Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about PSWsQ: What is a Personal Support Worker?
A: A personal support worker (PSW) is 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 medical assistance. PSWs often work with a variety of health professionals, in care settings such as home care, long-term care, community services and hospitals.
Q: Are Ontario’s PSWs regulated like doctors or nurses?
A: No, Ontario’s PSWs are not regulated.
Q: How many PSWs work in Ontario?
A: PSWs are one of the largest groups of health care workers in Ontario. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 PSWs in the province.
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 also work in long-term care homes, to accommodate individuals who require ongoing health care services.
Q: How can I become a Registered PSW?
A: PSWs must meet the eligibility requirements listed on the Registry's Applicants page and apply here. As the Registry continues its development, it will expand and continue to revise its eligibility criteria to ensure all PSWs have a pathway of admission to the Registry.
Q: What are the roles and responsibilities of Registered PSWs?
A: To find out everything you need to know about the Roles and Responsibilities of Registered PSWs, click here.
Q: Can you recommend a Registered PSW for me to hire?
A: The Registry does not make recommendations for employers hiring Registered PSWs. If you are interested in hiring a PSW, the Registry recommends reaching out to a home care agency, who may be able to help with the recruitment process.
Q: Can the Registry confirm the education credentials of a PSW?
A: While all Registered PSW have had their education credentials and work experience validated, the Registry isn’t publicly viewable at this time, and cannot confirm specific education credentials for an employer. Employers are encouraged to confirm the education credentials directly with the candidate.
Registry QuestionsQ: Is the Registry publicly viewable?
A: The Registry is being rolled out in phases and is not publicly viewable at this time. It will implement registration in phases to ensure that it is user-friendly, high quality and is operating at maximum efficiency before providing a public view of its registrants.
Q: When will phased implementation of the PSW Registry be completed?
A: The transfer to a permanent operational host is currently scheduled for December 2019.
Q: Do you know who the permanent operational host will be?
A: There is no information available regarding the permanent operational host. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term care will be announcing the name of the permanent operational host at a later date.
Q: Is this the same PSW registry that opened in 2012?
A: The PSW Registry of Ontario has no affiliation with the previous registry which was closed in 2016.
Q: How do I check if my PSW is registered with the Registry?
A: Public viewing of the Registry will be phased in over time. For a list of Registered Employers who employ Registered PSWs, please contact us by phone at 416-596-3100, or toll free at 1-855-644-7796. The Registry can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To verify if a PSW is registered, you may also contact the Registered Employer directly.
Q: How do I file a complaint with the Registry?
A: To file a complaint, you may submit an online Complaint Form. If you have any questions about the complaints process, please call 416-596-3100.
The Registry does not investigate or manage complaints directly. It only handles complaints about Registered PSWs. If a complaint is received, it is referred to the PSW’s Registered Employer and/or a third-party organization to investigate. Following this step, the Registered Employer and/or third-party provides an outcome to the Registry regarding the investigation. For more details, please see the Complaints Policy and Process.
Q: On the Complaints page of your website, it states that the Registry reviews all complaints. I thought the Registry does not manage the complaints process?
A: The Registry does not investigate or manage any complaints. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Registry reviews the complaint to see if the PSW in question is with a Registered Employer. If so, the file will be forwarded to the Registered Employer for investigation, and the employer will report the final outcome to the Registry. If the PSW named in the complaint, is not a current Registered PSW, is employed with a Non-Registered Employer, or is a Conditional Registrant, the complainant will be notified accordingly and their file will be kept for two (2) years.
Q: How will the Registry ensure all PSWs become Registered PSWs under mandatory registration?
A: The Policy Team is investigating a number of options for the Ministry to consider.
ApplicantQ: What does the 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 accessible through online databases. As a PSW on the Registry, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your credentials and competencies to employers, while increasing the recognition for the work you do for Ontarians.
Q: Can I get my registration number from the old PSW registry?
A: The new PSW Registry has no affiliation with the previous registry. You will be provided with a new unique registration number when you apply to the PSW Registry of Ontario.
Q: Who is eligible to apply to the PSW Registry?
A: PSWs must meet the Registry's eligibility requirements, listed on the Applicants page. If you are a PSW that’s employed with a Registered Employer, you can join the Registry as a Full Registrant. If you are a PSW who is currently unemployed, you are eligible to register as a Conditional Registrant. If you are not eligible as a Full Registrant or a Conditional Registrant, the Registry still encourages you to apply. It will retain your application, and as the eligibility criteria continues to expand, your application will be reassessed.
Q: What’s the difference between a Conditional Registrant and a Full Registrant?
A: Conditional Registrants are PSWs who meet all the eligibility requirements and are currently seeking employment. Full Registrants are those who meet all the eligibility requirements and are currently employed with a Registered Employer.
Q: Is my employer registered on the PSW Registry?
A: Please click here for a list of Registered Employers. The Registry continues to expand its pool of Registered Employers through the establishment of new agreements. If your employer is interested in joining the Registry, they may send an email to email@example.com.
Q: How do I submit my 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 bodies 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, 13th floor
NOTE: All copies of supporting documentation 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, or missing, the PSW Registry staff will follow up with you regarding the missing information.
Q: Why are you doing registration in phases?
A: Best practice demonstrates that large-scale undertakings, such as establishing a comprehensive registry, require careful planning, phased implementation, and ongoing critical evaluation to support successful implementation. The Registry will implement registration in phases to ensure that it is user-friendly, high quality and is operating at maximum efficiency prior to launching to the full PSW population.
Q: What will Registered Employers be able to see on the Registry?
A: To facilitate recruitment, Registered Employers will be able to view anonymized personal information (please refer to the question below). They will also be provided with a list of Registered PSWs who are employed by their organization.
Q: What personal information will you share with Registered Employers?
A: As a registrant, if you indicate you are seeking employment, the following data will be anonymized and shared with Registered Employers:
- Languages spoken and written
- The name of the PSW program that you graduated from
- Date of graduation from a PSW program
- If there are additional certifications, the following will be shown:
- The institution of your graduation
- The program that you graduated from
- The date of graduation
- Employment history (if applicable), including the following:
- Position title
- Area of practice
- Start date
- End date
- Employment status
- Number of hours per week
- Working preference, including:
- Care settings
- Preferred geographic locations
- Number of hours available to work per week
- If you consent to the Registry contacting you on behalf of Registered Employers about potential job opportunities
- Unique Identifier (This is not the same as the Registrant Number and is an anonymized way for employers to identify PSWs with the skills and background that meet their employment requirements. This identifier will be used by employers to inform Registry staff that they would like to speak to you. In turn, the Registry staff will then use this identifier to contact you, on behalf of the employer.)
A: No, your employer will not know if you are searching for additional work. They cannot see any identifiable information through the employer view. If an employer wants to connect regarding a potential job opportunity, they will contact the Registry using your Unique Identifier. Following which, the Registry staff will send the employer’s contact information to you. If the job opportunity interests you, you will be able to get in touch with the employer.
Q: Will my personal information be shared with anyone else?
A: To assist with health workforce planning and support the health care needs of Ontarians, data will be anonymized and submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care as human health resources data. Personal information will only be shared for the original purpose of this Registry and will not be shared for any commercial reasons.
Q: Am I required to share my personal information?
A: Yes, you will be required to provide personal information during the registration process.
Q: Can I choose what information to share with the Registry?
A: All mandatory fields must be completed. For more information on the mandatory requirements, please visit the Applicants page.
Q: Will I have to give consent every time my information will be disclosed?
A: Consent must be provided only at the time you apply to the Registry.
Q: Can I withdraw my consent at a later time?
A: Yes, consent may be withdrawn. Withdrawal of consent must be requested in writing and submitted to the Registry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Is it mandatory for PSWs to join the Registry?
A: In the future, once the Registry is transitioned to a permanent host in 2019, PSWs will be required to join the Registry. However, during the development phase, registration is voluntary.
Q: How much does it cost to register?
A: There is no cost to join the Registry during the initial rollout development phase; however, you may need to pay for the cost of obtaining and mailing supporting documentation to the Registry.
Q: Can I correct a mistake or update my personal information?
A: Yes, the Registry wants to make sure your application contains the most accurate and correct information. Corrections can be requested within 30 calendar days from when an application was submitted. This may be done by sending an email to email@example.com, or via mail.
Q: How can I check the status of my application?
A: Applications typically take four to six weeks to process. If you have not heard back from the Registry after six weeks, please contact the Registry staff by phone at 416-596-3100 (or toll-free at 1-855-644-7796), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I am a PSW that lives outside of Ontario, but plan to move to Ontario soon. Can I register?
A: Anyone can join the Registry provided they meet the eligibility requirements. For full details, please visit the Applicants page.
Q: Will the Registry accept out-of-province education and offer a grandparenting program?
A: The Registry is currently scoping other acceptable eligibility criteria, and out-of-province education is one of them. The Registry is also reviewing options which may include Prior Learning Assessment Requirements (PLARs) and grandparenting.
Q: If I am not employed by a Registered Employer but meet the qualifications as a Conditional Registrant, why should I submit my application?
A: The Registry strongly recommends all PSWs complete and submit an application. The status of a Conditional or Full Registrant, only reflects your employment status with a Registered Employer. It is not intended to convey any missing qualifications as a PSW.
As long as Michener Institute is implementing the Registry in phases, joining the Registry is free. By becoming a Registered PSW, you can ensure your skills and background have been vetted, and showcase your competency and safe practice.
Q: Does the Registry rank education differently? For example, will a graduate from a Community College (CAATs) rank higher than a graduate from a PCC or School Board?
A: The Registry will accept all programs approved by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and University (MTCU), or the Ministry of Education.
Q: What is the Registry doing to ensure the title protection of Personal Support Worker and PSW?
A: The Registry is currently scoping the options and feasibility of title protection. To stay up to date with the latest information, you are encouraged to check the Registry’s website on a regular basis.
Q: I am a Conditional/Full Registrant on the PSW Registry. What are my next steps?
A: Congratulations on becoming a Registered PSW! If there are any updates concerning employment or education status, please let the Registry know within 30 days. You can send an email to email@example.com or call 416-596-3100.
Registered EmployersQ: What are the benefits of becoming a Registered Employer?
A: Joining the Registry provides assurance for your clients that the PSWs you employ are competent to practice. The Registry carries out a thorough verification of your PSW’s training and education credentials, and helps you stand out as a provider of choice.
It further enhances the quality of care your PSWs provide, and demonstrates your ongoing commitment to providing safe and competent care. The Registry recognizes PSWs as trusted and skilled partners in Ontario’s health care system and elevates the profile of PSWs, by bringing them in line with other health care workers in Ontario.
To facilitate recruitment, the Personal Support Worker (PSW) Registry of Ontario (Registry) provides Registered Employers the ability to view anonymized personal information for all registrants seeking employment. Registered Employers can view detailed information about each PSW. They can view information that has been vetted, such as their education, skill set, regions available to work, and the number of hours they are available.
Q: How do I access the Employer Portal?
A: Registered Employers are assigned one (1) login per organization. In order to access the Employer Portal, the login must be assigned to a representative from the Human Resources (or equivalent) department.
Q: I would like to interview a PSW from the Registry. Can I contact them directly?
A: The Registry protects the privacy of Registered PSWs. If you would like to interview a Registered PSW, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the registered PSW’s anonymous Unique Identifier, your name, the name of your organization, and your contact information. The Registry will provide these details and let the Registered PSW know that you are interested in speaking with them.
Q: What do Registered Employers need to report to the Registry?
A: Employers need to inform the Registry when a Registered PSW employee has been suspended or terminated from employment for abuse, or has resigned or severed employment for another reason.
Q: I have additional questions about my partnership with the Registry. Who should I contact?
A: You can contact the Registry by phone at 416-596-3100 (or toll-free at 1-855-644-7796), or by email at email@example.com.
Q: What is an MOU and how does it affect a PSW’s application?
A: An MOU is a Memorandum of Understanding, which an employer signs with the Registry to become a Registered Employer. The MOU explains the partnership agreement, as well as the roles and responsibilities for each party under the MOU.
Non-Registered EmployersQ: Can I access the Employer Portal for the Registry without registering?
A: Only Registered Employers can access the Employer Portal.
Q: How can I join the PSW Registry?
A: To become a Registered Employer, call 416-596-3100 (or toll-free at 1-855-644-7796), or email the Registry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: As an employer, do I have to report an allegation of abuse if it involves a Non-Registered PSW?
A: The PSW Registry does not have jurisdiction over Non-Registered PSWs. If it involves one of your PSWs and you fall under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007, you will be required to investigate the complaint, and take action in line with your internal Complaints Policy.
Q: I have additional questions. Who should I contact?
A: You can contact the Registry by phone at 416-596-3100 (toll-free at 1-855-644-7796), or email email@example.com.
Q: When is the mandatory registration going to occur, and how long will it take?
A: Once a permanent host has been announced by the Ministry, the Registry will work with the organization to transfer the Registry. It is anticipated the Ministry will announce the permanent host towards the end of 2019. The transition is anticipated to take place over several months, to ensure all information is securely transferred.
Q: In the absence of regulation, will publicly funded employers be required to hire only Registered PSWs?
A: Yes, once the Registry is transferred to the permanent host, publicly funded employers will be required to hire only Registered PSWs.