FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is a Personal Support Worker?
A: A personal support worker (PSW) refers to an individual who assists others with various medical conditions and/or functional limitations in their daily personal care needs. These services include, but are not limited to feeding, toileting, dressing, bathing and medication assistance. PSWs often work with a variety of health professionals in diverse care settings such as primary home care, long-term care, community services and hospitals.

Q: How many PSWs work in Ontario?
A: PSWs are one of the largest groups of health care workers in Ontario. It is widely estimated that there are more than 100,000 PSWs in Ontario.

Q: Where do PSWs work?
A: PSWs work in a variety of settings including hospitals, retirement homes, as well as individual clients’ homes. A large number of PSWs work in long-term care homes, which accommodate individuals who require ongoing health care services.

Q: How does someone become a registered PSW?
A: PSWs must meet the standardized eligibility requirements listed on the Applicants Page. The Registry will be open to all PSWs of Ontario; however, registration will be done in phases. At this time, the Registry will commence with a sample of graduates from an Ontario PSW Certificate Program who have a graduation date of June 2016 or later. The small sample size will allow the Registry to test and gain valuable feedback for the eventual mandatory comprehensive Registry. The Registry will gradually invite the remaining PSW population to enrol through expanded eligibility processes.

Q: Are Ontario’s PSWs regulated like doctors or nurses?
A: No, Ontario’s PSWs are not regulated. The Registry assures clients and their families that registered PSWs are qualified to provide competent and safe care.

Q: How do I read the Registry’s list of PSWs?
A: The Registry lists PSWs whose education, competence and conduct have been verified by the Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario. This is a voluntary Registry with a phased implementation. Therefore, a PSW may not appear on the list of registrants at this time. Please contact the Registry by telephone at 416-596-3100 (or toll-free at 1-855-644-7796) or email at inquiries@psw-on.ca if you have any questions.

Q: Why is my PSW not on the PSW Registry?
A:The PSW Registry of Ontario will be implemented over the course of several years. The initial phase of the PSW Registry is open to a sample group of PSWs. The Registry is continuing to develop policies and will be opened to the remaining PSW population in 2018.

Q: Can someone be removed from the PSW Registry of Ontario?
A: Yes, a registered PSW may be removed from the Registry. The Registry may remove a registrant for reasons that include the results of an independent complaint investigation by an appropriate external body, falsification of information on an application form, or if a registrant failed to report a change in information that would deem them ineligible for the Registry. Should a PSW’s status change, the PSW will be provided written notice and be given the opportunity to provide a written submission/appeal the decision.

Q: How do I file a complaint about a registered PSW?
A: The Registry takes the protection of Ontarians very seriously. Should an issue or incident lead you to believe that a registered PSW is not safe or competent to practice and/or has violated the Code of Ethics, we encourage you to visit our website.

Q: When will phased implementation of the PSW Registry be completed?
A: The Registry will be transferred to a Permanent Operational Host in 2019.
Q: What does the Personal Support Worker (PSW) Registry of Ontario mean for PSWs?
A: The Personal Support Worker (PSW) Registry of Ontario (“Registry”) recognizes your role as a trusted and skilled partner in Ontario’s health care system. It brings PSWs, like you, in line with other health care workers in Ontario, whose background information is publically accessible through online databases. As a registered PSW on the Registry, you will have the opportunity to highlight your credentials and competencies to employers while increasing your recognition for the work that you do.

Q: Who is eligible to apply to the PSW Registry?
A: The Registry will be open to all PSWs of Ontario; however, registration will be done in phases. At this time, the Registry will commence with a sample of graduates from an Ontario PSW Certificate Program who have a graduation date of June 2016 or later. The small sample size will allow the Registry to test and gain valuable feedback for the eventual mandatory comprehensive Registry that will include all personal support workers.

Q: How do I submit supporting documents?
A: All supporting documentation must be submitted to the Registry via mail as one complete package with the exception of documents that must be submitted by the issuing body themselves. Supporting documents will not be accepted through email and must be mailed to the Registry at the address below:

Personal Support Worker Registry of Ontario
222 St. Patrick Street
Toronto, ON
M5T 1V4
NOTE: All copies of supporting documentation submitted must be at a legible resolution which clearly shows all text, photos, and document markers as applicable. If any document in the package is non-legible, the complete package will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender.

Q: Why are you doing registration in phases?
A: The PSW workforce of Ontario is one of the largest health care workforce populations in the province with an estimate of more than 100,000 individuals. While the full population will be eligible to apply to the Registry, the Registry will conduct registration in phases to engage in ongoing evaluation of the Registry’s IT platform, onboarding processes and overall functionality. The outcome of such testing will yield valuable feedback to ensure that the Registry is user-friendly, high quality and operating at maximum efficiency prior to being opened to the full PSW population.

Q: What personal information will you share on the Registry with the public?
A: The Registry will share information that is relevant to the public interest, including:
  • Your name;
  • Your registration number;
  • The date of initial registration;
  • Registration status; and
  • The name and address of your primary employer
Q: What personal information will you share on the Registry with registered employers?
A: All registrants will have their data anonymously shared with select registered employers on the Registry as follows:
  • 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 preference, 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.)
Q: Will my employer know I am looking for another job?
A: No, an employer will not know if you are searching for additional work, as they cannot see any of your personal identifiable information through the employer view. Should an employer wish to contact you regarding a potential job opportunity, the employer will contact the Registry with your Unique Identifier. Registry staff will then email the employer’s contact information to you and you can choose if you would like to contact the employer.

Q: Will my personal information be shared with anyone else?
A: Your personal information will only be shared for the original purpose of this Registry and will never be shared for commercial reasons. Your data will be anonymized and submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as human health resources data to assist with health workforce planning and to support the health care needs of Ontarians.

Q: Can I access my own personal information?
A: Yes, as a registrant you can request your own personal information at any time. Please send your requests for information to registration@psw-on.ca.

Q: Am I required to share my personal information as part of registration with the Registry?
A: Yes, as a condition of being a registrant with the Registry, you allow the Registry to share your personal information on its website as stated above.

Q: Can I choose what information to share with the Registry?
A: All applicants must submit information relevant to the standardized eligibility requirements of the Registry to ensure public safety and the quality of the Registry. The applicant must submit information where a mandatory field is indicated or a document is listed as mandatory. For more information on eligibility requirements, please visit our Applicants Page.

Q: Will I have to give consent every time information will be disclosed?
A: You must give your consent at the time of application to the Registry.

Q: Can I withdraw my consent at a later time?
A: Yes, you may withdraw your consent for the Registry to share your personal information; however, your name will no longer appear on the public and employer-facing components of the Registry. Withdrawal of consent must be provided in writing to registration@psw-on.ca. Please note that it may take up to five (5) business days before your name and information is removed from viewing.

Q: Is it mandatory for PSWs to register on the Registry?
A: No, the Registry is voluntary and will remain so while it is being developed and implemented by The Michener Institute of Education at UHN.

Q: Can a PSW be removed from the Registry?
A: Yes, the Registry may remove a registered PSW from the Registry. The Registry may remove a registrant for reasons that include the results of an independent complaint investigation by an appropriate external body, falsification of information on an application form, or if a registrant failed to report a change in information that would deem them ineligible for the Registry. Should a PSW’s status change, the PSW will be provided written notice and be given the opportunity to provide a written submission/appeal the decision.

Q: How much does it cost to register?
A: There is no cost to register on the Registry while it remains a voluntary process. The cost of the required Vulnerable Sector Screening for employment is borne by the applicant and varies across jurisdictions.

Q: Can I correct a mistake or update my personal information?
A: Yes, the Registry wants to make sure that it reflects the most accurate and correct information. You must request a correction or make a change to your information within 30 calendar days from when the change was made. You may do so by sending an email to registration@psw-on.ca or through mail.

Q: How can I check the status of my application?
A: Applications typically take 4-6 weeks to process. If you have not heard from the Registry after 6 weeks, please contact us by telephone at 416-596-3100 (or toll-free at 1-855-644-7796) or email at registration@psw-on.ca for more information.

Q: I am a PSW that lives outside of Ontario, but plan to move to Ontario soon. Can I register?
A: Anyone can register with the Registry provided that they meet our immediate eligibility requirements. For full details, please visit our Applicants' page.
Q: What does the Personal Support Worker (PSW) Registry of Ontario mean for PSW employers?
A: The Personal Support Worker (PSW) Registry of Ontario (“Registry”) includes features that will help facilitate your recruitment of PSWs. As a registered employer, you can access a roster of registered PSWs who are actively seeking employment. You will be able to see detailed information about each PSW, such as their education, skillset, regions available to work, and number of hours available to work. You can be assured that all registrants have undergone a thorough vetting process to verify their education, background and competence.

Q: Can I access the employer portal for the Registry without registering?
A: No, a non-registered employer will not be able to access the employer portal of the website. A non-registered employer will only be able to view the same information available to the general public, which includes the registrant’s name, registration number, date of registration, registration status, as well as the name and address of their primary employer.

Q: How do I register to get access to the employer portal on the Registry?
A: Initially the PSW Registry, the Registry will be open to a subset of employers. During this time, the Registry will engage in ongoing evaluation of the Registry’s IT platform, overall functionality, and operation of the employer portal. The outcome of such testing will yield valuable feedback to ensure that the employer portal, and the overall Registry, is user-friendly, of high quality and operating at maximum efficiency prior to being opened to the full PSW employer population. The remaining PSW employers will be invited to register on the Registry in 2018.

Q: How many logins do employers get?
A: Employers will be assigned one login per organization. This login must be assigned to one representative from the human resources department (or equivalent department).

Q: I would like to interview a PSW from the Registry. How do I contact them?
A: The Registry protects the privacy of registered PSWs. If you would like to interview a PSW, you may contact us at inquiries@psw-on.ca with the PSW’s anonymous Unique Identifier, your name, the name of your organization, and your contact information. The Registry will inform the PSW that you are interested in speaking with him/her and provide him/her with your information.

Q: Can I contact the PSW directly?
A: The PSW Registry of Ontario protects the personal information of its registrants. As such, we can only provide employers with a PSW’s anonymous Unique Identifier. We are happy to pass along your interest in potentially employing a PSW and will provide the PSW with your contact information on your behalf. If you are interested in getting in touch with a registered PSW, please email the Registry at inquiries@psw-on.ca.

Q: Do I have an obligation as an employer to report an allegation of abuse if it involves a registered PSW?
A: The Registry takes the protection of Ontarians very seriously. If an incident leads you to believe that a registered PSW’s ability to practice safely and competently has been compromised, we encourage you to visit our website where a complaints form will be available in early 2018.

Q: What should I do if a complaint is filed with the Registry and it is an allegation against my employee?
A: When a complaint is filed with the Registry, the complainant must submit consent to the Registry to gather information relevant to the complaint. As such, the Registry may request information from you relevant to the investigation, outcome and/or actions taken regarding the alleged complaint. Information gathered by the Registry will not be publically available, but will be kept in confidence on our internal database to manage a registrant’s status as appropriate.

Q: I have additional questions. Where should I direct my questions?
A: You can contact the Registry at 416-596-3100 (or toll-free at 1-855-644-7796) or by email at inquiries@psw-on.ca.