Get a PCA Certification in NY

Personal Care Aide Certification

In order to provide Personal Care Aide (PCA) services in the state of New York, a person is required to complete an approved PCA training program (PCATP). New York State Department of Health or NYS Education Department approved training programs provide basic training as well as Alternative Competency Demonstration (ACD). The certificate of completion is issued by the approved school or program through the New York State Home Care Worker Registry (HCWR).

PCA / PCATP Responsibilities & Requirements

PCA Expectations and Responsibilities

A PCA is a trained caregiver who helps patients and older adults with mostly non-medical assistance and daily tasks in the comfort of their own home. PCAs provide a wide range of services, assisting the patient with many day-to-day activities at home and around the community, such as:
Meal Prep
Light Housekeeping
Running Errands
Transport to Appointments

PCATP Requirements

Each personal care aide training program (PCATP) is expected to create their own procedures for screening applicants. Under state guidelines, having a high school diploma or GED is NOT required to become a HHA and while a minimum age of 18 is recommended, it is not required. The minimum criteria to qualify and be accepted for basic training are:
Maturity, emotional and mental stability; experience in personal care or homemaking.
Ability to read and write, understand and carry out directions and instructions, record messages, and keep simple records.
Have a sympathetic attitude toward providing services to patients at home who have medical conditions.
Good health as required for all home care workers.
If a PCATP chooses to have additional criteria for admission into their training program, their policy must clearly distinguish between regulatory requirements for admission to training and the agency requirements for admission to training.
PCATP includes basic training, which covers classroom didactic training and demonstration of PCA skills. PCATPs must use the Home Care Curriculum (HCC) for basic training. The HCC is a 40-hour minimum basic training course, not including testing, containing 12 distinct content areas. Classroom didactic training, skills training and competency evaluation must be completed within 90 calendar days of each trainee’s entry into the training program.

Additional curriculum information can be found here:

Tuition and Fees

Personal Care Aide training programs approved by New York DOH may not charge any fees or tuition to trainees for the cost of training including the costs for textbooks, materials and supplies.

Alternate Competency Demonstration

In lieu of the standardized classroom and skills training, the PCATP must offer the Alternate Competency Demonstration (ACD) to qualified individuals. The ACD is a method of training in which an individual with related training or experience in performing hands-on skills may be exempt from completing the PCA basic training program but will be tested to ensure they have the required skills and knowledge. Training programs must utilize the Alternative Competency Demonstration for the Personal Care Aide Guide developed by the DOH.

In addition to the minimum qualifications for personal care aides, individuals who are assessed with the ACD must also have related experience or training. Those minimum standards are outlined in the guidance document: Alternative Competency Demonstration for the Personal Care Aide, located on the Health Commerce System.

Maintaining Personal Care Aide Certification


An individual who successfully completes an approved PCATP receives a PCA certificate. PCATPs are required to print and sign two original certificates. One must be presented to the newly certified PCA and the other must be maintained in the training files. PCA certificates do not lapse, and they do not have an expiration date.