Oversight of the Work of Health Care Assistants in BC: Protecting Vulnerable Workers and Patients / Clients


In 2020 unregulated health care assistants (HCAs), also known as care aides, personal support workers, and community health workers, delivered the majority (about 80%) of hands-on care provided to older people, people living with disabilities, and other frail or vulnerable adults across the care spectrum in Canada (in long-term care and in the community),  working for both publicly funded health authorities and private businesses.

Regulation or other oversight of the work of HCAs is important because both HCAs and the people they care for represent vulnerable groups. HCAs deliver the majority of care provided to people living with disabilities and older adults. A significant majority of HCAs were born outside of Canada, speak English as a second language, and are precariously employed casual labourers. 90% are women; many are people of colour.

CCEL conducted a one-year research project to identify appropriate law and policy responses to address public protection and worker vulnerability issues related to the practice of currently non-regulated HCAs providing care to older people and people with disabilities in home, community, long-term care, and acute care environments across BC.

CCEL will has published a study paper in 2022 that:

  • provides an overview of existing regulation and oversight mechanisms,
  • identifies critical gaps,
  • proposes options for reform, and
  • lays a foundation for the BC government to take action to put in place a robust law and policy response.


This project is funded by the Law Foundation of BC (LFBC)



Related Files

Below you will find additional, relevant and specific documentation, backgrounders, research, resources, media releases and summaries that have been, or will be incorporated into our final publications and study papers.

If you have questions about these or other specific documents, please reach out to BCLI using our contact page or at the bottom of each page of our website.