With more and more seniors needing personal support workers in Thunder Bay, teachers and students in the field say there should be province-wide standards.
Unlike nursing, personal support work is an unregulated profession and educational programs can vary.
It takes 700 hours of training to complete the program at Confederation College.
Co-ordinator Debra Walker said she wants to see requirements standardized across Ontario.
"It's your competence," she said. "And if you've achieved that, you'll feel competent. And the clients will feel that as well. They'll feel comfortable with that."
Confederation College says personal support workers in northwestern Ontario earn $12-$19 an hour working in home care.
If they work in long-term care facilities they can earn around $20 an hour.
The ability to provide competent care was a powerful reason Angel Jantunen signed up for Confederation College's Personal Support Worker program.
"I helped care for my elderly grandmother before she passed and it was very fulfilling just to know that I was providing her the care that she required on a daily basis," she said. "It really drew me to continue with it."
Jantunen said her new profession requires a lot of knowledge and that she believes training requirements should be standardized.
"The dementia, the Alzheimers, paralysis — there's so many things that, if you just go in and you assume you know what you're doing, so many problems could arise from that," she said.
Walker noted she's happy the Ontario Ministry of Health recently created a registry for Personal Support Workers, but added it’s just a first step toward full professional accountability.
Under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, long-term care facilities are required to have training criteria for PSWs. Confederation College's program meets those criteria.