Continuing Care Assistant Program

Writing the Certification Exam

The Continuing Care Assistant Certification Exam Handbook contains all of the relevant information, policies, procedures, and documentation for candidates of the CCA Certification Exam.  It is the exam candidate’s responsibility to understand the details outlined in the handbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become eligible to write the Certification Exam?
To be eligible to write the CCA Certification Exam, candidates must meet all the requirements of the CCA Program prior to being granted a seat at the exam.  Candidates are eligible to write the exam a total of three times within the 12 month period following eligibility to write. If the candidate fails the exam three times, s/he is no longer eligible for CCA Certification.
  
Eligibility begins with the first available exam date after completion of the course.  If the candidate requires an extension to the 12 month eligibility period he/she must apply to the CCA Program Administration by completing the application for Extension of Eligibility to Write Exam within the 12 month eligibility timeframe.  

Eligibility requirements
  • Successful completion of the CCA course with a licensed education provider covering a minimum of: 
    • 522 theory/lab hours incorporating the CCA Curriculum Standards
    • 190 hours placement in a Department of Health and Wellness funded Nursing Home/Home for the Aged 
    • 80 hours placement in a Home Care Agency providing care to Department of Health and Wellness funded clients 
    • 60 hours placement in a CCA Program approved health care setting
  • Completed Competency Assessment Tool (CAT) confirming competent practice, professional behaviour and completion of the required theory/lab and placements
  • Maintain current and valid certification in the six external certificates: 
    • NS Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias Care Course (ADODCC)
    • Occupational Health and Safety 
    • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
    • Food Hygiene 
    • NS Palliative Care Front Line Course
    • Standard First Aid/CPR Level C 

*All components are subject to verification by the CCAPAC.

How do I register for the Certification Exam?
Candidates are registered for their first exam writing through the education provider.  For exam rewrites, it is the responsibility of the candidates to submit the completed Exam Rewrite Registration Form with payment to the CCA Program Administration at least three weeks prior to the exam date.

Exam candidate must be registered a minimum of three (3) weeks prior to the exam date, which typically refers to the first of the month i.e., June 1st for the June exam).  Failure to register the minimum of (3) weeks prior to the exam date could result in delays in processing the request and the request could be rejected.Candidates may have to wait to write the exam at the next scheduled session.

When and where is the Certification Exam offered?
Certification exams are offered three times every year across Nova Scotia. Each exam will take place on a weekday during the last week of March, June, and November. All exams will be written in the morning.  Candidates are expected to arrive at the testing location by 9:15 AM, allowing 45 minutes to check in and get settled before the exam starts.  The exam doors close and exam instructions begin promptly at 10:00 AM, unless otherwise specified.  Entrance to the exam is not permitted after 10:00 AM.  

Specific dates and locations will be provided annually to education providers and can be confirmed through the CCA Program Administration. Some exam locations may be cancelled if not required, and notice will be given to those affected by the decision. For weather-related cancellations, the status of the exam will be posted on the CCA Program website.
  

What should I bring to the Exam?
To be permitted into the exam, candidates must bring a non-expired government-issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s license/photo identification or passport) is required to gain entry to the exam.

Candidates must also bring:
#2 pencils 
Erasers 

A watch or timer is permitted but not required. If candidates choose to bring a watch or timer, please make sure it does not beep or buzz, as this may be distracting to other candidates.

Items that are not permitted in the testing room include notes, textbooks, and all snacks or beverages, due to facility restrictions. Personal belongings must be placed at the front of the testing room, away from the candidate’s workspace. The use of personal electronic devices is prohibited during the exam period. All electronic devices (such as cellphones) must be shut off completely throughout the exam and not visible on or near a candidate’s desk. 

What is on the Certification Exam?
The exam contains 150 multiple-choice questions that cover all content areas from the curriculum standards. The questions vary in difficulty from easy to hard. Questions may inquire about facts and knowledge (e.g., terminology or anatomy), applications, procedures, or critical thinking. 

For each question, there is only one correct answer, although others may seem tempting. Candidates must select the best response and clearly mark their choice on the corresponding answer sheet. It is to the candidate’s advantage to guess if they do not know the answer, as there will be no penalty for incorrect guesses. 

A group of informational questions at the end of the exam will be included, but they will not count toward the candidate’s total score. These questions ask about general demographics (such as gender, minority status, etc.). The purpose of these questions is to gather information about the candidates enabling the exam to be analyzed for bias and fairness, so that all candidates receive an equal opportunity to succeed. 

Responses to these demographic questions are voluntary, but encouraged, and they will not influence the candidate’s exam score in any way. It is strongly recommended that candidates provide honest responses, because it will assist the exam developers in making sure the exam fair for all candidates.  

What if I can’t attend the exam after registering?
It is the responsibility of the candidate to notify the CCA Program Administration as soon as they are aware of the inability to attend his/her scheduled writing. Exam fees will not be refunded, but credit towards the next exam writing may be provided if acceptable notification of cancellation is given prior to or within five (5) business days of the scheduled date.  

Candidates who do not attend the exam and do not notify the Administration will forfeit their registration fee. Credit will not be provided for future exam dates. In the event of failure to notify of withdrawal in the appropriate time frame, the candidate will be required to pay a re-registration exam fee of $150.00 plus HST ($172.50) for their next exam sitting.  See Registering for Exam Rewrites in the Certification Exam Handbook.

What are the Exam Fees?
The fee for the first exam writing is included in the administrative fee of the CCA Program, paid by the candidate to the education provider and submitted by the education provider to the CCA Program Administration.  The fee to rewrite the exam, if required, is $150.00 plus HST ($172.50).  

What if I need disability related accommodations?
Accommodations are designed to remove disadvantages and ensure all candidates receive an equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge.  Disability related accommodations, typically for documented physical or learning disabilities are granted on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the CCA Exam Committee or delegate. Candidates who require accommodations must submit a request, in writing, through their educators, at least four (4) months prior to the exam.
Read the CCA Certification Exam Handbook for full details.  If you have further questions, not covered in the handbook contact the CCA Program Administration.