Continuing Care Assistant Program

CCA Registry Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CCA Registry?
Why was a Registry developed?
Why Is Health Human Resource Planning Important?
What will this Registry do?
Who is eligible to be in the CCA Registry?  
What is a Certified Continuing Care Assistant/Counterpart?
Why are you asking for my educational credential?
Is the Registry mandatory? 
Who is responsible for ensuring my information is secure?
How will my privacy be protected?
Who has access to my information?
Who will you share my information with?
Why are you asking for this type of information?
When is the registration date?
What is the cost to members?
What are the benefits of the Registry? 
Will this be a governing regulatory body? 
Is the Registry a place for employers to file complaints or concerns? 
Will I have to have continuous employment to stay in good standing? 
Will there be a minimum number of hours worked per year to maintain registration? 
Will the Registry be able to track specialized or additional education courses? 
Will it be possible for the CCA students (while enrolled in the course) to register?  
What makes the CCA Registry any different from the PCW or HSW Registry?
What are my employer’s responsibilities?
Has there been any discussion with Department of Community Services (or other entities) to encourage the registration of their certified CCA/PCW/HSW/HHP/HHAs employed in the organizations?  
Who Should I Contact if I have Questions?

What is the CCA Registry?
The CCA Registry is a list of Certified CCAs and their counterparts in Nova Scotia.  Registration is required for membership to the CCA Registry. The Registry is not meant to be an association.

Counterparts include Nova Scotia Certified Personal Care Workers (PCW), Home Support Workers (HSW), NSCC Home Health Providers/Home Health Aides (HHP/HHA), and all persons working with on-the-job training or a conditional hire under the Department of Health and Wellness Education Entry to Practice Policy. This can be viewed at: http://www.gov.ns.ca/health/ccs/cca_entry_practice_policy.pdf

Why was a Registry developed?
Prior to the CCA Registry, there was no way to communicate directly with Certified CCA/counterparts. We have heard from Certified CCAs/counterparts that they would like to be more connected, hear about issues related to their occupation and education opportunities, and would like to have an opportunity to provide input into the evolution of their occupation. The best way for us to do this is to be able to directly communicate with CCAs/counterparts and the CCA Registry gives us that opportunity.

Also there is no way to estimate the number of individuals in this occupation group across the province or to track the mobility and attrition rates making planning for the current workforce and future needs of this occupation extremely difficult.  CCA industry studies have indicated that employers would find a Registry beneficial for human resource planning.

Why Is Health Human Resource Planning Important?
Reports have shown that increasing numbers of CCA/counterparts are dealing with injury and job-related physical and mental stress, resulting in increased sick time and workers compensation claims. The demands for a consistent level of service and scope of practice are constantly evolving and quality of work life is often perceived as poor. Additionally, an aging workforce, growing number of retirements, and an increasing demand for continuing care services contribute to greater staffing challenges and the need for recruitment.  

To meet these challenges, it is crucial to gather health human resource data from Certified CCA/counterparts. The ability to communicate directly with Certified CCA/counterparts will allow the Registry to share the information as needed to meet the employee and employer demands. 

What will this Registry do?
The objectives of the CCA Registry are to:
  • Provide a way to connect with Certified CCAs/counterparts to provide them with information related to their occupation
  • Acquire a list of Certified CCA and counterparts to:
    • provide information to the  Department of Health and Wellness for human resource planning across the province
    • provide information to District Health Authorities and CCA employers for human resource planning 
    • identify formal and informal education preparation
  • Provide contact information to potential employers so they may contact you directly if you are seeking employment in their geographical area with your consent
Who is eligible to be in the CCA Registry?  
Eligible persons include:
  • All persons working in the role of Certified CCA/counterpart in health care organizations that fall under the Department of Health and Wellness Education Entry to Practice Policy (Nursing Home/Homes for Aged and home support agencies providing services to Department of Health and Wellness clients)
  • Certified Continuing Care Assistants/Home Support Workers/Personal Care Workers/Home Health Providers or Aides who are working outside of the Department of Health and Wellness Education Entry to Practice policy

As the Registry and the occupation grows this list may also grow.

What is a Certified Continuing Care Assistant/Counterpart?
As part as the registration process, members are asked to submit their respective proof of certification along with their registration form. This is also known as an educational credential. 

Certified Continuing Care Assistant (CCA)
Certified CCAs have completed all components of the CCA Program from a recognized education provider and have passed the provincial examination, or equivalent. A Department of Health and Wellness provincial certificate has been granted these individuals and can be used as proof of certification. 

Certified Counterparts
Home Support Worker (HSW)
Certified HSWs hold a certificate of completion from Home Support Nova Scotia (HSNSA) which must be presented as proof of certification. 

Home Health Care Provider/Home Health Aide (HHP/HHA)
Certified HHP/HHAs hold a certificate from the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) which must be presented as proof of certification. 

Personal Care Worker (PCW)
Certified PCWs hold a certificate from the Nova Scotia Department of Health or Department of Community Services which must be presented as proof of certification. 

Why are you asking for my educational credential?
One of the main goals of the CCA Registry is to acquire a list of Certified CCAs and counterparts to provide information to the Department of Health and Wellness, District Health Authorities, and employers for human resource planning and to identify formal and informal education preparation. Identifying education credential (i.e., Continuing Care Assistant, Personal Care Worker, Home Support Worker, Home Health Provider/Aide, etc.) will aid the planning required to meet the current and future workforce needs.  

To ensure the integrity of the information in the CCA Registry database it is mandatory to obtain proof of your credential as validation. 

Is the Registry mandatory? 
Currently, the Registry is voluntary.  

Who is responsible for ensuring my information is secure?
In the absence of a governing body, the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) has supported and overseen the development of the CCA educational program and certification process.  To assist with these activities, DHW established the CCA Program Advisory Committee (CCAPAC) with representation from key stakeholders including CCAs.   

The Department of Health and Wellness is also taking the initiative to support the development of the CCA Registry.  They have placed the governance of the Registry under the mandate of the CCAPAC.  Through a contract with DHW, Health Association Nova Scotia is the managing body and custodian for the CCA Program and the CCA Registry.  Through this contract agreement DHW, CCAPAC, and Health Association Nova Scotia ensures that the appropriate technology, policies, and procedures are in place to secure your personal information.

How will my privacy be protected?
Health Association Nova Scotia, CCA Program Advisory Committee, and the Department of Health and Wellness are responsible for the CCA Registry. The noted organizations are committed to managing personal information in an open, transparent, and accountable manner thereby ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of your information is protected.  

Your information will be stored at the CCA Registry office at the Health Association Nova Scotia and at the data centers of Peer 1 and Tier 3, contracted by Softworks Group Inc., the application service provider of the Alinity System, to host the CCA Registry data.  Only authorized personnel will have access to your personal information.

We have developed and implemented a Privacy Policy and procedures in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPOP) for maintaining the security of your personal information. The Privacy Policy can be accessed online at www.novascotiacca.ca or by contacting the CCA Registry. For more information on FOIPOP visit their website: http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/freedom.htm

Who has access to my information?
Only authorized staff of the CCA Program (Registry staff) at Health Association Nova Scotia will have access to your complete information.  They will ensure that your information is kept confidential and share only the information you have consented to share. A consent form is attached to the Registration Form.  The Consent Form can also be found at www.novascotiacca.ca or by contacting the CCA Registry.  

Who will you share my information with?
Your information may be shared with different sources for a variety of purposes as identified below:  

Sharing of Personal Identifiable Information
Your personal identifiable information will not be shared unless you give prior consent.  Identifiable information refers to your contact information and/or any information that can identify you as an individual.  The following describes who may be able to access information obtained via the CCA Registry and what information they will have access to with your consent.  The consent form is attached to the Registration Form, the Renewal Form, and available upon request.

You, the individual registrant, will be provided with a username and password to access your own personal information online.  

The general public will be able to go online and verify registration status similar to the College of Registered Nurses or College of Licensed Practical Nurses registration verification process.  

An example of the information displayed on the CCA Registry Directory is shown below:
Name Credential Registration Type Effective Expiry Future Registration
Doe, Jane CCA Active 01-Nov-2010 31-Oct-2011 *

This will assist potential employers in identifying you as a member of the Registry and therefore employable under the Department of Health and Wellness Education Entry to Practice policy.  

Your employer will be able to access an annual report of their employees who are in the Registry along with the following personal information: name, date of birth, credential, additional education, language which you are able to safely provide care, date of employment, position type, employment hours, duties, and whether you are working hours desired.

Registry Staff will have access to the information you submit for the purpose of managing the Registry and distributing information to you.

If any other person or group wishes to contact you, we will handle the situation in one of two ways.  The most common way will be for us to send you the information they wish to share and/or their contact information, with the reason they want to contact you.  It will be your decision to contact that person or group.  
The second, and less common means, will include an additional consent notice to your annual registration form asking your permission to provide contact and/or identifying information.  Similar to the current consent statement regarding potential employers located on the Consent Form  

Sharing of Non-Identifying Information
Non-identifying information refers to collective numbers and/or percentages of the information you give us that does not connect to your name and will not allow for individual identification.  For example employers and Department of Health and Wellness will be given annual information that provides information on Certified CCAs/counterparts in an individual organization, district, county, or provincial level.  For example:
  • Age Distribution by % of Registrants (e.g., 18% of CCAs in your organization are in the 19-29 age range, etc.) 
  • Registrants by credential (e.g., 500 CCA, 150 PCW, 10 HSW work in District 1)
  • Registrant gender (e.g., 82% female, 18% male registrants in the Pictou County)
  • Employment status (e.g., 63% permanent, 12% part-time, 8% casual in your organization)
  • Employer Type (e.g., 60% Nursing Homes/Homes for the Aged, 30% Home Support, 10% Acute Care in the province)
Why are you asking for this type of information?
The information we are asking you to provide will be used for information sharing or as a unique identifier. Unique identifiers are pieces of information we will use to ensure your file is not duplicated and the correct information is applied to the correct file. 

The Member Information Section will provide the CCA Registry with information used to contact and uniquely identify registrants. Registry staff will use this information to send you information releases and newsletters regarding your occupation, such as notice of education events and/or updates on changes in your scope of practice.  This information may also be used to contact you in order to gather your opinion regarding your occupation (e.g., send you notice of a consultation/information sharing sessions, or to send you an opinion survey).

Your registration number will be your unique identifier. This will be assigned to you by the CCA Registry.  However, for new registrants, and as a safeguard against lost registration numbers, combinations of other identifiers help us to ensure the integrity of the data in the Registry.  For example, a combination of your Last Name, Last Name at Birth, and Date of Birth will be used to identify your file.

On the registration form we also ask you for a number of other pieces of information including education and employment data.  This data would be combined with other registrants’ data to provide non-identifying information to inform human resource planning in the province.  Appropriate human resource planning helps the health system provide better care to the client and their families.  For example:
  • We ask your date of birth. This information will be used to identify how many CCAs are in each age group.  This will help human resource planning for retirement.  
  • The education section could help appropriate education planning and appropriate utilization of resources and funds for education.  
  • The employment section will allows the Registry to identify where Certified CCAs/counterparts are working which will help identify where there are shortages and/or surpluses of persons in these areas.

When is the registration date?
November 1 to October 31 will be the annual membership period.  The Registration and renewal process will take place between September 15 and October 31, annually.  The registration and membership times were chosen to coincide with the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia and College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Nova Scotia registration dates.  Registration forms are available upon request through the CCA Registry and on the CCA Website (www.novascotiacca.ca).  Annual registration renewal forms will be distributed directly to you and will be available online.

What is the cost to members?
The CCA Registry is free, there is no cost to become a member.

What are the benefits of the Registry? 
The following has been identified as benefits or opportunities of the CCA Registry.  This is not an all-inclusive list:

For Certified CCA/counterparts:
  • An avenue for Certified CCAs/counterparts to voice their opinion on issues that affect their role in health care 
  • Being able to connect with Certified CCAs/counterparts will help to improve the timeliness of information being sent 
  • Some of the information could be useful for career planning and continuing education
  • Contribute to group identity for Certified CCAs/counterparts and support feeling connected
  • Step toward a more professional image within the health care system and public
  • Give Certified CCAs/counterparts a tool to organize as an occupation
  • Quarterly Newsletters with contributions from educators, employers, peers, and the health industry
  • Occupational surveys and membership to  CCA Committees and Working Groups
  • 10% off selected items at Mark’s Work Wearhouse
The CCA Registry can be used as a tool to build a collective voice.  

For Employers and/or the Department of Health and Wellness:
  • A place to confirm Certified CCA/counterpart qualifications to work under Department of Health and Wellness Education Entry to Practice Policy
  • Centralized place for easy access to Certified CCAs/counterparts data for health human resource planning on supply and demand (i.e., where members are working and if they working to the extent they desire)
  • Lessen the need for the Department of Health and Wellness or others to fund Certified CCA/counterpart supply and demand studies
  • Lessen requests for organizations’ to supply survey/employment data which are time consuming and costly
  • Determine the education status of Certified CCAs/counterparts employed by the Department of Health and Wellness service provider - information that could be used for education and program planning at the district and/or provincial level
  • Could assist government in the appropriate distribution of funds (i.e. CCA bursary and/or other education funds)
  • Could assist in shared resource planning by service providers
Note:  Information from the Registry is something that can be used in the human resource planning process.

Will this be a governing regulatory body? 
No, the CCA Registry is not a governing, disciplinary, or regulatory body for CCA/counterparts.  

Is the Registry a place for employers to file complaints or concerns? 
No, the Registry is not a regulatory or disciplinary body.

Will I have to have continuous employment to stay in good standing? 
No, all Certified CCAs/Counterparts who are eligible for registration can continue membership when between jobs and retired if they desire.  

Will there be a minimum number of hours worked per year to maintain registration? 
Hours worked is a data element (piece of information) but this does not affect your registration status. 

Will the Registry be able to track specialized or additional education courses? (i.e.,   Foundation Pediatrics, Palliative Care, and Medication Awareness)
Certain additional education that is connected with CCA education program will be recorded in the Registry. 

Will it be possible for the CCA students (while enrolled in the course) to register?  
Students not currently working must pass the Nova Scotia CCA Certification exam to make them eligible for employment under the Department of Health and Wellness Education Entry to Practice Policy before they can register.  However, students working under a conditional hire will be eligible to register as a Conditional Hire. 

What makes the CCA Registry any different from the PCW or HSW Registry?
Over the years there have been various forms of voluntary registries for Personal Care Workers and Home Support Workers.  These Registries were presented with a number of challenges.
Although those involved in these registries worked hard to promote and manage the Registry, it was not their main function, thus the work needed to make them successful could not be provided.  The CCA Registry will run through the CCA Program Advisory Committee whose sole responsibility is to govern the CCA Program and its many functions, which will help the CCA Registry become successful.   
There is a lot of pressure for health human resource management for CCAs and counterparts given how much the demand for this occupation has increased.  The need for the Registry’s data for health human resource planning makes the CCA Registry a vital information source, which will add support for its success.
What are my employer’s responsibilities?
Employers may choose to assist by providing access to the internet for access to online tools, such as registrations, renewals, resources, and services.

Has there been any discussion with Department of Community Services (or other entities) to encourage the registration of their certified CCA/PCW/HSW/HHP/HHAs employed in the organizations?  
There has been no discussion with organizations outside of Department of Health and Wellness.  However, it is a long term goal of the Registry to connect with these employers to discuss the Registry and the possibility of participating in the Registry. 

Who Should I Contact if I have Questions?
Pam Shipley
CCA Program, Manager
2 Dartmouth Road
Bedford, Nova Scotia B4A 2K7
Phone: (902) 832-8526
Fax: (902) 832-8505
Email: pam.shipley@healthassociation.ns.ca
 
Barbara Salkin
CCA Registry Assistant
2 Dartmouth Road
Bedford, Nova Scotia  B4A 2K7
Phone:  (902) 832-8500 ext. 282
Fax:  (902) 832-8505
Email:  barbara.salkin@healthassociation.ns.ca