Hospice Volunteer Training

Hospice services in Ontario are provided both in the homes of clients with hospice providing trained and supervised volunteers for non-clinical care, and in hospice residences that provide in-patient end-of-life medical care. Since the early 1990s, hospices have invested considerable time, expertise and energy into training volunteers to meet the incredible variety of challenges posed by providing hospice care. In 1991, Hospice Palliative Care of Ontario (formerly Hospice Association of Ontario) developed and published a training manual to assist its growing membership in preparing volunteers for hospice programs. At that time, the hospice programs in Ontario were in their infancy. A standardized training curriculum became an essential component in ensuring quality care by volunteers throughout the province. The hospice system has grown substantially since 1991 and hospices in Ontario now have over 16,000 active volunteers trained using HPCO’s curriculum.

The training curriculum enables all hospice volunteer programs in Ontario, regardless of size or location, to achieve the same standard with respect to volunteer training. Since 2016, the volunteer training curriculum has been available as an online program. The online learning system was developed with support of the Government of Ontario and in partnership with Saint Elizabeth. This online learning system enables local hospice volunteer trainees to access the majority of the training curriculum online 24/7 throughout the year.

The training package is available for in-person delivery by the local hospice or a combination of in-person and online learning.  Available resources:

1. Facilitator’s Guide

2. Volunteer Handbook

3. Online Modules (13 of 15 required topics are online and two topics must be taught in-person)

For more information about HPCO’s Hospice Volunteer Training curriculum, please contact by using our Contact Us Form.