AIM: The aim of this study was to obtain the views of managers of health care agencies to assess whether they would employ trained health care assistants (HCAs). BACKGROUND: In 2000/2001, a training programme for HCAs was piloted in the Republic of Ireland. It was important to ascertain if the training programme was capable of producing HCAs that health care agencies would employ. METHODS: A self-administrated postal survey was distributed to health care agencies. RESULTS: Findings included suggestions on how the content of the programme could be made more relevant; most of the managers surveyed would employ a HCA trained on the programme; respondents did not believe that the HCA role encroached on that of the nurse and/or midwife and; most already employed HCAs with some offering informal, in-house training. CONCLUSION: Overall, respondents' views of the training programme were extremely positive with many recommending that it be continued and expanded.