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Ontario Creating Registry For Personal Support Workers

Archived News Release

Ontario Creating Registry For Personal Support Workers

McGuinty Government Working With PSWs To Deliver Quality Health Care

Ministry of Health

Ontario is creating a registry of personal support workers (PSWs) that will better recognize the work they do for Ontarians, while helping to better meet the needs of the people they care for.

PSWs will have the opportunity to sign up with the registry and provide key information such as: contact information, current employment, educational background and years of experience.  Employers and the public could use the registry to verify this important information, and employers would be better informed to meet patient needs. 

PSWs provide care to seniors, people with disabilities and those with complex health needs. This registry will enable the government to work in partnership with PSWs to better meet the health needs of these vulnerable groups, leading to improved health outcomes.     

The registry will be up and running no later than the summer of 2012.

Today's announcement is part of the government's Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.

Quick Facts

  • Personal support worker day is May 19th and recognizes the contributions of personal support workers to our health care system.
  • There are an estimated 90,000 personal support workers in Ontario with about 57,000 providing care in long-term care homes and 26,000 in home care through community health agencies. About 7,000 personal support workers provide care in hospitals.
  • The work of personal support workers ranges from assisted daily living tasks (such as personal hygiene, transferring clients between bed and chair, taking medication and doing light housework) to delegated health procedures (such as changing dressings, tube feedings and oxygen therapy).
  • To date, stakeholders have provided valuable input into this registry. Consultations with PSWs, their representatives and other stakeholders will begin in the summer.
  • The British Columbia government created a registry for first care aides and community health workers in January 2010.

Additional Resources


“Ontarians rely on the invaluable contributions that personal support workers make to our health care system. The registry provides recognition for the vital role they play and improves access to Ontarians who are in need of their services.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Personal support workers are an integral part of the health care system in Ontario. A registry is a step in the right direction to recognize the important work carried out by these professional caregivers everyday. We look forward to working with government on behalf of PSWs on this important initiative.”

Lori Holloway Payne

Director, Personal Support Network of Ontario

“A registry for Ontario's Personal Support Workers is a significant step toward providing the best possible care and support to Ontario's vulnerable citizens...the sick, elderly and children cared for by PSWs. OPSWA's hope is that the registry will create much-needed standardization of training, as well as establishing accountability for both PSWs and employers. As PSWs get the recognition and professionalism they deserve, the healthcare profession, the community, and PSWs will all benefit.”

Miranda Ferrier

President, Ontario Personal Support Worker Association

“Care in the community is often an intimate encounter between client and staff. This registry is a positive move which will increase safety for clients and caregivers, aid organizations and individuals in hiring qualified PSWs; and reinforce public confidence in our health system.”

Susan Thorning

CEO, Ontario Community Support Association

“The creation of a registry of Personal Support Workers will provide peace of mind to seniors and their family caregivers, and increase access to quality care. This is an important first step in strengthening home care in Ontario, and lays the foundation for enhanced training of PSWs.”

Sharleen Stewart

President, Service Employees International Union

“I feel the role Personal Support Workers play in the health system is finally being recognized in this province with the creation of a registry and the hosting of Personal Support Worker Day.”

Yvonne Greaves

PSW, Circle of Care Home Care Services Toronto

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness