Program calendar icon Program Length

  • 4 Months

Program credential icon Credential

  • Certificate

Program location icon Location Offered

  • Nanaimo

Are you a creative person working the health or human services sector? Want more joy in your workday? As an activity assistant you bring happiness into the lives of older adults. You help create programming that promotes wellness, and you get to participate in the fun activities you design for your clients. It’s a career that can give you a daily dose of joy.

The Activity Assistant Certificate Program

This part–time program is designed to provide post–basic training for individuals with previous Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA) training and experience. Graduates will be prepared to work as Activity Assistants in a variety of settings.

Program Content

Building on the HS/RCA Program, students will explore the theory and skills necessary to work as an Activity Assistant. Students are introduced to activity as a part of life that influences, and is influenced by health, age, interests, values, and environment.

The program consists of classroom instruction and practicum experience. Topics include:

  • A framework for the Activity Assistant role
  • Activity for well–being
  • Programming ideas for clients with cognitive impairment
  • Practicum

Course Delivery

Courses are offered on a part–time basis. The classroom component is typically scheduled on a weeknight and Saturdays. The practicum component is scheduled on an individual basis, reflecting the requirements of the practicum site and student.


ACTA 100T - (Framework for Activity Assistant Role)

ACTA 101T - (Activity for Well–Being)

ACTA 102T - (Programming Ideas for Clients with Cognitive Impairment)

ACTA 103T - (Practicum)

ACTA 104T - (Observational Practicum)

  • Current Home Support/Resident Care Attendant (HS/RCA) Program Certificate from an approved post-secondary institution, or equivalent standing through prior learning assessment;
  • Proof of employment as an HS/RCA within the last 4 years;
  • Completed Immunization Requirements form.

Note: This program is not eligible for student loans.

Notes on Admission

  • Prior to starting the practicum placements, students must submit documentation of the following:
    • Fieldwork and/or practicums will require a satisfactory criminal record check prior to placement. Criminal Record Checks are requested through VIU. The Registration Centre at VIU will contact prospective students by mail regarding the requirements for a Criminal Record Check. Criminal Record Checks are processed through the Ministry according to the Criminal Records Review Act. A check completed through the RCMP is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Act.
    • Current CPR C Certificate.
    • Foodsafe Level I  Certificate. 

Note: Many employers require a Class IV Driver's License and a minimum of 1 year related work experience.

The Activity Assistant Program provides students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary to plan and implement individual and group activities for older adults in intermediate and extended care facilities and community settings. The graduate is prepared to function under the direction of an appropriate health care professional and to work collaboratively with other team members, families and volunteers.

Domestic Fees

Tuition and Other Mandatory Student Fees

When applying to the program, applicants will be charged a non-refundable application fee.

When applying to graduate, students will be charged a non-refundable graduation and alumni fee.

Some courses have additional fees to pay for extraordinary class–related expenses.

Fees Amount
Tuition 2,820.02
Student Activity fee (4% of tuition) 112.80
VIU Students' Union fee (4 months x $26.59 per month) 106.36

Amounts calculated using Nanaimo Campus rates.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice and are expected to increase by 2% each year on April 1.

Domestic (Canadian)

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options
Anticipated intake for someone applying today:
Next Intake(s):

  • Document deadline: November 29, 2024. 

  • Fees due deadline: December 12, 2024.


Application Fee:
Accepting Late Applications:
Testing Required:
Admissions Assistant:
Name: Donna Kist
Phone: 250.753.3245 ext. 2526
Area Secretary Contact:
Name: Yan Li
Phone: 250.740.6322
Coordinator Contact:
Name: Karen Blackman
Phone: 250.740.6327
Document Deadline:

Deadline to submit documents: November 29, 2024


Further information on this program can be found on the Department website.

Visit the Department Website

Previous versions of this program can be found in the Program Archive.