Developmental Services Worker 100% graduate satisfaction. Small class sizes. Caring, knowledgeable faculty. Lots of hands-on learning. Active community partners/employers.

General information

Program code
4 Semesters (2 Years)
Ontario College Diploma
Academic area

Intake information

Start date Campus
Fall 2018 Orillia

Program description

Students develop the knowledge and skills required to support people with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Utilizing person directed planning, students advocate for self-determination in individuals with developmental disabilities, and facilitate the development of natural supports and opportunities for full community participation.

Areas of study includes intellectual, physical and mental disabilities, spectrum disorders, support options, health and well-being, social relationships, active lifestyles, community building, stages of human development, augmentative communication, pharmacology and medication administration, teaching and intervention strategies, support planning for individuals and their family, counselling, and professional development. Students consolidate this learning in fourteen weeks of supervised field placements.

Admission information

Admission requirements

OSSD or equivalent with

  • Grade 12 English (C or U)

Admission details

You must meet ONE of the following requirements to be eligible for admission to these programs:

Secondary school applicants:

  • OSS curriculum: OSSD or equivalent, with Grade 12 English (C) or (U) (ENG4C, ENG4U)

Non-Secondary school applicants (19 years or older):

  • Any credit Communication course taken at Georgian College
  • College preparatory programs including those taken at Georgian College: Human Service Foundation General Arts and Science*
  • Equivalent courses in English taken through secondary school or Independent Learning Centres (at the general, advanced, college or university level)
  • Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) program with communications
  • Mature student testing in English that meets the minimum standards for admission (available through most testing services)*
  • Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
  • English, Literature or Communication credit courses from accredited colleges/universities

Home school applicants:

  • Applicants can write the mature student testing in English that meets the minimum standards for admission (available through testing services)*

* available from Georgian College. For a complete listing please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Reference check

Placement agencies require an up-to-date clear criminal reference check and vulnerable sector check prior to going out on placement. Students should obtain their criminal reference three months prior to placement; checks conducted earlier may not be considered current. As some jurisdictions require longer lead-time for processing, please check with the program coordinator to ensure you allow for sufficient turn-around time. It is the student's responsibility to provide the completed document prior to placement start.

NOTE: A record of criminal offences, for which a pardon has not been granted, may prevent students from completing their placements, thereby affecting their ability to graduate.


View the Developmental Services Worker articulations on the Credit Transfer Centre page.


Mandatory Courses

  • HLTH2000 Health Skills
  • DEVS1007 Introduction to Developmental Disabilities
  • DEVS1008 Active Living
  • DEVS1010 Supports in Education
  • DEVS1011 Person Directed Planning
  • DEVS1012 Body Systems and Disorders
  • DEVS1013 Sexuality and Social Relationships
  • DEVS1014 Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • DEVS2001 Facilitative Techniques
  • DEVS2015 Supportive Counselling
  • DEVS2016 Dual Diagnosis
  • DEVS2017 Developmental Services: Issues and Trends
  • DEVS2018 Gerontology in Developmental Services
  • DEVS2019 Behavioral and Family Supports
  • HLTH2001 Pharmacology
  • HLTH2002 Medication Administration
  • HUMN1012 Human Lifespan Development
  • DEVS1009 Augmentative Communication

Communications Courses

To be selected at time of registration from the College list, as determined by testing.

General Education Courses

To be selected from College list

Field Placements

  • DEVS1015 Educational Placement
  • DEVS2020 Day/Community Placement
  • DEVS2021 Residential Placement