Ontario College Graduate Certificate | 3 semesters | Barrydowne Campus or Online

What is Community and Health Services Navigation?

  • Life can be confusing and when you add in complex systems like health care, mental health, addictions, social welfare, law and justice, developmental and education, it can feel all the more confusing!
  • This program helps you learn about these different systems so you can help people work through barriers and get the support they need.

Program Highlights

  • Option to complete the program 100% online ​(click here and see "Delivery Format" for details)​
  • Complete the program full-time or part-time ​(click here for details)​
  • Focus on practical application of skills through creative and engaging assignments
  • One-on-one support from the program coordinator
  • Optional certification (e.g., Nonviolent Crisis Intervention, safeTALK)

Choose between a Placement or Project

  • In semester 3, you'll choose between a 6-week placement to get practical field experience or a 6-week capstone project to explore a topic of special interest
  • Placement Highlights: complete your placement anywhere in Canada or do an online placement 
    • Example Placement Settings: 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!
  • Capstone Project Highlights: 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 Capstone Projects: Provincial Indigenous Supports Resource Inventory, Guidebook: Creating a Private Navigation Business, Guidebook: Trauma-Informed Care, Website: Navigating Mental Health Resources, Website: Navigating Education as an International Student

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, Synergy 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

What will I learn in the program?

  • You will learn how to:
    • Make referrals to local and provincial community resources
    • Practice motivational interviewing
    • Advocate for clients and teach self-advocacy
    • Practice self-care
    • Respond to ethical dilemmas
    • Recommend a variety of coping tools for a variety of needs
    • Work with different populations (e.g., youth, older adults)
    • Build a network of professional contacts in the field
    • Promote health literacy
    • Provide person-centered care and promote strength-based communication
  • You will learn how to conduct:
    • Assessments
    • Suicide safety plans
    • Transition/discharge plans
    • Care plans and care team meetings

Learn more about the details of each course by clicking on the course codes under Program of Study

Do I need a background in a helping profession or in health care?

  • No. The program is great for people in many different scenarios, including:
    • Experienced helping professionals (e.g., social workers, personal support workers, nurses, etc.) looking to update their skills 
    • Graduates from a related field (e.g. Psychology) or unrelated field (e.g. Chemistry) 
    • People looking to make a career change
    • People preparing for additional schooling such as medical school or a Masters program

Student Testimonials

  • Click here to watch student video testimonials (you will need to enter an Outlook or Gmail email address to access the videos)
  • Click here to read student testimonials

"My experience in the Community & Health Services Navigation certificate has been incredible! As an 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 learning, including virtual OCD and Schizophrenia Simulations, an interactive Poverty Challenge and multiple One-on-One Roleplays. 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

The Cambrian Advantage

  • Highly flexible delivery options allow you to switch between delivery formats, including 100% online 
  • 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.
  • Hear from Cambrian graduates why they loved the program by clicking here (you just need to log in with a Gmail or Outlook account)

Full-Time and Part-Time Options

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

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 2024       
  2. SEMESTER 2 Winter 2025 
  3. SEMESTER 3 Spring 2025

Winter* Start

  1. SEMESTER 1 Winter 2025
  2. SEMESTER 2 Fall 2025
  3. SEMESTER 3 Winter 2026

*At this time, the winter start is only available to domestic students with educational and/or work experience in a helping-related field. Please connect with the program coordinator for more information.

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 or you can stick to a delivery method of your choice. 

  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.

Part-Time Program Delivery

  • Timelines: You will work with the program coordinator to determine your part-time program of study based on your specific needs
  • Delivery Format: Part-time students have the same delivery options as full-time students
  • For specific term start/end dates and other key dates/deadlines, please see the Academic Schedule on our website.

Additional Information

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 really do the entire program online?

A: Yes

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.

Program of Study for 2024-25 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 of Care 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 Systems of Care Application 3
HEA 1306 Professional Development 3
Semester 3
WPL 1300
Placement 1
or Capstone Project
 Total Credits39

Part-Time Students

Part-time students will be provided with a personalized pathway to complete this program in consultation with the program coordinator.

Transfer Credits

Students with degrees in related fields may be eligible for transfer credits. Connect with the program coordinator to see if you can receive credit for some of your courses.


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 can be up to approximately $200. The cost varies depending on participation in optional training and based on the requirements of the placement site for placement-bound students
  • This is the best information available at the time of publishing to the website and is subject to change.

Graduate Options

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of this one-year graduate certificate program will be positioned to pursue positions in a wide range of areas including:

  • 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

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.

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.