Substantial Equivalence Assessment Information

Alberta Health, in collaboration with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta which operates the Alberta HCA Directory, has agreed to the following policy changes to the Substantial Equivalence Assessment process for HCAs educated outside of Alberta and for Alberta nursing students.

This policy will be in place for one year until December 31, 2021.

  • Individuals educated outside of Alberta that are seeking employment in Alberta as HCAs must begin the ‘substantial equivalent assessment’ process prior to employment.  Which includes:
    • Enrolling and submitting a complete application on the Alberta HCA Directory and paying the fee for assessment in full.
  • Employers may hire HCAs that are undergoing but have not yet completed the substantial equivalent process.
    • Employers must verify through the employer portal that the HCA being hired is enrolled on the Alberta HCA Directory.
    • The status for these HCAs will be ‘Sub. Eq (Assessment) – In Progress (Unapproved)’.

If the substantial equivalent assessment does not deem the applicant as substantially equivalent, the employer may:

  • Release the HCA from employment (in adherence of Employment Standards and any other requirements)
  • Have the HCA complete a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition assessment by a licensed Alberta post-secondary institution, or
  • Continue with the HCA’s employment as “Deemed-Competent – In Progress”. Click here for more information on the CAPS Assessment.

Under these conditions, the HCA has one year to complete either their education or the CAP assessment.

Alberta Nursing students

For information regarding Alberta Nursing students please visit the Alberta Nursing student webpage.

This policy expires on December 31, 2021.

As of January 1, 2022, individuals educated outside Alberta who are seeking work as HCAs in Alberta will be required to successfully complete the substantial equivalent assessment process.

Substantial Equivalence Assessment Toolbox