BPSS Curriculum Guideline: Home Health Aide

(including Personal Care Aide upgrade to- and Certified Nurse Aide transition to HHA)

These guidelines concern NYSED and/or BPSS expectations for curriculum review of HHA and associated programs. Prior to submitting your new curriculum for review, please make sure to follow the instructions and advice below:

General Technicalities

When uploading curriculum material to my.ny.gov, always use the <Coursework Details> tab instead of <Other> or <Miscellaneous>.

  • For new curriculum, expect up to 90 days for review. Note that an approved curriculum may sometimes have to be revised/updated afterwards.
  • Note that BPSS approval for HHA is valid for THREE years. The curriculum re-approval should be submitted electronically 120 days before the expiration date.
  • Curriculum title MUST be descriptive and clear, with NO advertising.
  • For curriculums offering instruction or exams in a language other than English, please consult the Teaching in LOTE (Language/s Other Than English) BPSS Curriculum Guidelines and Checklist as well as reading below*

General Content

  • Remember that the Home Health Aide curriculum is standardized, from the content to the equipment list. You MUST follow the curriculum closely. The Personal Care Aide curriculum consists of the first 40 or 41 hours (depending on whether Universal Precautions & Other State-Mandated Topics is taught as a separate 1-hour unit, or is folded into Unit XII) of the Home Health Aide curriculum; PCA Upgrade to HHA consists of the 43 hours in the 2nd half; and NA Transition consists of those 67 hours that do NOT overlap between the NYS Nurse Aide and the NYS Home Health Aide curriculums. Each type requires a separate curriculum application.
  • When creating a curriculum application on my.ny.gov, you MUST check off <Allied Health> and <Home Health Aide> (or the corresponding boxes for PCA, PCA Upgrade to HHA, or CNA Transition to HHA) so that curriculum features specific to these programs can upload automatically.
  • The BPSS entrance requirement for this specific curriculum is either a high school diploma/GED/TASC, or passing a standard Ability-to-Benefit test in English and Math at least equivalent to 6th grade, such as Wonderlic Basic Skills Test, verbal 200/quantitative 210, Wonderlic Scholastic score 11, or TABE Level D Form 9/10 M507 R520 L525. You CANNOT use a self-created entrance test. For both PCA Upgrade and CNA Transition, the prerequisite is the corresponding health credential, i.e. Personal Care Aide or Nurse Aide certificates.
  • The standard length of this program is 83/84hrs, with an internship of 8hrs. 18hrs will be for theory and 57hrs for skills lab. An instructional hour MUST be 60min. The 85% BPSS attendance rule does NOT apply here. The student MUST complete, in-class or through make-up hours, all hours of this curriculum. Schools MUST track attendance daily, not only for the overall hours, but also by subject, to document that students completed the hours allotted to each unit and sub-unit. This includes make-up hours. Do NOT track your course as “Home Health Aide”— which is the name of the curriculum—but by the individual courses/units it is broken down into.
  • Schools MUST use the standard DOH curriculum, consisting of both the Core Curriculum (1st half) and the Health-Related Tasks Curriculum (2nd half).
  • The content of an HHA curriculum cannot be changed and MUST be taught in its sequence. It consists of the following units:

Core Curriculum: Introduction to Home Care; Working Effectively w/ Homecare Clients; Working with the Elderly; Working with Children; Working w/ People who are Mentally Ill; Working with People w/ Develop. Disabilities; Working w/ People w/ Physical Disabilities; Food, Nutrition & Meal Preparation; Family Spending & Budgeting; Care of the Home & Personal Belongings; Safety & Injury Prevention; Personal Care Skills

Health-Related Tasks: Orientation to Health-Related Tasks; Performing Simple Measurements & Tests; Complex Modified Diets; Assisting w/ Prescribed Exercise Program; Assisting w/ use of Prescribed Medical Equipment, Supplies & Devices; Assisting w/ Special Skin Care; Assisting w/ a Dressing Change; and Assisting w/ Ostomy Care

  • DOH has two different skills checklists to track mandated skills that MUST be demonstrated by the student (14 skills for the 1st half and 18 for the 2nd half). You MUST use the BPSS version of these checklists, available upon request from the BPSS Curriculum Unit if not available online. All clinical skills MUST be demonstrated LIVE during the training by the student. The skills lab is an extension of the classroom that provides adequate equipment, supplies and work stations for the number of students assigned to the site to practice skills on mannequin, and then live on fellow students or volunteers, before demonstrating competency in a clinical setting during the internship. Home Health Aides MUST have at least 16 hands-on, live, Supervised Practical Training hours, of which 8hrs are done during the internship, with the other 8hrs as hours denoted “S” (Skills). We encourage schools to go well beyond the 8 live classroom practice hours, and use a majority of the 57 hours noted as Skills classes for practical hands-on training by students, on each other or via a volunteer supplied by the school for that purpose. The final skills demonstration for all clinical procedures MUST be 100% accurate. The student MUST receive copies of the completed and signed skills checklists.
  • Unlike agencies which train nurse aides under a DOH license, BPSS-regulated schools CANNOT have multiple training locations under the same school license. Each location MUST have its own license and curriculum approval.

Method of Instruction

  • For this curriculum, select <Classroom>. Blended Learning is NOT an option for this program.

Textbooks and Instructional Aids

  • The school MUST administer tests and exams that follow the NYS DOH curriculum, such as from test banks from approved publishers.
  • The Home Health Aide Scope of Tasks MUST be adhered to.
  • Your students MUST have a textbook. DOH and BPSS do NOT mandate the use of a specific textbook. You can select a standard published textbook of your choice, but it MUST cover the New York State Department of Health mandated curriculum. If minor parts are NOT covered by the textbook, hand-outs can be added. Handouts should be uploaded under <Coursework Details>.  You CANNOT use only hand-outs.
  • Note that the DOH booklets--Core Curriculum and Health-Related Curriculum-- are NOT textbooks, but material intended for your instructor for lesson-planning.

*Teaching in Languages Other than English (LOTE)

  • To teach in a language other than English, note that the BPSS curriculum form, items 18 and 20 (under Equipment List) MUST be translated by a translator following the BPSS Curriculum Guidelines for LOTE.
  • Curriculum title MUST specify the LOTE, e.g. HHA-Spanish.
  • You will need a teacher qualified to teach in that specific LOTE language.
  • A main issue for teaching Homecare in another language is finding suitable textbooks and tests. Textbooks in Spanish include publishers like Hartman (Guia) and Select Copy, while Medifecta publishes a Chinese textbook. Hartman’s Guia requires some additional teaching material; you need to fill-out and upload a list, which you can obtain from the BPSS Curriculum Unit, to specify what additional material you will use.
  • If you use Providing Homecare from Hartman, you can, under DOH rules, use the English book provided you also use the test banks translated by Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) into several languages. If you use the PHI-translated Hartman testbank, you should mention it under Textbooks and Instructional Aids. You will also need to upload the Hartman letter (allowing access to the test bank) as <Coursework Detail>.
  • To teach effectively, these books must be enhanced by hand-outs and training videos in the language of instruction. The Medifecta book in Chinese covers only the Core Curriculum (PCA material). You need to find/create approvable teaching material in Spanish or Chinese for the entire Health-Related half after Unit XII.  If you have no available textbook in your language of instruction for both the core and the health-related halves (e.g. Russian and Polish), or cannot provide the needed enhancements in Chinese for the Health-Related half, it’s best to use Providing Homecare and the appropriate test bank. Your students would then document through a standard ESL test that they can read English at an intermediate level, such as by testing for SLEP score 43, or CELSA scaled score 97 (35 correct answers out of 75 questions).
  • It is advisable to add a unit (e.g. 5 or 10 hrs) on Vocational English for Homecare, before teaching in the language of instruction, regardless if incorporated into the HHA/PCA curriculum or taught beforehand as a separate unit.

Equipment List

  • The equipment is mandated. The Equipment List will upload automatically after you check <Home Health Aide> on my.ny.gov.

Content Outline and Performance Objectives

  • For this curriculum, the Content Outline (the former 21a) is the DOH curriculum. For Home Health Aide, it includes both the Core Curriculum and the Health-Related half; for PCA, just the Core Curriculum; and for PCA Upgrade to HHA, just the Health-Related half. Currently, you need to fill out the appropriate HHA curriculum form to also show that you are aware of the curriculum and the other conditions.
  • As Performance Objectives, you MUST test using the DOH curriculum content. For the theory component, this will include quizzes, homework, and class answers; for the skills component, practical demonstrations, and the skills checklists for the 1st half (PCA) and the 2nd half (Health-Related curriculum).


  • Upload a copy of the latest signed HHA Affiliation Agreement. Do NOT use the form developed specifically for Certified Nurse Aide. Note that the Affiliation Agreement MUST be resubmitted, with a new signature, on re-approval (every 3 years).
  • The internship MUST be 8hrs in a hospital, through a home care agency, or assisted living programs/residences (as long as Medicaid is not billed for the services of the student). The intern must be supervised by a Registered Nurse or LPN, licensed as teachers by BPSS and employed by the school.  You should include a copy of the operating license of the facility with the signed Affiliation Agreement.
  • During the internship, students MUST demonstrate their successful final performance of most of the 32 (14 plus 18) skills in the BPSS HHA Unit XII Skills Evaluation Checklist. Each HHA trainee training record MUST clearly document the trainee’s competence.
  • A student CANNOT be entered as certified on the Home Care Registry until he/she has satisfactorily finished his/her internship. To enter the student before the completion of the internship is a VIOLATION of your pledge to teach the curriculum as approved.

Home Care Registry

  • Before starting the first class, BPSS and your school must create a DOH Commerce Unit account and NYS Homecare Registry webpage for the school to enter graduates. After approval, BPSS will notify the Health Commerce Management Unit that you have been approved. After CAMU lists your school, you will receive affidavits to sign and mail to CAMU. BPSS will create a school webpage on the HCR. You then need to contact the HCR to gain access. Note that the process may take several weeks. You CANNOT start instruction until you can register your students on the HCR. It is your responsibility to read and follow additional DOH instructions concerning training and reporting requirements.
  • Note that after approval by BPSS, your school, programs, teachers, directors MUST be registered and updated, on the NYS Home Care Registry, by BPSS. The school has to put in the senior official signing the affidavits, and then each class of students.

**PCA to HHA Upgrade

  • Total: 43; Theory/Skills: 35; Internship: 8

**CNA to HHA Transition

  • Total: 67; Theory/Skills: 59; Internship: 8
  • The CNA with 1+ years of full-time work experience within the past 5 years may go to a DOH-licensed homecare agency with a training program - and take a competency evaluation to obtain the HHA certificate. A BPSS-licensed school CANNOT provide this evaluation.


  • Indicate changes in a letter uploaded under <Coursework Details>. Upload the complete, previously approved, curriculum (incl. approval letter) in one PDF under <Coursework Details>. Then upload the revised/amended curriculum as a second PDF.

General Caveats

  • Note that NO CURRICULUM APPROVAL, EVEN WHEN GIVEN IN ERROR, CAN OVERRIDE THE LAW! You MUST be familiar with the legal requirements in your offering.

Any further questions, please contact bpsscurriculum@nysed.gov