Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a topic below to jump to that section of this FAQ page.

Enrolment Information

Are Health Care Aides (HCA) required to enrol in the Directory? 

Alberta Health has mandated that all Health Care Aides (HCAs) working for a publicly funded employer must ensure continued enrolment in the Alberta HCA Directory. HCAs working for privately funded employers are encouraged to enrol in the Directory, but not required to. To learn more about how to enrol, visit the How to Apply webpage.

Why is it mandatory for HCAs to enrol in the Directory?

Learn why it is mandatory on our For Health Care Aides webpage.

Why do HCAs need to apply to the Alberta HCA Directory when they have provided information to their employer?

The Alberta HCA Directory is a separate entity from a HCA employer and the Directory’s focus is only about Health Care Aides. Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health, Covenant Care, and other employers of HCAs have separate computer systems that are not collecting information for the same reasons as the Alberta HCA Directory.

The focus of the Directory is to collect information, including demographics and workplace information, from all HCAs in Alberta that work in both public and private care. Therefore, when the Directory requests HCAs to apply, they are completing their own application online and verifying their identity to a separate entity, which provides validity to the application process.

What ID is acceptable?

HCAs may visit the How to Apply to the Directory for information on the list of acceptable Government-issued ID and any exceptions.

How is HCA identification protected on the Directory?

HCA information is protected during transmission and when stored in the database by encryption. There is no file or printed image that can be copied. The Directory does not accept faxed or mailed photocopies of ID(s). The information which makes up the ID is sent and stored as a series of fragments that are reassembled for viewing only when administrators complete the confirmation process. Additionally, the Alberta HCA Directory has a very robust privacy policy and has security in place to protect any and all information that is being provided.

Can educators enrol HCA students once they graduate?

HCAs must enrol themselves in the Directory once they have been accepted in an Alberta approved HCA educational institution. Once the HCA successfully completes the program, it will be necessary to provide proof of course completion directly from the post-secondary institution to the Alberta HCA Directory. For more information, review the Core Competencies webpage.

When is a HCA considered fully enrolled?

HCAs are encouraged to review the Core Competencies webpage to confirm the requirements of the status they are applying for. Once all of the requirements of their status have been fulfilled, they can be considered fully enrolled on the Directory.

I forgot my password. How do I request a new password?

To request a password reset email, please click on “Forgot your password?” located directly below the login box. Once this request has been made, please check all of your inbox folders as a password reset email may be sent to your junk folder.

Is there a fee to enrol in the Directory?

There is no fee to enrol in the Directory.

How does a HCA become certified on the Directory?

Applicants applying for the Certified status on the Directory must:

  • Enrol on the Alberta HCA Directory.
  • Complete and submit the HCA Transcript Request form to their post-secondary institution requesting their official transcripts.

To learn more about the core competency requirements of the Certified status, please review the Core Competencies webpage.

How does an institution send official transcripts to the Directory?

Official transcripts must be emailed or mailed directly to the Directory. HCAs are required to complete and submit a HCA Transcript Request form to their institution providing consent to release their official transcripts to the Directory. Contact information can be found on the Directory Contact webpage.

What status will students enrolled in an approved HCA program be given while their status is being confirmed?

A HCA’s status will remain Certified-In-Progress until their official transcripts are received and confirmed by the Directory. It is the HCAs responsibility to follow-up with their application on the Directory and to provide the required transcripts Directory.

Download the HCA Transcript Request Form here.

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Annual Renewal

What is Annual Renewal and why do HCAs have to complete it?

Learn more about the Annual Renewal here.

Is it possible to advertise on the Directory?

The Directory will post educational and employment information relevant for HCAs on the website. Contact the Directory at

How long does my registration renew for?

Renewal is set to close on November 30, 2022. Once renewal is closed, all renewed HCAs will have a new registration year of December 1, 2022, that will be valid for one-year with a new expiration date of November 30, 2023.

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Out-of-Province or Internationally Educated

What should you do as an out-of-province or internationally educated applicant?

HCAs that have applied to the Directory and did not obtain HCA education through a Government of Alberta licensed post-secondary institution (see eligibility requirements) in Alberta must complete the Substantial Equivalence (SE) Assessment to be considered enrolled on the Directory.

For more information on the Substantial Equivalence (SE) Assessment requirements, please review the SE Assessment Requirements webpage.

How can an Alberta Nursing student enrol on the Directory?

Alberta Nursing students are eligible to enrol on the Directory while completing their nursing program. For more information, please review the Alberta Nursing Student webpage.

Is a Substantial Equivalence Assessment applicant eligible to work while their assessment is pending?

Yes. 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 (SE) Assessment process for HCAs educated outside of Alberta and for Alberta nursing students to allow SE Assessment applicants the ability to work as a HCA in Alberta while their assessment is underway.

These policy changes will be in place for one year until December 31, 2021. For more information, please review the Substantial Equivalence Assessment Information webpage.

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Deemed Competent

When should an employer complete the Competency Assessment Profile (CAP) on their HCA?

A HCA without formal healthcare education must be assessed as competent within 12 months of being hired by a licensed nurse (RN, RPN, or LPN) designated by the Operator using the Provincial Competency Assessment Profile Tool.

Is the CAP Assessment transferable?

The Continuing Care Health Service Standards (CCHSS) indicate that it is the Operator’s responsibility (with whom the HCA is hired by) to ensure that a HCA is deemed competent, as per CCHSS Standard 8.4. The Operator must maintain documented proof of HCA’s competency, according to the Government of Alberta’s Health Care Aide Competency Assessment Profile (CAP) tool. This evidence may be in electronic or paper form. Therefore, a HCA can not ‘transfer’ their competency assessment from one Operator to another. If a HCA received a job at another site, the expectation is the new Operator/employer completes a new competency assessment.

Can an unemployed, Alberta-trained HCA apply to the Directory?

A HCA that graduated from a recognized institution in Alberta and living in Alberta can enrol on the Directory. Unemployed HCAs will be required to provide an official transcript to the Directory as proof of successful completion to be recognized as part of the HCA service provider group.

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Alberta Provincial HCA Exam

What is the Alberta Provincial Health Care Aide (HCA) Examination?

Visit the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam webpage and the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam FAQs webpage to learn more.

Who is required to write the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam?

HCA students enrolled in an Alberta Health Care Aide (HCA) Program delivering the 2019 curriculum must successfully complete all course work and practicum pass the Exam to graduate from the HCA Program and receive the Government of Alberta 2019 HCA Provincial Curriculum Certificate.

Visit the Provincial HCA Exam webpage to learn more about it.

Can I challenge the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam?

The Exam is only available to HCA students enrolled in an Alberta Health Care Aide (HCA) Program delivering the 2019 curriculum.

Is there a handbook available about the Alberta Provincial HCA Exam?

A Candidate Handbook is available to exam candidates and instructors to assist in preparing for the Exam. It contains relevant guidelines, procedures and other supporting information pertaining to the Provincial HCA Exam process.

Does the Alberta HCA Directory act as a regulatory body for HCAs?

The Alberta HCA Directory is not a regulatory body under the Health Professions Act. It is a database containing information about HCAs. HCAs remain unregulated care providers who must be supervised by a regulated professional.

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External Links & References