply in a clinical environment;
  • an environment of practice for students that supports a reflective, intentionally responsive philosophy;
  • students with the opportunity to work with  a team who support, evaluate, and mentor them as they work to acquire the skills and attitudes necessary of a Personal Support Worker;
  • an environment where the teaching/learning team and students work together to implement and evaluate new skills necessary to work  in the health care field as a Personal Support Worker.

Program Summary Map 2018-2019

Program Map describes your learning journey with three important components:

  1. All courses focus on you demonstrating development towards the program outcomes and capabilities through your program journey.
  2. There are themes for your learning that will inform you on the courses you will take to develop program capabilities.
  3. Each semester has a theme that creates milestones for your learning within a semester and your journey from one semester to the next semester and ultimately to your readiness to graduate.
Phase Level 1 Level 2
Novice Engagement Advanced Engagement Emerging Professional Entry to Practice Prepared Professional
Professional and IP Practice Professional Practice 1
Communication Course
Safety in the Workplace
Achieving Success in your HC Career
Professional Practice II
Community and LTC (orientation)
Professional Practice II
Community and LTC (continued)
Pre-graduate Consolidation Professional Practice II (continued)
Resident Centred Care Resident Centred Care I
Structure and Function of the Body for RCC
Resident Centred Care 2
Palliative Care
Resident Centred Care 2
Palliative Care
Supportive Care Practices Supportive Care Theory 1
Supportive Care Lab 1
Supportive Care Theory 2
Supportive Care Lab 2

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, the graduate will:

  1. Work within the PSW role in a variety of care settings including: long-term, community and/or hospital care settings in accordance with applicable legislation and employer's role and job description, policies, procedures and guidelines. 
  2. Practice professional work ethics and demonstrate professional behaviours in interactions with clients, families, care partners, supervisors, and interprofessional team members in a variety of care settings.
  3. Act responsibly and be accountable for one's own actions while recognizing the boundaries of knowledge and skills within the PSW role that necessitates using problem solving, time management, stress management and critical thinking skills and strategies and requires collaboration with the client, family, care partners, supervisor and/or other members.
  4. Participate as a member of the interprofessional care team and maintain collaborative working relationships, accept and integrate constructive feedback, and use effective and appropriate communication and relationship skills to provide supportive client-centred care in a variety of care settings.
  5. Provide client-centred and client-directed care that promotes independence and is based on ethical principles, sensitive to diverse client and family values, beliefs and needs and which follows the direction of the interprofessional care team.
  6. Assist clients across the lifespan with routine activities of daily living supporting clients' rights and preferences and applying knowledge and skills of growth and development, evidence informed practice, common alterations in functioning, health and wellness promotion or maintenance, risk prevention and reduction, rehabilitation and restorative care.
  7. Assist clients with medication and treatments in keeping with the plan of care/service plan and under the direction and/or monitoring of a regulated health professional or most accountable person and in accordance with relevant legislation and employer policy.
  8. Assist with household management tasks and instrumental activities of daily living in accordance with the plan of care/service plan and considering the preferences, comfort and safety of the client, family and care partners as well as the safety of the PSW and the safe use of household equipment.
  9. Assist family and care partners who are caring for dependent individuals, considering clients' and family choices, the direction of the plan of care/service plan, and the PSW's professional boundaries.
  10. Assist in the provision of client-centred, culturally relevant, palliative and end of life care to clients, their families and care partners including observing, reporting, documenting and transferring accountability in accordance with the plan of care/service plan.
  11. Observe, report and document relevant client information using the appropriate mode of verbal or written communication and written or electronic documentation in a timely manner and in accordance with the required employer policies and procedures and applicable legislation.
  12. Understand how to establish and maintain helping and professional relationships with clients, their families and care partners and support systems which reflect open communication, advocacy, professional boundaries, employer's policies and adherence to confidentiality and privacy legislation.
  13. Promote and maintain a safe and comfortable environment for clients, their families, and care partners, self and others including recognition of environmental and personal safety risks, the implementation of infection prevention and control measures, and emergency first aid procedures that are in keeping with the plan of care/service plan and employers' policies and procedures.
  14. Identify and report situations of neglect and potential, alleged or witnessed/actual incidents of abuse of clients, family, care partners, and/or PSWs and respond in accordance with all applicable legislation and employer policies and procedures.
  15. Use identified approaches and evidence-informed practices while providing client centred care to support clients experiencing mental health illness, cognitive impairment and/or responsive behaviours.
  16. Apply knowledge of and commitment to continuous quality improvement and change initiatives, including the responsibility of ongoing and continuing professional development.

Program Design for Your Cohort

Students can find their program design on the student Portal by following the steps below:

  1. Log in to Student Portal
  2. Click on 'My Courses' tab
  3. Select 'View Progress Report' button

Courses are listed by level/semester. Students can also view courses for the most current program design for this academic year on the Conestoga College website. To find these courses, students need to scroll down the page to the 'Program Courses'.

Pathways and Further Post-secondary Education Opportunities

Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View the transfer agreement opportunities for this program.

There are a number of different opportunities available to students who want to continue studying at Conestoga. Whether you wish to transfer to another program or apply to a new program after graduation, Conestoga has established pathways to help you meet your goals. Conestoga Pathways information is available on Conestoga's website.

Employment Opportunities

Personal support workers contribute to the quality of life of individuals by promoting their independence and dignity; social, emotional and physical needs; mobility; personal appearance; comfort and safety. Graduates understand the roles, responsibilities and limitations of the personal support worker and work as a member of the health-care team, communicating effectively, and observing and reporting changes in clients' conditions.

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website.


Communication and Contact Information

University Gates Living Classroom Campus


Program Administration Contact Information

Nursing Chair

Heather Cross
519-748-5220 Ext. 3434 

Program Assistant       

Krisden Galloway
519-748-5220 Ext. 3437    

Program Coordinator Contact Information

PSW Coordinator

Sharon Clarke 

519-904-0661 Ext. 6004

Practice Application Specialist (PAS)

Marilyn Arsenault

519-904-0661 Ext. 6001


Contacting Program Team Members

When contacting program staff outside of class time, please use Conestoga College e-mail or telephone. Your message should include the following information:

  • First and last name, student ID
  • Course and semester or level,
  • Brief description of reason for contact,
  • Telephone number where you can be reached.

Student Email

All students are supplied with a Conestoga e-mail address. Communications from program team members will be via your Conestoga e-mail address or posted on Conestoga's on-line Learning Management System – eConestoga. Official Conestoga communication via e-mail will use only your Conestoga e-mail address. Use only your Conestoga e-mail address or eConestoga when communicating with program team members. Students are expected to check their Conestoga e-mail regularly.

If you are having problems accessing your Conestoga e-mail contact the Information Technology (IT) department at 519-748-5220 ext. 3444 as soon as possible.

Program Team Member Availability

Program team members' offices are located in the Research Institute for Aging (RIA) building, lower level, at University Gates.  Students are welcome to see individual program team members to discuss course work, assignments, or other matters related to their success at Conestoga. During the first days of the semester your program team member will explain how you can contact them outside of class time.  As program team members have diverse schedules, it is best to make an appointment to ensure they are available.

Procedures for Meeting with Program Team Members at University Gates

Program team members share space in an open office arrangement. In the interest of respecting the work environment for everyone in this area we ask students to check with the team member they wish to see before entering. Students are not permitted to enter a program team member's office unless the program team member is present.

Student Engagement

Student Concerns/Issues

We appreciate that concerns/issues may arise during the learning experience. Our goal is to collaborate—students with Faculty and staff—to resolve situations of concerns quickly and to learn and improve from these situations.

To achieve this goal, we need an effective problem-solving environment. This means:

a.     When a situation of concern arises, it needs to be raised in timely manner and discussed by the individuals involved. This is the most important area for effective problem solving.

**Problem-solving closest to the individual associated with the learning is the place to start.

b.      Please see the "Student Concerns/Issues" Policy in the Student Guide for further details to be followed for the informal and formal procedures for the resolution of concerns and issues.

c.       Please note that issues and concerns related to a placement site, its operation or its employees should first be brought to the attention of the Conestoga Field Placement Supervisor or Program Coordinator, subject to the additional procedures outlined in the following Sections on "Professionalism" and "Concerns Regarding Safety or Care/Service for Clients during a Practicum/Field Placement"--If applicable to your program. 

Student Representation

Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) and Conestoga agree that a student has the right to invite a member of CSI to a student/Faculty meeting, provided that 24 hours advance notice is given to faculty. This advance notice will ensure that all parties will have an opportunity to adequately prepare for the meeting.

PAC (Program Advisory Committee)

Each program at Conestoga has a Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which is made up of industry and academic representatives, as well as current students. They meet several times a year to discuss the direction in which that industry is heading and any improvements that can be made to keep the program current. This helps to ensure that students are learning material that is relevant to their industry.

At the beginning of each year, the program will ask for student volunteers. The program will decide which students will represent years one and two. The student attendees are important members of the committee and are expected to be present at the meetings. Students must prepare and submit a report based on guidelines provided by the Program Chair/Coordinator which will be presented at the meeting. Students are expected to be professional, dress in business attire and engage in discussions.

WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative)

Conestoga College offers many unique and exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth. One of the things that contribute to the excellence of this college is the host of exciting extra-curricular opportunities that add to the culture of this fine institution. WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative) is one such club whose members strive to 'learn with, from, and about' each other.

Membership of this active group is comprised of students enrolled in health, community, and social sciences programs. Some of the most popular initiatives that this group regularly engages in are interactive simulation exercises, peer-mentoring, guest speakers, paper case studies and monthly meetings. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the WIHSC website. The website includes information on past events (pictures and videos) as well as how to get involved. Get involved, have fun, and learn more about the team members you will work with upon graduation! For more information, please contact your Program Coordinator.

Student Feedback

Student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for student feedback include:

Key Performance Indicators

All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). This survey is conducted each academic year in select classes. Strategic goals to improve the programs are developed from these results. This data and other data specific to the campus and the program/school are collected so that Conestoga College can continually improve quality.

Student Appraisal of Teaching

The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT form gives teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.

The SAT process occurs in the last one-third of the semester. Typically about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term, and each has two courses selected by their academic managers for appraisal. All teachers have a SAT review at least once every two years. The SAT process is managed by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning using an online survey system specifically designed for course/teacher evaluations.  After all marks for the semester have been submitted, a summary of results goes to the academic manager to be shared with the faculty member. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form during thier Continuing Education course.

Class Cancellations

Class Cancellations Due to Faculty Absence

All class cancellations due to Faculty absences will be posted in the Student Portal on the left hand side of first page which a student sees after logging in. These notices in the Student Portal will be the only general notifications of class cancellations due to Faculty absences.

Although the informal notification comes through the portal, Faculty may also elect to post any absences on eConestoga. 

Class Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather

College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations (92.9; 88.3; 1460; 96.7, 105.3, and 1240). It is up to staff and students to listen for campus closures. If the college is closed, a message will be left on the campus switchboard after office hours. A notice will also be placed on the college website.

Personal Notifications of Class Cancellations

Students have the option of receiving special emails or SMS text messages notifying them of class cancellations due to faculty absences. To receive such personal notifications students must subscribe to this special service.

To subscribe:

  • Log in to the Student Portal.
  • Select Notifications under the Profile tab.
  • Select the method by which you would like to be notified.
  • Click Update.

Note: To change the email address to which these notifications will be sent, select My Addresses under the Profile Tab, and change the default email address.

Standards of Conduct and Professional Practice

Safety and Security at the Village of University Gates

In The Event Of a Fire Alarm/Emergency

  • Conestoga Faculty and students will stop and listen to the announcement.
  • If the emergency is in the long-term care side of the building (will be in the announcement) remain in the classrooms and continue to listen for any further instructions.
  • If you feel more comfortable leaving the building you must exit via the Fire Exit door and designated fire route as mentioned below.

If the emergency is in the RIA building: 

  • The page will tell you where the emergency is.
  • You will then exit by the "Fire Exit" door.
  • There are emergency exit arrows on the walls to direct you to the "Fire Exit" door and a "Fire Exit" sign is at the Fire Exit door.


  • A parking pass needs to be obtained.
  • All students are to park in designated areas only. These areas will be identified during the first week of the program.
  • Under no circumstance are students to park in other parking areas other than designated areas. These areas are for residents and family and many are owned and paid for by the residents.


All Conestoga College students must wear their college picture identification badge while in The Village of University Gates. Students must also have an available copy of their clear health passport and their VSS. 

Guidelines for Student Use of Classrooms, Labs and Shared Spaces

Classrooms and Labs all make up the formal learning environment at Conestoga. For this reason it is expected that these spaces be considered an extension of the professional world you are aspiring to enter. In keeping with this, when using classrooms, labs, and shared spaces:

  • Be mindful of your language and your attire; both choice of words and tone.
  • Discussions of an unprofessional nature or of unrelated topics should not take place, and will be actively discouraged by Conestoga program team members.
  • Be considerate of other students, residents, families and the team when walking through the halls or neighbourhoods, by avoiding unnecessary noise.
  • No food or drink in clinical lab areas.
  • The materials and equipment from the lab must remain in the lab unless specific permission has been given to use them elsewhere and they have been "signed out".
  • Show respect for the learning environment and equipment at University Gates.
  • Come prepared for lab and to review the related theory prior to coming to lab.
  • Leave rooms clean after each class and after the last class of the day, put your chair up on the desk.
  • Permission must be given by program team members before using any of the materials or equipment in labs or classrooms.
  • Please remember that the labs and neighbourhoods are clinical settings. The requirement for proper hand hygiene is always in effect.

Note: It is expected that students will take the opportunity to practice lab skills between lab classes. Past experiences have shown that students who practice are more likely to be successful.

Students must complete a Schlegel Villages confidentially agreement from the program coordinator.

Program Standards for Professional Practice


You are now embarking on a career that will provide you with many personal and professional rewards, and challenges, and brings with it a great deal of responsibility. As a Personal Support Worker you will be delivering care to members of our society who are often the least able to care for themselves, and who are the most in need of the kind of care you will be able to provide. The type of care and support you provide will make a difference in the lives of those you care for, their families, and their friends.

Conestoga College School of Health & Life Sciences has been given the mandate to prepare Personal Support Workers. The Province of Ontario expects the college to graduate Personal Support Workers who meet the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development vocational standards that have been established for the profession.

Personal Support Workers function in a dependent and interdependent environment. The majority of the time, the practitioner's involvement in the care at the recipient's side is of an independent nature, when direct supervision of an action is not always possible. There is an implicit trust by the client that the Personal Support Worker is an ethical, moral, and competent person. It is the responsibility of the School of Health & Life Sciences to ensure that every graduate is capable of functioning in accordance with the professional standards expected of all health sciences disciplines. As students preparing to become professionals, it is imperative that behaviours and attitudes reflect standards that are endorsed by Conestoga College and your chosen profession.

As a student of Conestoga College, you are a member of the college community and as such you have received a Conestoga Student Guide that includes Student Rights, Student Responsibilities, and the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Responsibilities section includes detailed information regarding plagiarism, cheating, and academic dishonesty. It is essential that you review this section and familiarize yourself with these responsibilities. It is expected that your conduct as a student will be reflective of the responsibilities listed. If you have any questions regarding any of them, please contact your Program Coordinator.

Students are expected to behave in accordance with College policies in regard to behavior. These policies include:

  • Academic Regulations and Policies
  • Human Rights
  • Students' Rights and Responsibilities

In addition to all Student Responsibilities found in the Conestoga Student Guide, PSW students have the following obligations:

  • Complete the learning objectives, tests, assignments and all other forms of student work, with honesty and professional integrity;
  • Attend class, lab and clinical placement as scheduled;
  • Actively engage in classroom, lab, and clinical learning processes;
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviour while attending class, lab and clinical placement; protect the integrity of the Program and the college;
  • Maintain the confidentiality of all classroom, lab, and clinical placement experiences, including use of any form of social media, and;
  • Seek clarification from program team members/administration when unsure of any of these standards.

A PSW student needs to:

  • Contribute to positive team functioning and supporting colleagues;
  • Conduct oneself in a way which promotes respect for the PSW role
    If a student's behavior/conduct interferes with the learning process or in any way jeopardizes the safe environment of the classroom, lab or clinical setting, the student will be required to leave the class lab or clinical session.

    "Inappropriate Behavior" or unsafe practices may require the withdrawal of the student from the course prior to the end of the course.  Consequently, the student will receive a failing grade for the course.

Lab Policies

Clinical/Lab Dress Code for all programs' students

The Clinical Lab areas are comprised of clinical bed labs and a Patient Care Simulation area.  In order to maintain these as safe professional spaces, appropriate dress must be worn.  The purpose of this dress code is to ensure the safety of the student, Faculty and staff and also to prepare for the clinical environment.   The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations and professional safety.

All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health & Life Sciences.  Non-compliance with this dress code will result in the person being asked to leave the lab area. (If during scheduled lab time, this may result in a missed lab)

Rules of Engagement for Simulation Experiences

There are 3 guidelines that everyone must follow:

1. Keep it real

The simulation environment is created with actors and scenarios requiring you to keep it real. You will be expected to adhere to Program standards of conduct and professional practice to model professionalism and leadership in the simulation environment at all times.

2. Respect for others and yourself

It is important to maintain a positive, respectful environment and keep actively engaged. To maintain privacy and confidentiality and out of respect for all involved; experiences and discussions related to the experiences must never be posted via social media. 

3. Constructive Reflection

This is an opportunity to improve on your performance in a safe and interactive environment.  We can all learn through our actions or inactions.  Keep it constructive.

Remedial Use of the Clinical Learning Labs and Make-Up Labs

Make-Up Labs

If, for any reason, a scheduled lab is missed, it is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements for make-up experience. Students are accountable for the learning outcomes of psychomotor and experiential components of the lab. We realize there may be unforeseen circumstances necessitating a missed clinical lab learning opportunity. This procedure is designed to provide the student with an opportunity to catch up, and meet the outcomes. It is not designed as a replacement for the clinical lab learning.

All make-up labs must be completed within two weeks of the student's missed lab and/or prior to skills testing and clinical placements. Failure to complete the missed lab successfully at time of testing will count as one (1) unsuccessful testing attempt.


  1. Choose a peer from the class who agrees to be your Peer Tutor. This peer will have met the outcomes of the lab you were absent from and will assist you in the role of your lab partner in achieving success with the unit outcomes missed. Review the Instructional Plan and Course Outline, focusing on the unit(s) missed. Fill out STEP 1 of the Missed Lab Activity

  2. Book time in the open access lab. Be sure to "sign in" at the open access lab as the time will be tracked

  3. With your Peer Tutor, review the PLAN for the lab(s) missed. Together with your Peer Tutor, complete STEP 2 of the Missed Lab Activity by practicing the required skills and completing the psychomotor activities. Fill out the Psychomotor Checklist.  Your peer tutor will evaluate your lab practice skills through the provision of feedback and a signature of completion. Reflect on your own performance in the lab

  4. With your Peer Tutor, review the PLAN for the lab(s) missed. Conduct the experiential activities as described on the PLAN and fill out the information on the Missed Lab Activity below by completing STEP 3. Please note: you may require your Peer Tutor for some or all of the experiential activities

  5. Be sure to fill out your SPAT and all documents and learning trackers for the lab(s) missed

  6. Complete STEP 4, by submitting the completed "missed lab activity" to the Assignment Submission Folder marked "Missed lab Activity" AND a signed original copy to your Practice Application Specialist or Faculty associated with the lab. NOTE: The College is not responsible for lost of misplaced documents. Please make a copy of your completed Missed Lab Activity and accompanying documents prior to submitting the original hard copy for assessment

  7. The evidence must reflect the learning achieved in the learning environment based on the plan activities

  8. Successful achievement of the outcome will result in a green check on the PAT

  9. If outcomes are not successfully demonstrated the check on the PAT will remain red demonstrating a failure to meet the outcome

  10. Failure to meet course outcomes may result in the students file being brought to promotions as per the PSW handbook

Uniforms, Grooming and other Professional Standards

Uniform Regulations

  • Full uniform must be worn in clinical areas and college simulation labs.
  • Bottom of the pant hemline must be sewn above the sole of the shoe.
  • Warm-up jackets or sweaters that coordinate with the uniform are acceptable, but must not be worn during direct care.
  • Slips should be worn with skirts
  • Undergarments must be worn, choice and style should not create a major contrast between body color and uniform color
  • Head coverings, if required must be a neutral colour and appropriate to ensure safety of the students and patients.
  • If ¾ length shirts or t-shirts are to be worn under the designated Personal Support Worker uniform they must be black, grey or spruce green
  • Once uniform is worn for client care it cannot then be worn in any public place until washed. If you are not going directly home after clinical you need to have a change of clothing with you


Uniform shoes must be clean, and black or white in colour, slip resistant with closed toes and heels and substantial enough (no mesh) to prevent foot injury. Shoes worn with the uniform are not to be worn outside of the agency. Clogs (wooden or other), and "crocs" do not meet the definition of acceptable footwear.


Conestoga identification (name tags) must be worn and visible at all times in all clinical settings. Identification must include first and last name, and designation (e.g. PSW Student). Institutional Photo ID may also be required, at the discretion of the institution.


Jewelry can be a source of bacteria and injury to students and clients. For these reasons the following restrictions related to Jewelry are necessary:

  • NO rings, other than a plain wedding band;
  • NO chains , necklaces or bracelets;
  • NO facial or oral Jewelry.
  • Watches may be worn on the wrist or uniform. Watches worn on the wrist must be removed when giving direct care. 
  • One professional-looking stud may be worn on each ear. Dangling earrings or stretchers are not acceptable. Flesh colored spacers are acceptable.

Personal Hygiene

Students are expected to meet hygiene requirements during class, lab and practicum hours.

  • Maintain personal cleanliness by bathing daily.
  • Oral hygiene (brushing of teeth) required.
  • Use deodorant / antiperspirant to minimize body odors. 
  • No heavily scented perfumes, colognes and lotions.  These can cause allergic reactions, migraines and respiratory difficulty for those participating in class, lab and practicums.
  • Wash hands after eating and using the restrooms.


During care it is important that hair not fall forward potentially contaminating clean/sterile areas. For this reason, hair should be neat, clean, and kept out of the eyes. If hair is long, it should be tied back and secured. Long pony tails should be secured up on the head, and not allowed to dangle onto a patient field of care. Hair colour must be of a natural shade and up off the shoulders (i.e. no green, blue, pink, etc.). Students must be clean shaven or have neatly trimmed beards and/or moustaches.


  • Nails should be kept short, not past the fingertip, and clean.
  • No nail polish, nail jewelry, artificial nails are permitted


Personal fragrances (perfume, colognes) and scented hair products should not be worn as fragrances can cause problems for those with allergies and sensitivities.


Smoking in any agency must be in designated areas only. Many health care facilities are smoke free.

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is not allowed in the clinic, lab and placement settings, or in the shared space of the Villages of University Gates.

Food and Beverages

Food and beverages in agency setting are allowed in designated areas only. (E.g. Staff lounge areas, café, etc.)


Cellphones and/or smartphones for personal use are not permitted in clinical or lab settings, and community agencies. 

Please Note:

Purses, coats, knapsacks, and extra books (except for the Mosby textbook) are to be left in a student locker and are not permitted in labs.

Dress Code for Agencies not requiring Uniforms

  • Conestoga identification (name tags) must be worn and visible at all times in all clinical settings
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes with closed toes and closed heels. Street clothing must reflect a professional appearance

Academic Offences and Plagiarism

Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. In order to maximize your success as a student, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Offences Policy found in the Conestoga Student Guide. This guide has been provided to you on our College website. The Academic Offences Policy provides a detailed description of the following:

  • Scope of academic integrity,
  • What academic integrity means,
  • What types of behaviours constitute a breach of academic integrity,
  • The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.

After reading this information, if you do not fully understand what is meant by academic integrity, and what is required of you to maintain academic integrity, please speak with a faculty member or your Program Coordinator. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is very important, and that it is your responsibility as a Conestoga student to know the Academic Offences Policy and to initiate help if you do not fully understand it.

Below are a few hints to help you avoid breaching academic integrity.

  • Make sure that you recognize information that requires referencing.
Example Required Referencing
Milk is good for you. General information in the public domain. Does not require referencing.

"According to Health Canada milk beverages provide the nutrients needed for healthy bones and optimal health".

Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from            http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php

Direct quote right from a published source. Requires a reference.

Consuming milk every day provides the nutrients that you need for healthy bones and optimal health.

Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from            http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php

Information that has been put into your own words, but offers information outside of public domain related with specialized knowledge. Requires a reference.
  • Whenever you refer to material from another source, whether book, journal article, video, newspaper, or electronic publications, you must acknowledge your source using proper citations and references. The APA style is the format most often used in the health and social sciences. Please visit the Conestoga Learning Commons for assistance with the APA format.
  • If you work collaboratively with others on an assignment, including in class assignments that expect independent submission, make sure that you do not copy words or ideas from others intentionally or by accident.
  • Make sure that you read the Academic Offences Policy located in the Conestoga Student Guide, and that you fully understand it. The policy describes additional behaviours that represent a breach of academic integrity.
  • Information can be found on the Academic Integrity website

Copyright – What Students Need to Know

Photocopying and scanning at Conestoga are governed by the Copyright Act, an agreement with Access Copyright, and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges' Fair Dealing Policy.

Under the terms of our Access Copyright license which gives the broadest permission:

You can photocopy or scan the following:

  • Up to 10% of most published works.
  • One chapter that is greater than 10%, but no more than 20% of the book.
  • One article, short story, play, poem or essay from a book, magazine or journal issue containing other works.
  • One newspaper article or page.
  • One entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, annotated bibliography or similar reference work.
  • One drawing, sculpture, painting, print, architectural work of art or work of artistic craftsmanship from a larger volume containing other works.

Cumulative Copying

If you copy 10% of a book today, 10% next week, 10% the week after that, and so on, this is called cumulative copying and it is not allowed. The copy limits apply to an entire academic year, so once you reach the limit for an item, you can't copy more until the next academic year.

You cannot copy or scan the following:

  • Workbooks or study guides that are intended for one-time use.
  • Instruction manuals
  • Sheet music and original artistic works including photographs or prints.
  • Advertisements
  • Business cases
  • Full Textbooks
  • Any of the items on the Access Copyright Exclusions list.

You can find all of this information and more on the Copyright for Students web page.

If you have any questions about copyright or the limits of copying on campus, contact James Yochem, Copyright Coordinator, at Jyochem@conestogac.on.ca or 519-748-5220 ext. 3746.

Safe Practice

Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who is or wants to be a professional.

There are a number of policies and procedures associated with practical training in your program that have been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These will be reviewed with you during your program.

The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention and follow-through:

  1. Your personal safety begins with the use of professional attire and foot wear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college. 
  2. Help us have a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, by ensuring lap top cords do not snake across walking areas and by reporting equipment or facility problems when you see them.
    Concerns such as these in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre may be reported to an employee in the Interprofessional Resources team.
  3. Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioral conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.  
  4. Safe work practices are to be followed during all training; follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a practicum, your Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Preceptor will ensure that you are aware of safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the Responsible Faculty and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required. For example, should outside temperatures during the summer become unusually hot, very high temperatures may occur in some workplaces; this could require that specific steps be taken to ensure a safe working environment. 
  5. All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. This is an opportunity to problem-solve about how to avoid these areas of concern for the future.

Student Protection Acknowledgement

A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear when a student logs into the Student Portal on a yearly basis. This will direct students to policies and procedures relevant to their academic responsibilities. All Conestoga College wide academic policies and procedures are listed on the college website under "About Conestoga", "Policies and Procedures". 

Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:         

  • Academic Credential Procedure 
  • Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
  • Academic Offences Policy & Procedure 
  • Academic Recognition Policy
  • Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
  • Co-operative Education Policy
  • Discontinuance Policy & Procedure
  • Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
  • Grading Procedure
  • Graduation Requirements and Convocation Procedure
  • Honours Policy & Procedure
  • Program Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
  • Student Code of Conduct Policy
  • Student Concerns and Issues Policy & Procedure
  • Student Feedback Policy
  • Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure

Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfill and enforce these standards.


Professional Conduct - Use of Social Media and Cell Phones

To support a quality and respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placement, the use of cell phones and laptop computers for social networking should only occur during break times, before/after class, and during formal break time in field placement.

Laptops and other forms of technology may be used in the classroom when the use pertains to the content and processes of learning facilitated by the professor/team member. If your technology use is disruptive to the class, the faculty/staff may ask you to leave the class until such time that you are able to re-engage in the learning process. 

Social Media Policy

  • Social media has many advantages for a professional. It can be used to network, to resource information and keep current
  • As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain professional boundaries in all communication, including social media.


  • According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2011), "Electronic messages are not anonymous. They can be tracked, misdirected, manipulated and live forever on the internet. Social media sites create and archive copies of every piece of content posted, even when deleted from on-line profiles. Once information is digitalized, the author relinquishes all control." The same organization also indicates "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment. As the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario notes, users may intend to share their online existence solely within their own network, but in theory anyone can access the user's musings, photos and information. Further, the words can be altered, forwarded and misquoted. "

Ontario College of Teachers. (2011). Professional Advisory-Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from https://www.oct.ca/resources/advisories/use-of-electronic-communication-and-social-media

Ensure that your posts reflect you as the professional you are and wish to become – if a potential employer were to see your posts.

  1. Many types of social media encourage instantaneous, casual dialogue. It is important to remember that even an innocent comment may be easily misunderstood.
  2. Assume that information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
  3. Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
  4. Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, professors or field placements.
  5. Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
  6. Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the express permission of all individuals involved.
  7. Remember that online sites you visit are not anonymous.
  8. Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
  9. Ensure that your postings will not be considered harassment or defamation of a peer, colleague, faculty or others.

    Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences:
  1. Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities.
  2. Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.

Please respect the fact that your faculty and staff will not invite you to their personal web pages when you are a current student, nor will they accept any invitations to your personal sites (Keep faculty and staff as resources to connect with after you have graduated or after you have left the college)

Cell Phone Policy

Students should respect their professors and other instructors by following program policy and not use their cell phones for personal use during class time. This is representative of the professional manner in which you are expected to act as you prepare to enter the workforce.

Students will not bring their cell phone or technology device into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty. Phones should be left in your locker or left in your bag at the front of the classroom. In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test (parents with young children, students experiencing a family emergency, etc.) please speak to your professor as soon as you enter the examination room. Those who have been permitted to bring a phone into the classroom will likely be asked to either leave the phone with the professor, or they may be permitted to leave their phone out on their desk where it is visible to the professor and proctors. In any case, students are not permitted to touch or answer the phone without raising their hand to ask for the professor/proctor's permission. If you are found to have a cell phone in your possession during an examination that has not been declared, you will be asked to leave the examination room, and will be given a zero on the assessment.


Attendance and Student Success Strategies


Students are expected to arrive on time for classroom, lab, clinical and community experiences. Repeated late arrivals may result in the student being denied access to the classroom or clinical experience. An Interview Record will be initiated.


Health Sciences Programs are based on a competency-based curriculum with defined learning outcomes, which place a great deal of emphasis on students attaining the theoretical and practical skills required to enter the profession. Success in a program depends on students being able to demonstrate that they have met these learning outcomes.

Students who are absent from class, lab, clinical, and community experiences place themselves in academic jeopardy of not meeting the competency-based learning outcomes of the Program. Students are therefore expected to attend all classes, lab, clinical, community practice, and field placement experiences as scheduled by the program.

Students who do not meet this obligation are required to discuss with the specific program team member how the learning outcomes are to be met for the particular classes, lab, clinical, and/or community experiences missed. Failure to do so will jeopardize the student's eligibility to continue in the program.

Attendance for Evaluations

An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation, or any other formal assessment that requires your presence in a class or lab or placement. Evaluations are critical components of each course and overall success for you in your Program.

The School's approach to requirements for attendance at evaluations reflects the expectation that, as emerging professionals, students must demonstrate a professional attitude and attention to evaluations in the same manner that will be expected of them in their future work as a professional; similar to requirements of workplace procedures. Consequences for missed evaluations are balanced against reasonable support where it is warranted.

In order to support student success: 

  • Evaluation and presentation dates are scheduled and communicated at the beginning of each semester.
  • Unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program, or the program team members, that may require changes to the course schedule, will be communicated to students.

In support of the development of professionalism, students are required to take all evaluations at the scheduled times. 

  • Students who make personal commitments that conflict with the evaluation dates or assignment deadlines do so at their own risk.
  • There will be no special arrangements made for students with personal conflicts (e.g. work, family commitments or vacation plans).
  • Students who wish to reschedule an evaluation or a presentation due to a religious holiday are required to discuss the situation with program team members within the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Academic accommodations are provided to students with documented disabilities through the Accessibility Office.

Notification for Absence from Evaluations

Students are required to notify the program of absence from any evaluation for any reason.

  • Notification must be received prior to the start of the evaluation.
  • Failure to do so will result in a mark of zero being assigned.

Notification procedure

Log into the student portal and click on the Absence tab and indicate that you will be absent from class on a day that has an Evaluation. You will receive a confirmation email that you have recorded your absence for that day.


  • Your professor will be aware of your absence from an evaluation by your lack of attendance and because you have entered your absence using the online Absence Recording System on the Student Portal.
  • The Absence Recording System shows you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you record your absence. (For example if you record your absence for that day at 11.00 AM the system will show you as being absent for all classes starting after 11.00 AM that day.) If you are then going to be present for a later class on the same day, you will need to inform your Instructor of your presence in that class.
  • The earliest that you may record your absence for a particular day is after 8 PM on the preceding day.

Follow-up after Reporting Your Absence from an Evaluation

  • You must make contact immediately with program team members to explain the reasons for your absence and to arrange a meeting.
  • If there is a concerning pattern of absences, you will be asked to meet with the program coordinator. This may result in the need for you to provide documentation verifying the reason for your absence, in accordance with the requirements specified in sections below titled "Evaluations worth 20% or more" and "Evaluations worth less than 20%".
  • Program team members will then make alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate and you will complete any necessary forms.
  • Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled.
  • If the evaluation is to be conducted in the testing center, you will be asked to show your student card before you are permitted to write the test.
  • Tests will be made up in the college Testing Centre in the following week, or by individual arrangements with program team members.

Religious Holidays

Students are permitted by Conestoga policy to be absent from class to observe a recognized religious holiday. Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in an examination, study, or work requirement on some particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed or do alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.

Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council

It is the responsibility of the student to:

a. Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;

b. Advise the faculty member that he/she will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday and make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.


Practice Attendance

Attendance at Long Term Care placement, pre-graduate experience, experiential and psychomotor lab  laboratories is considered an evaluation opportunity.

  1. During clinical placement, students are to remain on the agency premises
  2. Attendance will be carefully monitored throughout the program.   Absenteeism will jeopardize the successful completion of Clinical Practice. Students who are absent for the orientation to the agency shall not proceed in the placement and will be deemed unsatisfactory in the course
  3. Absence verification may be required. Permission from the student's physician to return to school may be requested.

Tracking Forms

Several forms are utilized to document a student's progress. Formative and summative evaluations for practice experience are kept in the School of Health & Life Sciences in the student's file.

The forms and their purpose are as follows:

Tracking Form

This is initiated by the student and completed in collaboration with the PAS as the process for documenting formative evaluation data/analysis of each of the student's practice experiences.

Progress Note

This document will be completed at the discretion of the program team members, coordinators, PAS or Program Chair when a student's practice and/or classroom performance or behaviour is:

  • Of Concern
  • Unacceptable
  • Unsatisfactory

Clearly identified goals will indicate what action must be taken if he/she is to be successful in the semester. After viewing and signing of this form, a copy will be:

  • Given to the student
  • Kept in the student's file

Summative Evaluation

This document is completed by both the student and the PAS at the completion of the experience as the process for documenting summative evaluation data/analysis of the student's practice experiences over the semester.

Evaluation of Clinical/Lab Skills


  •  Independent Practice: Student practices on their own time without supervision.
  • Supervised Practice: Student practices a skill under direct PAS supervision allowing for input from PAS either by questions or demonstration.
  • Return: Student performs the skill unassisted in the Clinical Lab setting. The PAS is present to observe and may provide minimal input while the student is doing the procedure. Student performance will be tracked.
  • Practicum/Scenario:   Student demonstrates performance competency in a realistic, yet controlled setting.

Criteria for Tracking Clinical/Lab Skills

In order to be considered satisfactory in the performance of clinical/lab skills, students must meet certain criteria.  Some criteria are appropriate for all skills, and some are more specific to a particular skill.

The following are criteria for all clinical skills:

  1. Be prepared to discuss the principles for any of the actions performed.
  2. Appropriate observations and assessments of the patient/ client must be made.
  3. Any break in previously learned principles i.e. asepsis, body mechanics, etc. if not recognized and corrected by the student, is considered unsatisfactory.
  4. Accomplish the goal in a reasonable amount of time and in a logical sequence. The procedure must be carried out in a reasonable amount of time. 
  5. The student must evaluate the client's response to the procedure when appropriate.
  6. Principles relating to the comfort and safety of the client must be followed.
  7. The student must demonstrate appropriate professional behaviour and communication skills during all clinical/lab experiences.
  8. Tracking of clinical/lab skills occurs in all lab courses.  Students must be deemed successful in performing all practice skills to achieve an overall pass in the lab course. Students may be offered the opportunity to repeat a lab course at a regularly scheduled time in a subsequent semester. Students who fail a lab course may not be permitted to attend supervised clinical experiences at clinical placement sites.

Satisfactory Criteria

The student demonstrates a consistent pattern of performance, which indicates knowledgeable, safe, competent, care for clients and families within the identified learning outcomes.

Unsatisfactory Criteria

The student does not consistently demonstrate performance that indicates knowledgeable, safe, and competent care for clients and families in one or more of the stated learning outcomes.

If the student's behavior and/or conduct interfere with the learning process or in any way jeopardize the safe environment of the clinical setting, the student will be required to leave the clinical area.

Inappropriate behavior or unsafe practices may result in withdrawal of the student from the clinical setting prior to the end of the course. Consequently, the student will receive an unsatisfactory grade for the course.

Late Submissions of Practice Written Work

Failure to submit required written work will result in an unsatisfactory grade in practice

Clinical Remediation Process

Practice Application Specialists are committed to provide students with clinical experiences that enhance learning as well as to ensure the safety of clients in the clinical setting. The program is designed to ensure that students are equipped with optimal theoretical and practical knowledge in order to provide safe care to clients. Students who are deemed by their PAS as not meeting safety and/or clinical outcomes may be removed from the clinical area.

To facilitate student success, a student may be entitled to remediation, with the goal of returning to the clinical setting and completing the course. While this process is meant to support student success, it does not guarantee a pass in the course.

Assignment Policies

The expectation of Health Professionals is that they complete assigned work competently and in the allocated time, or that they anticipate difficulty in meeting deadlines and notify the appropriate person(s). The following regulations regarding assignments reflect this belief and are designed to ensure that graduates of the program meet these expectations.

Written Assignments

  • Students are required to submit all written assignments on or before the date and time specified
  • Students should anticipate problems that will necessitate an extension of time. If an extension of time is required, students will make this request to the appropriate Faculty prior to the due date
  • Assignments that do not meet the above criteria will lose 10% of the value of the assignment for each day late, including weekends and holidays
  • All assignments must be submitted through Turnitin – if not submitted through Turnitin the student will receive a ‘0’
  • Assignments must: Be typed, double-spaced, one-sided and in APA @Conestoga format, and on a Word document
  • Not include any identifying information regarding clients

Working together on Group Assignments

Students will often work with their fellow peers on various assignments/projects throughout the program. Each group member is responsible for ensuring that he/she has an equal role in the group. All students in the group should review the completed work before it is submitted/ presented. When issues/concerns arise during the group process, it is the responsibility of group members to contact the course professor for assistance prior to due date.

Faculty Returning Tests and Assignments

In order to support student success, students will be given continual feedback on their progress throughout the semester. Individual Faculty will inform students in class how/when tests and assignments and/or marks on them will be returned. Students who have questions about tests/assignments/grades should follow the process outlined below:

  • At least 24 hours after receiving the mark and within 5 days,
  • Write a note to the Faculty, indicating the area(s) of clarification required,
  • Initiate a meeting with the Faculty to discuss,
  • Bring pertinent information (assignment, mark sheet, etc.) to the appointment,
  • Under no circumstances are students to enter the offices of Faculty or look through papers on a desk without a Faculty present.

Tests and Examinations

  1. Students are expected to attend all tests/examinations as set by the program
  2. Students must present official photo ID to sign-in for the test/examination. Students will not be permitted to write the test/exam until photo ID is shown
  3. Students must be punctual for a test or examination. Students who are late will not be given extra time. No late arriving student may begin writing the examination or test after any student has left the examination or test room. All students must stay for the first 30 minutes
  4. Students are to bring only what is necessary to the examination room. Keep personal belongings (hats, coats, bags, and pencil cases), cell phones and other communication devices in your locker. If a student is found to have any communication device with them during the examination/test, it will be deemed to be cheating and the appropriate course of action will be followed
  5. Students will need to have HB lead pencils (sharpened), an eraser (and highlighter if desired). Students will not be allowed to share materials i.e. eraser, pencils and calculators
  6. Students are responsible for following the directions accurately for completion of the General Purpose Answer Sheet. Students are responsible for their own errors and the Answer Sheet will NOT be hand-marked
  7. When leaving the examination room, the student must SUBMIT ALL EXAMINATION MATERIALS, including examination booklet, sheets and spoiled sheets. When returning these materials, only one examinee at a time can be checked out; please be patient while waiting
  8. Examination/test marks are usually posted within two weeks from the date of writing. The final examination results will be posted by the Friday of exam week. It is each student's personal responsibility to obtain his/her own mark from the Student Portal
  9. Cheating on tests or examinations is unacceptable. A student who is caught cheating has violated the Student Code of Conduct and will be reprimanded accordingly
  10. Accommodations for examination procedure are facilitated by Accessibility Services for students, as prescribed
  11. A test may only be reviewed before the next scheduled test. Faculty will not review all semester tests with a student immediately prior to final exams

Methods of Evaluation

Methodology for evaluation includes:

  • Presentations – enhances group work and clear, concise spoken communication
  • Written assignments – enhances clear, concise written communication
  • Observation of clinical and lab performance
  • Preparation and participation

Types of Evaluation


Formative evaluation is an on-going process whereby the teaching/learning team and student collect data during the learning phase of the student's practice. Students will submit reflections as directed by the course facilitator. A midterm formative evaluation may be completed. The teaching/learning team monitors the student's progress toward achievement of the semester/program outcomes, and provides on-going feedback to the student on a regular basis.


This is the final evaluation at the end of the practice experience. Summative evaluation is the documentation of the behaviour the student has mastered and the behaviour that the student must improve or change. This evaluation should contain all the information that has been shared with the student during the period of learning.
The forms and their purpose are as follows:
Several forms are utilized to document a student's progress. Formative and summative evaluations for practice experience are kept in the School of Health & Life Sciences in the student’s file.

Progress Note

This document will be completed at the discretion of the Program Team Member, coordinators, or Program Chair when a student's practice and/or classroom performance or behaviour is:

  • Of Concern
  • Unacceptable
  • Unsatisfactory

This document supports your success through the identification goals and required actions.

Summative Evaluation

This document is completed by both the student and the practice facilitator at the completion of the experience as the process for documenting summative evaluation data/analysis of the student's practice experiences over the semester.

Academic Progress Through the Program

Academic Standing and Promotion

The Conestoga Student Guide is your first source for information concerning academic regulations, policies and procedures. The Conestoga Student Guide is available on the college website and by visiting the "Student Guide" tab in your Student Portal.


  • Students must attain the minimum passing grade stated on each Course Outline
  • Students who have met all course requirements at each level will be promoted to the following level or graduation.

Promotion Process

The courses in the Personal Support Worker Program are designed to be taken in a certain order, since the content of a number of the courses builds on the content in some of the preceding courses. A student who fails certain courses may not be permitted to go on to some of the subsequent courses before achieving a Passing grade in the course they have failed. This may mean that such student will have to drop to "part-time" status, or even be suspended from the Program, and resume their full-tine studies with the next group of students entering the Program.

Part-time students must discuss the order in which they are taking courses with the Doon Campus Program Coordinator or Part-Time PSW Program Coordinator before enrolling in the course(s).

Requirements for Taking the Clinical Practicum Courses

All the lab and theory courses must be completed successfully each semester before a student can take the preceptored Pre-graduate Consolidation at the end of semester two. 


Promotion is the advancement from one level of the program to another after a process of evaluation, which ensures specific program outcomes have been met.  Promotion is based on academic achievement, satisfactory practice performance, and professionalism. 

Promotion review occurs at the completion of each semester.  Criteria for being reviewed by the promotion committee include:

Note: The nature of the work of Personal Support Workers requires that they be in good mental and physical health in order to provide the necessary care for others. Students who are not in good physical and mental health may not be able to meet the Learning Outcomes of the program.

Reasons for Students Progress Being Reviewed By Promotion Committee

The Program Team members and student will discuss the recommendations prior to the Promotion Committee meeting. Reasons for a student to be presented at the Promotion Committee include:

  • Failure in one or more courses during the semester
  • Patterns of absence from class or practice which may affect achieving program standards
  • Failure to follow through on previous Promotion Committee requirements
  • Unprofessional behaviour as evidenced in evaluation measures and progress reports within courses 

Promotion Decisions:

The Promotion Committee may make the following decisions:

  • Eligible to continue in the program
  • Complete make-up work for missed skill lab experiences with a grade of “satisfactory”
  • Receive a grade of Incomplete for the course, with specific requirements to be met for a final grade to be assigned
  • Repeat the course at the earliest opportunity
  • Complete supplementary work (see eligibility criteria and process)
  • Placed on Probationary Status for the next practicum course or for the remainder of practicum courses. Probationary Status requirements must then be met for the student to continue in the program.
  • Follow through with counselling (academic or personal)
  • Follow through with health measures as recommended
  • Discontinued from the program

Supplemental Work

Students who have one course failure within the semester may be offered supplemental work based on eligibility criteria. Supplemental work will take place in the week after the final exam week. 
Eligibility for Supplemental- must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Must have passed at least one test/exam in the course in which the failure occurred
  • Final course grade must be within 10% of the passing grade eg. minimum of 55% for courses with a passing grade of 65%
  • Only 1 course failure in the semester
  • Has not used more than 1 supplemental while in the program. A maximum of 2 supplemental work opportunities are permitted throughout the program.

Supplemental Result

A student who is successful in the supplemental work will receive the minimum passing grade for the course. Failure to pass a supplemental will result in either:

  • Repeating the course, if eligible
  • Discontinuance from the program, if meets discontinuance criteria


Students who fail to meet the program standards (academically, clinically, or ethically) will be discontinued from the program, based on the recommendation of the promotion committee and agreement from the program Chair. Students will be discontinued when they are no longer eligible to repeat a course based on the academic rules below, or as a result of failure to meet program standards for behaviour or ethics. Such students will be entitled to appeal the discontinuance decision in accordance with the College’s appeal process.

Academic Rules Pertaining to Discontinuance

  • The opportunity to repeat a PSW practice or Lab course resulting from course failure will be granted only once during the duration of the program. If a student is discontinued from the program and is later readmitted, the student will not be granted a repeat of a newly failed clinical or lab course.
  • The maximum number of theoretical courses that can be repeated during the program is three (3).
  • Any individual course can only be repeated once.

Readmission to the Program

To be readmitted to the program, the student must apply through the registrar’s office by April 1st for fall term and November 1st for winter term. Readmission is based on seat availability and academic status.

Guidelines for Approving Readmission

Students will be rank ordered for readmission using the following criteria:

  • Students in good academic standing who have withdrawn from the program due to illness or personal circumstances.
  • Students who have one discontinuance as a result of course failure and whose academic status/ performance and extra-curricular preparation suggests that they will be successful in the program if readmitted.

Students who do not meet the above criteria will not be readmitted. If there are more students within any category than space in the program can accommodate, the following academic factors will also be considered when categorizing students for readmission:

  • Students in good academic standing: overall grade point average (GPA), evidence that the illness or personal circumstances are managed.
  • Students with one discontinuance: GPA and the number of courses failed and dropped.

Only one opportunity to be readmitted is permitted. A student who repeats a previously failed course and does not pass that course will be discontinued.


Students have the right to appeal any academic decisions as set out in the Conestoga Student Guide.

Special Timetables/Adding Dropped or Failed Courses

Please note that when students are not taking the program in the prescribed sequence, they will be on "special timetables". Prior to the beginning of the semester, students should attempt to add missed courses from a previous semester by logging in to the student portal and following the instructions to register for courses. If students are not able to add courses on their own (because of a timetable conflict or full course section) they must seek assistance from their Program Coordinator during the "Special Timetable Registration" initiated by the college. Dates, times, and locations of Special Timetable Registration periods are posted in the student portal in advance of the beginning of each semester.  Students must attend this meeting where they will receive further guidance regarding this academic status from their Program Coordinator.


Students are expected to respond to their invitation through their Student Portal. Convocation ceremonies are held in the spring and fall of each academic year. Students, who take longer than the advertised program length, are responsible for completing any new or additional courses due to a program design change. Students who complete their program after the scheduled completion date are required to fill out an Application to Graduate form and submit it with payment to the registrar's office. Students who are discontinued or have withdrawn and then return to the college will be placed in the current program design and must meet all requirements to graduate.

General Education / Breadth Electives

School of Liberal Studies

The purpose of diploma General Education electives and Degree Breadth electives is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to succeed not just in their chosen career fields, but in all life paths. Working collaboratively with your program, General Education and Degree Breadth elective courses help develop the critical and creative thinking skills, civic engagement and knowledge of the broader world of arts, culture and science that helps make you more reflective, creative, and effective in your own life.

All Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, and Degree programs at Conestoga require students to complete general education electives / interdisciplinary breadth.

More information on these courses can be found at www.conestogac.on.ca/electives.


Process for Resolution of Student Concerns

In order to resolve any concerns which may arise during a course, field placement or relating to the program overall, students are encouraged to resolve issues or concerns informally at the program level prior to proceeding to a formal appeal.

If attempts have been made, and a successful resolution has not been reached, students are encouraged to refer to their Conestoga Student Guide, and to follow the procedures outlined under the "Academic Dispute Resolution and Appeal Procedure" section.

Maintaining Student Files

  1. Official records of each student's education are maintained electronically by the Registrar.
  2. Administrative records related to your experience in the Program are maintained to demonstrate compliance with external and college requirements. This information is as follows:
Student Information File Location and Student Access Retention

Pre Practicum Health Requirements (if applicable)

  • per copies of information received from students.

In H.S Trax, by individual student access

**accessed through My Conestoga

  • Each student has his/her own information on the Passport for provision to practicum agencies as required.
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program.

Acknowledgement of WSIB Understanding (if applicable)

  • Signed electronically by each student prior to the first practicum placements.
  • By the Program, online.
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program.

Student Consents Signed on Admission electronically (varies per program)

  • Student Consent for Release of Information
  • Student Understanding of Professional Standards
  • Student Understanding of Safety Requirements
  • Filed electronically.
  • For the duration of a student's time in the Program.
  1. Academic Files are set up as required for a student to document important matters relevant to a student's progress or to document and monitor resolution of concerns.
Student Information File Location and Student Access Retention

A.  Documents related to academic progress

  • Correspondence regarding course equivalencies.
  • Correspondence re supplementary examinations.
  • Learning Contracts
  • Disabilities Information & plans.
  • In Student File, maintained by the Program Coordinator, initially, and then filed for safe-keeping during the student's time in the Program –maintained by the Program Assistant.
For 1 year following graduation or as required by accrediting body.

B.  Records of Competency Attainment

As above As above

C.  Documents related to areas of Concern

  • Interview Records, with supporting email documentation as appropriate.
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Incident Reports
  • Letters/emails of significant concern and replies.
  • Appeals
As above As above
  1. Students may review the contents of their academic file by:
    • Requesting this in writing to the Program Coordinator.
    • Reviewing the file in the presence of the Program Coordinator.


Practicum and Clinical Experiences

Student Consent Forms

Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students should go into the Practicum Services Community in myConestoga and open the Consent Forms tab. Students can then electronically sign-off all applicable consent forms after reading each document.

Practicum Health Requirements

Mandatory practicum health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student field/clinical placements. Successful placement completion is required for students to progress to program completion. To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:
Note - Personal Support Worker students attending the Living Classrooms at Riverside Glen and University Gates are required to complete all practicum requirements before their September or January start dates.

  •  A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, and Hepatitis B. Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October – March).
  • TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1-step if more than one year has passed since 2-step testing. 
  • Standard First Aid and CPR – HCP level
  • Respirator Fit Testing
  • An annual Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.

Student Consent Forms

Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students should go into the Practicum Services Community in myConestoga and open the Consent Forms tab. Students can then electronically sign-off all applicable consent forms after reading each document.

Practicum health and/or safety requirements must be completed in order for you to attend your practicum experience. Orientation is mandatory to attend the placement and will not be repeated for individual students. This placement is mandatory for the completion of your program. If you do not attend field/clinical placement, you will not be promoted to the next semester and it will ultimately result in non-completion of the program.

Criminal Screening

To be eligible for practicum, you must not have been convicted of any criminal offence for which you have not been pardoned. An unpardoned criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field/clinical placement and will jeopardize your progress in the program. Your acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request you to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the Program Chair for academic counseling to determine program suitability.

Offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of Canada.

Safety in the Workplace Course (OHS1320)

All students who participate in unpaid education placements during the course of their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on placement. The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to placement sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.


Prior to your first placement, you must sign a Declaration of Understanding of WSIB Coverage related to Unpaid Clinical Placements indicating you understand that WSIB coverage will be provided through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development while you are on training placements. This declaration will be placed in your student file. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage has been electronically signed, in the Safety in the Workplace Course - OHS1320, and visible on your HSTrax home page to be eligible to attend your field experience .

Additional Requirements for Clinical

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is to ensure that all Ontarians have fair and equitable access to programs and services and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.

All students must complete AODA training in the first semester.

Basic Safety Training for University Gates

Conestoga College is committed to establishing and maintaining a healthy and safe work and study environment.

General safety consideration will be provided in the Orientation in the lab areas at University Gates. Throughout your course of study your teacher will guide you through the use of safe work practices. Safety considerations and the safe handling and use of equipment in the labs are incorporated within the leaning outcomes of your program.

 All students must achieve 100% on Fire and WHMIS test in first semester

It is the student's responsibility to follow guidelines for safety once they have been taught, and to ensure that they have had training on the use of any equipment prior to its use.

Any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations, or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner, will be asked to leave the labs at University Gates or the clinical agency.

The Faculty and Practical Application Specialist (PAS) have the authority to ask any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner to leave the lab.

Concerns regarding the Safety of the Work Environment and Quality of Care or Service of the Residents/Clients

Field placement experiences provide the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance your learning in the practice environment. These practicums have been organized by your Program in partnership with the organization where you have been placed.

The following procedures have been developed to make it easier to identify and address any concerns or issues regarding your safety or the safety and care of clients that may come up during the practicum in a way that supports both a solid learning experience and a constructive partnership with the practicum site.

Communication of General Concerns regarding Your Safety or The Safety and Care/Service for Clients

1.      Students will be provided with an Orientation to their placement site on the first day of their placement. The Orientation may include details of the placement site's policies and procedures related to communication about the safety of the work environment and /or the safety and care of patients/residents/clients.

2.      If a student has any concerns about the safety of the work environment and/or the safe/appropriate care/service for clients:

  • The student must immediately report these concerns to the college individual associated with the practicum (PAS, Program team members responsible for your practicum, Field Placement Supervisor).
  • The Responsible Program team members will discuss this concern with Site Management.
  • For concerns of a serious nature (e.g. concerns impacting a total student group; a serious care/service situation), the Responsible Program team members will discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator and, potentially, the Department Chair. The Coordinator or Chair will immediately contact practicum site management to determine next steps.
  • Should facility policies require that practicum students report safety or care/service concerns immediately to practicum site management, the student should report to the Responsible Program team members immediately afterward.

Reporting of Incidents of Student Injury during a Practicum Experience

Should students experience personal injury of any kind, this must be reported immediately to the Placement Employer and Responsible Program team members. The Placement Employer will provide first-aid that may be necessary, including arranging for transportation to emergency medical services if required.

The Responsible Program team member notifies the Program Coordinator and Chair and completes an Unpaid Work/Education Placement Accident Report (UWEP-04) and will send this to the college's Occupational Health & Safety Office. Where necessary, the Occupational Health & Safety Office will complete a WSIB 7 form, a Letter of Authorization to Represent Placement Employer, and a Work/Education Placement Agreement Form.

Reporting of Student Involvement in Situations of Possible Injury:

To Clients during a Practicum Experience, or Student Damage to Facility Property

1. Should students be involved in care/service situation where their care/service results in a potential concern/injury to patients, residents, or clients of the placement site, this must be immediately reported to the Practicum Site in order that care can be given. This situation must also be reported immediately to the Responsible Program team member. The Program Team Member will discuss this immediately with the placement site and ensure that an incident report is completed. The Program Team Member must also inform the Program Coordinator and the Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that all documentation is obtained regarding the incident and to inform college officials accordingly.

2. Should students be involved in situations where there is alleged damage to resources or physical property at the Practicum site, this concern must be reported immediately to the Practicum Site and to the Responsible Program team member. The program team member will inform the Program Coordinator and Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Responsible Program team members to complete an incident report with the Chair accountable to ensure all documentation is obtained and to inform college officials accordingly.

Clinical Placements Standards

In the Personal Support Worker Program we believe that learning is based on an integrated balance of theory and practice. The clinical placement experiences provide learning opportunities to apply theory to practice.

Prior to clinical placements students will receive written guidelines outlining specific procedures to be followed during placements. These guidelines cover punctuality, absences, illnesses, dress codes, insurance coverage while at the clinical sites, and the reporting of accidents or incidents which may impact on the health and safety of students or residents/clients at the placement site(s). Students are expected to adhere closely to these guidelines. Students who are absent for the orientation to the agency may not proceed in the placement and will be deemed unsatisfactory in the course.

Conestoga students are guests at the placement sites and should behave accordingly. Placement sites are entitled to ask for a student's placement to be discontinued, and such a request may result in a student being unable to complete the clinical placement, and hence the whole program.

As a Personal Support Worker student, it is important to present in a professional manner, particularly when in a clinical setting (community or institution). A professional demeanor and appearance are important in establishing effective working relationships with clients and nursing colleagues. As a guest in any agency providing clinical experience, it is important to always act and dress appropriately. (See Section 3 of this Handbook for information on dress/uniforms requirements for Clinical placements.)

The Personal Support Worker Program is committed to applying the following standards when evaluating students during their clinical practicum experiences.


The practice evaluation will ensure, within each practicum course that the evaluation approach taken by all program team members consistently allows for individual learning and evaluation time by:

  1. Assessing student performance.
  2. Allowing for individual learning/performance strengths and deficits.
  3. Facilitating mutual goal setting.
  4. Offering a variety of practice settings from which evaluative data can be gathered.
  5. Communicating evaluative data verbally and through established written documents.


The practice evaluation will ensure that the achievement and measurement of clinical practicum learning outcomes is facilitated by:

  1. Clearly identifying performance outcomes for each practicum course.
  2. Communicating clearly to the students at the beginning of each practicum course, the expected behavioural changes.
  3. Providing practice experiences in which practice outcomes can be met.
  4. Assessing the student's current level of performance against the course outcomes, utilizing multiple sources of evaluative data.


The practice evaluation will ensure that all students receive due process as they progress through the Personal Support Worker program by:

  1. Making program expectations known, clear, and realistic.
  2. Basing assessments and judgments of practice performance on accurate, significant, and relevant sources of data.
  3. Informing students as soon as performance deficits are identified.
  4. Respecting students' self-evaluation as they develop self-assessment skills.
  5. Counselling students on corrective actions so that program success can be achieved.
  6. Facilitating access to appropriate program/college support services and resources.
  7. Making the consequences of choices known to the student.


The practice evaluation will ensure that the evaluation of students within the Personal Support

Worker program consistently follows ethical and legal standards by:

  1. Offering due process for all students.
  2. Insisting upon confidentiality in all verbal and written communication with students.
  3. Respecting the student's interests and values.
  4. Facilitating and respecting the student's informed choices related to program performance.
  5. Supporting any student who withdraws from the program.


It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for transportation to scheduled practice experiences. All students will be randomly placed in a variety of agencies. These placements are predetermined and not a personal choice of the student. Car-pooling is recommended.

Parking Fees

Students are responsible for making their own arrangements for parking while on clinical placement.

Additional Information for Students

Change of Name, Address, and Telephone Number

Change of name, home/temporary residence address, and telephone numbers must be reported immediately in writing to the to the Registrar's office. Forms for reporting changes are available from the Registrar's office. Failure to report these changes could seriously hamper relevant communication between the college and the student.

Part-Time Work

While students are enrolled in the Personal Support Worker Program:      

  1. Student priority needs to be safe competent care in their role as a student. Students who attend clinical sleep deprived from working at outside employment will be asked to leave the clinical agency.
  2. Assigned functions and responsibilities within any clinical agency in which they are employed will not be recognized by the college in any form.
  3. The college does not assume responsibility for student performance while they work part-time in a clinical agency.
  4. Students are not to wear the crest or name bar showing Conestoga College logo or the Conestoga College student uniform.
  5. Students should realize that, historically, students who work a lot of part-time hours are less successful in the program.
  6. If a highly contagious outbreak occurs and a student is employed in a health care agency, their employment hours and/or clinical placement hours may be directly affected dependent on the agency's Infection Control Policy.

Reference Letter from Program Team Members

Reference letters are to be negotiated with appropriate program team members on an individual basis. Students should discuss the appropriateness of a telephone reference check or formal letters with program team members prior to giving the potential employer their contact information.

*It is not appropriate for the Program Coordinator or Chair to provide detailed reference information to potential employers.

Student Awards

Conestoga has more than 400 awards, bursaries, scholarships and academic grants available to Conestoga students. These funds are made available to our students through the partnerships we have established with local business and industry leaders. To be considered for an award, complete the General Application available through your Student Portal. Notifications and instructions to complete the application are sent to all full-time students' email accounts in the fall semester (Deadline: First Friday in October) and winter semester (Deadline: First Friday in February). Visit the Student Financial Services on Conestoga's website.

Awards Available for Personal Support Worker Students 2018-2019

The following awards* are available to the students of PSW. Students who have questions about any of these awards should speak with their Program Coordinator. Please watch your college email for information from the Financial Aid office concerning application deadlines, processes and eligibility. You may obtain information about other school wide awards and scholarships from Financial Aid.

* Note: All awards correct at time of print, but are subject to change.

Award Name Estimated
Year or Level of awards Criteria Selection Process Presented At:
H.L.O. Health Services Inc. $250 Level 1 1 full time, demonstrate financial need Apply Financial Aid
Program Sponsored – Organized through your program
Award Name Estimated
Year or Level of awards Criteria Selection Process Presented At:
Chair's Award Certificate Graduating up to 3 demonstrates academic excellence and leadership in supportive care Nominated Pinning ceremony
PSW Coordinator's Award $200 Graduating 1 each the recipient that program team member feels excels in clinical practice Nominated Pinning ceremony
University Gates

$100 Graduating 1 Excellence in patient care and authentic relationships with the residences. A student who has given back to a University Gates residence or residences with their commitment to developing authentic relationships with the residences in the village. Nominated Pinning ceremony
School Sponsored – Awarded annually
Award Name Estimated
Year or Level of awards Criteria Selection Process Presented At:
Partners Enhancing Practice - TD Awards $500 Graduating 1/intake Inquisitive nature and curiosity about other professions & understand the roles of others. Thinks carefully about the plan of care and engages other disciplines in that care, accountability for her/his actions and communicates information and action accordingly. Demonstrates professionalism and safe patient practice. Demonstrates leadership and engagement in school wide inter-professional initiatives and demonstrates financial need Nominated School Awards
CIBC Community of Caring Awards $500 Graduating 8 Proficiency in Resident Care (3 Awards)

Leadership in Caring Award (1 Award)

PSW Entrance Award   (4 Awards)

Students must be studying at Living Classroom, and apply through the general application
Apply School Awards
Schlegel Scholarship $1000 Graduating 4 Apply through general application. Must achieve an overall average of 75% and be an outstanding leader. Apply School Awards

College Hours

Full-time courses at Conestoga are typically delivered during the following hours:

  • Monday to Thursday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday,  8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

In some instances, classes will be scheduled outside of this time frame to accommodate course, program, and college requirements.

Attendance at Evaluations

Working Together to Plan Your Success

Your success matters! As an emerging professional, it is important that you demonstrate the same professional attitude to your program that you will be required to demonstrate to your future workplace. Regular, punctual attendance, and active participation in scheduled classes, field and clinical placements, labs and any on-campus and off-campus activities scheduled by your program will help you to understand and master the learning complexities of your program.
If extenuating, unplanned circumstances require you to miss a class, please note that it is your responsibility to follow up with individual faculty members and to acquire any missed information.

Attendance for Evaluations

Evaluations are critical components of each course and your overall success in your program. An evaluation is defined as a test, exam, presentation or any other formal assessment that contributes to your course mark that requires your presence, in class or on-line. Please note that in many programs across the College, every field placement, clinical day, and lab/shop day is considered crucial to your overall learning and success and the expectation is that you attend.  If you are in a program that includes field or clinical placements, labs/shops, or any other on or off campus activities, it is essential that you discuss attendance requirements with your program faculty in order to understand expectations and consequences.  
Your attendance for all evaluations is a requirement. If there is a concerning pattern of absence from evaluations across your program, you may be asked to meet with the Program Coordinator and/or Student Advisor to discuss strategies for success.
While circumstances such as religious holidays and academic accommodations may necessitate rescheduling of evaluations and will be accommodated, please note that there will be no special arrangements made for rescheduling evaluations due to personal conflicts such as work or vacation plans.  
In order to facilitate a smooth implementation for all scheduled evaluations, both you and your program faculty have responsibilities which are listed below:

Faculty Responsibilities

  • To communicate all course obligations to you at the beginning of each semester through the Instructional Plan, including evaluation and presentation dates.
  • To communicate, in writing, any unplanned extenuating circumstances involving the college, the program or the faculty members that may require changes to the course schedule.
  • To provide alternative evaluation arrangements for missed evaluations/work due to recognized religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council and documented accommodations through the Accessibility Office.
  • To accept alternative evaluation requests in good faith and examine based on the unique circumstances and students' individual needs.
  • To facilitate alternative evaluation arrangements as described below.

Student Responsibilities

  • To be informed about all course obligations and due dates.
  • To inform your faculty member in writing of the need to reschedule evaluations due to a religious holiday as defined by the College Employer Council.
  • If you have to be absent from any scheduled evaluation, report your absence on the Student Portal using the procedure below. You must do this prior to the start of the evaluation or risk receiving a mark of zero.

How to Report Absences on the Student Portal

  1. Log into the Student Portal and click on the 'Absence tab'.
  2. Indicate whether or not there is an assessment scheduled on that day by clicking 'Yes or No', as well as the reason for the absence (illness or other).
  3. Click 'Continue' to report the absence.
  4. Click 'I agree' to confirm the absence.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email that your absence has been recorded.

Important! Please note the following:

  • The earliest you can record an absence for a particular day, is after 8:00 p.m. the day before. You must report each day you are absent.
  • The Absence Recording System will show you as being absent for the day, starting from the time that you recorded the absence. For example, if you record your absence on a specific day at 11:00 a.m., the system will show you as being absent for all classes starting after 11:00 a.m. that day.
  • If you are going to be present for any other classes on the day for which you recorded an absence, please let the faculty member know by attending or following up by eConestoga or college email.
  • When you return to campus, make eConestoga or email contact immediately with the faculty member associated with the evaluation you missed in order to arrange appropriate follow up.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations Less than 20%

Conestoga recognizes that unexpected circumstances such as brief illness do arise during the semester and that a visit to a health practitioner may not be necessary. A valid absence from a scheduled evaluation worth less than 20% of the final grade which is not documented through the Accessibility Office or previously arranged due to religious holidays, will be accommodated once per course during the semester, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above. If the evaluation cannot be rescheduled, (for example an experiential activity, lab or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks to another evaluation item will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via email to their eConestoga or college email address, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.

Absence from additional scheduled evaluations worth less than 20% in the same course may require documentation for verification.

Valid Absence from Scheduled Evaluations 20% or More

Absence from scheduled evaluations worth 20% or more of the final grade that are not documented through the Accessibility Office or arranged due to religious holidays, will require appropriate documentation for verification, subject to proper communication as described in the Student Responsibilities section above.

Alternative Evaluation Arrangements

  • Faculty members will determine alternative evaluation arrangements as appropriate.
  • Students will complete any necessary forms. 
  • Students are required to complete the alternative evaluation as scheduled. If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty and communicated to student via eConestoga or college email, or documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty member and student.
  • Tests will be made up in the Conestoga Test Centre in the following week, or by individual arrangements with course faculty member.
  • If the evaluation is to be conducted in the Conestoga Test Centre, students will be asked to show their ONECard* before permitted to write the test.

* Students taking part-time courses or in programs where OneCard is not provided such as Apprenticeship may be asked to show alternate ID.

Program Handbook Revision Log

Last Revised By Whom
June 25, 2015 Jillian Grant
June 25, 2015 Lynn Voelzing
August 31, 2015 Nicole Dorscht
June 17, 2016 Lori Strauss
June 27, 2016 Nicole Dorscht
May 31, 2017 Krisden Galloway
June 23, 2017 Brett Gibson
May 29, 2018 Krisden Galloway

Accommodation Disclaimer

Conestoga College is dedicated to promoting an equitable environment where students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of College life. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code, Conestoga College recognizes its responsibility and legal obligation to provide education, information and services in an accessible manner.

The Program Handbook is intended to provide general information with respect to program expectations. There may be individual accommodations and/or medical circumstances that require exceptions. For example, students may need to be accommodated for a missed assignment or evaluation. Students who are registered with Accessibility @ Conestoga are not required to provide an additional doctor's note for a missed or late evaluation. For more information about Accessibility @ Conestoga please drop in or visit our website.

We recognize that other extenuating circumstances may apply. Consult with your Professor. All exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.