Diabetes Education for Health Care Providers

Applied Certificate

Program Overview

  • Distance Learning options available
Length: 15 weeks per course

You must complete the program within five years.

Our Program

More than three million Canadians live with diabetes. It is estimated another six million live with pre-diabetes, and nearly 50 percent of those will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes. The message? Diabetes education has never been more important than it is today.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic developed the Diabetes Education for Health Care Providers program in direct response to growing need in our communities. This applied certificate program provides the knowledge, judgment, skills and attitudes you need to meet the health care needs of people living with diabetes.

Who qualifies?

Diabetes Education for Health Care Providers is specifically designed for current health care providers. To enrol, you must currently be employed as one of the following:

  • community health representative (CHR)
  • community health educator (CHE)
  • continuing care assistant (CCA)
  • primary care paramedic (PCP)
  • licensed practical nurse (LPN)
  • graduate practical nurse

Is this program for you?

The Diabetes Education for Health Care Providers program offers flexible start times, course sequencing and choice of clinical experience, so you can complete the program on a part-time basis within a five-year time frame. This allows you to build your professional credentials while maintaining job and/or family responsibilities.

The program focuses on types of diabetes, prevention, risk factors, long-term complications, medications, monitoring and more. You'll learn to support clients and address cultural differences in the day-to-day management of diabetes. Hands-on learning is an important component of the program. You'll practice new skills in a 12-hour lab and a 60-hour clinical practice education in a workplace setting.

Refer to Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

Your Career

The Diabetes Education for Health Care Providers program is specifically designed to meet the needs of current health care providers - community health representatives, community health educators, continuing care assistants, primary care paramedics, licensed practical nurses and graduate practical nurses. You will be prepared to provide consistent, current and accurate information about diabetes prevention, education and care in a wide variety of health care settings across both Saskatchewan and Canada.

For more information about career opportunities related to this program, contact Student Employment Services at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus nearest you.

Program Details

Start Date(s): Ongoing:

For more information, contact diabetesed@saskpolytech.ca.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.


For more information, contact diabetesed@saskpolytech.ca


Admission Requirements

  • Currently employed in the health care sector, and having one of the following designations:
    • Community Health Representative (CHR)
    • Community Health Educator (CHE)
    • Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) (formerly Home Care/Special Care Aide)
    • Primary Care Paramedic (PCP)
    • Licensed Practical Nurse (effective September 2010)
    • Graduate Practical Nurse (effective September 2010)
  • English Language Requirement


  • You will need to have current immunizations as per the policy of the employer where you will complete the clinical component.

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training. Frequently asked questions regarding PLAR for this program are answered in the Factsheet. A detailed Candidate Guide, which includes a self-audit for all PLAR-ready courses, has been developed for this program. This information guides a candidate through all steps in the PLAR process.

Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.



CLIN 160
Clinical Component
The clinical component consists of a 60-hour clinical experience that integrates the theory you learned and the lab component. Your clinical experiences will be scheduled in an agency chosen by you in conjunction with the faculty of the Basic Diabetes Education for Health Care Providers program. An experienced agency staff member will guide and direct you, and evaluate your competence. You will be expected to demonstrate responsibility and accountability for your own learning. You will be in an unpaid student role and require time off work to complete the clinical component.Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): HLTH 165, HLTH 167
Learning Method(s): Work Experience - Group, Work Experience -Individual
EDUC 160
Principles of Education
Teaching and learning in diabetes care is an essential part of the client management plan. Course content includes the basic goal of education and the role of self-management in diabetes care. You will review the principles of good communication and how to assess your clients' readiness to learn. You will be introduced to the stages of behaviour change that help guide the education process.Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): HLTH 163
Learning Method(s): Print Distance Individual, Lecture/Theory
HLTH 162
Understanding Diabetes
The course provides an introduction to diabetes. You will study the basic features of diabetes, support to the client in diabetes management, and diabetes prevention. You will learn what happens in the body when diabetes develops, the different types of diabetes, risk factors and how diabetes can be prevented.Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Learning Method(s): Print Distance Individual, Lecture/Theory
HLTH 163
Managing Diabetes
You will learn the five important parts of diabetes management and ways to support the client in promoting and reinforcing the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The course content includes the basic actions of oral medications and insulin, their side effects and what to do about them. You will also learn how to address cultural traditions and differences.Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): HLTH 162
Learning Method(s): Print Distance Individual, Lecture/Theory
HLTH 164
Managing Highs and Lows
You will learn how to support the client in preventing and managing the two acute complications of diabetes (hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia). You will be introduced to the tools used to monitor for changes in blood glucose, how to use them and what to do with the results. You will also learn how to document and report your findings.Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Prerequisites(s): EDUC 160
Learning Method(s): Print Distance Individual, Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group
HLTH 165
Lab Component
You will discuss the role of community development in diabetes prevention and management. You will review the Behavioral Change Model. You will practice basic teaching principles in a small group. You will practice blood glucose monitoring and ketone testing and re-demonstrate these procedures accurately prior to being certified to perform them with clients. You will be introduced to the systems approach to client safety.Credit Units: 1
Course Hours: 12.0
Prerequisites(s): HLTH 164
Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Lab/Practical
HLTH 166
Long-term Complications
Your studies will focus on the diabetes complications that can be prevented or delayed. You will be introduced to the different tools used to monitor diabetes status and identify how they help in preventing complications. You will learn the importance of good foot and skin care, how to assess for changes and how to teach clients the basics of good foot care.Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): HLTH 164
Learning Method(s): Print Distance Individual, Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group
HLTH 167
Special Considerations
You will examine situations that can affect the day-to-day management of diabetes. You will learn how to assess and care for clients with an acute illness. You will also learn why pre-planning for events like feasts, travel, sick days or surgery help to enhance diabetes self-care.Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): HLTH 166
Learning Method(s): Print Distance Individual, Lecture/Theory, Print Distance Group


Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away almost $1.5 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

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