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Ontario College Graduate Certificate | 3 semesters | Barrydowne

What's Navigation?

As a navigator, you'll help people make sense of complex systems that can be confusing and frustrating. You’ll work from a person-centred and strength-based lens to help people navigate health care, mental health, addictions, social welfare, law and justice, developmental and educational settings.

Program Overview

You’ll learn how to...

  • Navigate complex systems 
  • Conduct assessments
  • Create care plans
  • Conduct care team meetings 
  • Create transition and discharge plans
  • Advocate for clients 
  • Use motivational interviewing 
  • Build your professional network 
  • Practice ethical decision making
  • Help clients understand professional jargon 
  • Provide both one-on-one and group support 
  • Provide support to different populations (e.g. youth, adults, older adults)
  • Apply principles of person-centred and strength-based care 
  • Recommend local and provincial resources
  • Practice self-care...and more!​

Program Highlights

  • 9 months (full-time pathway)
    • Students have successfully completed the program full-time while working full-time 
    • There's also a part-time pathway (see further below)
  • You can choose to complete the program 100% online 
    • ​You can join class virtually in real-time or view the recording afterwards
    • This is a great option if you don't live in Sudbury and/or if you're working
    • Click here for more details about our convenient delivery options 
  • You will practice the skills you learn through role-plays and simulations (even online!)
  • You don't need to buy textbooks! (any textbooks can be accessed for free online)
  • You'll receive personalized, one-on-one support from the program coordinator
  • You can obtain optional certification in:
    • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training
    • safeTALK
    • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
    • Mental Health First Aid...all at a reduced cost!

Who should take this Program?

If you like helping others, this program may be what you're looking for. 

Example Student Backgrounds:

  • Experienced helping professionals (e.g. nurses, case managers, social workers, personal support workers, etc.) looking to expand your expertise
  • Recent graduates (e.g. nursing, social work, psychology, etc.) looking to give yourself a competitive edge in the job market
  • Recent graduates looking to strengthen your application for additional schooling (e.g. medical school, Masters program, etc.)
  • International students with helping profession backgrounds
  • Anyone looking for a career change without a helping profession background (e.g. students have taken the program with backgrounds such as biochemistry)

Why Cambrian?

  • Our program has highly flexible delivery options allowing you to study when and where you want
  • Our program explores a variety of systems extending beyond health care (e.g. mental health, addictions, social welfare, law and justice, developmental and educational settings)


  • 6 week field placement
  • You can complete your placement anywhere in Canada 
    • There's also an option to complete your placement 100% online
  • The program coordinator will work closely with you to help you find a placement 
  • The Capstone Project is an option instead of the placement if you already have field experience (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 and Paramed consultation

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

Do you already have experience working as a helping professional? You can choose the capstone project instead of the field placement.

Example Capstone Projects

  • Indigenous community resource inventory
  • Private navigation business guidebook
  • Trauma and violence-informed care guidebook

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.

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.

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 2021
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2022
  3. SEMESTER 3 Spring 2022

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 2021-22 Academic Year 

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
SYS 1006 Navigator Fundamentals 3
SYS 1005 Navigating Systems I 3
HEA 1023 Social Determinants of Health 3
HEA 1029 Health and Wellness 3
COM 1003 Interpersonal Communication 3
IND 1062 Indigenous Perspectives on Care 3
Semester 2
CAT 1000 Ethics & Professional Conduct 3
PSY 1003 Concurrent Disorders, Mental Health & Addictions 3
GER 2310 Dementia & Related Cognitive Disorders 3
HEA 1306 Placement & Employment Application 3
SYS 1008 Navigating Systems II & Motivational Interviewing 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
  • Post-secondary institutions
  • 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 Coordinator
  • 211 Ontario Community Resource Navigator
  • John Howard Society Homelessness Diversion Coordinator
  • Local Health Integration Network 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

Graduate 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

Intrigued? Click here to read more testimonials and click here to watch student video testimonials!

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.

College/University Degree Opportunities

  • Graduates from this program may continue their studies at college/university and may receive credit for their prior College education. Refer to College/University Agreements for further information.
  • Are you a graduate from Laurentian University’s Gerontology program? We have an agreement that allows you to take the navigation program at a reduced course load. Connect with the program coordinator for more details. 

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.

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