Excel Academy - For A Career That Matters - T: (780) 441-7999, 10766 97 Street, Edmonton, AB T5H 4R2

Community Suppport Worker (CSW)



A Community Support Worker provides support and assistance to clients in our community, with emphasis on fulfilling the emotional, social and recreational needs of that person. Community Support Workers train to work in areas such as day programs, community outreach, home support, community residences, mental health and addictions and employment programs. Current training courses are selected to complement agency standards for quality service and professionalism.

The Community Support Worker Certificate Program has been completely revised to meet the needs of today’s support worker. Students of this program receive comprehensive training in disability services, mental health, holistic and ethical practice, personal care, medication assistance and more.  Please contact the Excel Academy at (780) 441-7999 for upcoming program start dates.

The CSW program is offered as a full-time program over approximately 17 weeks. Classes run Monday to Friday during daytime hours, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. Practicum placements for a total of 6 weeks will fit the hours of the practicum site and may require some flexibility on the part of the student.

Fill out the Application Form and forward it via fax, mail or in person to the following address along with a non-refundable registration fee of $125.00  to cover administrative processing costs (payment can be made by credit card over the phone at the number below, or in person):

Excel Academy
10766 97 Street
Edmonton, AB
T5H 4R2
Phone: (780) 441 7999
Fax: (780) 421 7563

Upon the Academy receiving the application, you will be contacted to come into the Academy to complete an entrance interview. When a student successfully passes the entrance exam and interview, the following criteria must be provided to the Academy:

Standard Admission

  • Original Grade 12 high school transcript of grades, or equivalent of proof of completion of GED.
  • A full page letter outlining your motivations and interest in taking the Community Support Worker Certificate. This letter should your knowledge of the advantages/disadvantages of a career in this field, details of any related work experience and why you want to be a Community Support Worker.
  • An individual interview at the Excel Academy with the Instructor(s).
  • An Edmonton Police Information Check with a Vulnerable Sector Check (must be no older than three months from the start date of the CSW program) .


Mature Admission (applicants 21 years of age and older)

  • Original transcript of last high school level studies and ESL competency certificate if majority of studies done in language other than English. English language assessments can be completed at the Excel Academy at no additional cost.
  • A full page letter outlining your motivations and interest in taking the Community Support Worker Certificate. This letter should your knowledge of the advantages/disadvantages of a career in this field, details of any related work experience and why you want to be a Community Support Worker.
  • An individual interview at the Excel Academy with the Instructor(s).
  • An Edmonton Police Information Check with a Vulnerable Sector Check (must be no older than three months from the start date of the CSW program).

Please feel free to visit the Excel Academy at 10766 – 97 Street, Edmonton AB, call us at 780-441-7999 ext. 0, or e-mail us at info@excelacademy.ca if you have any additional questions about registration or require additional registration forms.

Classroom, Orientation & Practicum Hours
Number of Classroom Hours: 315 Hours

Number of Practicum Hours: 240 Hours

Total: 565 Hours (Approximately 17 Weeks)

Community Support Workers take an active role supporting individuals to have meaningful and active lives that contribute to our community.  Community disability service practitioners work with people who have intellectual, developmental, emotional or physical disabilities, as well as people with mental health issues or addictions. They may specialize in working with people in a particular age group or with people who have a specific type of disability. The current job market provides opportunities in a variety of settings and schedules for the certified employee.  Excel Society is one of many employers looking for qualified individuals who want a career that makes a difference.  Positions are available in residential homes, day programs, assisted living sites, and family managed care.

Excel Academy’s seventeen week program includes courses on the Role of the CSW, physical and developmental disabilities, Positive Behavioral Supports, Personal Care skills training, Professionalism & Boundaries, First Aid/CPR, WHMIS, Recreation & Leisure, Employment, Person Centered Planning, Communication, and Community Connection.  Students will also complete two practicums.

What is PLAR?

PLAR stands for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. It is an assessment process that is used in many fields to recognize an individual’s prior experience and learning to help them challenge certificate requirements. A PLAR process has been developed for the Community Support Worker (CSW) Program for individuals with related education (Health Care Aide, Personal Care Aide, Special Educational Assistant, nursing attendant, etc.) and experience (1200 or more hours in the past 2 years) who want to earn a recognized CSW training certificate. The PLAR has a criteria process that a disability services worker must meet which assesses their skills, attitudes, experience, and understanding of their field.

Required Modules

With the PLAR process, you will not be required to take all of the modules of the CSW program because of your previous experience and skills. Additional courses and considerations may be taken on an individual basis, however all applicants will submit to a PLAR Assessment process which will assess their existing knowledge of the courses being overlooked.

The PLAR Assessment process begins once the prospective student has submitted all required application documentation. Following this, an interview with the CSW Instructor will be arranged to determine that the candidate is suitable for the program  Each candidate will receive a scenario at least one full day prior to the interview and will come prepared to discuss it in detail. Eligibility for the PLAR assumes skills competence and will focus on the development of values, attitudes, creative and critical thinking and reflective practice.

Upon completion of the PLAR Assessment process, each student will have a customized learning plan developed by the CSW Instructor. The learning plan will include assignments and courses in areas where the Assessment process reveals insufficient skill development. As each student’s learning plan will be different, there is no one kind of learning plan. Candidates should be prepared to attend classes for 2 – 4 weeks, along with time to complete the practicum*. In the case that an applicant’s initial Assessment demonstrates insufficient skill development for the PLAR process, candidates will be referred to the full CSW program.  A list of required learning courses and activities will be available for the applicant.

Mandatory Workshops

Standard First Aid and CPR – Applicants for the CSW PLAR program will be additionally assessed on whether or not they have to take the First Aid and CPR (Level C) certification course based on the amount of time left on their current certification. Values, Attitudes, and Cultural Diversification – Applicants will also be given a short assessment as to whether or not they should be taking this course due to their previous training experience. This assessment will be separate from the student’s course load and requires a pass rate of 80% or higher.


Participants will be required to complete a final project and self-evaluation that will go over all of the course aspects from the start of the program. The minimum acceptable pass mark for this program is set at 75%.

When completed, a CSW program certificate will be presented to the participant. This certification is accepted and recognized throughout many provincial and local agencies, including The Excel Society.

How Long do PLAR Participants have to Complete the PLAR Process?

Participants will have twelve months from the date of admission to complete their PLAR program. A contract outlining all terms, requirements and conditions, along with a pre-planned PLAR schedule, must be agreed upon and signed by both the participant and the Excel Academy.

Admission Requirements for the CSW PLAR Assessment

  • Education: Successful completion of minimum Grade 12, including English at Grade 10 and Applied Math at Grade 10. Equivalency will be considered.
  • Resume: Must include dates of work experience as a Community Support Worker (CSW) or related job position, as well as other relevant education certificates (post-secondary transcripts, CPR certificates, etc.).
  • Letter of Recommendation or Reference: Must be from current or former employer, describing the candidate’s suitability for the PLAR process. Must describe motivation to learn, problem-solving ability, maturity, attitude toward clients, organization, teamwork, and documentation skills.
  • Proof of Work Experience: 1200 hours within the last two years, working as an Community Support Worker (CSW) or related position.
  • Assessment: Process to include graded interview with the CSW Instructor.

CSW Tuition
$2975.00 Includes $125.00 registration fee, practicums, and testing materials
$200.00 Textbooks & printed materials
$175.00 Standard First Aid and CPR Level C
$900.00 Includes $125.00 registration fee, core mandatory modules, and testing materials. This is for the initial assessment and does not include other course(s) that may be required. Please call for more details.
$200.00 Textbooks & printed materials

$60.00 Administrative fee added to all programs.