Ontario College Graduate Certificate | 3 semesters | Barrydowne Campus

What is Navigation?

  • Navigation involves helping people in settings such as health care, mental health, addictions, social welfare, law and justice, developmental and education. 
  • Navigators support people in a variety of ways (check out the heading "What will I learn?" underneath for examples)
  • If you're interested in helping others, there's a place for you in the navigation program.

What will I learn?

  • Assessments
  • Care plans
  • Suicide safety plans
  • Transitions plans
  • Care team meetings
  • Networking
  • Health literacy
  • Person-centered care
  • Strength-based communication
  • Coping tools
  • Motivational interviewing 
  • Advocacy
  • Self-care
  • Ethical decision-making
  • How to work with different populations (e.g., youth, older adults)
  • Check out the Program of Study for more examples!

Program Highlights

  • Full-time and part-time options
  • You can complete the program 100% online ​(click here for details). 
  • Practical assignments such as role-plays and simulations 
  • One-on-one support from the program coordinator
  • Customize assignments based on your interests 
  • Optional certification (e.g., Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, safeTALK)

Do I need a background in a helping profession?

  • Nope!
  • The program is great for experienced helping professionals (e.g., social workers, personal support workers, nurses, etc.) and people new to the field (e.g. recent graduates)
  • The program's also great for people without a helping professional background looking to try something new 
  • One program graduate is a nurse with 40 years of experience! Other program graduates came from backgrounds such as biochemistry. Hear from them by clicking here (you just need to log in with a Gmail or Outlook account)
  • Some people take the program to strengthen their application for additional schooling (e.g., medical school, Masters program)
  • There's a place for you in the program! 

Is there a field placement? 

  • Yes!
  • There's a 6-week field placement in Semester 3 or you can choose to do a 6-week capstone project.
  • You can complete your placement anywhere in Canada 
  • There's also an option to complete your placement 100% online

Where can I do my field placement?

  • In settings such as... hospitals, private psychological services, mental health agencies, family health teams, educational institutions, addiction agencies, newcomer services, long-term care homes, older adult centres, pregnancy care centres, retirement homes, women’s centres, youth centres, children and family centres, private home-care agencies... and more!
  • Online!

Placement Requirements

  • Some placement agencies require specific medical and/or non-medical documentation. Obtaining some of the documents involve fees for which you are responsible.
  • You will also be responsible for any other fees related to placement, such as transportation, meals, accommodations, Paramed consultation (to help coordinate required documentation), and/or co-op permits for international students.

Required documentation may include:

  • A vulnerable sector check
  • Health documentation (e.g. up-to-date immunization, two-step TB test)
  • Field certifications – Bill 18 requirements (provided free of cost in the program)
  • Respiratory Mask Fit Test
  • Standard First Aid and CPR

Placement Alternative (Capstone Project)

  • The capstone project is an alternative to the field placement
  • If you already have experience in the helping profession or if a placement won't work for your schedule, you can choose the six-week capstone project instead

Example of Capstone Project Topics

  • Resource Database: Provincial Indigenous Supports
  • Guidebooks: Creating a Private Navigation Business, Trauma-Informed Care
  • Websites: Navigating Mental Health Resources, Navigating Education as an International Student

Can I do the program part-time?

  • Yes!
  • For more information on the part-time pathway, click here

Why should I choose Cambrian?

  • Highly flexible delivery options allow you to take the program 100% online if you want to 
  • Give yourself a competitive edge in the workforce by learning about many areas including health care, mental health, addictions, social welfare, law and justice, developmental and education.
  • Let our program graduates tell you themselves by clicking here (you just need to log in with a Gmail or Outlook account)

Quick Links

How to Apply

Community Services

Admission Requirement

  • Applicants must be graduates of a diploma, advanced diploma, or degree program from an Ontario College or equivalent.
  • The applicant's prior education does not have to be from a helping related profession.


  • Applicant must possess five years of work experience in a related field (or combination of education and work experience) as judged by the College to be equivalent. Applicants must submit a resume detailing their related experience and a cover letter outlining their competencies and preparedness for the program (any and all post-secondary transcripts must still be submitted).

Additional Requirements

  • Applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency.
  • Cambrian College accepts the TOEFL, or IELTS, or equivalent test to satisfy our English admission requirements.

Program Delivery


The program has 3 semesters. The first 2 semesters are 14 weeks each. The third semester is 6 weeks. This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Fall 2023
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2024
  3. SEMESTER 3 Spring 2024

Delivery Format

HyFlex: At Cambrian College, HyFlex delivery refers to student choice about how you experience class lectures, content, and activities. You can plan your learning based on the delivery modes that work best for you. You can switch between modes of delivery throughout the program based on your needs:

  1. In-person – attend class face-to-face on-campus during the scheduled class time
  2. Virtual (synchronous/live) – attend class online during the scheduled class time (e.g., using Zoom)
  3. Virtual Recording (asynchronous/not live)  – view the recorded class at a later time after the lecture has been captured

Course Resources: All delivery modes include a common Moodle course shell for all students (no matter what delivery mode you select).

HyFlex courses take place during regular Cambrian College terms (fall, winter, or summer). Students and faculty members in HyFlex courses are subject to the same Cambrian College academic policies, expectations, and deadlines, as all Cambrian College courses. Evaluation expectations and policies will be communicated by faculty members at the start of each course.

Important Note for International Students:

  • Given existing policies related to the issuing of study permits, International Students must verify the impact of online delivery on their study permits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I do the entire program living outside of Sudbury?

A: Yes!

Q: How do tests work online?

A: The program has more of an emphasis on practical assignments but when there are tests, they are structured differently so you don't have to complete them on a specific day and time

Q: Will I still get practical learning opportunities if I do the program online?

A: Yes! The program has a lot of creative assignments to ensure all students receive meaningful, practical learning experiences. There are some assignments that require virtual participation in real-time to ensure you're getting the best possible learning experience. In these cases, you'll be involved in the planning process to ensure it works for your schedule. 

Q: Do I have to stick to only one mode of delivery?

A: No! Students often end up having a preference but you are able to move between different modes of delivery based on your needs.

Part-Time Delivery

  • Application: Applicants wishing to study part-time will apply to CHPT at OCAS. 
  • Timelines: You will work with the program coordinator to determine your part-time program of study based on your specific needs
  • For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Program of Study for 2023-24 Academic Year 

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
HEA 1029 Health and Wellness 3
COM 1003 Interpersonal Communication 3
SYS 1006 Navigator Fundamentals 3
SYS 1005 Navigating Systems I 3
HEA 1023 Social Determinants of Health 3
Semester 2
CAT 1000 Advocacy and Ethics 3
PSY 1003 Concurrent Disorders, Mental Health & Addictions 3
GER 2310 Dementia 3
IND 1062 Indigenous Perspectives on Care 3
SYS 1008 Navigating Systems II & Motivational Interviewing 3
HEA 1306 Placement & Employment Application 3
Semester 3
WPL 1300
Placement 1
or Capstone Project
 Total Credits39

Part-time students will be provided with a pathway to complete this program on a part-time basis.


Tuition and Ancillary Fees

Please see our fees page for the breakdown of tuition and mandatory ancillary fees by program and semester for both domestic and international students.

Books & Supplies

  • You don't have to buy any textbooks! Any textbooks used in the program are accessible for free online.
  • The cost of supplies is approximately $200 (e.g., cost of optional training, cost associated with documentation for field placements, etc.)
  • This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Graduate Options

Where can I work?

  • Community agencies
  • Mental health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Family health teams 
  • Educational settings
  • Health care agencies​
  • Long-term care homes 
  • Addictions agencies
  • Social welfare agencies 
  • Law and justice agencies
  • Developmental service agencies
  • Private agencies

Graduate Career Examples 

  • Patient Flow Supervisor, Health Sciences North
  • First Link Navigator, Alzheimer's Society
  • Community Resource Navigator, Ontario 211
  • Homelessness Diversion Coordinator, John Howard Society
  • Youth Coordinator, John Howard Society
  • Addictions Worker, Monarch Recovery Services
  • Intervenor, DeafBlind Ontario Services
  • Smoking Cessation Counsellor, Care Coach
  • Endaayaang Navigator, Hamilton Regional Indian Centre
  • Case Worker, Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Worker, March of Dimes Canada
  • Postnatal Transitional Housing Worker, Massey Centre for Women
  • Developmental Services Worker, Adult Enrichment Centre

Student Video Testimonials

  • Click here to watch student video testimonials (without having to log in!)

Written Testimonials

"My experience in the Community & Health Services Navigation graduate certificate has been incredible! As a completely asynchronous student, I have found it very easy to feel connected and engaged with the program because of the excellent teachers and fascinating course content.

I have appreciated the hands-on, application-based learning this program has offered, including virtual OCD and Schizophrenia Simulations, an interactive Poverty Challenge and multiple One-on-One Roleplays. Such experiences have allowed me to step into the role of both the patient and the navigator, shedding light on the real-world experiences of both. These practical application activities, in combination with the wide range of courses taken during the program, have provided invaluable skills that can be utilized both in the field of community and health services navigation and in my capacity to be resourceful, compassionate and supportive in my personal life.

This September, I look forward to applying all of the skills and knowledge acquired through this program when I start my Masters of Public Health at the University of Toronto. I have no doubt that the Community & Health Services Navigation program was a valuable addition to my resume and application for graduate school, and that it will continue to serve me during this next degree and in my future career in healthcare!" - Hayley Asling, 2019-20 Graduate

  • Click here to read more testimonials

Fun Facts

  • Students without a helping professional background have been hired in helping professions based on their experience in the navigation program.
  • One of the program graduates, a nurse with over 40 years of experience shared she found value and new learning from the program.

Transfer Credits

Do you have a related diploma or degree? Connect with the program coordinator to see if you can receive credit for some of your courses.

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.