BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry announced

HEU efforts ensure that registry recognizes valuable contribution of care aides and community health workers to health care team
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After months of consultation between HEU, other health care unions, health employers and the government, the province’s new BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry is being launched this week.

The registry will establish a province-wide training standard for new graduate care aides (CAs) and community health workers (CHWs), and ensure a fair process for investigating abuse allegations against front-line workers.

In 2009, the Ministry of Health Services announced plans to create a registry with the original goal of preventing care aides and community health workers, who had been terminated for resident abuse, from being hired by other publicly funded employers in the future.

The unions were very concerned that the government-introduced registry was an easy way for employers to target and get rid of staff – accused of resident abuse – without due process.

As a result of a union lobbying effort, the Ministry agreed to include a transparent process for investigating resident abuse allegations, and introduce a standardized training curriculum for CAs and CHWs in the registry.

“This broader mandate provides greater protection for care aides and community health workers,” says HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy. “It recognizes the value of high-quality training, and acknowledges the important contribution these workers make in supporting many of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Who should apply and when

The government has set out the following requirements as part of the new registry.

Anyone currently working as a care aide or community health worker for a publicly funded employer – with or without a certificate – should register by the April 28 deadline in order to be “grandfathered”. After that time, you will have to provide proof that you have completed a provincially recognized CA or CHW training course.

Even if you are off work on WCB, LTD or any other leave – but have a care aide or community health worker certificate – it’s important to register now.

The government also requires you to register by April 28 if you:

  • work in a position (i.e. as a patient porter) that requires a care aide certificate,
  • trained on the job and do not have a certificate or the equivalent educational requirements,
  • are a licensed practical nurse who may want to work as a CA in the future, or
  • work for a private employer, but could work for a publicly funded employer down the road.
If you don’t register by April 28 and you do not have a CA or CHW certificate, you will only be able to work for your current employer. You will not be eligible to work for other publicly funded employers until you provide proof of completing a CA and/or CHW training program in B.C., or an equivalent course from elsewhere in Canada.

Registration is easy and it’s free. You’ll need to complete an Application and Consent Form. You can do that online at <www.cachwr.bc.ca>, or you can fill out the form and fax it to 1-877-494-3222, or mail it to BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry, Suite 200-1333 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6H 4C6.

If you have any questions, please contact your servicing representative through your local executive.

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