Ontario College Graduate Certificate | 3 semesters | Barrydowne

What is Community and Health Services Navigation?

A practical, diverse program that teaches you how to help people across health care, mental health, addictions, social welfare, law and justice, developmental and educational settings. 

What will I learn to do in the program?

  • Recommend resources across the province
  • Create care plans
  • Create suicide safety plans
  • Create transition/discharge plans 
  • Conduct care team meetings to help ensure smooth, coordinated care
  • Assess client understanding of information 
  • Apply person-centered and strength-based care 
  • Conduct assessments to learn client needs
  • Recommend a variety of coping strategies 
  • Apply motivational interviewing 
  • Advocate for clients 
  • Practice self-care
  • Practice ethical decision-making
  • Provide one-on-one and group support 
  • Provide support to different populations (e.g. youth, adults, older adults)
  • Build your professional network 
  • Strengthen your resume and cover letter
  • Improve your interviewing skills
  • ...and more!​

Program Highlights

  • Full-time and part-time options
  • 100% online ​option (click here for more details)
  • Practical and engaging assignments such as role-plays and simulations 
  • Personalized, one-on-one support from the program coordinator
  • Beneficial for both experienced helping professionals (e.g. one of the program graduates is a nurse with 40 years of experience!) and those new to the field
  • Optional certification in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, safeTALK, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills, and Mental Health First Aid...all at a reduced cost!

Who should take this Program?

  • Anyone interested in helping others!

This might include.....

  • New or experienced helping professionals (e.g., nurses, case managers, social workers, personal support workers)
  • Graduates looking to strengthen their application for additional schooling (e.g., medical school, Masters program)
  • People without a helping professional background looking to try something new (e.g., those with a biochemistry background)


  • 6-week field placement
  • Complete placement anywhere in Canada 
  • Option to complete placement 100% online
  • The program coordinator will work closely with you to secure your placement
  • Example Placement Agencies: Canadian Mental Health Association, Alzheimer’s Society, Ontario Disability Support Program, Elizabeth Fry Society, Public Health, Ontario Disability Support Program, John Howard Society, 211 Ontario, Developmental Services Ontario...and more!
  • Example Placement Areas: hospitals, private psychological services, mental health agencies, Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinics, 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!
  • Option to choose the capstone project instead of placement (see further below)

Placement Requirements

  • Some placement agencies require you to have additional medical and non-medical documents. Paramed will work with you to help coordinate any required documentation 
  • You will be responsible for any fees incurred related to placement, such as transportation, meals, accommodations, Paramed consultation, 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

Capstone Project

  • If you already have experience in the helping profession or if a placement won't work for your schedule, there's a 6-week capstone project option.

Example Student-Created Capstone Projects

  • Resource inventory of provincial Indigenous supports
  • A guidebook about how to start a private navigation business
  • A guidebook about trauma-informed care
  • Website to help international students navigate a new educational system
  • Website to help people navigate mental health resources

Part-time Pathway

You may choose to complete this program in six semesters while studying part-time. For more information on the part-time pathway see Program Delivery.

Why Cambrian?

  • Highly flexible delivery options allowing you to study when and where you want
  • Learn many systems beyond health care (e.g. mental health, addictions, social welfare, law and justice, developmental and educational settings) to give yourself a competitive edge

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.


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


This program will be delivered in the following terms:

Fall Term Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Fall 2022
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2023
  3. SEMESTER 3 Spring 2023

Delivery Format

At Cambrian College, HyFlex delivery of courses and programs refers to student choice about how they experience lectures, content, and activities. In a HyFlex course, a student can choose to learn using a variety of delivery modes as follows:

  • Live, in-person – face-to-face classroom attendance occurs at the regularly scheduled time for lecture and activities
  • Live, virtual (synchronous) lecture – attendance occurs through use of a computer or mobile device and web conferencing (webcast) software during live lecture and discussion activities
  • Asynchronous review – students can review the recorded lecture (at a later time of their choosing after the lecture has been captured)
  • Fully online asynchronous participation – students choose to work independently of live lectures throughout the course*

Faculty members will provide a common Moodle course shell for all students (no matter what delivery mode a student selects).

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.

Part-Time Delivery

Applicants wishing to study part-time will apply to CHPT at OCAS.  Timelines for completion will extend beyond those indicated above.

For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Program of Study for 2022-23 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 6
 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

  • Any textbooks used in the program are accessible for free online.
  • The cost of supplies for Year 1 is approximately $200. This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Graduate Options

Employment Opportunities

You can work in many areas including:

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

Examples of what our grads have been up to:

  • Hospital Patient Flow Supervisor
  • 211 Ontario Community Resource Navigator
  • John Howard Society Homelessness Diversion Coordinator
  • Home and Community Care Support Services Intake Team Assistant
  • March of Dimes Canada Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Worker
  • Hospital Mental Health and Addictions Program Medical Receptionist
  • Pre-Treatment Program Addictions Worker
  • Ontario Disability Support Program Case Worker
  • Community and Human Services Multi-Skilled Worker 
  • Smoking Cessation Care Coach
  • Endaayaang Navigator
  • Client Service Coordinator
  • Contact Tracer
  • Postnatal Transitional Housing Worker
  • Youth Residential Worker

Fun Facts

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

Students 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

Student Video Testimonials

  • Click here to watch student video testimonials (you just need to log in with a Gmail or Outlook account)
  • Click here to watch previews of the testimonials (without having to log in!) 

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.