A group of the Activity Assistant Certificate Students on campus

Activity Assistant

  • Program Length 
    4 Months
  • Credential 
  • Location Offered 
    Nanaimo, Parksville Qualicum

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.

Program Outline


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)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Admission Requirements

  • 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 (Contact Professional Development and Training at 250-740–6322).

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

Career Opportunities

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 Fee Schedule

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.





Student Activity fee


VIU Students' Union fee (4 months x $20.32 per month)





Amounts calculated using Nanaimo Campus rates.

All fees are subject to change without prior notice.

Thursday, July 11, 2019
Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus Options
Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Phone: 250-740-6400
Email: registration@viu.ca

Chair Contact

Name: Nicole.Bennett
Phone: 250-740-6327
Email: Nicole.Bennett@viu.ca

Anticipated intake for someone applying today
Feb 20, 2020
Accepting International Applications
Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Alana Gaetz
Phone: 250-753-3245 ext. 2071
Email: alana.gaetz@viu.ca

Area Secretary Contact

Name: Deirdre Godwin
Phone: 250-740-6322
Email: deirdre.godwin@viu.ca

Coordinator Contact

Name: Ghislaine Boucher
Phone: 250-740-6327
Email: ghislaine.boucher@viu.ca

Documentation Deadline

November 29, 2019


Information session: Tuesday, October 22, 2019; 6-8 pm. To register, call 1-866-734-6252.

The course schedule (subject to minor revision) is:

Classroom sessions: Thursday evenings, February 20 through May 28, 2020, 6-9 pm and Saturdays, February 22 through May 30, 2020 9 am – 4 pm;
Observational Practicum: April 14 – 24, 2020 (individually scheduled);
Mid-Point Review: Thursday, April 30, 2020, 6-9 pm;
Full Practicum: June 1 – 19, 2020 (individually scheduled); and
Program wrap-up Thursday, June 25, 2020; 6-9 pm.