About the Personal Support Worker Education Fund for Long-Term Care
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has renewed the Personal Support Worker (PSW) Education Fund for Long-Term Care (LTC). The objective of the fund is to build PSW capacity to deliver high-quality and safe care that meets the needs of people living in LTC. The fund provides tuition and backfill reimbursement for PSWs to participate in continuing education and professional development.
For the second year, the Ministry is working with the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (Ontario CLRI) to offer Excellence in Resident-Centred Care (ERCC) training to PSWs. ERCC builds practical skills using a person-centred, train-the-trainer approach. It is delivered in partnership with Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.
Ontario LTC homes are eligible to apply for funding for tuition and backfill for PSW participation in ERCC.
Space is limited. There are limits to the number of LTC homes that can participate, and only complete and accurate applications will be reviewed.
Funding for tuition and backfill is only provided to LTC homes whose applications have been approved. Tuition and backfill reimbursement is only provided for the approved number of PSWs who successfully complete ERCC courses.
LTC homes do not need to submit expense forms. Tuition for ERCC courses is covered directly by the fund at no up-front expense to the LTC home. Backfill is covered up-front by the LTC home and reimbursed at standard rate.
Reimbursement for backfill is paid by cheque and is mailed to approved LTC homes within 60 days of PSWs successfully completing the course.
Learn more about funding and reimbursement in the Implementation Guide.
Only certified PSWs working in Ontario LTC homes can receive ERCC education through the Fund.
There are limits to the number of PSWs within each approved LTC home that can receive tuition and backfill reimbursement:
- ERCC Trainer Course: Maximum of 4 PSWs per approved LTC home
- ERCC Team Member Course: Maximum number of PSWs per approved LTC home is determined based on the LTC home’s application and size. The maximum is confirmed when the funding application is approved.
LTC homes need to:
1. Identify a staff member as the Lead Contact. Lead Contacts will be responsible for:
- Coordinating and submitting the online application for funding,
- Supporting PSWs in registering and completing the ERCC Trainer Course,
- Supporting new Trainers in organizing the ERCC Team Member Course,
- Reporting information as requested to the fund, and
- Completion of fund and training evaluation surveys.
2. Identify 1-4 PSWs to take the ERCC Trainer Course. There are guidelines available in the Implementation Guide to help select ideal candidates. Trainers will be responsible for:
- Completing the ERCC Trainer Course (16-hours of online learning followed by an 8-hour regional in-class workshop),
- Working together with the Lead Contact to organize and deliver ERCC Team Member Course(s) in the LTC home,
- Ensuring each PSW registers online at the beginning of each ERCC Team Member Course, and
- Ensuring each ERCC Team Member Course is recorded online upon completion.
3. Provide a computer, internet access and space within the home during working hours for PSWs to complete 16-hours of online learning as part of the ERCC Trainer Course.
4. Provide space and support to certified Trainers to organize and deliver the ERCC Team Member Course for fellow PSWs within the LTC home. There is information to guide this process in the Implementation Guide.
Learn more about the application process in Step 1: Apply for Funding.
About Excellence in Resident-Centred Care
Excellence in Resident-Centred Care (ERCC) training was designed for PSWs to build practical skills using a person-centred approach. It was developed by Conestoga College and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.
The goal of ERCC is to support better care and better outcomes for residents in LTC, but it also benefits PSWs and LTC homes. ERCC has been shown to:
- Increase PSW self-confidence
- Increase PSW job satisfaction
- Improve team morale
ERCC uses a train-the-trainer model to build capacity within LTC homes. Select PSWs complete the ERCC Trainer Course to become Trainers and deliver the ERCC Team Member Course to fellow PSW Team Members within their LTC home. The education is delivered by Conestoga College, and features online registration and online course components delivered through the easy-to-use eConestoga platform.
Organizations that train 70% or more of their PSW team receive special recognition and a certificate.
The ERCC Trainer Course is for PSWs who are engaged members of the team and have interest in training their PSW peers. The course includes:
- 16-hours of online learning (reviewing all 12 ERCC modules)
- Completed online through eConestoga
- Must be completed during a schedule shift (or multiple shifts) in the LTC home
- LTC home must provide a computer with internet access
- Must be completed within 2 weeks prior to the in-class workshop
- 8-hour in-class workshop
- Workshops take place in locations across Ontario; date and location for workshops are assigned to each approved LTC home based on geographic proximity
- Travel funding is available only if travel to the in-class workshop exceeds 100km or 2 hours one way
- PSWs present one of the ERCC modules (assigned to them) at the in-class workshop and learn how to facilitate the ERCC Team Member Course
Upon completion of the course, Trainers are certified and have access to the education and materials through eConestoga to deliver the ERCC Team Member Course to fellow PSWs and are certified for two years.
The ERCC Team Member Course is organized by the LTC home and delivered in-house by the home’s certified Trainers to PSWs working within the home. The course includes:
- 8-hour in-class workshop
- Typically, 1-2 Trainers for groups of 10-20 PSW Team Members
- PSWs are required to complete 7 of the 12 available modules (modules 1 and 12 are required and the LTC home can select the remaining modules based on interest)
- Modules are 45 minutes in length
All modules are covered in the ERCC Trainer Course. Seven modules are covered in the ERCC Team Member Course. Modules 1 and 12 are mandatory, and the remaining modules can be selected by the LTC home. The following modules are available to be covered in ERCC:
1. Person-Centred Care
Review principles of a person-centred approach to care: respect, dignity and choice. Identify strategies to optimize this approach and reinforce the importance of working as a team in long-term care and retirement living.
2. Infection Prevention and Control
Review principles of infection prevention and control and hand hygiene practices. Learn the signs and symptoms of infection and strategies to optimize infection prevention and control.
3. Safety and Mobility
Review principles of safety and mobility. Identify factors influencing resident safety including potential signs of abuse and neglect and strategies for optimizing resident safety and mobility.
4. Oral Care and Skin Integrity
Review principles of oral hygiene and skin integrity and the proper steps for completing an oral and skin assessment. Identify proper techniques for oral and denture care and strategies to optimize skin integrity.
Review the principles of and strategies for optimizing continence and the potential implications of incontinence. Identify some of the signs and symptoms of urinary problems.
6. Nutrition and Hydration
Identify signs and symptoms of malnutrition and dehydration and factors that influence nutrition and hydration. Review the principles of and strategies for supporting nutrition and hydration.
7. Delirium, Dementia and Depression
Review the principles of delirium, dementia and depression and factors that influence behaviours. Identify signs and symptoms of delirium, dementia and depression and strategies for optimizing overall mental well-being.
8. Pain and Comfort
Review the principles of pain assessment and management, factors influencing pain and explore implications of unrelieved pain. Identify strategies for optimizing comfort.
9. Palliative/End-of-Life Care
Review the principles of a palliative approach and discuss quality of life, holistic care and a personal journey. Identify signs of imminent death and strategies to enhance psychosocial support for the dying person and family.
Review the principles of self-care and discuss the concepts of professionalism, leadership and resiliency. Explore strategies for care providers to manage stress and activate healthy coping.
11. Working With Others
Examine factors that influence healthy team dynamics and the potential implications of unhealthy work environments. Review the principles of and strategies to optimize team work and collaboration.
12. Observational Assessment
Review the principles of observational assessment and examine strategies that foster early identification to enhance documentation and communication of potential issues.
13. Dressing and Grooming
Review the concepts of time, support and assistance in relation to dressing and grooming. Explore factors and identify strategies to optimize the dressing and grooming experience.
14. Bathing and Spa Experience
Review the principles of the bathing and spa experience including the concepts of comfort, privacy and vulnerability. Examine factors and identify strategies to optimize the bathing and spa experience.
Review the concepts of rest, fatigue and sleep and principles of sleep hygiene. Explore factors that negatively influence rest and sleep and identify strategies to optimize restful sleep.