All You Need to Know About the New PSW Registry of Ontario

Back in 2012, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLT) introduced a PSW Registry.

It was essentially a database of all Ontario Personal Support Workers.

However, within a few years of its launch, this registry became defunct.

It was closed in 2016.

Now the Government of Ontario has launched a new PSW Registry 2018.

The new Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario is being developed and implemented by the Michener Institute of Education at the University Health Network (UHN).


Purpose of PSW Registry of Ontario


There are more than 100,000 Personal Support Workers in Ontario and they are not regulated like some of the other professions such as the Nurses.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario has time and again recognized the important role that PSWs play in Ontario’s healthcare system. 

Continuing its resolve to bring more recognition to the profession, Michener Institute of Education is instituted with the task of setting up the PSW Registry of Ontario. 


PSW Registry also aims to verify education and training of Personal Support Workers and to provide oversight to ensure that all personal support workers follow a universal code of conduct


The new Personal support workers registry also aims at providing confidence to anyone receiving care from a PSW and an assurance that the care being provided is of the highest quality.


The new PSW Registry also has a formal complaints process where any member of the public can file a complaint with the Personal support workers registry. 

More details on the complaints process are outlined further in the article. 


There is no harm in registering yourself with the new PSW registry.

Please do note that during the initial phase, the criteria for registration is limited to a certain group of Personal support workers. Read below for details.

Being part of the PSW Registry of Ontario will recognize you as a trusted and skilled Personal Support Worker.

Like other registered professions such as the Nurses, your background information will be accessible through the registry’s online database.

This provides greater credibility and builds trust amongst the public.

Please note that during the initial rollout of the PSW Registry, only Registered Employers will be able to access your information. 

This might, however, be expanded to the general public in future.

Another benefit of being part of the PSW Registry is that you’re able to showcase your credentials, competencies and past experience on a credible platform.

Registered employers can access this information and this can enhance your employment prospects.


PSW hiring through the PSW Registry

Employers who are registered with the PSW Registry of Ontario can view anonymized information (see next section about what information is available to employers for viewing) about the registered Personal support workers.

If an employer is interested in a particular PSW and wants to contact the PSW for further follow-up, the employer may do so using a “Unique Identifier” that is assigned to each Registered Personal support worker.

The employer at this point can approach the Registry citing the Personal support workers’ Unique Identifier.

The PSW Registry will inform the concerned Personal Support Worker about the employer’s intent and forward employer’s information to the Personal support worker.

You can then choose to contact the employer.

Please note that being part of the PSW Registry of Ontario does not guarantee any future or additional employment.


Michener Institute of Education launched the PSW registry on February 22, 2018.

PSW registry is being rolled out in phases in order to troubleshoot issues and straighten any kinks that develop along the way.

Having a smaller number of Personal support workers on the registry in the beginning stages will also ensure that the overall functioning of the psw registry is able to sustain a larger number of Personal support workers in the future.


The first phase of the Michener Institute PSW Registry 2018, was rolled out on February 22, 2018.

In this initial phase, only the following Personal support workers can register:

If you meet the pre-requisites for registration during the initial phase and wish to register, you can do so by self-registration online (more on this below).


Following documents are required to support your application for the PSW Registry:

  • Personal details (proof of eligibility to work in Ontario and photo identification required)
  • Education details (proof of program completion required)
  • Employment details (if applicable)

You’ll also be required to disclose and submit supporting documentation as applicable:

  • Membership with another unregulated or regulated healthcare body inside and/or outside of Ontario (if applicable, a Letter of Standing will be required)
  • Fitness to practice safely and competently
  • Criminal and professional misconduct record

If you work for a registered employer, the employer will provide verification of your employment and confirm the modalities of your Police Record Check.

In addition to the documents listed above, you may have to submit the following documents:

  • Areas of additional training and/or certification
  • Interest in employment/additional employment opportunities

All the documents listed above will determine if you meet the minimum requirements to practice as a PSW in Ontario and become part of the PSW Registry.

If you do not qualify to become a member of the registry, you’ll be provided resources to fulfill the registration requirements.


Once you apply for Registration as a Personal support worker, you’re required to submit all supporting documents:

  • One (1) copy of a government-issued ID demonstrating the applicant’s citizenship status.
  • The documentation must be one of the following:
    • Canadian Passport;
    • Canadian Citizenship Card or Certificate;
    • Canadian Permanent Resident Card; or
    • A valid work permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
You must also submit a copy of the Personal Support Worker Certificate as per the instructions below:
Please note: Do not submit originals.
Submit the following if you obtained your Personal support worker Diploma from a:

Community College:

  • A final transcript bearing the academic institution’s official seal/stamp; or
  • A letter of completion from the Office of the Registrar bearing the institution’s seal/stamp and/or letterhead

Private Career College:

  • A copy of the Personal support worker certificate and
  • A copy of the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) certificate

Continuing Education School Board:

  • A copy of the Personal support worker certificate

If you are currently or were previously registered with a regulated or unregulated healthcare body, you must submit an original letter of standing that must come directly from the concerned body.

Have obtained additional certification?

You must arrange for the following to be sent directly to the Registry:

  • A final transcript bearing the academic institution’s official seal/stamp; or
  • A letter of completion from the Office of the Registrar bearing the institution’s seal/stamp and/or letterhead

Is your name different on any of the documents than the one you use now?

You must submit a Certificate of Name Change or equivalent.

All the mandatory and supporting documents are required to be submitted within 30 calender days of your application.

You can send copies of your documents to the following address:

Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario
222 St. Patrick Street
Toronto, ON
M5T 1V4


There are two ways to apply:

  • Online, and
  • By emailing or mailing your application.


You can apply online for PSW Registration.

There are two steps to start the Personal support workers application process.

On the “applicants” page, you must first “register” and obtain an “Account ID”.

The Account ID gets emailed to you once you fill out the initial registration form.

Once you have the Account ID, you can proceed to log in and fill out the registration application.

Remember to submit all the required documents within 30 calender days after you submit your application.

If for any reason, you’re not able to provide supporting documents within 30 days, contact registry at the following email address: [email protected].


You can download and fill out the PSW Registry application package.

Once complete, you can either email your application at [email protected] or send a hard copy of your application to the Registry office at:

Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario
222 St. Patrick Street
Toronto, ON
M5T 1V4

[Click here to download the Application Package]

It takes 4 to 6 weeks to process your application.

If you do not hear anything after 6 weeks of submitting your application, you can contact the PSW Registry of Ontario at:


Toll-free at 1-855-644-7796)

Email at [email protected]


Please note that the PSW Registry of Ontario will be communicating with you by email only.

Ensure the email address you use is active and check often.


Once your application is processed, you’ll be given one of the two classifications of registration:

Conditional Registration:  Conditional Registration is given to PSWs who meet the Registry’s eligibility requirements but are not employed.

You may be given a “Full Registration” once you become employed with one of the employers participating in the Initial Rollout of the Registry (“Registered Employers”).

Full Registration: Full Registration is given to PSWs who have met the Registry’s full eligibility requirements and are currently employed by a Registered Employer.


Active Status: Once your application for PSW Registry is approved, you’ll be given an active status, irrespective of whether you have been given conditional or full registration.

PSWs with active status are listed on the Employer Portal of the Registry, where Registered Employers can view the profile.

Inactive Status: An inactive status refers to PSWs who have been removed from the Registry.

Profiles of inactive Personal Support Workers will not be accessible in the Employer Portal.


Registration with the PSW Registry of Ontario must be renewed on an annual basis.

You’ll get a notice sixty days prior to your renewal date via email.

For the renewal, you are required to submit an attestation and disclose anything that might affect your employment:

  • Any current proceeding(s) or finding(s) of guilt against the Registrant under the Criminal Code of Canada or that would impact the Police Record Check;
  • Any engagement(s) in professional negligence or malpractice;
  • Any current proceeding(s) or finding(s) of professional misconduct, incompetence, incapacity, or the like in
    Ontario (or outside of Ontario) in relation to personal support work;
  • Any current proceeding(s) or finding(s) of professional misconduct, incompetence, incapacity, or the like in Ontario (or outside of Ontario) in relation to another profession; and
  • Any other developments or changes which might affect the individual’s ability to perform the fundamental tasks of their jobs safely.

In order to prevent the lapse of your registration, you must renew your registration within sixty days of your renewal date.


There is no fee associated with the initial registration or during renewal, at least during the initial phase.

It is not sure whether there will be a registration cost when the PSW Registry becomes fully operational in 2019.

Please note that there may be some costs associated with obtaining supporting documents such as the Police Record Check.



These are a limited number of employers who have been enrolled in the personal support worker registry based on an understanding of the PSW Registry of Ontario.

PSWs working for these employers only can apply for registration at this point.

You can question your employer to find out if they are part of the initial phase of the personal support worker registry.

If you’re not employed by any of the registered employers, you’ll be able to apply for registration at a future date.

Registered Employers (who have been granted accees to Registry’s Employer Portal) can view your profile. 

Your profile may also be made available for the public at a future date.  


The first and foremost thing to understand here is the fact that your identity will be kept anonymous.

During the registration process, you have the option to allow employers to contact you regarding job opportunities.

Even if you consent to employers contacting you, it can only be done through the personal support worker registry staff.

Registered employers can only view the following:

  • Your gender
  • Languages spoken and written
  • The institution of your graduation from a PSW program
  • The name of the PSW program that you graduated from
  • The date of graduation from a PSW program
  • If you have additional certifications, the following will be shown:
    • The institution of your graduation
    • The program that you graduated from
    • The date of graduation
  • If you have ever been employed as a PSW, it will show the following:
    • Position title
    • Area of practice
    • Start date
    • End date
    • Employment status
    • Number of hours per week
    • Duties
  • Working preferences, including:
    • If you are seeking potential employment
    • The areas you would be interested in working
    • The regions you would like to work within
    • The number of hours per week you can work
  • If you consent to registered employers contacting you about potential job opportunities
  • Unique Identifier (This is not the same as your Registrant Number and you cannot be identified by employers or the public through this identifier. Employers who wish to recruit you will use this identifier to inform Registry staff that they would like to speak to you. In turn, Registry staff will then use this identifier to contact you on behalf of the employer.)


Registration with the registry is voluntary for now, however, will be mandatory when the registry is fully operational in 2019.

It is highly beneficial for you to become part of the PSW registry as it is for the first time you, the Personal Support Worker, is getting some sort of recognition for being an integral part of Ontario’s Health Care System.


If you are part of the PSW Registry of Ontario and wish to remove yourself from the database, you have the option to do so.

You can write to the PSW Registry at [email protected] and withdraw your consent for the Registry to share your personal information.

You can also choose to completely remove yourself from the Registry.


The new PSW Registry of Ontario mandates adherence to Registry’s Code of Ethics and accepted standards of care by all PSWs who are part of the Registry.

The registry has a formal complaints process in place where anyone can submit a complaint regarding a Registered PSW.

Do note that the Registry only receives the complaints.

The PSW Registry of Ontario does not investigate any complaints filed against Registered PSWs. 

All complaints received are forwarded to the employer of the concerned Registred PSW along with recommendations.

PSW’s status with the Registry does not change until the Registry is made aware of the outcome of the investigation, if carried out, by the Registered Employer.


Any member of the public,

A client or resident of the Registered PSW, or

Another PSW can submit a formal complaint to the Registry for any of the following reasons:

  • Lack of service,
  • Lack of action,
  • Inability to maintain accepted standards of care, or
  • For not meeting the Registry’s Code of Ethics


If a Registered PSW is deemed not to follow the Code of Ethics and the accepted standards of care set forth by the Registry, a complaint can be initiated against the erring PSW.

It is however recommended that, if safe and appropriate, the situation be first addressed directly with the Registered PSW.


All complaints must be submitted online through the “complaints form” on the PSW Registry website. 


As stated earlier in the article, the PSW Registry of Ontario does not investigate any complaints against the Registered PSWs. 

The Registry will forward the complaint to the employer of the concerned PSW. 

The employer will conduct its own investigation and will inform the Registry about the outcome of the investigation. 


Have any further questions?

You can either ask your question in the comments section below, send me your inquiry through the “contact” section of PSWHQ or email me your question at [email protected].

You may also contact the Registry directly.

Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario
222 St. Patrick Street
Toronto, ON
M5T 1V4

You can also visit the PSW Registry of Ontario office located on the 13th floor of the Michener Institue. 


Toll-free at 1-855-644-7796)

Email at [email protected]

The registry is expected to be fully operational by December 2019. 

Resources you’ll need to become a Personal Support Worker

On this page, you can find anything there is to know about how to become a PSW, how to succeed as one, and how to continue your education. This is the place to come to and look for all the PSW resources and information that you may need on your journey as a Personal Support Worker.

PSW job interview questions

If you’re determined to pass your next PSW interview with flying colors, we’re here to help. PSWHQ has put together a thorough online guide with PSW interview questions and appropriate sample answers to these questions that hit the target, and are concise and supportive.

Performing well in the interview is just one part of many others needed to secure a PSW Job. First and foremost, you’ll need to have an impeccable résumé and cover letter in order to be called for an interview. 

Guide to finding PSW jobs

After you have decided to become a Personal Support Worker and completed the course you are now at a point to start looking for work. It is important that you explore all the jobs listed under different job titles, which is why you should go through our ultimate guide to finding PSW jobs.

We also help you find PSW job postings from hospitals, long-term care homes, and community and private settings. 

Advertising with PSWHQ

Over the past few years, PSWHQ has achieved a dominant ranking in major search engines such as Google and Bing. As a result, we offer a limited number of advertising opportunities to individuals, colleges, companies, and organizations we see as a good fit for the unique audience of PSWHQ.


1. What do you need to be a PSW in Ontario?

If you want to become a Personal Support Worker (PSW) in Ontario, you must pursue a PSW training program and enroll in a training program that is accredited by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities.

2. Does PSW certificate expire in Ontario?

You can use the PSW Registry of Ontario to renew your permit annually.

3. Can PSW change ostomy?

The PSW may empty and change ostomy bags, as well as be recognized by the agency as certified in this field. The PSW must practice to be trained and learn this procedure before anything else. The PSW is to be instructed by the RN / RN before performing and demonstrating this process to the patients.

4. Can PSW give medication in Ontario?

The PSW is unable to administer medication in a long-term care home or hospital licensed by Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes Act or one of Ontario’s hospital acts. This includes most long-term care homes and hospitals. In these locations, a Registered Health Professional (RHP), such as a Registered Nurse, can administer it.

5. Can a doctor assign tasks to a PSW?

The PSW may be assigned health-related tasks by an RN or another senior ROMP in specific circumstances. Such tasks must be routine and well-implemented enough to be repeatedly achieved with a high degree of success. A task is considered routine if it has a typical outcome that is observable to the observer.


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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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  1. I am presently registered and would like to find information on liability insurance for PSW’s, for private employment opportunities. Thanks

    • Hi Donna, thank you for your question.

      Please click here for a very detailed information on the topic of liability insurance for PSW’s.

      Hope you’ll find this useful. If you still have questions, please let us know.

  2. I was a registered practical nurse and would like to know if my education as a practical nurse could be considered as a PSW. I would like to take on the PSW role.

    • Betty, almost all organizations that hire PSWs require formal PSW certificate.
      Therefore you would need a PSW certification before you could work.

    • Erica, in order for you to register you must meet at least one of these conditions:

      • Possess a formal PSW Certificate from a recognized Ontario PSW program.
      • Be currently employed to provide personal support services in Ontario by a home or community service provider agency, long-term care home or hospital organization (and not exclusively by a private individual).
      • Be employed within the last five years to provide personal support services in Ontario by a home or community service provider agency, long-term care home or hospital organization (and not exclusively by a private individual).
  3. I’m wondering if Ontario would recognize a Home Support Worker/Personal Care Attendant certificate from a public college in a different province as an equivalent to an Ontario Personal Support Worker certificate? Is it possible to be employed as a PSW in Ontario from put of province? And if so, is it possible to register?

    • Janine…since the PSW industry is not regulated in Ontario, it leaves a lot of grey area with respect to everything related to this field. Many other visitors have asked the same question, and during my search for an answer, I am yet to come across an organization that does equivalency assessment for similar programs completed in other provinces.

      What I know for sure is that places that hire PSW’s require a PSW diploma completed from a recognised educational institution in Ontario. Therefore, your best bet is to check with the employer. See if they would accept your Home Support Worker/Personal Care Attendant certificate.

  4. My name is Theresa Laltoo , I am a Caregiver to Seniors for the the past 3 years…I have been enjoying taking care of these Seniors and I treat them like my own family and in return they all love me for the Love, Care and Protection I shower on to them.
    After reading your programs and being a member of your team, I have decided that this is what’s for me and now I am pursuing a PSW – Person Support Worker Course at Yorkdale ALC, Toronto …Your information is helping me tremendously as now I have a voice to look up to as there are many challenges and wrong doings within the teachings which I am facing, but I intend to Achieve my PSW Certificate one day soon, inspite of what I am dealing with so I will be able to join your team on a professional basis and continue what I love doing best – taking care of Seniors – which is close to my heart and to give them the love and support they truly desire.
    I thank you tremendously for all your efforts in helping me and all other PSWs who don’t have a voice.

  5. I am a MSW student doing research on the systems who require PSW’s and the registry sounds like a good place to start professionalizing the work. Congratulations.

    I am interested in learning more on how this may in fact, or deed improve the earning power of PSW’s by completing their credentials and registering. My research is based out of Waterloo University and we have ongoing gap analysis on the assessment and evaluation of current wage as well as the cost analysis and public health benefits of wage increases across Ontario.

    We, as a group of students, have initiated a coalition to do group study on this issue because the future is alarming without placing more value on this much needed work on our population health and wellness.

    Is there information sessions or collaborative plans we could join in our preliminary plan to state our position to the Ministry?

    Thank you in advance,

  6. I would like to ask how to handle situation if somebody was trained as a nursing aid in Germany (a certificate from a vocational school) and worked in Germany in a nursing aid ( PSW )capacity several years. Now this person moved to Canada with PR status and is looking to enter to the local labour force as a PSW. Could be the nursing aid certificate and years of practical experience as a nursing aid recognized in Ontario as a PSW related experience? There is no PSW profession in Germany, all functions relevant to this profession have to be conducted by nursing aids.

  7. Hello Back in the early 90’s I took a course (before the days of the term PSW). I did very well in the course and it involved all that I currently do as a PSW ( yes I’m currently working as a PSW) plus I was taught as part of the course to take vitals and blood pressures etc. Were do I stand now? The Course was through a government program at the time “ CAPS”. Titled diploma reads Health Care Aide level 3 with enhancements. I remember when I first started at the LTC the staff that was already there were not happy because I could take the blood pressure ( I don’t now just do the same work as The PSW. Where do I stand in all this ? I was given a number

  8. I had a HCA certificate and was registered back in the 90’s. Which the Ontario Registry was dissolve. Now HCA becomes PSW. I would like to re-register again. I think this would be necessary nowadays due to lockdown set in Ontario. I need something that will recognize me as “essential worker”. I don’t think that showing your certificate would be valid. Please advise and thanks.

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